Staff Picks: Top Gadgets and Tech of 2009

2009 brought some amazing advances in technology and gadgets, so the staff at Techerator has put together a list of their favorite tech of 2009.  Let us know about your favorite tech of 2009 in the comments at the bottom!

Evan Wondrasek

  1. Android-based Phones – I bought a Motorola Droid on launch day and have never been so happy with a gadget.  This phone has all the hardware necessary to utilize Android’s wonderful multitasking, and I’ve seen leaps and bounds with application development over the past few months.
  2. Netbooks – I’m away from my apartment more than ever this year, but I haven’t had to make any compromises because of my Asus 1005HA. (which I reviewed).  Modern netbooks offer plenty of processing power and batteries that can keep you going all day.  It can be a little difficult working on a tiny screen, but you can’t beat these devices for their stuff-in-your-backpack portability.
  3. Xbox 360 – I’m not a big gamer like some of my fellow contributors, but I’ve really enjoyed some of the great titles that have been released in 2009.  More than anything though, I use my Xbox as a media center to stream Netflix Instant Watch and video files from my PC.
  4. iPod Touch – Until I bought my Droid, this was my go-to device for mobile browsing and entertainment.  Despite the fact that I was limited to wifi access, I typically would reach for my Touch before my laptop.
  5. Growing 3G Mobile Networks – Everybody is arguing about “who has the best 3G network” – but have we forgotten how amazing this technology is in the first place?  The internet on my mobile phone is considerably faster than many DSL connections, so if you’re using a mobile phone on 3G right now, take a second to appreciate how awesome this technology is.

Dustin Patterson

  1. Netbooks – Netbooks are my favorite technology of 2009. I purchased my netbook this year and am really glad I did (I’m actually writing this article from it right now.) Ever since I purchased it, my netbook has gone with me almost everywhere I go. [Check out our 5 reasons why a netbook might be right for you]
  2. Atom Processors – Tied in with my number 1, this little guy has help to push the netbook market to where it is today. With their ultra-low voltage requirements and small form-factor, these small yet powerful processors are the core of today’s mobile computing technology and show that big things really do come in small packages.
  3. USB 3.0 Devices – Although none have been released yet, 2009 showed some major development of consumer USB 3.0 devices. I’m looking forward to 2010 when we will be able to transfer at 0.4 GByte/s (almost a full CD in a second).
  4. Solid State Drives – I took an interest in solid state drives this year when I purchased my netbook (which does contain an SSD). Although not quite mainstream, solid state drives are definitely the future of consumer storage with their faster speeds and higher reliability rates. I look forward to when I am able to purchase a larger SSD in the coming year.
  5. Android Smart Phones – This year was the year for the Android-based phone. With the highly anticipated release of the Motorola Droid on the Verizon network, many people are now able to get their hands on a powerful and customizable phone powered by Android. Although I do not have one for myself, I look forward to purchasing an Android-based phone in the coming year.

Reis Pritchard

  1. iPod Touch – I already have a mobile phone, and the Zune HD just doesn’t have the plethora of apps to choose from that the iTunes store has, making this my media player of choice this year.
  2. Samsung Alias 2 – This was the first phone with a QWERTY keyboard I’ve ever owned, and typing on it is very easy having biggish, physical buttons (I am not touch-typing friendly).  Also, the changing e-ink technology is great for quickly switching from letters to numbers to symbols.
  3. Bose QuietComfort 3 Headphones – Bose means quality, and if you have the extra money to spend on these, your ears will thank you.
  4. LG Blu-Ray Burner (Black) – Home video, now in HD!
  5. Razer DeathAdder Mouse – This was the first mouse I ever spent more than 10 bucks on, and it has made me a noticeably better gamer.

