The 20 Most Innovative Products of the Year
Innovative Products, #2-#4
2. Intel Core 2 Duo
As by far the fastest desktop chips we've ever tested, the Core 2 Duo series (check latest pricing) might have the greatest impact of any product on this list. Most of Core 2 Duo's technological advances are obscured under titles like Advanced Smart Caching, Smart Memory Access, and Wide Dynamic Execution. Intel's truly innovative accomplishment was managing to bundle all of those technologies together, while significantly reducing power consumption.
3. Parallels Desktop for Mac
The idea of running Windows on a Mac made plenty of headlines this year. While this Hades-freezing development is undeniably cool and useful, it's hard to pin down which implementation is most innovative. We chose the slick virtualization software Parallels ($80), because it's arguably the most useful way to run key Windows apps on your Mac. But we also want to give a nod to Blanka and Narf, the two coders who wrote the WinXPonMac hack that seemed to prod Apple to rush out Boot Camp.
4. Nintendo Wii
The $250 Wii video game console boasts powerful new motion-sensing controllers that make game play both more entertaining and more active. In specially designed games, you can swing the Wii Remote or the joystick-like Nunchuck to have your character smash a tennis ball or throw a nasty left hook. It's fun and addictive, and ushers in a new era for gaming.