MWSF07: PowerPage’s Best of Show Awards/Wrap-up

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Date: Friday, January 12th, 2007, 17:12
Category: News

San Francisco — With Macworld Expo winding down, it’s time to honor the best of the best. These companies went beyond what was expected for a trade show presence and offered something great to the people who came by.

macworldlogo.jpg

So, without further ado, O’Grady’s PowerPage presents this year’s awards:
More after the jump…


San Francisco — With Macworld Expo winding down, it’s time to honor the best of the best. These companies went beyond what was expected for a trade show presence and offered something great to the people who came by.

macworldlogo.jpg

So, without further ado, O’Grady’s PowerPage presents this year’s awards:
Best of Show:
-Parallels: One of the best products out here and Parallels Desktop for Mac deserves the acclaim it’s been getting. Well-written, frequently updated and a perfect example of what virtualization software on the Mac should be, the product drew the crowds during the expo. There’s something great here and this is the best solution currently available for anyone who wants to run Windows without booting into a different partition a la Apple’s Boot Camp. Finally, the ability to put Windows applications in the Dock and have the computer know when to launch Parallels is extremely impressive.
-ModBook: The coolest piece of hardware at the show, this was a gutsy hack and should serve a market for something Apple has never offered a product for. Axiotron‘s partnership with Other World Computing to sell and later install the tablet modification (and even reverse the modification if desired) alleviates a lot of concerns and places full credibility and confidence in what’s being done. They stepped out on a limb with this and we can’t wait to get our hands on a review unit to play with.
-iPhone: Steve may have spent the vast majority of his two hour keynote discussing it, but it was worth every second, despite questions as to the name and a lack of hands-on units to play with (attendees surrounded a few rotating iPhones encased in glass like moths to a flame). The potential here is outstanding and despite the $499 and $599 price tag, you get a lot for your money. Apple has outdone themselves with a product that could surpass anything its competitors have to offer and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on this.
-Lacie Hub: One of the oddest sights on the floor, this looked like someone had crammed a digital octopus into a vase. Complete with Firewire and USB cables as well as cable extenders, a fan and even an LED light as well as a powered base, this is a catch-all connector that can be opened and reconfigured as needed. Flexible cabling allows the user to shift a connector’s position and have it stay in place, which is a nice touch. Lacie has offered something cool for $80 and this device will be worth a look once it hits the market.
-iSale 4.0: Among the eBay auction managers out there for the Mac, iSale has proven to be the best of them.
iSale is an eBay auction manager. It keeps track of every aspect of monitoring, bidding and exchanging items on eBay.
Have you used eBay before? Have you already auctioned off a few things, but find the eBay website simply too complicated? Click here, look for a picture there, click “next” and then again on “preview” only to have to click back again… a never ending story. iSale 4.0 by Equinux sports a cool interface, easy menu system and has beefed up its photo upload system to go beyond .Mac accounts to also send photos up to Flickr galleries. A new slew of templates also helps and the company has been responsive to the features that its customers wanted.
Honorable Mention:
-Audio Engine: Good speakers, a quality product and even their casual products blew us away in terms of volume, depth and richness. The engineers were cool to hang out and talk with and this is a firm composed of qualified, experienced people who really seem to care about the products they’re making.
-zCover: While yet another iPod company doesn’t usually get our attention, zCover offered some cool new products. Perhaps the coolest and most useful was the their Wind Shield product, which places an iPod car holder at the end of an arm attached to a suction cup. Once installed, the iPod is located at a safer height, which helps avoid glancing down to change a track in the middle of traffic.
Swag Awards:
-Google: If you asked politely, the folks at Google would hand you sweat socks with the Google logo with the tagline “It doesn’t stink!” emblazoned upon them. And who couldn’t use another pair of socks?
-Etymotic Research: These guys went above and beyond the call of duty. Instead of a press CD or pen, the Etymotic guys offered pails of free replacement and extra ear buds as well as Magic 8-Balls. Cool as hell and they make a good product.
-Crumpler Bags: While others gave out shiny lights, toys and candy, Crumpler got back to basics and gave away apples with their logo sticker on them. Not too shabby and bonus points for a healthy snack for all.
Best Booth Award:
-Crumpler: Crumpler is getting a reputation for having killer booths and it’s well deserved. Last year they made something of a fortress structure, this year the booth was composed of cool blocks and cubby holes that were fun to walk by and hang out in. It’s a quality bag and their booth presence is anything but the generic rep sitting behind a table with press copies on hand, smiling weakly as everyone else seems to walk on by…
Booth Award Honorable Mention:
-Microsoft: We may feel a tad reluctant to give them this, but Microsoft made great use of its space by offering a blogging area filled with comfy couches which many a Mac user flopped into. This was a cool touch and it’s nice to see them go the extra distance and provide something everyone wants; a place to collapse for 10 minutes before they get up again to check out the next booth on their to-see list.
Congeniality Award:
-Nikon: They make a killer camera line and were nice enough to hook my tapped-out battery into a charger under the desk and let it juice up for an hour, which saved the day. Thank you, Nikon. And in the future, when I book a 6:11 AM flight and have to run around my apartment scooping things up for the trip, I’ll try not to forget something as critical as this and just forget everything else instead.
That wraps it up for this year and we’ll see you in San Francisco for 2008!

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