Buying a sound card has always felt more like a gamble than an investment to me. At the same time, I know audio snobs with thousands in equipment and all-FLAC libraries, and I'd like to believe they aren't delusional -- surely there's something to be experienced beyond my basic setup. But I mean, just how much better can music, movies and games sound? Enough to prevent buyer's remorse?
From the perspective of folks who cover tech-related happenings, this is always a polarizing time of year. The final weeks of December are generally void of product announcements, yet only two weeks later, we're bombarded with new gadgets at CES.
Before we move on to the latest and greatest devices of 2013, we figure it's worth revisiting some of 2012's most popular devices as suggested by our Product Finder, which includes reviews by hundreds of seasoned specialists across the Web. We've included 59 products across 14 categories along with their aggregate review score and a brief commentary that explains why they're special.
As tablets become more popular and continue to chip away at the mobile computing market, the idea of leaving the notebook behind in favor of a slate certainly seems attractive. On the pros side you have portability, instant-on capabilities, longer battery life, a touchscreen, and in the case of most modern tablets like the iPad 3, an HD video camera.
A recent Caribbean cruise vacation provided the perfect opportunity to test whether or not my iPad would make a suitable travel replacement. I decided to put several products spanning multiple categories to the test to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses based on my hands-on experience.
Downloads and Drivers
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