Back in November 2010, we asked you for your favorite brands, products, and services in 37 categories (9 more than Tech Awards 2010) spanning the tech industry trinity of computing, communications, and consumer electronics. Your response was overwhelmingly, with about 80,000 votes cast in total for the HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2011 Reader's Choice. Here then are the results of this survey, as decided by our members and subscribers.
2010 had seen Intel launching its first 32nm processors, and its Core i7-980X Extreme Edition was without doubt the most powerful desktop processor of the year. Even besides the highest end SKU, many of the Core i5/i7 processors were well ahead of the competition in terms of outright performance. As such, it easily won the best desktop CPU brand category by garnering an incredible 86% share of the votes.
It's more of the same on the notebook front as well with the 32nm processors making their way into this segment with mobile variants. The new processor came with a new platform that upgraded the overall system capabilities and even better battery life than its predecessors. Not to forget, Intel Atom processors were still dominant in the low-end segment of netbooks too and all this led up to readers giving Intel the thumbs up again with 87% of all votes in the mobile CPU category. AMD has several processor updates in 2011, so it will be interesting to see if they can snag some market share in the near future.
The GeForce GTX 460 was sort of a turning point for NVIDIA last year. It was easily one of the best to come out of the green camp for a while, with great performance, decent power and thermal requirements, and an attractive price to boot. Our readers clearly favored NVIDIA too, with 67% of the votes in the GPU category.
In the more fragmented and arguably more competitive graphics card market, ASUS has once again topped our Reader's Choice with 37% of the votes. Interestingly, ASUS has managed to improve on its results in both motherboard and graphics card categories compared to last year.
For the motherboard category, ASUS came out on top with 48% of all votes cast. Similar to the previous year, this was twice the number of votes compared to its nearest competitor. ASUS' range of products, along with its reputation for reliability and quality, have certainly made a lasting impression on consumers.
Kingston is the outright winner in the PC memory category with 66% of the votes. It's wide offerings, good local warranty and support, easy availability and highly competitive prices certainly played a huge part in its win.