Kevin Schulte

  1. Playstation 3 – I finally picked up a PS3 this summer, and it quickly turned into my favorite console of the current generation.  Great exclusive games, a Blu-Ray player, and free online play make the PS3 hard to beat.  Plus you can install Linux on it.
  2. Motorola Droid – I don’t personally have one (yet), but it’s impossible to not acknowledge that there’s finally a killer phone for the Android platform.
  3. Creative Zen X-Fi – Of the iPod alternatives I looked at, the Zen X-Fi was the most attractive choice. It does everything I want at a very reasonable price. As a bonus, it comes with earphones that sell for around $50 if purchased separately.
  4. Hard Drives – Hard drives were in the spotlight for computer hardware this year. Solid state drives have continued to drop in price and rise in speed, and high capacity traditional drives dropped to dirt cheap levels.
  5. Logitech G500 Gaming Mouse – My old G5 bit the dust this year, and I picked up a G500 to replace it. It takes everything good about the G5 and perfects it, and takes every complaint I had about the G5 and fixes it.

Derek Dahlen

  1. XBMC Media Center – The open-source XBMC Media Center (formerly Xbox Media Center) software is my HTPC solution of choice. With a large development community creating new features and eliminating bugs, XBMC continues to be my go-to solution for media playback on my TV.
  2. Google Android Phones – I’ve been playing around with Android for quite a while now, and am thoroughly impressed with how the mobile OS is shaping up. With the lag time in updates from phone makers and providers, rooting your Android phone and performing updates to the latest and greatest versions is a must.
  3. Windows 7 – Windows 7 released in fall of ’09 with an incredible adoption rate. With Microsoft’s free beta program, they created quite a bit of hype from geeks across the globe. If you’re still on Windows, you should definitely be giving 7 a look.  [Check out all of our guides about Windows 7]
  4. Nvidia Ion Netbooks – Nvidia’s ION platform has given netbooks the ability to perform semi-intensive video activities that netbooks have desperately needed. (Watching YouTube in HD, 720p video playback) I think these netbooks are going to blow up in 2010.
  5. Intel Core i5 750 – With low prices and excellent overclocking ability, Intel’s Core i5 has finally given enthusiasts an affordable path to a 4 Ghz quad-core solution.

David Carman

  1. Large Hadron Collider – It’s awesome.  Still not convinced?Image courtesy Ethan Hein
  2. Smartphones – I don’t have one but they are a huge leap forward in terms of personal and portable computing.  Navigating NYC is so much easier with my brother’s iPhone than it would be without it, we are using it constantly.

Patrick Vinge

  1. Drobo – The best on-site back up solution of all time.  With the ability to add hard drives together to create a backup, you can’t have a safer set up.  Expandable up to 16 terabytes, Drobo can be a solution for commercial applications as well.
  2. Unibody Macbook Pro – The most solid laptop made today, with amazing performance from the hardware.  The only drawback?  Price.
  3. Solio Hybrid 1000 Solar Charger – This is a light weight USB solar charger for backpacking and camping.  It takes about 4 hours to fully charge an iPod, but when your hiking all day long and it can clip to your pack it is a great tool to keep your music playing.
  4. T-Mobile G1 – The original Android phone has continued to receive updates while many others have stolen the limelight. This phone works great and supports almost all new Android applications.
  5. Linksys WRT54GL – This is one of the older Linksys routers, but still can be the core of any good (and cheap) home network.  Easily has the greatest pool of third party firmware released, giving it the ability to compete with any major corporate level routers.

Michael Green

  1. Android Smart Phones –  I use my Motorola Droid A LOT. It is so nice to have a smartphone because I am always connected, and I frequently find myself using my phone to do random Google searches that I would otherwise have to go find a computer to perform. I also find that since I have gotten my phone I am using my desktop computer much less than I used to. As lazy as it sounds the most annoying part of using my computer is waiting for it to start up and with my smart phone I don’t have to wait for anything. I get up in the morning and check my email from my bed in a matter of seconds all I have to do is unlock my phone and open up the Gmail app.

Published by Techerator Staff

Techerator specializes in tips, guides, and reviews for all things tech.