Amazon touts top products of 2009

A trio of lists from the Web retailer gives top honors to tech-related gear ranging from a Netbook to a digital tire gauge to--surprise, surprise--the Kindle.

The Kindle e-reader, the Nintendo Wii, and an Asus Netbook were among the top tech items for Amazon customers in 2009.

The retail giant touted three "Best of 2009" lists on Wednesday, revealing the best selling, most wished for, and favorite gift items chosen by Amazon consumers for the year. The company also introduced its Bestsellers Archive, which can show historical popularity among several categories, including print books, Kindle books, music downloads, movies and TV shows, and video games.

Amazon has been relentlessly proclaiming the popularity of its Kindle device , though it just as steadfastly has declined to provide actual sales numbers. PC maker Asus, meanwhile, has been riding the Netbook craze and drew top honors in Amazon's computer category with its Eee PC 1005HA 10.1-inch Netbook.

Nintendo's Wii game console lost some steam during 2009, but heading into the holiday season gave strong signs of regaining its dominance .

Other top tech items on the several Amazon lists included Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, an Omron Digital Pocket Pedometer, and an Accutire Programmable Digital Tire Gauge--the latter two perhaps being of use to tech types who need to take a long walk or drive after a hard day using Microsoft Office.

The Casio Men's Sea Analog Illuminator Dual LED Dive Watch made the best-sellers list for people who need to keep tabs on the time while under the sea. On the most-wished-for list was the Sunforce 50044 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit, designed to tap into the power of the sun to charge the battery in your car, RV, tractor, boat, and other vehicles on the go. New Super Mario Bros also made the cut as the most-wished-for video game.

Amazon's "Best of 2009" lists cover all but the last 10 days of the year--stretching, that is, from January 1 to December 22, 2009. The Bestsellers Archive goes back in time to the start of Amazon to unveil the most popular items over the long haul.

In the video game category, the Wii came in at number 6 historically and has been on the top 100 list for 1,128 days. Among electronics, Apple's iPod Touch 3G takes the second (8GB version) and third (32GB version) slots on the list for 112 days. And for software, MS Office Home and Student 2007 hit the number 2 spot as part of the top 100 for 1101 days.

You can also view historical data right in the Bestsellers Archive just by selecting the pulldown menu for year and choosing a different year, as far back as 1995 for books and more recent years for other items. A peek back at 1999, for example, revealed that "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" was the most popular video game of the year.

"The Bestsellers Archive reveals the collective interests of our customers back to the beginning of Amazon.com," said Eva Manolis, vice president of Retail Customer Experience, in a statement. "It's a fun experience enabling exploration of bestselling products -- helping customers find their favorites as well as discover those they may not know about."

The full 2009 lists can be found on Amazon's news release Web site.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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