Every year the editors at Macworld sit down and sift through all the products released in the past 12 months to find the absolute finest.

From the areas of professional creativity through to top consumer products – and, of course, Apple’s own offerings – we honour the best and brightest that have graced our office over the past year.

The Macworld Awards, held on 21 June, brought together the cream of the computer industry. Here’s what we found particularly noteworthy…

Apple product of the year

Winner: Apple - the new iPad
Price: From £399

We said: We love the new iPad, and would definitely buy the newer model for the Retina display. It has excellent 3G internet speeds, a ten hour battery life, and is still one of the most beautiful and functional devices on the market.

Nominees: Apple – iPhone 4S, Apple – OS X Lion, Apple – iCloud, Apple – MacBook Air 11in, Apple – Final Cut Pro 10.0.3

Grand Prix Award

Winner: Adobe CS6
Price: From £1,032 or Creative Cloud subscription for £38.22 per month

We said: Adobe’s Creative Suite 6 (CS6), which consists of six tools: After Effects, Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Premiere Pro, sees Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere debut redesigned interfaces, while new tools from a range from 3D tracking in After Effects to pattern design in Illustrator.

Best Consumer Storage

 

Winner: Seagate - GoFlex Ultraportable
Price: £160

We said: The GoFlex Ultra Portable drive for Mac is reasonably priced and performs well, and its 1.5TB capacity makes it a good choice if you need plenty of extra storage for your laptop. The drive itself is solidly built, and comes pre-formatted in the Mac’s HFS+ format. It’s quite large, but that’s mainly down to the impressive storage capacity, which gives it the highest capacity of any portable drive we’ve seen so far.

Nominees: Western Digital – TV Live Hub, Hitachi – Touro Mobile Pro, Verbatim – Store ‘n’ Go, Freecom – Mobile Drive Mg U&F

Best Professional Storage

Winner: Freecom - SilverStore 2-Drive NAS
Price: 2TB – £279; 4TB – £319; 6TB – £569

We said: The Silver Store strikes a good balance between versatile features and ease of use, and is an excellent choice for Mac-based small businesses. It’s available in 2TB, 4TB and 6TB versions, but Freecom also sells it as an empty Drive-in kit that allows you to install your own drives if you prefer.

Nominees: G-TECH – G-RAID with Thunderbolt, Iomega – StorCentre ix2-200, LaCie – Little Big Disk Thunderbolt, Promise – Pegasus R6, Synology – DiskStation DS2411+

Best Consumer Camera

Winner: Nikon - Coolpix S1200pj
Price: £379.99

We said: This Coolpix has picture quality on par with a £200 point-and-shoot snapshot, but is an innovative compact with the requisite wow factor of a built-in projector. The 14.1 megapixel camera’s projector is capable of displaying a 640 x 480 pixel image at a modest brightness of 20 lumens, and between 5in and 60in in size.

Nominees: Panasonic – Lumix DMC-GX1, Canon – Powershot S100, Fujifilm – FinePix F600EXR, Sony – Cyber-shot DSX-HX9V

Best DSLR camera

Winner: Canon - EOS 600D
Price: £603

We said: Creative filters can be applied to captured images in-camera, including the effective toy camera and miniature modes. Coupled with the angle-adjustable LCD the 600D is lightweight, compact and very usable for anyone wanting a good all-rounder; the extra spend is worth it over the 1100D.

Nominees: Fujifilm – X-Pro1, Nikon – D5100, Pentax – K-5, Sony – Alpha A55, Panasonic – Lumix DMC-GF3

Consumer hardware product of the year

Winner: Kanex - SnapX
Price: £59.99

We said: With Kanex SnapX you can share your Apple Cinema Display, iSight, Keyboard and Mouse between two computers. It’s difficult to find anything to fault this device. It’s a KVM designed specifically to make the most out of the Apple Cinema Display and Mac OS X in general; and it performs very well. If you’re looking to add a Mac mini to your existing setup; this device will save you money on a keyboard, mouse and display

Nominees: Mobee – Magic Bar, Western Digital – LiveWire, Huawei (Three) – MiFi E586, Wacom – Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch

Creative hardware product of the year 

Winner: Wacom - Cintiq 24HD
Price: £1,999

We said: For digital artists, designers and animation pros – anyone drawing onscreen who wants to work faster – there is no substitute. As an upgrade, it doesn’t represent a quantum leap over 2010’s 21UX, but taken alone it represents a valuable investment for creative looking to squeeze more out of their workday.

