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Favorite Products of 2007

January 19, 2008

Filed under: entertainment,life,review — Terry Wohlers @ 08:33

I’ve listed my favorite products and services in the past and it’s time to do it again. Some companies provide good quality, but many do not. The following, listed at random, are a few of those that have met or exceeded my expectations over the past year or so.

1) PdaNet. This is an excellent application that runs on Palm Treo handheld devices. A one-time cost of $34 turns your Treo into a broadband modem for your laptop or desktop computer. Read about it in an April 2007 Wohlers Talk blog commentary.

2) tryda. This free “directory assistant” operates on a Treo running the Palm OS. (A Windows Mobile version is coming soon.) The application permits you to quickly search for names, addresses, and phone numbers of companies and individuals nationwide. Looking for a pizza restaurant? Just enter “pizza” and a zip code or city and tryda will list pizza restaurants in the area. What’s more, it links to Google Maps and displays locations and directions. Did I say that it’s free?

3) OnlyMyEmail. I’ve tried many spam filtering programs and services and this one is the best, especially for small companies and individuals. At $4 per month, it’s a bargain.

4) Shure Sound Isolating Earphones. This $150 product (Model SE210) is worth every penny, if you’re looking for compact, in-the-ear quality sound. The product dramatically reduces the ambient noise when on a plane or in other noisy environments. It’s easy to fit the earphones to your ear canals because they come with many types and sizes of rubber and foam sleeves. I prefer earbuds over bulky headsets, but most do not stay securely in my ears. These do and they are comfortable.

5) Panasonic Plasma Television. In high definition (HD), this 50-inch screen (Model TH-50PX75U) is the next best thing to being there. You will see detail that you’ve never seen before on a television. The price continues to drop, making it affordable to a broader range of customers.

6) Philips Home Theater System. This $200 product (Model HTS3544/37) is near the low-end of the home theater system-in-a-box price range, but you wouldn’t know it when hearing its 1,000 watts of power.  In fact, I would bet that most blindfolded listeners would guess that it’s priced 3-5x higher. A DVD player with HDMI upconversion is built in.

These products and services from six companies stood out from the pack. Check back at this time next year to see what makes the list.