November 19, 2010, 11:54 AM — The Amazon Kindle 3 e-reader and other innovative hardware whipped up excitement in this category, but sexy gaming PCs such as the Maingear F131 and solid business laptops like the Lenovo ThinkPad W701ds also drew our attention.
Tablet; starts at $499 We're now in the midst of a technological revolution that's putting handheld slates at the forefront. The iPad deserves full credit as the device that launched it all. After years of false starts for tablets from various makers, Apple's 9.7-inch model bucked the trend with a svelte design, a robust yet simple touch interface, and a phenomenal array of apps. (#2 in the PCWorld 100)
Amazon Kindle (third-generation)
E-reader; $139 Amazon rewrote the rules for e-readers with its third-gen Kindle. The Wi-Fi-only version delivers convenient e-book shopping along with a stellar E-Ink Pearl screen and a streamlined, lightweight design. (#3)
Samsung Galaxy Tab
Tablet; $600 from Verizon, pricing for other carriers to be determined This sleek little slate is by far the best Android tablet we've seen to date. It brings polished software and design finesse to a fun, multipurpose, and highly portable touchscreen device. The Galaxy Tab is the iPad for the rest of us. (#5)
HP Envy 14 Beats Edition
Laptop; starts at $1149 The Envy 14 is one of the slickest all-purpose laptops of the year. The Beats Edition turns it up to 11 with a slick black finish, red backlighting, dark chrome accents, and an included pair of Beats headphones. (#7)