A lot of gadgets come across our desks, but we try to review only the ones that matter the absolute most—good, bad, or buggy. Here's a rundown of some of the best reviews we wrote this year.
1. iPhone 4S Review
The iPhone 4S is the best phone you can buy right now. That's been true of every iPhone, really.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab: Human Outside, Android Inside
If you're not a nerd, you shouldn't buy an Android tablet. Not yet. This one is just like those, except it's first the one to at least feel like a tablet for real people.
3. iPad 2 Review
Here's the simple truth about the iPad 2: There is nothing else like it. Maybe it won't make you feel the way it makes me feel. Maybe it won't replace your laptop. Maybe it could be even thinner and lighter and faster. But there is nothing else like it.
4. Kindle Fire Review: The iPad Finally Has Serious Competition
The Kindle Fire is stuck between e-ink minimalism and gleaming iPad decadence. That could either make it the goofy middle child in the tablet family, or a singular wunderkind. But the Fire will not be overlooked. Apple: Be afraid.
5. Sony HMZ-T1 3DTV Headset Review: An Amazing Toy
I'm already living the Philip K. Dick life. I've got the communicator, the tablet computer, the everywhere Internet. All I need now is a deadly government conspiracy and an immersive 3D environment that lets me jack in and walk around.
6. Galaxy Nexus Review: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
The long-awaited, much-hyped, Android 4.0 flagship is here at last. You already know we like Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), but what about the first phone to bear it? We've talked software, it's time to hit the hardware.
7. Facebook Timeline Review: This Is the Greatest Thing Facebook's Ever Done
In The Social Network, Movie Mark Zuckerberg describes his project as the entire college social scene, put online. In a sense, he completely pulled it off. Now Real Zuck's lept beyond beer pong: your entire existence, Facebook-ified. It's terrifyingly amazing.
8. The Best Streaming Music Service
The era of listening to any song, at any moment, in any location is fast approaching. While we're not quite there yet, a handful of on-demand music services have come close. So we put them head-to-head to see who's best.
9. Canon Powershot S100 Lightning Review: One Hell of a Camera, One Hell of a Flaw
The Canon S100—like its S-series predecessors—is an almost perfect compact camera with some drawbacks stemming from its pocket-friendly size. There's a lot of crazy tech on board. The Canon gods have outdone themselves; but that outdoing might be the camera's undoing.
10. HTC Titan Review: I Want To Hate You, Giant Phone, But I Love You
A four-point-se-ven-inch smartphone. It sounds grotesque. It sounds like a distended, bloated mess of plastic and pixels, the Tsar Bomba of the bigger-is-better smartphone era. But the HTC Titan is wonderful.
11. iCloud Review: Not Quite Magical (Yet)
Cloud is a magic tech word today. "i" has been a golden prefix in tech for over a decade. iCloud, the holiest union of the two, could be the future of computing. For now? It's super convenient! But that's it.
12. HP TouchPad Review: Unbreak My Heart
I am so goddamned tired of the iPad. Which is why I was so excited for the TouchPad. And that's why I feel so completely crushed right now.
Been under a rock? See what else happened this year in our Best of 2011 series.