by July 1, 2010 0 comments

India’s “gadget Oscars”, better known as the Quickheal NDTV Tech Life Awards,
are India’s most popular gadget awards to recognize top gadgets.

The products were tested by Living Digital at CyberMedia Labs, and finally
selected by a grand jury. There were 16 categories this year.

  • Best Audio System
  • Best Budget Mobile
  • Best Smartphone
  • Best Computing Device
  • Best Computer Peripheral
  • Best Gaming Product
  • Gadget Eye Candy
  • Best Television Display
  • Best Imaging Device
  • Best Portable Audio Product
  • Best Mobile App
  • Green Gadget of the year
  • Gadget of the Year — people’s choice
  • Best Celebrity Endorsement
  • Gadget of the year- jury’s choice

Invitations were sent out to vendors to nominate their
products in specific categories. The nomination process was online, via a
website specifically created for the purpose. Once the online nomination process
was closed, Ernst & Young audited all the entries, bringing the number to about
650 valid entries across the categories. These entries were then submitted to
Team LD to call in for the products and start the testing process.

Jury Meet

The  awards jury included the most popular and
experienced faces in the field of technology journalism: Vikram Chandra and
Rajiv Makhni from NDTV, actress and former Miss India Gul Panag, technology
consultants Atul Chitnis and Kishore Bhargava, Stuff editor Nishant Padhiar,
tech writer Ashish Bhatia, and CyberMedia chief editor Prasanto K Roy.

The eight-member jury, armed with the test reports made
by Living Digital and the advantage of having the products on hand, sat down
to discuss, debate, argue and finally decide on the best gadget of each
category. The fact that the products were available for the jury members to
use, see and play with made their work easier.

Each jury member individually filled up their

ratings/scores in the jury docket after the
deliberation; the jury dockets were filled up and sealed, to be audited and
consolidated by E&Y. Thus concluded the marathon, day-long jury meet.


Testing at CyberMedia Labs

There were separate testing processes for different
categories, and the Living Digital team had to test 600 products in 13
categories to shortlist the top 10 per category.

The extensive testing process pitted the gadgets
against their category rivals, and factors like performance, market impact,
price, and certain component specific performance figures helped us reach
the top 10 per category.

Every category had a pre-defined test base/test set-up,
and all products in that category were tested according to that. This
ensured a level playing field for all the products involved.

Once this was done, the test reports for all the 130
products were compiled, and handed over to Ernst & Young to audit, and
present at the jury meet. The jury made the final decisions from among the
top 10 in each category.

The ICT Categories’ award winners

CyberMedia chief editor Prasanto K Roy announces the jury’s
choice for Gadget of the Year, as fellow jury members (from left) Ashish Bhatia,
Kishore Bhargava, Gul Panag, and Atul Chitnis, applaud the winners:

Reliance and Tata, for their 3G modems-”Broadband on the Move”

Best Computing Device

Dell Inspiron Zino:
The compact design is a delight: the
colorful little box looks like no desktop computer we’ve seen (the package ships
with three cover colors). For under Rs 17k, you get a big-brand desktop with LCD
monitor, keyboard and mouse. Basic specs (Atom N230, 1GB, 160GB, XP) and performance, but a smart addition to your living room.

Best CE Device:

Western Digital Live:
A smart and flexible media player
that upscales videos to full-HD, playing from an HDD or via the home network, so
that you can fully enjoy your HDTV. Plays most video formats (as well as DTS
audio), and has most controls on the remote. Uses proprietary cables, but overall very capable and worth the Rs 10k price.

Gadget Eye Candy

Dell Adamo XPS:
This is what slim means-under 10 mm, for a
13-inch laptop. Unbelievable. And a design like no other, with neat touches like
a heat-sensor-strip which opens the lid. Intel Core2Duo ULV 1.4GHz processor,
4GB memory, and overall decent specs and performance…but weighed down somewhat
by the unpractical, just-over-two-hours battery life, and the very stiff

Best Computer Peripheral

Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD Webcam:
Webcams are synonymous
with jerky, grainy, poor images. Not this one: the first true 720p high-def
webcam we’ve come across, and the first step to bringing decent videoconference
quality to the home, at a nice price. It’s 16:9 widescreen, autofocus, and the
build quality is great–the aluminum chassis makes it feel solid and gives it a
classy look.

Smartphone of the Year

Motorola Milestone:
Motorola’s comeback attempt, and a
solid effort it is. Absolutely latest Android version, full QWERTY keyboard (and really slim, despite it), touchscreen, great interface and even live wallpaper. The camera is average, and the price is stiff: but overall, a
great package that’s brought  the Indian mobile market’s nearly-forgotten
Motorola back with a bang.

Budget Phone of the Year

Samsung Corby S-3653:
This is one for the young (or young
at heart): bright colors, touchscreen with cool widgets and Samsung’s TouchWiz interface and a small, neat design. At under Rs 8k, this is
one of the first to integrate social networking apps (widgets) at this
pricepoint. There’s lots of java apps and games available. Nice package, though
no 3G or wi-fi.

Best Mobile App

Opera Mini 5:
This is the big O of the mobile world. A
browser that’s a joy to use on any phone, keypad or touchscreen. Now with tabbed
browsing, password management, download manager and a “speed dial” homepage that
shows favorite sites as thumbnails. It even compresses traffic up to 90%. And
did we mention that it’s free?

Gadget of the Year

Broadband on the Move:
2009 saw the arrival of true mobile broadband with Reliance launching the Netconnect  Broadband+ and Tata launching the Photon+ data cards. With
speeds of up to 3.1Mbps offered on laptops connected to the 3G data cards,
staying connected on the move became easier, and affordable. For the first time,
we’re not suffering from India’s poor wi-fi infrastructure. Yes, the jury felt
that this bit of tech would have the maximum impact on tech usage in India, this

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