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- One year of merciless lab testing, and we're ready to unveil our list of the best products.
One year of merciless lab testing, and we're ready to unveil our list of the best products.
It's once again time to close the books on a year of testing. As the pistons slow and the steam cools on our glistening lab equipment, our hard-working staff pauses from their labors to shine a spotlight on the best of the best.
In all, 101 products have made our Best of the Year list, drawing from the hundreds of electronics and appliances we've reviewed this year. Call it the Oscars of consumer goods. There are a lot of good products out there, but only a few can be called great.
Below is an abbreviated version with only the best of each product category.
Best Camera of the Year
Olympus OM-D E-M1
Best Camcorder of the Year - Canon HF G30
Canon's chose to stand pat with their camcorder lineup through much of 2012, though this year they introduced two new models at the top of their consumer lines. While the G20 was mostly a subtle refresh of the already-excellent G10, the G30 represented a substantial leap forward in terms of performance and image quality. The G30 finally saw Canon introduce 1080/60p shooting (with simultaneous MP4/AVCHD recording) as well as a slightly reworked control scheme. Though the G30 comes at a premium over the G20, it's hands-down the best consumer camcorder we tested in 2013. (MSRP $1,699.99)
Best Television of the Year
Samsung OLED S9C
Samsung's OLED S9C TV can deliver true black levels, unlike older technologies—which means shadows and contours look more stunning than ever before. And since the S9C also wields an expanded color gamut, content has never looked so vibrant and lifelike either. This TV turns heads with more than just its picture quality, too: Samsung gave this titan a remarkable curved form. Some say it diverts unwanted glare, some say it delivers a more immersive picture, but everyone agrees that it's very unusual. Finally, the S9C also offers up flashy modern goods like voice and gesture control, cable integration, popular social apps, web browsing, 3D, and a gleaming touchpad remote. Bow down to the 2013 TV King. (MSRP: 55-inch, $8999.99)
Best Headphones of the Year
Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro
On top of that, the Custom One Pro delivers distortion-free beats in a very comfortable over-ear package—and the parts are durable, too. All of these performance aspects make for an award-winning combination. (MSRP $200)
Best Monitor of the Year - Samsung S27B971D
A 27-inch graphics monitor at this price is almost unheard of, and Samsung even supplies USB 3.0 inputs, the expected WQHD resolution, and the DisplayPort connection required by many graphic design professionals. (MSRP $999.99)
See all Best of Year monitors
Best Laptop of the Year
Asus Zenbook UX51VZ-XB71
This sleek offering is packed with awesome: a scorching Intel 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of solid-state storage, and a dedicated graphics card. This beast's screen has an eye-popping resolution of 2880 x 1620, and an included subwoofer attachment from Bang & Olufsen contributes great sound. To top it all off, the Zenbook's slim, metallic body means it's a real looker, too. (MSRP $2,299)
Best Refrigerators of the Year - GE Profile PFE29PSDSS and GE Café CFE29TSDSS
Behind the doors, the two fridges are equally adept. Well-planned interiors offer plenty of room, and drawers slide smoothly. Our lab tests showed phenomenal temperature control over time, and crisper drawers retained the perfect amount of moisture for fresh vegetables. (MSRP $3,099 each)
Best Dishwasher of the Year - KitchenAid Architect II KUDS30FXSS
Best Electric Range of the Year - KitchenAid Architect II KERS306BSS
Best Gas Range of the Year - KitchenAid KGRS308BSS
Best Washing Machine of the Year - Kenmore Elite 41472
Best Dryer of the Year - Electrolux EWMED70JIW
Best Car Tech
The self-driving car is coming. In the meantime, we're happy with the self-braking and self-accelerating Subaru. Currently available as an option on the Legacy, Outback and Forester, EyeSight uses radars for lane-departure warning, collision avoidance, and active cruise control. Turn it on when you're stuck in stop-and-go traffic, and it'll keep up with the car in front of you. All you have to do is steer. And if the car senses an imminent collision, it'll slam on the brakes to prevent a crash. We found it to be unobtrusive on the open road and smooth in a traffic jam.
We were most impressed that EyeSight is available on such an affordable car: A 2014 Legacy equipped with EyeSight has an MSRP of just $27,135.