Consumer Reports Top 10 Products of 2008

Consumer Reports

View gallery

.

Laptop computer
Apple MacBook Air
The lightest, thinnest notebook around, just 3 pounds and less than an inch thick. It has excellent ergonomics and a 13.3-inch display, plus a 4.5-hour battery life. It's shy on features, but hey, it's super skinny.

 

View gallery

.

Wireless headphones
Sennheiser MX W1
Among the first to use Kleer wireless technology, these earbuds were the best wireless headphones in our tests. Twist-and-fit design locks into the outer ear cavity. Can be recharged on the go in their portable docking station.

 

View gallery

.

Subcompact point-and-shoot camera
Canon PowerShot SD1100
Weighing just 5 ounces, this 8-megapixel subcompact doesn't sacrifice performance for size. Compared with other subcompacts, it's faster, and can take better pictures in low light without flash.

 

View gallery

.

Wireless digital frame
Samsung SPF-83V
This easy-to-use frame offers very good picture quality, but its key distinction is the ability to display pictures from your computer with no wires, thanks to built-in Wi-Fi capability.

 

View gallery

.

Coffeemaker
Black & Decker Smart Brew DCM2500
A CR Best Buy, this drip coffeemaker was tops among the 8-to-12-cup models we tested. It has programmable settings, and pouring was easy, helpful if you're a little clumsy before that first cup.

 

View gallery

.

Portable grill
Weber Q 200 396002
This compact gas grill will be the toast of any tailgate. It heats very evenly, turning out perfect pre-game bratwurst, hot dogs, and more, and it's equally capable at low-temperature cooking.

 

View gallery

.

Luggage
Delsey Helium Fusion 22274
This carry-on was the only CR Best Buy among the 12 small rolling suitcases we tested. It got an excellent score for capacity, a big deal now that most airlines are charging for checked baggage. It also has a comfortable handle and was easy to pull.

 

View gallery

.

50-inch and 42-inch plasma TVs
Panasonic TH-50PZ800U
Panasonic plasmas consistently score well in our tests, and this 1080p set and its 42-inch sibling ($1,200) continue the trend. The THX setting provides theaterlike picture quality with vibrant colors, exquisite detail, and rich blacks.

 

View gallery

.

Cell phone with versatile screen
LG Dare, from Verizon
This phone's bright, 3-inch touch screen provides direct access to its many features, including an HTML Web browser and a 3.1-megapixel camera with face recognition and autofocus. Enter text on a virtual keyboard or draw on the screen with your fingertip.

 

View gallery

.

DVD recorder with hard drive
Philips DVDR3575H/37
One of the few DVD recorders that can also record to a DVR (160GB), this offers TiVo-like functionality and the ability to save or share programs on DVD.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • 67-Year-Old Woman Beat Boyfriend to Death with a Bat for 36 Hours, Police Allege

      Investigators in Washington D.C. have arrested a woman for allegedly beating her boyfriend to death last week — with a metal baseball bat — over the course of 36 hours, PEOPLE confirms.

      People
    • Trump's Russia scandal takes an unexpected turn

      On Friday afternoon, FBI Director James Comey delivered a classified, hour-long briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia scandal, and soon after, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent “formal requests to more than a dozen organizations, agencies and individuals, asking them to preserve all materials related to the committee’s investigation” into the controversy. Pursuit of shady oligarch a test of DoJ integrity under Trump We don’t know much about how the briefing went – committee members were tight-lipped following Comey’s presentation – though Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted late Friday that he’s “now very confident” that the committee will conduct “thorough bipartisan

      MSNBC q
    • Malia Obama in Ultimate Rich Kids' Ski Trip Pic (PHOTO)

      Malia Obama is on an Aspen vacay that will absolutely make you HATE your life when you see who she's posing with in what has to be the richie richiest photo of all time. Here's the answer key for who's who in this shot, taken last weekend at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro in Aspen: 1. Malia 2. Elizabeth Tisch, daughter of NY Giants co-owner Steve Tisch 3. Audrey Kotick, daughter of Activision/Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick (think Call of Duty money) 4. Fashion designer Monique Lhuillier 5. Jamie Tisch, ex-wife of Steve 6. Tom Bugbee, Monique Lhuillier's husband 7. Holden Tisch, daughter of Steve 8. Zachary Tisch, son of Steve 9. Tassilo von Furstenberg, grandson of Diane von Furstenberg When President

      TMZ q
    • Bill Gates supposedly has long way to go to catch the real richest man in the world

      Coming in at around $86 billion, Bill Gates has ridden his Microsoft fortune straight to the top of the Forbes list of the world’s richest men. Then again, the business magazine doesn’t take into account ...

