KitGuru Annual Awards 2012 Conclusion
It was a year where the tail-end of the Thai flooding disaster help HDD prices up long enough for SSD to get a strangle hold among KitGuru readers and move from a ‘nice to have luxury’ to a ‘must have, now what is the best one I can afford’ kind of product.
New releases from nVidia and AMD into the graphics market meant that anyone with a card more than a year old looks like a proper slouch at the start of 2013.
While performance CPUs hardly figured in 2012, entry level saw the new APU from AMD launched, which will form the basis of the next generation consoles – which was quite interesting in its own right. Compared to other graphics solutions in the market, it is decidedly closer to entry level than performance, but it is so much more powerful than the tired old nVidia and ATi chips propping up today’s consoles that we’re probably in for something of a revolution next Xmas.
Monitors definitely saw a lot of movement, with the low end 1080p screens becoming so cheap that anyone could now choose to have EyeFinity if they decided that surround-gaming at 5760×1080 was the way to go – but there was also great movement on the price of colour-calibrated, pro-class screens, which we loved.
As internet access packages (both fixed and mobile) became more competitive, we saw the launch of 4G on a small scale, while – at the same time – the price of a gigabit router for your home dropped close to £10. That improvement to data transfer meant that more and more of us looked to invest in NAS devices and this is a place where the price drops on 3TB and 4TB hard drives will have the most impact in 2013.
On a software level, we saw some great games hit the market as well as some predictable (but still fun) stalwarts – spoiled only by the launch of Windows 8. Microsoft thinks this operating system is a move forward, but it is hard to find an experienced desktop user that’s as enthusiastic about Windows 8 as they were about 7. With some hacks and third party software such as Start8 from Stardock, it is possible to get Windows 8 looking almost identical to Windows 7, but many enthusiast users see no need to move. We would expect Windows 9 to be the next ‘win’ for Microsoft – within a desktop environment anyway.
Finally, we all love a good laugh, and Apple’s attempt to follow the Google Maps resulted not only in a lot of great jokes, but also the sacking of executives responsible for placing cities in the ocean and ports in the desert.
On a personal note, KitGuru had a great year and a highlight for us as a news organisation was the ability to deliver the world’s first photos of the iPhone 5 Prototype: A story which was picked up everywhere – from Fox to Forbes.
Allan ‘Zardon’ Campbell
~Kitguru Limited Managing Director/Editor In Chief