One of the most noteworthy features of the Product Spotlight review process is TechRepublic's focus on small to medium-sized businesses and how technology can help them do, whatever it is they do, better. This generally means that the review topics tend to be an eclectic mix of hardware and software. The most popular Product Spotlight reviews of 2010 reflect this approach.
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Probably the top technology story this year was the new found acceptance of the tablet PC form factor lead by the extremely popular Apple iPad. In, Apple iPad: The business review, Jason Hiner runs through the pros and cons of the iPad as a computing device in the business environment.
The other hardware category benefitting from substantial newfound interest in 2010 is the smart phone. The smart mobile computing device is quickly becoming standard equipment for just about every information technology professional.
The Apple iPhone 4 was very popular early in the year and this review by Jason Hiner, Apple iPhone 4 review: Everything you need to know, gives you the run down on what makes the iPhone a viable smart phone, as well as the areas it falls short.
Also popular were the new crop of Android OS smart phones like:
Since about the middle of 2010, Android-based phones have been taking the market by storm, it will be interesting to see how the smart phone market plays out in 2011 and beyond.
The popularity of this product category is surprising to me. With the size of hard disks these days and automated way operating systems arrange and index files, I thought defragmenting applications were a thing of the past. But, I was wrong. TechRepublic reviewed close to a dozen defragging applications and these three turned out to be the most popular for 2010:
During the course of 2010, TechRepublic reviewed several backup and archiving applications, but Review: SyncToy 2.1 file synchronization, turned out to be the one most members wanted to talk about. It seems TechRepublic members have a fondness for effective, simple, and free products.
Other popular reviews
One of the more popular Product Spotlight Blog posts this year was Review: IBM System x3400 M3 Small Business Server. The x3400 was one of the most solid pieces of hardware we had the pleasure to review this year and no one could be found to disagree with that statement.
We are always looking for new hardware and software to review, so if you have recent experience with a product and it has served you well (or it has not served you well and you want to warn your peers about it) note it in the discussion forum and we'll see about getting a review published.
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.