CNET Top 5: Tech Winners of 2011
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CNET Top 5: Tech Winners of 2011

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Five technologies that defined the Year in Tech.

As we put 2011 to bed, a lot of technologies are vying for that virtual award podium of our memory: Which ones will not be forgotten in 2012? I�m B.C. with the Top 5 Tech All Stars of 2011 - the products defined the year in tech -- all strong in CNET�s reviews ratings, but even more importantly, they defined their category or set a path that we�ll be on for some time. Let�s see where they pointed us. #5 is the Amazon Kindle Fire. Finally someone paid attention to what�s sells gear these days: What it does, not what it is. Amazon, as well as Barnes & Noble, gave us really good tablets we can afford and carry without a murse. We don�t know exactly how well the new Kindle Fire will survive some skeptical early reviews, but I�m pretty sure the idea of a smaller tablet that is good enpough is here to stay. #4 Macbook Air. Laptops changed with the success of the MBA this year. The Air just seemed to be what we always wanted a laptop to be: Light, thin, instant on and with lonngggg battery life. It even diverts some people away from their iPad. MBA sales are growing 4 times faster than PC sales and even 2.5 times as fast as hot Mac sales. And competitors from the WinTel world don�t really have anything to answer it yet. #3 is the Pad 2: Part of the reason we have our #5 Kindle Fire at all is because Apple established this sort of Valley of Death for everything else. iPad2 is arguably Apple�s most successful product when measured in terms of market dominance and while its price can be a lot to bite off, there�s a lot to chew on once you do. iPad2 is simply the best tablet out there and its singular success helped keep the entire sector from become a flash in the pan. #2 iPhone 4S. After getting drubbed for being too evolutionary, the 4S went on to be the best selling new iPhone ever and the highest rated by CNET. From iOS5 to Siri to a camera that obviates cameras, this phone kept Apple top of mind even as the Android guys took over on sales momentum. Need more convincing? It�s the first iPhone to earn a CNET EC. : The #1 Tech all Star of 2011 goes to a product that is also accepting on behalf of its category: The Motorola Droid Razr. CNET�s best rated smartphone of the year. Our best rated smartphone EVER. Our best rated phone ever. Our best rated product of 2011. It just doesn�t end. Motorola came out of nowhere with this guy and in the process emblemized the rise of Android and of the superphone category in a year when smartphones in general were the most competitive field in consumer tech. They�ve earned a swig off my bottle. Don�t miss my several other year end Top 5�s for 2011 that put the year in tech in perspective. They�re all waiting at top5.cnet.com. I�m B.C.

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