The 100 Best Products of 2012 (gaming accessories)

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Around this time each year, the editors at PCWorld and TechHive gather to recognize the best new tech productsthe hardware, software, gadgets, and devices that had the biggest impact on the world. The process starts out casually enough, because editors get to name their favorites from their respective beats, and everything is included in the first pass.

But passions rise when the time comes to winnow what inevitably becomes a very long list to just 100 new products. Theres a fervent back and forth as the editors make their cases as to why their product should remain on the listand someone elses should be whacked. Staff alliances form and dissolve as editors strategize how theyll win the day for their picks.

A list with 100 computers, smartphones, printers, cloud services, and other great products inexorably emerges over the course of a few weeks. But thats only half the battle, because the editors must now decide the order of importance that each product holds. That came together surprisingly quickly this yearat least for the top 10 products. As for the other 90; well, lets just say the list was settled only after great deliberation.

And here, without further ado, are our picks for the 100 best products of 2012:

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Easy Ways to Clear Space on Your Laptop

s Hard Drive



Easy Ways to Clear Space on Your Laptop's Hard Drive

Its all too easy to run out of disk space.

That’s true whether you have a gigantic hard drive quickly filling up with applications, movies, music, and photos or live with one of the newer ultrathin laptops sporting fast but tiny solid-state drives that cant hold much to begin with.

Thankfully, lots of easy ways exist to reclaim hard-drive space and keep the dreaded out-of-disk-space warnings away. Let’s check some of them out.

Clean Up Files You No Longer Need

The first step is to get rid of the common space-hogging culprits. These include unnecessary applications and a variety of useless system files.


Windows Disk Cleanup (click to enlarge).

Your Recycle Bin, Temp folders, and random system files may be hogging gigabytes of potential free space. Microsofts built-in disk cleaner, Windows Disk Cleanup, will free up this space for you.

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How to Edit Office Documents on Your Smartphone



How To Edit Documents On Your Smartphone

Although office suites have been available on mobile phones for more than a decade, touch interfaces have made them much simpler and more efficient than before. Now, iPhone and Android users wanting to work with office documents while on the go have at least three great options each, and two of them in common. This guide will walk you through the process of choosing an editor and getting started in editing documents on your smartphone.

Both Documents To Go ($10) and Quickoffice Pro ($15; a stripped-down iPhone-only version is available for $10) offer a full editing suite for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. The extra $5 for Quickoffice will be well worth it to some people, as that suite offers the extraordinarily convenient option to sync documents with cloud hosting services such as Dropbox automatically. This feature is terrific, since it allows you to keep all of your documents up-to-date without having to plug your phone into your computer. Of course, the choice is yours–Documents To Go has plenty to recommend if the automatic Dropbox sync doesnt appeal to you.

One aside: If you’re new to cloud storage, you could do worse than signing up with Dropbox . Its one of the most popular cloud storage services–almost a household name by now–and it gives you a nice 2GB of storage space for free. By default the desktop installer will create a Dropbox folder within your Documents folder, and unless you have reason to be concerned about cloud security issues, I recommend keeping the majority of your documents in there. Not only will the Dropbox folder provide seamless access to your files on your phone, but it will also help to keep them safe in case you ever experience a hard-drive failure.

Quickoffice Pro vs. Documents To Go

Getting started with Quickoffice is as simple as tapping the Accounts icon in the bottom-right corner of the start page, and entering the credentials for the cloud service of your choice. Youll need to log in only once. After youve done so, the interface for opening documents is simple: Either choose an application (Quickword, Quicksheet, or Quickpoint) and a document (from your Dropbox folder or from your phones storage), or skip the first step and use Browse or Search from the start page. The Documents To Go interface, lacking Dropbox support, is even simpler–choose the type of document, and then browse your device or select an item from a list of recent docs.

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