Apple may top Slate's gadgets of the year, but don't look for an iPad 2 on its list. No, the best gadget of 2011 was the new-generation MacBook Air, writes Farhad Manjoo. It's small but doesn't "feel compromised in any way," he says, calling it "the best laptop I've ever owned." And it sells for less than $1,000. Other winners:
- Windows Phone 7. Don't let the clunky name fool you: "It’s the best-looking smartphone operating system in the industry, and it’s probably the easiest to use, too." Tasks that would take several clicks on an iPhone can be done here in one.
- Sonos Play:3 and Play:5 speaker systems. Starting at $300, these setups allow you to play music throughout your house, using just your laptop or smartphone to control the system.
- Nest Learning Thermostat. Designed by iPod creator Tony Fadell, the sleek Nest figures out your ideal heating schedule within days.
- Google Chrome. Manjoo has already labeled it the best browser out there, and with constant updates, Chrome keeps getting better. New Instant Pages, for example, make searching even faster. Chrome's market share has even surpassed Firefox's.
Click for Farhad Manjoo's full gadget list
. (Read more Windows Phone 7