Nominees: Blackmagic – Ultrastudio 3D, Datacolor – Spyder4Elite, Wacom – Inkling, NEX - SpectraView Reference 271, Eizo – ColorEdge CG275W

Best photo printer 

Winner: HP - Envy 110
Price: £249.95

We said: HP’s Envy printers are undoubtedly among the most stylish and strikingly designed printers we’ve ever seen. The sleek, low-profile design of the Envy 110 makes it one of the most compact multifunctional printers currently available, and its ingenious paper-handling system saves space by feeding your printed documents onto a support arm that pops out when requires and folds itself out of the way when you’re finished.

Nominees: HP – Top Shot LaterJet Pro, Epson – Stylus Photo PX720WD, Kodak – Hero 7.1, Canon – Pixma Pro-1, Lexmark – Interact S605

Best office printer 

Winner: Canon - Pixma MG6150
Price: £199

We said: Canon’s Pixma MG6150 is one of the more expensive office printers, but it works hard to justify that price by offering high-quality printing and a versatile set of features. When you plug it in the top of the printer lights up with a selection of glowing, touch-sensitive controls that really catch the eye. The MG6150 also includes a scanner/copier and can connect to a home or office network using either WiFi or the built-in Ethernet interface. You even get a special tray for printing on CDs and DVDs, making the printer a really good all-rounder.

Nominees: Brother – MFC-J825DW, Kodak – ESP Office 2170, Oki – ES9410, Xerox Phaser 7800

Best consumer software

Winner: Nuance - Dragon Dictate 2.5
Price: £179.99

We said: Dragon Dictate 2.5 is the Lion-compatible version of Nuance’s industry-leading speech recognition solution for Mac users. The application is a godsend for those who need an accessible solution to continue working with their Mac; but it’s helpful for any user. Spoken message tweets or voice-controlled search, are just two examples of its usefulness for anyone.

Nominees: Accountz – Home Accountz, Google – Picasa 3.8, Adobe – Photoshop Elements, Parallels – Transporter

Best professional software

Winner: FileMaker - FileMaker Pro 12
Price: From £219

We said: FileMaker Inc., a subsidiary of Apple Computer, continues its stunning track record of releasing powerful upgrades to its core client, server and mobile portfolio products. The FileMaker 12 suite has a massive set of new features that are aimed at the entry-level designers and career FileMaker developers alike.

Nominees: Parallels – Parallels Desktop 7, VMware – Vmware Fusion 4, Bare Bones Software – Bbedit 10, OmniGroup – Omniplan 2, Extensis, Portfolio Server 10

Creative software of the year

Winner: Adobe CS6
Price: From £1,032 or Creative Cloud subscription for £38.22 per month

We said: Adobe’s Creative Suite 6 (CS6), which consists of six tools: After Effects, Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Premiere Pro, sees Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere debut redesigned interfaces, while new tools from a range from 3D tracking in After Effects to pattern design in Illustrator.

Nominees: Autodesk – Maya 2012, Nik – Colour Efex Pro 4, Corel – Painter 12, OnOne – Perfect Photo Suite 6, Maxon – Cinema 4D Studio R13, Quark – QuarkXPress 9.3

Readers Awards – Software

Winner: Parallels - Parallels Desktop 7
PRICE: £64.99

We said: If you need to run Windows and OS X on Apple hardware, Parallels has always been handy. With version 7, it’s almost essential. While Apple does provide users with Boot Camp, Parallels virtualisation features are a bit more impressive. It’s an inexpensive upgrade with a lot of new features. Tempting for first-time buyers, and for users of other virtual machines too.

Nominees: Adobe - Photoshop Elements 10, Adobe - Creative Suite 6, Microsoft - Office for Mac, Quark - QuarkXPress 9, Nuance - Dragon Dictate

Best headphones

Winner: Denon - AH-C360
Price: £25

We said: Sitting in the zone between cheap tat handed out with smartphones and £200-plus Sennheiser beasts, Denon’s AH-C360s hit a sweet spot. They offer a sizeable step up from bundled headphones, but won’t break the bank. So lightweight that wearing them is like walking into a spider’s web, the Denon’s are still robust, with good sound quality and minimum leakage.

