Summary

Review Price free/subscription


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1st Place: Microsoft Office 2010/Microsoft Office for Mac 2011

Microsoft may have had mixed fortunes over the years with its Windows products but one area it has consistently held a lead in is its office productivity software, and the latest version of Office is its best yet. Office 2007 may have debuted the ribbon-style interface but it's in the 2010/2011 package that it has really come into its own. Meanwhile, a huge number of extras have been added, making it the slickest, fastest and easiest to use software of its kind. The fully fledged package may still be very pricey but for £70-odd you can get Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote and at that price it really is a must-buy!

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2nd Place: HTC Desire HD

While tablets may be getting many of today's headlines, it's still the smartphone that is at the forefront of most people's tech-buying minds. Top of that most illustrious pile currently sits the HTC Desire HD. It's packed to the gunnels with features, sports an enormous 4.3in touchscreen, is well built, and has a fetching minimalist design. If you don't mind your phone's big it's the one to get.

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3rd Place: Amazon Kindle 3

The Amazon Kindle may not be a revolutionary device and it's not even in a product sector large enough to warrant a separate category in our awards. However, one thing is clear, if you like reading, this product is a gnat's whisker away from a must-have (if you've already got a large book collection, there's little point buying them all again). For just £149 you get a well made e-book reader that is slimmer and lighter than all but the shortest of novellas, can store thousands of books, and whose battery lasts weeks. What's more, for no extra cost you can download new books, magazines, and newspapers from anywhere around the world. You can even use its inbuilt 3G connection to browse the web for free.

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Honourable Mention: Apple iPad

When we reviewed the Apple iPad back in May we felt it didn't really offer enough for us to recommend anyone actually buy one. Yes, it provided an intriguing way of interacting with your digital world that was just that bit more accessible than using a laptop. For instance, passing it round to look at family photos is that much more enjoyable than on a laptop or phone, while the potential for reading digital magazines has given the whole publishing industry cause for celebration. However, those few reasons alone to our minds came nowhere near to justifying the cost.

Nonetheless, it seems that many, many people have been convinced by the iPad's charms and it would be remiss of us not to admit that Apple has done something special by almost single handedly creating a new hardware segment. Do we think the tablet market will last? Will devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab take off on the back of Apple's success? Or will the whole market just wither and disappear once the novelty wears off? Only time will tell.

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