The best and worst tech products of 2008
Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:42PM EST 

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Lists like this are awfully subjective, but always fun to work on. As Christmas 
approaches, it's time to reminesce about the products that really floated my 
boat in 2008... and a few of the ones that made me run away screaming.

Without further ado, here are my -- completely personal -- picks for some of 
the best products to come from the world of technology from 2008.

The Best 

Gateway MC7803u laptop - It has modest specs and average-to-good performance, 
but $1,000 flat gets you a gorgeous, 16-inch screen and a distinctive, classy 
chassis, complete with leather trim. It's altogether an excellent value and has 
all the features that virtually every user needs in a portable. 

Rock Band 2 - Arguably the best game of the year -- I find it humbling that I 
listen to more music while playing Rock Band than I do on my iPod. The ongoing 
addition of new -- and good -- music to the game makes it an ongoing favorite 
at Null HQ. 

Lenovo IdeaPad S10 - If you must buy a netbook, try Lenovo's outstanding mini, 
which is exceptionally powerful for its feature set and size and priced to move.

Intel Core i7 CPU - This new CPU is the fastest and most capable microchip on 
the block, hands down, and it won't melt your computer along the way. Can't 
wait for the mobile version to arrive in 2009.

Hulu - This web TV service really came into its own in 2008 after a slow and 
rocky start. YouTube gets all the press (and about 100 times the traffic), but 
Hulu has the full-length, high-quality commercial shows and snippets that 
people actually want to watch. And the player is snappier in response than 
anything else on the market. 

Fabrik [re]drive - Environmentalism in the tech world doesn't have to mean just 
a good take-back program. The [re]drive is made of bamboo and recyclable 
aluminum, making it not just more eco-conscious than any other hard drive on 
the market, but better looking too. 

Sony Xperia X1 - If it weren't for the $800 price tag, you'd see X1 handsets in 
the hands of all the digerati instead of the iPhone. (Yeah, I like the iPhone 
3G, too, but the atrocious battery life is cause enough to keep it off this 
year's "best" list.)

Herman-Miller Embody - Can a man fall in love with a chair? Yes, yes he can.

The Worst

Blu-ray - I'm happy to see that Blu-ray players have come down in price... but 
the media has not, and there's no way I'm paying $25 to watch Step Brothers. 
Plus the technology is still, bafflingly, dog-slow. - Lots of writers hail's finance tracking system as the best 
thing since Coca-Cola Classic, but after weeks with the service I've never 
gotten it to work right. It still can't grab all my account information from 
one of the biggest banks in the world... and every month I am (wrongly) 
chastised for spending over $5,000 on groceries, the category into which all my 
spending is invariably dumped. 

DRM in All Its Forms - Why does DRM still exist? It's so aggravating and 
generates so many lawsuits that promising products like RealDVD get sued off 
the planet within days of launching. Three months after launch, RealDVD is 
still "temporarily" off the market as the company deals with a Hollywood lawsuit

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