Nominees: Shure – SRH440, Sennheiser – RS 170, Jays – a-Jays One Plus, AKG – K840 KL, Altec Lansing – Muzx Ultra mZx606

Best speakers

Winner: JBL - OnBeat Xtreme
Price: £399

We said: The JBL OnBeat Xtreme’s audio performance was among the best we’ve heard from a dock, especially with bass-heavy music. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod, and its unique X design and matt-black colour scheme with silver accents makes the speaker look classy. The JBL also provides an extremely efficient way to play your music wirelessly using Bluetooth.

Nominees: Klipsch – G-17 Air, Audyssey – Lower East Side Audio Dock Air, Arcam – rCube, Sonos – Play:3, iHome – iW1

iOS accessory of the year

 

 

Winner: HyperDrive - CloudFTP
Price: £89.95

We said: The CloudFTP from HyperDrive shows great potential, particularly for those who lack the space on their iDevices to access extensive film and music collections or are in a location where they can't stream content over an existing network. Compact and lightweight, it makes a useful companion for your portable hard drive, particularly on your travels.

Nominees: Mophie Juice Pack, Elgato – EyeTV Mobile, Kingston – WiDrive, iGo – Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad, Just Mobile – Xtand Pro, Schneider Optics – iPro Lens

Readers Awards – Hardware

Winner: G-Technology - G-Drive
Price: £254

We said: The G-Drive from G-Technology is a hugely capacious hard drive that offers high-speed connection options, is elegantly styled and superbly finished in precision-crafted aluminium. If you need your storage fast, stylish and bomb-proof, look no further. For most users this versatile unit should prove the ultimate high-capacity non-RAID external drive.

Nominees: Canon – 5D Mark III, Seagate - GoFlex, Iomega – eGo, HP – Envy, Elgato – EyeTV Mobile

iOS entertainment & lifestyle app

Winner: Spotify – Spotify for iOS
Price: £9.99 per month

We said: Arguably one of the most popular music streaming services, Spotify allows users to listen to 13 million tracks for free on a computer, or on their iPhone via the £10 per month Spotify Premium service. A neat trick is that tracks can be stored locally on the iPhone. In this sense, Spotify can become a replacement for the iPod app built into the iPhone. Another neat trick is that you can manage music, create playlists and share them with other Spotify users.

Nominees: Rockstar Games – Max Payne Mobile, Gameloft – 9mm, Netflix – Netflix for iPad, Chair Entertainment Group – Infinity Blade II, Facebook – Facebook for iPad

iOS business & utility

Winner: LogMeIn Pro
Price: £44

We said: You’ve probably heard of LogMeIn. It’s the Mac, Windows and iOS service and software that allows you to connect to your computer across the internet. Like a souped up version of Remote Desktop, LogMeIn has released a free tool for iOS – making it a much more inviting app all round. It now features HD video streaming and support for music streaming from a remote host, over the internet. In addition, LogMeIn Pro gives you access to all the applications on your desktop computer and all its files while you’re out and about.

Nominees: GingerLabs – Notability, Readdle – Remarks, ABBYY – TextGrabber, Quickoffice – Quickoffice Pro for iPad, Sage One, Kerio - Connect 7.4

iOS video & photography

 

Winner: Nik Software - Snapseed
Price: £2.99

We said: Snapseed enables you to edit images from your iPad or iPhone’s photo albums quickly and easily. It’s a simple but effective way to enhance photos. With a wide variety of filters, effects and tweaking abilities, including tilt-shift and selective adjust tools, the possibilities really are endless. At just £2.99, the app is well worth the investment for any photographer.

Nominees: Adobe – Photoshop Touch, MrBware – Simply B&W, Aspyre Apps – Photo Academy, Global Delight – Game Your Video, Avid – Avid Studio for iPad

Readers Awards – Best Apple Reseller

Winner: John Lewis

Nominees: Jigsaw, Cancom, Stormfront, Amazon, Square