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 products on the market.
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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 offices over the past year.
The Macworld Awards, held on 16 June, brought together the cream of the computer industry. Here’s what we found particularly noteworthy.
Apple Product of the Year
Winner: Apple - iPad 2
Price: From £399
We said: Less than a year on from the original iPad's release, the iPad 2 is even smaller, thinner and faster than before
Nominees: Apple - iMac, Apple - Mac App Store, Apple - MacBook Air 11in, Apple - MacBook Pro
Winner: Quark - QuarkXPress 9
Price: £779 or £279 for an upgrade
We said: The Grand Prix award is given to the most ground-breaking product of the year. This year, that prize goes to QuarkXPress 9
Nominees: FileMaker - FileMaker Go, G-Technology - G-Drive Slim, HP - Photosmart Premium, Gameloft - N.O.V.A. 2
Best Consumer Storage
Winner: G-Technology – G-Drive slim
We said: The G-Drive slim is fast and, yes, slim, as well as being robust. If you’re after a portable drive to complement your MacBook, the 320GB capacity G-Drive slim is a great choice.
Nominees: Freecom – Hard Drive XS, LaCie – LaCinema Classic HD, Seagate – FreeAgent GoFlex Net, Western Digital –WD TV Live
Best Business Storage
Winner: Data Robotics – DroboPro FS
We said: The high capacity of the DroboPro FS and the option of having a second unit for off-site backup, will appeal to organisations that need the maximum possible protection for their important data.
Nominees: Icy Dock – MB982SPR-2S, Promise – SmartStor DS4600, QNAP – TS-412 Turbo NAS, Sabio Storage – DM2-PT
Best Consumer Software
Winner: Parallels – Parallels Desktop 6 Switch to Mac Edition
Price: £79.95 We said: This great product allows new Mac users to painlessly switch their computing life over from their dear old friend, PC, to their new best friend, Mac.
Nominees: Adobe – Premiere Elements, FileMaker – Bento 4, Roxio – Toast 11 Titanium, Valve Software – Portal 2
Best Professional Software
Winner: LogMeIn – join.me
Price: Basic – free; Pro – £19 per month/£192 per annum
We said: As a simple option for sharing and presenting information to friends or colleagues, join.me is hard to fault – especially if you just use the free version.
Nominees: Accountz – Business Accountz Enterprise, Kerio – Kerio Workspace, Microsoft – Office for Mac 2011, Parallels – Desktop 6 for Mac
Best Education Product
Winner: Nuance – Dragon Dictate 2.0
We said: Dragon Dictate 2.0 could become an invaluable study assistant with the potential to accurately recognise speech and commands and learn your unique vocabulary and creative style.
Nominees: Literature & Latte – Scrivener 2.0, Rosetta Stone – Rosetta Stone TOTALe, Texthelp Systems – Read&Write 4 GOLD FOR MAC, Vito Technology – Star Walk for iPad
Best Consumer Digital Camera
Winner: Canon – PowerShot S95
We said: The PowerShot S95 is aimed at photo enthusiasts who value the portability of a snapshot model, but don’t want to give up creative control. It hides noise well and offers good quality photographs even at
high ISO levels.
Nominees: Fujifilm – FinePix HS10, Nikon – Coolpix P100, Panasonic – Lumix DMC-LX5, Sony – Cyber-shot DSC-TX9
Consumer Audio Product of the year
Winner: Scosche – IEM856md
We said: The IEM856md in-ear headphones combine impressive sound quality with rugged, yet comfortable design. They will appeal to music fans who need a high-quality set of headphones that can handle a bit of rough treatment.
Nominees: AKG – Q460 headphones, Audyssey – South of Market Audio Dock, iHome – iP39, Orbitsound – T12 v2 soundbar
Best Creative Hardware
Winner: Eizo – FlexScan SX2762W
Price: From £1,278
We said: An exceptional display for designers, Eizo’s FlexScan SX2762W features everything they need – from 10-bit video for the finest colour to crisp motion for fluent animation.
Nominees: Aiptek – Media Tablet Ultimate, Datacolor – SpyderCheckr, LaCie – LaCie 324i, Wacom – Intuos4 Wireless
Creative Design Software of the Year
Winner: Quark – QuarkXPress 9
Price: £779 or £279 for an upgrade
We said: QuarkXPress 9 provides several features that are great for time-poor designers, and the brilliant ebook tools offer a path from QuarkXPress to the rapidly expanding digital publishing market.
