PCs

Review: Best of 2009

TechRepublic has reviewed dozens of products for the Product Spotlight Blog in 2009, but several resonated particularly well with members.

TechRepublic started the Product Spotlight Blog in February 2009 with this stated purpose:

The TechRepublic Product Spotlight is a new feature blog that allows TechRepublic to put a unique stamp on the traditional business product review. The goal is to create a short document which is easy to read and understand, and highlights important information in a way that makes it easy to skim. Each Product Spotlight blog post focuses on explaining who would use the product and describing what problem the product is designed to solve.

Throughout the year, TechRepublic has reviewed dozens of products under this framework, but several of the reviews seemed to resonate with the membership particularly well. The interesting thing about these Top 5 blog posts is that their subject matter is diverse, ranging from basic utilities to non-conforming desktop form factors.

Top 5

UltraDefrag tool

The steps necessary to defragment a Windows hard drive is one of the first things users should learn how to do. Before you blame a virus or malware for a slowing PC you should determine whether drive fragmentation is the culprit. Since most of the defrag utilities that come with the various versions of the Windows operating system are less-than-stellar, it's always a good idea to have a choice. UltraDefrag is an open source defragging tool that is superior to the default Microsoft tools. And UltraDefrag offers command line tools, as well as a micro edition that can be installed on a USB drive. The inclusion of UltraDefrag in your toolbox is a no brainer.

Dell Studio Hybrid PC

The Dell Studio Hybrid PC is a small form factor PC that retains much of the power found in large desktop computers. The compact design gives the Studio Hybrid a smaller desktop footprint than a notebook and even some netbooks. With an Intel Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM, this may be all you need for your next workstation PC purchase.

AT&T Tilt

Smartphones are everywhere, but not all mobile phones are equally effective e-mail and messaging devices. If there is a smarphone that stands out as an e-mail workhorse, it is the AT&T Tilt.

Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

If your business is ready to migrate from Windows to Linux the choices of distributions can be overwhelming. But when you narrow the choices down to enterprise-ready distributions the selection grows much smaller. Of those choices SuSE Enterprise Linux Desktop 10 from Novell stands out as one of the best.

InterMapper Network Monitoring Software

InterMapper from Dartware makes network monitoring a snap with a simple, easy-to-use interface that assists network administrators by alerting them to system outages. No network should be without a monitoring and alerting system.

Additional Product Spotlights

In the Product Spotlight Blog, TechRepublic puts a unique stamp on the traditional product review to be more useful for technology decision makers. Each review concisely evaluates the product from a business perspective and sums up the bottom line for IT leaders.

Read our field-tested reviews of hardware and software in TechRepublic's Product Spotlight newsletter, delivered each Thursday. We explain who would use the product and describe what problem the product is designed to solve. Automatically sign up today!

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

3 comments
AstroCreep
AstroCreep

The Tilt? 2009 product...really? That phone was over a year old when Bill posted his review... Just seems a little...late, is all.

Adobe PDF Reader used to be so heavy that it felt such a big relief when I first started using Foxit's from early last year. But Adobe has made improvements in version 9, and it's not such a big drag anymore. Anyway, I'm so used to Foxit that I'll just continue, regardless of what Adobe does. To most people, they just want a program that just read PDF files, with options to adjust the screen and nothing else.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What 2009 Product Spotlight review did you find most interesting, enlightening or otherwise noteworthy?

Editor's Picks