PC Pro's favourite tech products of 2011
Posted on 30 Dec 2011 at 09:30
Nofan IcePipe A43-H67 Silent PC
It’s not so much the all-round package that gets this interesting Nofan system from specialist builders Quiet PC on to the list, although it did receive a deserved Recommended award in our review.
No, what we really loved about it was that giant round thing in the photo below that's so ridiculous it's hard to look at anything else.
It looks a lot like a hamster wheel, but it’s actually a 220mm passive CPU cooler, whose long fins dissipate heat so efficiently that the Core i5-2500K beneath peaked at a comfortable 75°C under full load. You can only get one by buying a full Nofan system from Quiet PC, and it’s so big it blocks the DIMM sockets and PCI Express slots, but who cares when your PC is so quiet you can hear the electrical hum of the monitor it’s connected to?
Scrivener for Windows
It’s been out on the Mac for ages, but late this year Windows users finally got a finished version of this wonderful writing software. More than just a word processor, Scrivener instead builds long, multiple-stage documents using synopsis cards, indexes and research clippings – be they pictures, text notes or even PDFs and web pages.
Break a document down into chunks as small or large as necessary and set progress goals for added motivation. When you’re done, just compile the whole thing and export it to any of the common document formats. Scrivener is overkill for basic single-page documents, but for longer-form writing it has the power to totally change the way you work, and that’s something very few pieces of software can boast.
OS X Lion
This won’t be a popular one, so we’ll keep it brief. In July of 2011, Apple updated its teeny MacBook Air line-up with Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors. At the same time, Apple also released the OS X 10.7 Lion operating system update.
This desperately slick combination of newer, faster MacBook Air and newer, shinier OS proved too much to resist. Two of the PC Pro reviews team took their wallets straight to the Apple Store and joined the dark side. No apologies will be forthcoming.
Samsung Galaxy S II
This should balance that last one out, as it’s the Android smartphone that achieved what many had been waiting eagerly for, knocking the iPhone off the A-List. Better still, it held onto that top spot when the iPhone 4S arrived to challenge it.
The Galaxy S II had everything, from best-in-class performance and decent battery life, to an excellent 8-megapixel camera and Samsung’s added wireless synchronisation software. But best of all was its 4.3in Super AMOLED Plus screen, which remains unmatched for quality seven months and dozens of rival handsets later.
And how do we know the Samsung Galaxy S II was the smartphone so many people were waiting for? Simple. It was the most read review on the PC Pro website in the whole of 2011.
Author: David Bayon
Glad you’ve put Sandy Bridge in. I want AMD to succeed as much as anyone but there is no denying that Intel is in a league of its own at the moment. Even Bulldozer cant touch it, which sadly is probably one of the reasons why Sandy Bridge E is priced so high.
By JStairmand on 31 Dec 2011
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