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The Best Products Of 2010

CRN's Test Center unveils its Products of the Year. See which security appliances, mobile devices, notebooks, PCs and other products made the list.

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Mobile Device: Apple iPad

One phrase, as much as any, lends itself to a description of Apples iPad: game-changer.

In one fell swoop, Apple's iPad rendered competitors netbooks laughable, pushed the envelope on battery life, provided a major, new platform for software developers and did what few technology companies are capable of doing. The iPad began to change the way people compute.

A combination of the iPads brilliant display, multitouch technology, 12-hour battery life, 1.5-pound form factor, and availability of content (movies, music, books, games) has turned this nascent platform into the standard for mobile computing. Priced at $499 to start for a device with 32 GB of storage and Wi-Fi capability, Apple has more expensive versions at 64 GB of storage and others armed with 3G connectivity via AT&T.

For those who use laptops for content creation and more performance-intensive applications, the iPad will not be a replacement. But most will find that the iPad provides 80 percent or more of the accessibility to Internet-based content as a PC, but with a lighter, longer-lasting (in terms of battery life) and easier-to-handle form factor. It also is a stellar device for connecting to e-mail, contacts and calendaring with native integration with Microsoft Exchange.

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