Electronic Extras: The Best Products of 2008

Power products, iPod docks and innovative solutions complement the TV and speaker crowd in the wide world of electronics.


Now that you’ve got your home theater display and speakers, what else do you need? Don’t forget about the power management that can optimize your A/V setup. There are also other “extra” goodies that we thought deserved recognition this year.

On the power side, protection, management and conditioning to get you clean, uninterruptible and surge-protected AC power to all of your precious electronics equipment can’t be understated in its importance. Several companies excel in this category, and we gave nods to APC for its Back-UPS ES 750, Panamax/Furman Sound for the Max In-Wall Surge and Richard Gray’s Power Company for the RGPC HouseGuard.

Aside from the usual electronics suspects, we found a handful of products too good to pass up for our awards. With the world of iPod and iPhone dominating the portable market, dock and speaker combinations are everywhere, and we liked Altec Lansing’s iMT702 to dock and crank our iPod. For a combo unit, the Cue Acoustics’ Cue Radio Model r1 lets you dock the iPod and wake up to it as an alarm, but as a tabletop solution also has the cool option of adding an extra speaker for stereo playback.

We don’t delve too much into the PC category, but HP’s TouchSmart IQ500 Series PC was worth noticing for its innovative touchscreen capability that reminds us of the home control touchpanel products. Or like your iPod Touch on steroids, with its 22-inch screen.

For other interesting and soothing electronic ideas, we wanted to hop in the Kohler DTV II Showering Experience so we could have our music collection and mood lighting selection to go with a relaxing soak; in our theater, though, we’ll take iSky’s uRay lighting to provide the accents and the highlights with its cool LED solution.

As another “extra” the gaming market has been booming lately, with tremendous high-def options. We looked at Nintendo’s unique Wii Fit as something that stood out a bit to give you a good workout and not have to leave your media room. We’re sure future products of the year will continue to cover gaming solutions, but for this one we’d say it’s a perfect excuse to turn on the gaming console.

See also:
- Products of the Year 2008
- Products of the Year 2007
- Products of the Year 2006


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