Slate’s Best Gadgets Of The Year: MacBook Air, Windows Phone 7 and Google Chrome

A famous estimator of devices, Farhad Manjoo, revealed his list of the best gadgets 2011.

The MacBook Air is one of the best gadgets of 2011, thinks Slate's Farhad Manjoo. Photo: Apple

Apple may top Slate’s “Best Gadgets of The Year’ list, but don’t look for the Apple iPad 2 or iPhone 4S there. No, the best gadget of 2011 was the new-generation MacBook Air, writes Slate’s Farhad Manjoo.

“I did come across a few stand-out technologies in 2011, gadgets and services that I’m guessing you’ll love as much as I did,” he wrote. So, here is the list of his favorite gadgets:

Apple MacBook Air

A customer will have to $940 for the 11-inch model or $1,235 for the 13-inch. MacBook Air is a lightweight laptop from Apple Inc.  Also it is a full-sized notebook his weigh is about three pounds, so the device gets into a category ‘ultraportable.’

The laptop includes combination of size and power: it had a last-generation Core 2 Duo processor, lacked a backlit keyboard, and omitted an SD card slot. Both 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs have been updated with new, faster second-gen Core i5 processors.

“Here, for the first time, was a tiny computer that didn’t feel compromised in any way: It was speedy, it had a great keyboard, and it sold for less than $1,000,” he said. “It’s the best laptop I’ve ever owned,” added Farhad.

Windows Phone 7

“Windows Phone 7 which was released late last year, and then substantially updated this year – has a terrible name, but it’s the best-looking smartphone operating system in the industry, and it’s probably the easiest to use, too,” according to the expert.

Windows Phone 7 can be considered as an iPhone’s very worthy rival. It does work quite well: The touchscreen keyboard works excellent and the Apps for Web browsing, e-mail, music and video are all solid and generally as good as the competition. The new OS is smartly designed and easy to use.

Sonos Play:3 and Sonos Play:5 wireless music systems

$299 for the Play:3, $399 for the Play:5. The devices were designed to play music—the same music or different music, from your own collection or from online services—in one room or in the whole house.

“Get a Play:5 for a room where you need big sound—the living room, for instance—and the smaller Play:3 for a more tucked-away spot (on top of the refrigerator in the kitchen). Once your speakers are set up, you can control all of your music through your smartphone or your PC,” said Farhad.

He kept on admiring the device: “I took the plunge and bought three of them, and now our music is finally liberated from our earbuds and tinny computer speakers. We can listen to all our music, everywhere in the house, all at once. Every day’s a dance party.”

Nest Learning Thermostat

The price starts from $249. Installation is not included. “I tried the Nest out for a few weeks this winter, and I found that it really did what it promised to do—after observing my temperature preferences for a few days, the Nest automatically created a perfect heating schedule for my house,” revealed the estimator.

Designed by ex-Apple engineer Tony Fadell, the Nest Learning Thermostat offers a new look on automatic temperature adjustment. Farhad added: “If you’re in the market for a new thermostat (and who isn’t?) get this one.”

Google’s Chrome Web browser

Free of pay. Google Chrome has been recently announced the second browser that USA adore most of all others. And, it seems, Farhad Manjoo agrees with users’ choice: “The company added something called Instant Pages, a system that “preloads” the first Google search result into the browser’s memory.”

“This makes for faster searching – when you click on the first link in any Google result, the page loads up in pretty much no time at all,” he added.

However, Internet Explorer still holds the title of the most used broser. So, the estimator suggested doing the following: “Download it now and help it beat Internet Explorer”.

Among the others devices Farhad liked the most are also Amazon Prime, Dimmable LED light bulbs, Square’s Card Case app and Amazon’s E Ink Kindles. [Via Slate]

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