      MarketWatch q
    • A Look Inside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago: The New ‘Winter White House’

      Mar-a-Lago sits along a coveted stretch of coastline in Palm Beach, Fla. It was built between 1924 and 1927 by cereal heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post. Donald Trump purchased the property, which he would later dub the “Winter White House,” in 1985 for $5 million and used it solely as a private residence until turning it into a private members-only club in 1995. The Mar-a-Lago Club also boasts an oceanfront swimming pool, a beauty salon, a spa, five red clay tennis courts, a croquet court, and seaside cabanas.

      Yahoo Celebrity
    • Mom's shocking photo of 10-year-old son depicts painful reality of cancer

      A mom posted this harrowing photo of her son to Facebook. This photo of a 10-year-old boy, bald, pained look on his face, standing in his pull-ups diaper while clinging on to the bathroom sink is quickly going viral on Facebook. The photo may not be pretty, it’s admittedly hard to look at, but it’s a raw depiction of what life is like for a cancer patient — which is exactly why the boy’s mother posted it.

      Yahoo Canada Style
    • Why flight attendants prefer to work in economy over first class

      Everyone wants to be upgraded on a flight, apart from the flight attendants it seems. You’d think the cabin crew would much prefer working for a handful of posh people in Business or First Class, instead of hundreds of flustered passengers in Economy, but it turns out that’s not the case. Many airlines have an promotion system, where you start off in economy, then work your way up to business and first class, but other companies let the crew choose where they want to work for that flight. Because according to the accounts of several flight attendants, while they might be serving 10 people instead of 70 in the fancy cabins, their constant demands actually mean they work a lot harder. Heather Wilde,

      New York Post q
    • The Brutal Truth About Why Gen-Xers Hate Millennials (That No One Wants to Admit)

      The real reason that Gen-Xers hate Millennials is simple and terrifying. It's so obvious that most of us spend our lives ignoring this basic fact and do everything in our power to pretend it isn't the case. But before I tell you the terrible truth about this intergenerational feud, I'm going to show you why this conflict exists using psychology. As a life coach, licensed therapist, and someone earning my doctorate in clinical psychology, I get significant exposure to a wide range of psychological thoughts. One of my favorite aspects of my profession is the opportunity to share this information with others. And seeing the constant headlines describing the conflict between Gen-Xers and Millennials

      Inc Magazine q
    • MYSTERY: Half-eaten shark on Florida beach raises speculation about what killed it

      A half-eaten shark that washed up on a Florida beach Saturday raised questions about a bigger fish possibly lurking in the water. A Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue lifeguard snapped a photo of the shark on New Smyrna Beach. Beach Safety spokeswoman Tammy Morris told News 4 Jax that the shark was “definitely” eaten by a bigger fish. She added that the shark was either a blacktip or spinner shark. A 14-foot great white shark named Katherine was spotted off the Florida coast in January. Another great white shark was spotted in the waters on Feb. 1, Florida wildlife officials said. Morris said half-eaten sharks do not wash up on the beach often, but she has seen it before. Officials said

      Fox News q
    • Hoda Kotb Shares the Inspiration Behind Daughter Haley Joy’s Name: ‘She’s Got a Beautiful Way About Her’

      Hoda Kotb surprised Today audiences on Tuesday when she announced she had welcomed a daughter — Haley Joy — through adoption. Calling back into the show’s fourth hour, which she normally co-hosts, Kotb explained the inspiration behind her daughter’s name — all while feeding Haley Joy! “Haley is because of Halley’s Comet,” Kotb told a tearful Kathie Lee Gifford and Jenna Bush Hager, referencing the famous short-period comet — which is visible to the naked eye from Earth every 75 years.

