Reviewing products for CNET can be a surprisingly boring job. There?s a lot of
mediocre stuff out there, and there are only so many ways to describe a boring,
yet functional product.
But every once in awhile we get products that are awful. Now those are fun
reviews to write.
These aren?t usually products that will fall apart in your hand. Most of them are
ideas that must have sounded great on paper, but just fell flat in the real world.
So here are my picks for the worst of the worst, some of CNET?s lowest-rated
products from 2012.
Starting off at #5 with 2 ? stars: the Zipbuds Juiced headphones. This is the
perfect example of what I?m talking about. The idea sounds great: earbuds that
zip up to prevent cords from tangling together. But even at $20, these are some
disappointing headphones. And let?s not forget the name. It sounds like an
embarrassing trip to the emergency room.
At #4, with 2 ? stars, the Drobo Mini. Thunderbolt storage is an overpriced
category to begin with, but it takes some real cajones to ask $650 for this one.
You have to supply your own high-speed 2.5-inch drives, and even if you max it
out, you?ll be lucky to get 4TB of total storage. And on top of that, it?s slow! But,
y?know, if you need a relatively compact Thunderbolt RAID drive that lights up
like TRON and sounds like it?s trying to levitate off your desk, Drobo has you
A 50-inch TV comes in at #3 with a 2-star rating. It?s the Panasonic TC-L47DT50.
Now don?t feel bad for Panasonic. They are dominating CNET?s list of the Best 5
TVs with three killer plasmas. But this isn?t one of them. This is their 50-inch LED
LCD, and I think they made it just to make the rest of their TVs look better by
comparison. There?s also some poetry to the fact that Panasonic makes both the
highest and the lowest-rated TV on CNET.
Coming in at #2, the Elgato EyeTV Mobile with a 2-star review. Ever wanted to
watch over-the-air TV on your iPad? Me neither. But if I did, I would expect more
than a handful of channels and I would laugh at you if you said I?d have to pay
$100 for the privilege of watching free TV. The folks at Elgato didn?t see it that
way. They also didn?t see that whole Lightning port change coming from a mile
away, so you can?t use this on any of Apple?s new products without buying a 30-
pin adapter and cementing your status as a total chump.
And finally, coming in at #1 and bearing a 1-star review: the Duo Games Duo
Pinball. This is a $60 accessory that gives pinball fans back the physical buttons
that are so glaringly absent on the Apple iPad. Sure, there are couple problems
here, I mean aside from the fact that you?re paying $60 for a hollow wedge of
cheap plastic. Of all the pinball apps out there for the iPad, this piece of junk
works with just one of them. And because the buttons work over Bluetooth, they
actually respond slower that just touching the screen. Unless you?re a pinball
wizard who needs a handicap to keep things interesting, you do not want the Duo
Pinball nor it?s $40 brother the Duo Gamer.
So there you go, those are my favorite picks from CNET?s worst-rated products
of the year. For more Top 5?s like this visit Top5.CNET.com.
I?m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.