Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.
As we move into 2010, Switched On is proud to present the Saluting Wares Improving Technology's Contribution to Humanity awards, also known as The Switchies
, where innovative devices are sorted into categories and presented trophies by their secretly seething jealous contemporaries. This year marks the fourth annual Switchies, which are decided based on a rigorous examination of the opinion of me, and does not reflect the opinion of Engadget or its editors. For that honor, nominees will need to win an Engadget Award. Let's roll out the red carpet then.
The "Sharing is Caring" and the Product of the Year Award
goes to the Seagate DockStar
, which uses PogoPlug
technology from Cold engines. Like the original and recently upgraded PogoPlug device, the DockStar attacks what has been the thorny NAS market with an inexpensive device that allows easy sharing of photos and other files, eliminating tedious uploading. Honorable Mention goes to the Axentra HipServ-powered Netgear Stora, which offers many of the features of Windows Home Server at a fraction of the price of many products using that operating system.
The "Phone So Good It's Smart" Award for Best New Smartphone
goes to the Palm Pre
, which debuted the well-conceived and elegant webOS. The hardware still needs to match the software with larger screens and a faster processor, but in many ways webOS feels like what the iPhone OS wants to be when it grows up. Honorable Mention goes to the Motorola Droid
, which saw a revamped Android paired with a disappointing keyboard, but showed that Motorola is climbing back into the game.