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The Most Important Products of 2007

You must have own a Laptop, digital camera, mobile phones, DVDs or any of these, last year! Hundreds of gadgets and gismos hit on the store shelves almost everyday. In the year 2007, many of these and some new innovations were made in the Gadgets and the Gismo world. If you are an incorrigible Gizmo Freak, I’m sure you don’t want to miss “the most important products of 2007”!

This definitely is a must read! Here are the novelties that typifies the year 2007!

The Most Important Products of 2007

Business Week.

The cars, computers, games, phones, operating systems and yes, even razors, that helped define and refine 2007.

Apple iPhone
It was the product launch of this young century. After months of speculation, Apple AAPL minions waited for hours, even days, to get the pricey smartphone on June 29. Did it live up to the hype? For sure, it has rocked cell-phone rivals into Thinking Different about their own products. As for sales, Apple seems on track to meet its goal of 1%   market share by the next September. Not bad, but not great for a company that has become synonymous with superlative performance in recent years. —Peter Burrows

Apple MacBook Pro
Available with a 15-in. or 17-in. screen, the MacBook Pro laptop features a choice of 2.2Ghz or 2.6Ghz dual-core Intel processors. Now shipping with Apple's versatile new Leopard operating system, the laptops are packed with plenty of memory and rich graphics capabilities, making them perfect for 3D animation, video editing, and plain fun. Prices range from $2,000 to $2,800, depending on options. —Cliff Edwards

Apple Leopard
Apple's Mac OS X, already the most user-friendly personal computer operating system, widened its lead with the release of its fifth edition, Leopard. The $129 upgrade ($199 for a family pack that can be used on three machines) The biggest changes include an improved user interface that makes it easier to organize and preview files and to keep track of running programs, and Time Machine, an automatic backup program with unprecedented ease of use. —Steve Wildstrom

Apple TV
Few products, among the many offered to bridge the gap between the personal computer and the TV set, attracted more attention than Apple TV when it launched in early 2007. As the year progressed, the device proved to be the only Apple product that wasn't a runaway hit. True, it allowed consumers to watch TV shows and movies they had bought on Apple's iTunes Store on their TVs, but that's an idea that as yet seems ahead of the mainstream consumer. CEO Steve Jobs has even publicly described the product as as a "hobby." But remember that the iPod was once arguably a hobby, too. —Arik Hesseldahl

Audi R8
The limited-run, $109,000 to $118,000 performance roadster from Volkswagen's VOWG Audi Div. came out of left field to impress everyone who had the good fortune to sit behind the wheel. Porsche PSHG will always be Porsche. But the R8 represents a new, modern design aesthetic to go with a screaming-fast engine on top of a chassis that feels like it was carved from stone. —David Kiley

Braun Pulsonic System 9895CC
Talk about good vibrations. The $249 rubber and chrome Braun Pulsonic shaver creates over 10,000 lateral micro-vibrations a minute to expose and cut tough facial hair without irritating the skin. A neat automatic cleaning system is activated by docking the shaver. At the touch of a button, the shaver is automatically cleaned, lubricated, dried, and recharged. —Cliff Edwards

BMW 3-Series
Our reaction to BMW's BMWG new 3 Series was a coup de foudre, which is French for love at first sight. Quick, agile, and good-looking, they're among the best cars we've ever driven. The 335i has a double-turbocharged engine that propels it from 0 to 60 in about five seconds. The 328i, though not quite so quick, starts at a relative bargain price of $33,175. Little wonder the 3 Series' U.S. sales were up 21% through November, more than offsetting weakening demand for the Z4 sports car and pricey 7 Series.—Thane Peterson

Cadillac CTS
The '08 CTS is the hottest new Cadillac in years. Gorgeous inside and out, it has a more powerful engine than the previous model, comes packed with high-tech gear, and handles like a dream. Despite stiff competition from BMW, Mercedes DAI, Toyota's TM Lexus and Nissan's NSANY Infiniti, CTS sales soared 55.1%, to 5,586 in November, proving General MotorsGM can duke it out with the best carmakers in the world when it really tries.—Thane Peterson

Chevy Malibu
General Motors finally created a family sedan that can compare with Toyota's Camry and the Honda HMC Accord. It doesn't have the rep or cred yet, but screw for screw it stands up solid to Brand Japan, with an advantage of a better interior design. —David Kiley



Dell XPS One
For those of you who still can't shake the Windows operating system for a Mac, Dell's DELL new XPS One offers a stylish PC-world alternative. The new 20-inch desktop PC ($2,399) uses Windows Media Center software and a built-in digital tuner for double-duty as a high-definition television good enough for the kitchen, a small bedroom, or dorm. We liked the neat built-in sensors that light up controls on the front bezel when you come near and loved the model with a built-in Blu-ray player capable of showing high-definition movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. —Cliff Edwards

Pfizer PFE endured one of the biggest belly-flops in the drug industry in years when it dropped Exubera, the first inhaled insulin, in October, taking a $2.8 billion charge in the process. Pfizer, which spent billions developing the drug, had been extolling it as a potential blockbuster since the late 1990s. The drug won Food & Drug Administration approval in 2006 but proved so difficult to use that diabetics were never willing to abandon their injections, no matter how painful, in its favor. —Catherine Arnst

Gateway XHD3000 LCD monitor
Here's one example where investing in real estate won't steer you wrong. Gateway's $1,700 XHD3000 screams 'More! More! More!' with a giant 30-inch widescreen display that offers a 2560-by-1600 resolution and just about every input you can think of for connecting games consoles, computers, cable and satellite set-top boxes, or high-definition players. While other 30-inchers let you alter only the brightness, the XHD3000 can dig through adjustments such as black level, saturation, and video scaling. The monitor comes with a sound-bar speaker that sits along the bottom, and menus can be read in multiple languages. —Cliff Edwards

