updated 04:55 pm EDT, Tue November 1, 2011
iPad 2 sits just outside top five
Verizon's 4G LTE network has taken top place in a PCWorld list of the best products of 2011. LTE allows for much faster speeds than HSPA- or EVDO-based 3G networks, in some cases giving performance on par with wired connections. Second place in the list is occupied by the MacBook Air, Apple's ultraportable notebook. Its design has been copied by computers based on Intel's Ultrabook standard.
In third place are Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs, which have significantly better graphics and power performance than earlier Core-based processors. Fourth place belongs to Samsung's Epic Touch 4G smartphone, while fifth is claimed by Microsoft's Kinect motion controller for the Xbox 360. Just outside the top five is another Apple product, the iPad 2.
The ranking of the iPad 2 is given special mention. While PCWorld calls the iPad 2 the "gold standard" for tablets, it argues that Apple "could have done much more" to secure its dominance of the tablet market. Reviewers have complained that the tablet is mostly just a performance bump, and that its cameras are subpar, nowhere near as good as those on the iPhone 4.