Some of the best products are free, as declared by the editors of PC World in their recent article… two of the top five are free: Hulu and Facebook. The others rounding out the top five are certainly commercial successes: the iPhone, Windows XP and the new Lenovo X300…
“After a good deal of — ahem — lively discussion, the editors at PC World have completed this year’s list of the 100 best technology products available today…
The No. 1 Product of the Year
1. Hulu (video site, free/ad-based)
Hulu may offer the best-looking, most watchable Web video to date, rivaling the standard-definition content of regular TV. A well-financed joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corp., Hulu is ultimately a one-stop on-demand repository for high-quality programming — the holy grail of online video.
Hulu’s content includes current prime-time shows from Fox, NBC, MGM, Sony, Warner Brothers and others, plus TV reruns new and old. Hulu’s list of full-length movies has burgeoned since the site’s debut last October. The high-def content gallery is mostly a clipfest so far, but it should blossom as video compression and broadband speeds improve.
Hulu also lets you cut and share clips with friends as you watch. If Web video is destined to clobber cable and satellite by giving us more control over our TV viewing experience, Hulu represents easily the best attempt yet at that ideal. Review
2. Apple iPhone (smart phone, $400 with two-year AT&T wireless contract)
3. Facebook (online social network, free) — link to site
4. Microsoft Windows XP (operating system, not sold separately)
It has been discontinued except as an option for certain low-end PCs, but XP is leaner, meaner and less bloated than Vista. Despite the outcry from users, however, at press time Microsoft still planned to retire the OS on June 30, 2008. Review | Check prices
5. Lenovo ThinkPad X300 (ultraportable laptop, $2,500)
As everyone swooned over Apple’s hot Air, Lenovo snuck in the back door with a business-centric notebook that answers most of the Air’s shortcomings. It has processing power to burn, plenty of ports — and a paper-thin optical drive. Stick that in your manila envelope, Steve. Review | Check prices
See all of the products in the article “The 100 Best Products of the Year” on MSN Tech & Gadgets.