HotHardware's Best Of 2009 Awards

Article Index

Peripherals / Extras And Smartphones

It's one of just two devices that most users use to interact with their machines, so you better make sure that you have one that fits your hand (and personality). Of course, we're talking about the mouse--an essential part of any desktop experience, and an even more vital weapon in the arsenal of any hardcore gamer. There's also the keyboard, which we'll take a look at below. Finally, our top three extras finishes up with some true 3D action, courtesy of NVIDIA.

Logitech G9x Gaming Mouse
Logitech's G9x is an improvement on the already popular G9, and while the design may strike you as odd at first, it was clearly designed with gaming in mind. The interchangeable grips gives gamers the ability to customize their experience, and the on-board memory allows for up to five ready-to-play profiles to be stored. There's also a weight-tuning system and an ultra high-res laser sensor, all of which contribute to the $100 price tag.

Topre Realforce 103UB
We've already schooled you in the benefits of owning a mechanical keyboard, and if you're still plugging along on your membrane-based board, there's always time to upgrade. The Topre Realforce 103UB is one of our favorites, and a real gem from 2009. It may look relatively plain at first glance, but the $228 price tag definitely clues you in that something special is up. The Topre Realforce features unique capacitive switches that'll last a lifetime, and a key feel that's second to none.

GeForce 3D Vision
Who would have known that 2009 would be the year 3D regained its footing and finally made a legitimate push in the mainstream market? What started in the cinema has since bled over into the PC realm, and NVIDIA was one of the first to jump onto the bandwagon with its GeForce 3D Vision Glasses. Granted you'll need glasses and a compatible GPU / monitor setup to take advantage, but for those who enjoy the added depth, there's hardly a wilder accessory to add to your rig than this.

The smartphone market exploded in 2009. There's just no other way to put it. As if the market wasn't already booming in 2008, 2009 proved to be a banner year for smart phones that require a monthly data plan. At this point, you're seen as behind the curve if you're not toting some sort of Internet-connected phone around, and we felt that this year's top three were pretty easy to spot.

Apple iPhone 3Gs
Apple's iPhone 3GS may seem like a cliche choice at #1, but it was the only smartphone introduced this year that brought out lines of consumers that were hundreds deep. No other phone had the same amount of buzz, and aside from AT&T's fumblings with the network, hardly anyone has complaints about the hardware itself and the App Store. The boost to 32GB was also a welcome addition for those that needed additional storage, and the $199 (on contract) price has established a new bar for other smartphones to match or beat.

Motorola returned to the scene in a big way this year. Not since the original RAZR have we seen this type of buzz surrounding a Moto phone, but the DROID put the company's mobile division back on the map. This is Verizon's answer to the iPhone, and while the Android App Marketplace still has a long ways to go before it reaches the level of the App Store, it's well on its way. The DROID is also $199 on contract, but at least in the US, it definitely has access to more 3G zones thanks to VZW's superior network.

Palm Pre
Palm also revived itself this year with the introduction of the Pre. The first webOS smartphone was announced at CES 2009, but the phone itself didn't ship until later in the year. It has easily become Sprint's most heralded device, and while it has yet to match the proliferation of the iPhone, it just might be viewed one day as the phone that saved Palm from imminent doom. At the very least, it got people talking about multitasking on a smartphone, which is something that the iPhone still can't do in many scenarios.

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