      People
    • Melania Trump's sister shows rare behind-the-scenes look

      (CNN)Melania Trump is beginning to forge her own path as America's first lady, assembling a team of aides and advisers. But the name of one longtime confidante, and perhaps her most trusted friend, won't be announced with a news release or statement or a new title: her sister, Ines Knauss. Knauss, Trump's older sister, lives just blocks from Trump Tower in the Trump Park Avenue property, public records confirm. She was Trump's maid of honor at her 2005 Palm Beach wedding, People magazine reported at the time. And the first lady called Knauss "an incredible woman and a friend" in her July speech at the Republican National Convention. And the sister of the famously private Slovenian-born first

      CNN q
    • Photos of Former Couples Walking Oscars Red Carpets Past That Will Make Your Heart Hurt (9 photos)

      All of these A-listers have happily moved on ... yet we can't help reminiscing about their past Oscars red carpet moments (and crying a little bit)

      People
    • Tori Spelling’s lavish baby shower lands Dean McDermott in court over back child support

      Dean McDermott is about to welcome his sixth child in the world, courtesy of Tori Spelling, and he was certainly eager to celebrate this momentous occasion. But a February 11 baby shower for him and Tori apparently was too over-the-top, both in its execution and in its public display of excess, according to the Daily Mail. That’s because tabloid reports of the lavish event set off Dean’s ex-wife Mary Jo Eustace. And now, Mary Jo has gone to court, alleging that Dean is thousands of dollars behind in paying child support for Jack, the first of his five biological kids. The baby shower, held in the main restaurant of the posh Bel-Air Hotel, was hosted by Tori’s mother, Candy, the widow of the late

      MercuryNews.com q
    • Historian Neil Howe on Bannon, Trump, and the possibility of civil war in the US

      In a revealing interview, Neil Howe—the co-author of The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny—candidly discusses his perspective on Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist and former head of the online news site Breitbart. Bannon is a proponent of the theory that history generally moves in 80-year cycles, with each cycle ending in a crisis that destroys the old order and ushers in something new. In widely reported remarks, Bannon believes the United States has had three “turnings”—the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression/World War II—and is now in the midst of another emanating from the 2008 Financial Crisis.

      Business Insider q
    • Interracial couple fined for not removing graffiti slur

      An interracial Connecticut couple whose home was vandalized by a racial slur has been fined for failing to cover it up.

      WPVI – Philadelphia
    • Is NCIS Giving Gibbs A Big Change Soon? Here's What Emily Wickersham Says

      Tonight's episode of NCIS gave fans some pretty strong closure for the ill-fated and heavily cloaked relationship between Ellie Bishop and translator Qasim Naasir, who was killed in a recent episode, and we found out that he died before she had a chance to accept his marriage proposal. And smack dab in all the emotional beats was a peculiar moment where Congresswoman Jenna Flemming hinted to Gibbs that he may have a future as the NCIS Director as a replacement for Vance, but the matter was promptly dropped. When asked about this potential promotion, actress Emily Wickersham said this:

      CINEMABLEND q
    • Once Renowned Surgeon Sentenced to Life Behind Bars for Intentionally Maiming Patients

      Christopher Duntsch once billed himself as the best neurosurgeon in all of Dallas.

      Inside Edition
    • Space buffs drool as NASA announces a major 'discovery beyond our solar system'

      NASA will host a news conference on Wednesday to discuss recent discoveries of planets beyond our solar system. The even will begin at 1 p.m. ET. The public are invited to ask questions via Twitter with the hashtag #askNASA.

      Digital Trends
    • 7-Year-Old Girl Asks Google for a Job and Gets an Amazing Response from the CEO

      When Chloe Bridgewater, who is a big fan of tablets and computers, was told by her father Andy Bridgewater that the conglomerate Google has bean bags, slides and go-karts at their offices, she decided to let the company know how interested she was in working there. “My name is Chloe and when I am bigger I would like a job at Google. While Chloe knows she has quite a few years until she can actually apply, Google CEO Sundar Pichai responded to her handwritten note with his own message of encouragement.

      People
    • Men kept as 'slaves' in remote Scottish hotel

      In 2009, Azad arrived in the UK, leaving his wife and son behind. But at the hotel, the work was very different from what had been promised. As well as working in the kitchen, Azad had to clean rooms, work in the garden, clear snow and provide labor for tradesmen. What's more, as a condition of the job offer, Arefin had demanded an initial payment of about $6,200 to sponsor the men's visas and he later wanted even more money, the documents show. To pay the fees, Azad says he had to sell his wife's jewelry and a small piece of land that his father owned. And far from the promised salary, Azad was told he would be paid only $125 per week, with the shortfall made up later -- but, according to the

      CNN q