20 most innovative consumer electronics products of the decade (photos)
What are the most influential electronics products of the decade? CNET picks its top 20, listed in alphabetical order.
Affordable large-screen flat-panel HDTVs
Plasma and LCD HDTVs have been one of the biggest consumer electronics stories of the decade. While we're not highlighting one brand over another, we are highlighting the fact that prices continue to drop for displays 42 inches and larger.
The e-reader has been around for a while and Sony actually had a reader with an e-ink display before Amazon. But the Kindle--and Amazon's marketing efforts--were the key to bringing attention to these now hot devices.
In 2003, Canon turned its prosumer 10D dSLR into a consumer model that had a plastic body, instead of a metal one.
When Rebel 300D was launched, Digital Photography Review said, "This camera is probably the most fundamentally important step for digital SLRs since the introduction of the Nikon D1. It will place digital SLRs into the hands of consumers (with a moderate budget) and will probably also have a very strong negative effect on the $1,000 prosumer digital camera market."
In just a few years, Flip Video has managed to capture more than 25 percent of the camcorder market with its compact and simple-to-use digital pocket camcorders. When it launched, almost no one believed it could become the major player that it is today.
Once a small company in Canada, today Harmony is owned by Logitech and dominates the consumer universal remote control market. Its PC-based DIY setup was far easier to use than the Philips Pronto's (and other higher-end remotes), allowing average consumers to program their sophisticated clickers themselves without the assistance of a professional home installer.
Launched in 2000, the PS2 is still on sale, and Sony has kept its promise that the system would last a decade. With an integrated DVD player, the PS2 helped make the game console the centerpiece of the living-room entertainment system.
CNET cell phone guru Kent German felt strongly that the Razr should be on the list. "Not only was it incredibly popular," he says, "but it was also the first thin phone. It started a huge design trend and has quite a few imitators."
We wanted to highlight GPS' impact on the market (and the world) but weren't quite sure how to present it. While it's not fair to single out one GPS device as the ultimate innovation, we will say that devices like the TomTom Go helped make GPS the mass-market product it is today.
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