Every year, thousands of new gadgets emerge out of busy factories dotted along the eastern edge of the world: shrink-wrapped, matte or glossy, plastic armies marching to line the shelves of Best Buy and the warehouse floors of Amazon.
A hundred or so are worth talking about. A dozen or so we'll remember in a few year's time. A couple really matter. But only one is the most important gadget of the year. And it's up to you to pick it.
Here's how it works: You vote for the most excellent gadget in each bracket, and the winner moves on to the next round. Wash, rinse, repeat each day this week until we crown a champion, NCAA playoff-style. And just like March Madness, the gadgets are seeded (roughly) by where we expect them to fall—but the real fun's in the upsets.
iPhone 4S vs. Lacie Little Big Disk
Chevy Volt vs. Nest Learning Thermostat
The most technologically badass car a regular person can buy up against the thermostat that learns what temperature you like.
Nook Simple Touch vs. Sonos Play 3
PlayStation Vita vs. Sharp Elite PRO-X5FD HDTV
Über-expensive handheld gaming system and the über-expensive TV.
iPad 2 vs. Wicked Laser Krypton
Sony HMZ-T1 3DTV Headset vs. Asus Zenbook (2011)
Amazon Kindle Fire vs. Samsung 950 3D Monitor
Nokia Lumia 800 vs. Grado PS500
Lytro Camera vs. Roku LT
Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs. Wacom Cintiq 24HD
Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs. Verizon Samsung LTE Hotspot
Canon S100 vs. HP TouchPad
Kindle 4 vs. Olympus PEN EP-3
Fuji Finepix X100 vs. Samsung UND8000
Beauuuuuuutiful camera tries to out-beautiful beauuuuuuuuutiful TV.
Nintendo 3DS vs. Apple Thunderbolt Display
MacBook Air (2011) vs. Vaio Z (2011)
Join us every day this week as we—no, you—crown the most important gadget of the year, playoff style.