Year in Review 2008
Wow what a year it has been here at ThinkComputers, we published over 200 reviews and 27 articles. It has to have been one of the busiest years for us to date. I think that we really took things to the next level reviewing a lot more high-end products and keeping a constant stream of products coming in. I want to thank all of our sponsors and more importantly our readers for making this year such a good one. Each one of the staff members have compiled a year in review segment where they recap some of their favorite products and good times here at ThinkComputers over the course of 2008.
Bob Buskirk’s Year In Review
The Year started off great for me and ThinkComputers as we were once again at CES in Las Vegas. That trip is always great and it sets the stage for the year and I think we did a great job meeting new sponsors and developing better relationships with our current sponsors. As far as hardware goes not much did change for me as Frank took over the spot as the lead motherboard, video card, and memory reviewer. I did end up going from 2 20-inch LCD’s to 2 22-inch LCD’s and now I’m running 2 24-inch LCD’s, somehow I still find a way to fill up both screens with windows! Towards the end of the year I finally moved from a full tower case to a cube case, something that I had been wanting to do for a while.
This year brought so many great products to my doorstep it is really had to just pick a handful out, but here are some products I though really stood out from the rest and a few that just didn’t cut it.
Out of the LCD monitor’s I got a chance to take a look at this year 2 really stood out, the ASUS PG221 22-inch and the ViewSonic VLED221wm. The ASUS PG221 is a great monitor for gaming because you have every input imaginable, DVI, VGA, Component, Video and S-Video! Not only that, it has some sweet touch-sensitive controls and lighting effects. The ViewSonic VLED221wm is the best looking LCD I looked at all year in terms of viewing quality. It is LED backlit, has a 12000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and the ability to represent 118% of the NTSC color gamut.
One of the coolest products I looked at this year was the Cooler Master CSX Broodling Case, it featured a custom paint job by Smooth Creations and was the most expensive case we reviewed at all year. Not only did it have a great paint job it was based off the Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 case, which was one of Cooler Master’s best cases of 2008. Another great case I looked at this year was the Moneual Labs MonCaso 972 HTPC case. This HTPC case is probably one of the most appealing out there with a 7-inch touchscreen LCD mounted on the front.
Another eye catching product that I had the chance to look at this year was the Alienware m15x 15.4-inch Gaming Laptop. It not only was powerful enough to play all the games that are currently out its 15.4-inch screen has a 1920 x 1200 resolution! The kicker was all the programmable lighting effects on the keyboard and chassis. The other really cool laptop that I checked out was the Lenovo ThinkPad X300. This 13.3-inch laptop was the PC users answer to the Macbook Air. The X300 is extremely thin, has a LED backlit screen, SSD hard drive, and all of the great features you would expect to find on a ThinkPad from Lenovo.
Not So Great
Out of all the LCD’s that I reviewed this year the Princeton VL2018W had to be the worst. The backlighting on it was atrocious, the worst I have seen in any LCD ever! Also why are the speakers on the back of the LCD? Why not the front or even the sides? The Sunbeam Automation was also quite a disappointment. The design was really cool and that is why I wanted to review it. But after checking it out I found out that it could have possibly been made of the cheapest aluminum Sunbeam could have found. Also the side panel fan was so large that I could not properly put the side panel back on without it getting in the way of my CPU cooler.
I’ve had a lot of great moments this year working on ThinkComputers, but my favorite is still CES. It is great going to an event like that where you actually get to see the people you work with face to face and get to meet many new companies. Also it’s a great chance to meet other site owners, some of which I’ve become great friends with.
Only a couple of weeks ago we posted our 900th review, that is quite a milestone for myself and ThinkComputers. I started this site in 2002 and its crazy to see how much it has grown over the years and that I’m doing it as my full time job.
Back in September we posted a record 25 reviews and 3 articles only leaving 2 days that month that we did not post new content on the site, it was a great month and we hope to break that record soon!
Another cool thing that we did at ThinkComputers this year was start a staff blog. I really like the idea of being transparent and a blog is a perfect way to do that. Our staff blog gives you guys a behind the scenes look at what going on with the site and what we are up to.
2009 – What Will it Bring?
You should expect us to be doing the same things we did in 2008 in 2009, we will still be reviewing all of your favorite computer hardware and gadgets, but I hope as the site grows that we are able to check out more and more cool things. We reached our 900th review this year and in 2009 we will have our 1000th review, which will be a big accomplishment for me and all of the staff here. As we continue to grow you may see a new layout and content management system on the site by the end of 2009, but we will just have to see about that.
We are starting off the year just like 2008 so you will see us at CES giving you all the info on new products coming out and having some fun in Vegas in the process. Make sure you check out the blog to keep up to date on what we are up to.