Nominees: Adobe – InDesign CS5.5, Autodesk – Maya, Filter Forge – Filter Forge 2.0, onOne – Perfect Photo Suite 5.5
Best Web & Online Software
Winner: Adobe – Dreamweaver CS5.5
Price: £428.40; from £113.41 for an upgrade
We said: If you’re serious about dynamic website and app development from scratch, Adobe’s Dreamweaver CS5.5 is the closest thing to a universal tool – it does it all.
Nominees: BaseKit – BaseKit, Softpress – Freeway 5.5, WordPress – WordPress 3, Yummy Software – Yummy FTP
Digital SLR of the Year
Winner: Nikon – D3100
Price: From £500
We said: The Nikon D3100 is great for beginners and makes it easier and faster for the amateur photographer to achieve professional-looking pictures. It responds quickly and also features full HD video-capture.
Nominees: Canon – EOS 60D, Olympus – PEN E-PL2, Panasonic – Lumix DMC-GH2, Samsung – NX11
Professional Camcorder of the Year
Winner: Sony – F3
We said: The Sony F3 is offered at a price that helps bring Super 35mm shooting to a wider audience. It’s easy to use and produces images that are virtually noise-free.
Nominees: Canon – XF305, JVC – GY-HM790, Panasonic – AG-AF101, RED – EPIC-M
Winner: HP – Photosmart Premium e-All-In-One
We said: HP has produced an excellent all-in-one printer – it’s speedy and offers great quality prints. It’s easy to operate and has a host of extra features, including the ability to print directly from an iPad.
Nominees: Canon – PIXMA MX870, Canon – iSENSYS LBP7750Cdn, Epson – Stylus Pro 3880, Xerox – Phaser 6180MFPV/D
Best Consumer Hardware
Winner: Elgato – EyeTV Netstream Sat
We said: The Netstream Sat’s slick combination of hardware and software makes it easy to watch free-to-air satellite TV all over your home as well as make scheduled recordings.
Nominees: Kodak – Pulse Digital Frame, Mobee Technology – Magic Charger, Veebeam – Veebeam HD, ViewSonic – VX2753mh-LED
Best iOS Entertainment & Lifestyle App
Winner: Gameloft – N.O.V.A. 2 – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
We said: If you’re a fan of first-person shooters, then N.O.V.A. 2 has it all: beautiful graphics, great gameplay, excellent controls and smart opponents. A great game for iOS devices.
Nominees: Algoriddim – djay, Chillingo – Cut the Rope, Skype – Skype 3.0, Sonos – Controller
Best iOS Business & Utility App
Winner: FileMaker – FileMaker Go
Price: £23.99 for iPad; £11.99 for iPhone
We said: The lighter and more nimble version of FileMaker Pro can open databases stored on your network or those you copy over to your iOS device, allowing users to read, write, update and delete records with ease.
Nominees: ABBYY – Business Card Reader, FileMaker – Bento 4, LogMeIn – LogMeIn Ignition, Marketcircle – Billings Touch
Best iPhone & iPod Accessory
Winner: JBL – On Beat
We said: It’s surprising how few docks are designed for the iPad. JBL’s On Beat delivers great quality sound from any of your iOS devices, and can even hook up to your TV for video content delivery.
Nominees: AKG – Q460 headphones, IK Multimedia – iRig Mic, JBL – On Air Wireless, OWLE – HD Video Kit for iPhone 4, Scosche – goBAT II
Best iPad Accessory
Winner: HyperMac – HyperDrive
Price: from £275
We said: The HyperDrive appeals as a handy, portable storage device that extends what you can access on your iPad. It features a colour screen for controls and slots that take most types of memory card.
Nominees: Elgato – Tivizen, Just Mobile – Slide, Tuff-Luv – Tri-Axis Stasis Series, Voix – Genie Wireless Tablet Keyboard
Reader's Choice Award: Best Reseller
Nominees: Cancom, DSGi Group, Micro Anvika, Solutions Inc, Square
Reader's Choice Award: Best Hardware
Winner: Olympus – PEN E-PL2
Nominees: Canon -– EOS 550D, Canon – Pixma MX870, G-Tech – G-Drive slim, HP – Photosmart Premium, Nikon – D7000
Reader's Choice Award: Best Software
Winner: Microsoft – Office for Mac 2011
Nominees: Adobe – Photoshop, FileMaker – Bento 4, Mozilla – Firefox 4, Mamut – AccountEdge Plus, Parallels – Parallels Desktop 6