Drawing up top 10 lists is always an exercise in subjectivity, no more so when it comes to choosing the best technology products of the year. There was a vast number of excellent products released in 2006, so any list would leave out many worthy candidates. That said, I set out to choose what I consider the best technology products I've played with in the past 12 months:
Nokia has entered the mobile office market with a bang with its E-series devices. The range-topping E61 has 3G, Wi-Fi and BlackBerry-style push e-mail support, all at an excellent price. It's the business cellphone of the year.
Sony Ericsson P990i
You either love Sony Ericsson's P-series smartphones or you loathe them. Those that love them are fanatical about them. The new P990i offers 3G and Wi-Fi support and host of other features. Sony Ericsson fans, rejoice!
Lenovo IBM ThinkPad X60s
This subnotebook from China's Lenovo, which acquired IBM's PC business a couple of years ago, is best-of-breed: well-priced, incredibly power-efficient and super-light. You'll be hard-pressed to find better hardware.
Garmin i3 StreetPilot
This GPS has made street-level navigation much more affordable. The i3, with its tiny screen, provides voice navigation at street level at a price point that makes in-car navigation systems seem ludicrously overpriced.
They may run bog-standard equipment these days, including Intel processors, but Apple computers are still so much more desirable than PCs. The latest iMacs are powerful machines. And they're good to look at, too, especially the range-topping model, which has a gigantic 24-inch display.
Apple iPod Video 80GB
Apple is still the king of the hill in digital music. It introduced new iPods in 2006 that will cement its dominance. The new 80 GB iPod Video offers great value for money. Microsoft will struggle to make inroads with its new Zune player.
Intel Core 2 Duo
Intel's new microprocessors - these are the silicon chips that power PCs - are super-powerful, especially for multitasking. The chips, which replace the iconic Pentium brand, use less electricity, too, which means longer battery life for notebooks.
Microsoft has finally launched this living-room games console in SA. It's a great device and well priced but SA's lack of broadband means most local users can't take full advantage of its online gaming options. Microsoft's market advantage may be short-lived, too: the more powerful Sony PlayStation 3 will be here soon.
Sony PlayStation Portable
Released in SA last year, Sony's PSP became the must-have portable entertainment device of 2006. This handheld gaming console allows computer game addicts to get their fix on the go. It also plays movies and music and supports wireless Internet access.
There has always been a trade-off between image brightness and clarity and performance with LCD monitors. No more. Acer's AL1951Ds 19-inch monitor is great for games and delivers a crisp, bright display for office work.