December is here and it's a time of family coming together and having awkward, passive-aggressive fights and wearing ugly clothes your great aunt made for you, and drinking wine until you pass out drunk in your grandma's jelly mould. But it's also a time for shiny new gadgets! Here are some of our favourites from the past month, as well as all the winners from the 2011 Gizmodo Awards.
Readers' Choice: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Even if the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is exactly the same as the Xoom and every other Android Honeycomb in terms of power, performance, features — this is the new Android tablet to buy. Because it's the first one to feel right.
Editor's Pick: Best iPad Alternative The Transformer offered something different and exciting in the tablet space; not only was the keyboard a design idea rather than a bolt on section but it also added battery life as well.
Readers' Choice (Tablet): Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Even if the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is exactly the same as the Xoom and every other Android Honeycomb in terms of power, performance, features — this is the new Android tablet to buy. Because it's the first one to feel right.
Editor's Pick (Tablet): Asus Eee Pad Transformer The Transformer offered something different and exciting in the tablet space; not only was the keyboard a design idea rather than a bolt on section but it also added battery life as well.
Editor's Pick (Camera): Canon EOS 600D Canon’s EOS 600D offered an excellent range of modes for those stepping up to a full DSLR model; while it’s nowhere near the best DSLR in Canon’s range it’s a really solid camera option.
Best TV Samsung’s had a good year for TVs, and of the nominated set the UA55D7000 is an excellent proposition; it’s Smart TV capable, Wi-Fi capable and interacts nicely with the Samsung Galaxy S II if you’ve got one; as with the other vendors it’s also available in other sizes to suit budget and space requirements.
Best Mobile Broadband Telstra’s done a lot to shed its appearance as the “high cost” mobile broadband provider; while it’s still charging more for its data than competitors, the difference is lesser while the coverage and speeds have largely remained very solid. Being the first (and to date, only) ISP to offer 4G data services.
Best Budget Headphones With a closed-back, over-the-ear design and a durable design that has some portability, the Sennheiser HD280 cans are the king of the budget earphone mountain. They're not the cheapest, or the smallest, or the best-looking, but they strike the best balance between clarity and resolution and the ability to handle multiple genres of music old and new.
Best Windows Phone The Nokia Lumia 800 is like a little Scandinavian Cadillac in your pocket. It's the slickest, smoothest Windows Phone you can get. And with its beautiful matte polycarbonate shell, it's got the design and build quality to stand toe-to-toe with the iPhone. Alas, it's not out in Australia just yet, but you can preorder it from MobiCity.
Best Wireless Mouse The Logitech Performance Mouse MX takes everything that's great about the Marathon Mouse — the same wonderful scroll wheel, the same smooth glide, similar (but better) thumb buttons — and improves upon it. The laser it uses to track its position will even work on clear glass, which is crazy. It's also rechargeable.
Best Bluetooth Keyboard The Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 hit the sweet spot. First off, it's compatible with everything you can throw at it: OSX, Windows, Android devices, iOS devices, they all pair easily and you're good to go. They keys have great click to them. They're slightly stiffer than the Logitechs', but they're not at all hard to press. There's a very slight curve to the keyboard, making it gently ergonomic without alienating people who are used to a straight tray.
Best Router We're happy to report that benchmarking Netgear's new WNDR4500 left us grinning from ear to ear. This is the fastest router we've ever tested, and it's packed with new features.
Best Router: The Netgear RangeMax V1 is fast, but the new guy's faster.