Halo 3
Halo 3, the third installment in Microsoft's sci-fi action series for Xbox 360 that came out this September, managed to live up to the massive hype generate by the two previous games. The titles have sold 14.8 million copies worldwide combined. To make good on its track record, on top of stunning graphics and twitch-fast game play, developer Bungie built innovative features that allows players to generate their own content—including movie clips, screen shots, new levels, and game rules—and share them with friends and foes online. —Matt Vella

IAC Building
InterActiveCorp's IACI new headquarters, with its iconic curved form designed by Frank Gehry, is a powerful branding tool for its client, declaring this electronic and new-media conglomerate as cutting-edge and ambitious. The building also is a key player in the ongoing revitalization of its west Chelsea neighborhood in New York. Unlike the Stata Center at Massachusetts Institute for Technology, for which Gehry is currently being sued, the IAC building has been widely acclaimed as breakthrough architecture. —Helen Walters

LG BH100 hybrid high-definition DVD player
Format war? What format war? We scoffed originally when the $1,000 player was introduced earlier this year to bridge the gulf in the competing but similar high-definition disk formats HD DVD and Blu-ray. But with the stalemate persisting and studio allegiances shifting, the now-$780 player is the best bet in town if you're a movie buff. The downsides are that this unit has no CD playback, no support for interactive content on HD DVD disks, and fewer options for playing all the flavors of surround-sound. — Cliff Edwards

Mazda CX-9
The full-size crossover niche is heating up, while the old truck-based SUV category is cooling down. The CX-9, which provides three rows of seats, manages to offer the handling, responsiveness—and actual driving pleasure—of a smaller car. It's the cream of a new crop. —David Kiley

Microsoft Vista
Microsoft's Windows Vista has been controversial since its commercial release last January. While many users hate it, there's little question that the operating system is selling extremely well. In October the company said it has shipped 88 million copies of Vista, a big reason why it posted 27% revenue growth in the quarter, an eye-popping number for a company that registered $13.8 billion in sales for the period. —Jay Greene

Motorola Razr 2
The Razr2 marked the first full redesign of the blockbuster Motorola MOT phone that reshaped the industry. The new Razr is sleeker than ever, but good looks and limited features got you a lot further when the original was introduced in 2004. The Razr2 adds some high-end features such as high-speed Internet access and GPS navigation, but the interplay of the buttons, software, and screen menus don't make for a smooth experience. There are plenty of sweet-looking phones out there with more features, better design, and lower prices.—Bruce Meyerson

Nokia N95
The iPhone gets all the buzz, but Nokia's NOK top-of-the-line N95 is arguably the most capable handset on the market. It has built-in global positioning, takes better pictures than many digital cameras, surfs the Internet, and plays videos and music. And buying one doesn't shackle you to a particular service provider. What the N95 lacks is the iPhone's touch screen interface and clever Apple software. Still, the N95 is the handset of choice for people who want to signal that they value technological specs more than coolness. —Jack Ewing

Pioneer Elite 60-inch 1080p Kuro Pro-150FD
Simply the best high-definition monitor we've reviewed, the new 1080p Elite Kuro line from Pioneer PNCOF offers stunning detail and deep, deep blacks. Capable of handling all the latest high-definition sources, this set will set you back $7,000 but is worth every penny when watching movies and sports in big-screen glory. —Cliff Edwards

Slingbox Solo
Road warriors, rejoice! The $180 Slingbox SOLO lets you watch and control your favorite TV source—including your HD content—from anywhere in the world on your laptop or cell phone. While not as versatile as the higher-end Slingbox Pro, its price and relatively simple setup made it highly likable. —Cliff Edwards

Sony XEL-1 TV
The XEL-1 TV is one svelte set. From the side, it's a mere one-tenth of an inch, making this the thinnest TV on the market. Its secret is its organic electroluminescent display, which relies on a material that emits light when an electrical current passes through it. Sony SNE became the first TV maker to commercialize the technology after spending 14 years perfecting it in the labs. The 11-inch set would make for the perfect stocking stuffer, but at $1,800 it's no bargain. —Kenji Hall

TiVo. High-definition. Low price. Need we say more? The pioneer of digital video recording offers HD capture for the masses with its $299 digital media recorder that stands a cut above competing cable and satellite offerings. Users of the subscription service can download movies and TV shows from online retailer Amazon AMZN, connect to digital music service Rhapsody, and join their home network to pull photos off another TiVo TIVO or PC. —Cliff Edwards

Fiat 500
Fiat stoked its turnaround this year with the launch of a retro-chic Fiat 500 mini, a car that took on cult status during Italy’s post-World War II period. The cuddly new 500, known as the “Cinquacento” in Italy, has revived the “cool” appeal of the Fiat brand and helped boost Fiat’s share of theItalian car market to nearly 31%. But at 10,000 euros ($14.600), the Fiat 500 is no longer a bargain. Like BMW and its iconic Mini, Fiat is marketing the 500 as a fashion accessory, hoping buyers choose a slew of pricey options that rev profits. —Gail Edmondson

Airbus A380
The Airbus A380, the world's biggest passenger jet, welcomed aboard its first paying customers Oct. 25. The double-decker can easily handle more than 550 passengers, but launch customer Singapore Airlines put in fewer than 470 seats, betting it will rake in extra money from luxurious amenities such as private first-class suites with double beds and Givenchy linens. Airbus, for its part, is betting the A380 will become the plane of choice on heavily traveled routes between overcrowded airports such as London's Heathrow and Tokyo's Narita. But so far the European planemaker has firm orders for only 177 of the megajets, a long way from the minimum 420 it will need to break even after a two-year production delay that knocked more than $6 billion off its bottom line. —Carol Matlack.

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