This year marks the 5th edition of the annual HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards, the industry's premier event where we recognize the best brands, products, and services. A total of 78 awards were given out this year, one more than last year’s 77, and they comprised of 36 Editor’s Choice and 42 Readers’ Choice awards. New this year are 4 Innovation awards, which are part of the Editor's Choice segment to recognize innovative products and cutting-edge technologies that have emerged. The inaugural winners are HGST Asia, Intel, Olympus, and Sony.
A total of 148 products spread across 33 categories introduced between December 2012 and November 2013 were shortlisted for the Editor's Choice segment. After many months of grueling testing by the HWM and HardwareZone.com editorial team, 36 winners were chosen based on their performance, value, and quality of experience they brought to their users.
Voting for the 42 Readers’ Choice categories which involved a total of 186 brands was opened to all readers of HWM and HardwareZone.com last year. At the end of the 4-week voting period, 250,000 votes were cast. Once again, we’re deeply humbled by the tremendous support shown to us from the community.
In this first of three articles, we take a look at the detailed results of our Readers’ Choice polls.
Back in November 2013, we asked you - our intelligent and tech-savvy readers and members of the online community - for your favorite brands and services in 42 categories spanning the tech industry trinity of computing, communications, and consumer electronics. Your response was nothing short of overwhelming, as we received a quarter of a million votes. Here's a big thank you to you all. So, here then are the results of this detailed survey; check out to see if your favorite brands won. For the more curious readers, you can also check out previous year's results.
|Although Intel’s 2013 full year revenue and net income fell, it’s still by far the world’s largest and highest valued semiconductor chip maker. For desktop CPUs, it remains the undisputed king too. Continuing the success of the 2012 third-generation Intel Core processors (codenamed ‘Ivy Bridge’), 2013 saw the arrival of the fourth-gen Intel Core processors (codenamed ‘Haswell’) that brought about improved battery life, graphics performance, and the ability to fit into ever thinner and lighter form factors. And it looks like chipzilla isn’t resting on its laurels: rumor has it refreshing the Haswell lineup in Q2 this year.|
|New desktop graphics cards continue to come out of NVIDIA’s labs despite the company’s apparent focus on mobile (case in point: the Tegra K1 with a 192-core mobile Kepler GPU). We saw the GK110-based GeForce GTX Titan in February last year, the GeForce 700 series in May (with the GTX 780 and GTX 770), the GK104-based GTX 760 in June, and of course, the GTX 780 Ti with a 2,880-core GK110 core that’s designed to counter AMD’s R9 290X in October. And just this week, we've the mainstream GTX 750 Ti, the first of (hopefully) many graphics cards from NVIDIA this year to use the new ‘Maxwell’ architecture. We’ve no doubt that such consistency is the reason you gave NVIDIA your vote.|
|This is the fifth straight year ASUS has strolled away with our Readers’ Choice award for Best Graphics Cards Brand. Amazingly, despite the number of brands contesting, ASUS’ share of votes has increased compared to its two previous wins (48% this year, vs. 43% and 37% in the last two). At the end of the day, we think ASUS’ popularity boils down to its ability to churn out a wide range of graphics cards for both NVIDIA and AMD fans. Case in point: this ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC and this over-the-top ASUS ROG Matrix R9 280X Platinum tailored for hardcore gamers.|
|From our understanding, what most of you like about ASUS’ graphics cards (variety, performance, reliability) apply to the company’s motherboards as well. For the fifth year running, you've voted ASUS your favorite motherboard brand. The company has bagged an impressive 57% of the votes. Besides innovating on its boards (e.g. these Maximus VI Impact mini-ITX and Maximus VI Extreme ATX motherboards), ASUS also makes cool PC accessories like this ROG Front Base front panel control center. Gigabyte remains ASUS’ strongest challenge for this award with 20% of the votes. Interestingly, the votes for each brand held almost steady when compared to the previous year.|
|Another brand that has made an award its own is Kingston, who has won the Best PC Memory Brand award for the fourth consecutive year. In fact, its share of votes (55%) is more than twice that of second-placed Corsair (21%). Just this past November, the company shipped the 2,800MHz version of its HyperX Predator memory kits targeted at overclockers and enthusiasts; and in June, Intel XMP-validated HyperX memory that supports ‘Haswell’.|