According to Consumer Reports, these are the year's top 10 electronics:
1. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
The 10-inch Galaxy Note adds capabilities that no other tablet, not even the Apple iPad, currently offers. The magazine called the tablet an excellent performer overall.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 nearly matches the superb battery life of the iPad and has a memory-card slot not found on Apple's tablet.
2. Nikon Coolpix S800c
Consumer Reports calls the S800c the world's smartest camera. This 16-megapixel, Wi-Fi-enabled point-and-shoot camera is the first that they've seen that runs Google's Android operating system and the apps that go with it.
The apps enable users to edit an image, quickly and easily post it to Facebook and create a slideshow with music. The magazine notes that their tests weren't fully completed by press time, but said the S800c looks promising overall.
3. Vizio CinemaWIDE XVT3D
This ultrawide TV is aimed at movie buffs who want to see films on a 21:9 display that mimics the shape of a movie-theater screen. This means most wide-format movies will fit on the screen without the black bars you see on other TVs.
It comes with a great HD picture, good (but not the best) 3D performance and extras such as 3D glasses and a Bluetooth remote with a keyboard. At 58 inches, it's plenty big, too.
4. Apple iPhone 5
The magazine called Apple's latest phone the best one yet because it builds on its predecessors' strengths and adds new features, putting it head and shoulders above previous iPhones.
The phone has a bigger, sharper screen, a thinner profile, 4G access, and an expanded role for Siri, the super voice assistant. Also, it's the best phone camera Consumer Reports' testers have seen yet.
5. Samsung Galaxy S III
Not to be outdone by Apple, this Android phone has a bigger screen than the iPhone 5 and features you can't get on Apple's darling. You can watch a video while doing other tasks on the desktop, and the screen won't time out when you're looking at it.
Consumer Reports said ingenious gesture- and sensor-based tools are great for social networking.
6. Panasonic Viera TC-P55VT50
The magazine admits this 55-inch Plasma TV is pricey, but it's one of the best TVs they've ever tested. Deep, rich blacks and spot-on colors contribute to the superb picture quality, and it has an unlimited viewing angle, plus very good 3D performance and sound.
This Panasonic is loaded with state-of-the-art features, including a full Web browser, built-in Wi-Fi, and an extra touchpad remote, which make it easier to surf the Web and stream online video.
7. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch
Consumer Reports said Amazon's top-of-the-line 7-inch tablet is one of the best for the price. They did, however, mention that the Barnes & Noble Nook tablets promise stiff competition, as well as the iPad mini. Testers believe videos look great on the HD display, and the screen is readable even in bright light.
The magazine concludes the Fire is a great choice for Amazon fans—especially for subscribers to Amazon Prime ($80 a year), which offers access to free Kindle Book loans and streaming movies and TV shows.
8. Sony Cyber-shot RX100
This camera is lightweight and loaded with features. It's a 20-megapixel point-and-shoot that weighs about 9 ounces. Consumer Reports said the camera has a large sensor and high-quality lens, it took exceptional photos in their initial tests and packs features normally found only on bulkier, pricier rivals.
It deftly combines a nice selection of buttons and dials with a sophisticated menu system that won't overwhelm you.
9. Samsung HT-E6730W
A bit of old and new works well with this 7.1-channel system. It features old-school vacuum tubes with digital amps to produce excellent sound, which is rare in the magazine's tests of home- theater-in-a-box systems.
It comes with a 3D-capable Blu-ray player, wireless amplifiers for the rear surround speakers, Wi-Fi, an iPod dock, and Samsung's Smart TV platform. That includes a full Web browser, apps market, and Blockbuster, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Pandora apps.
10. Sonos Play:3
Compact stereo systems are a dime a dozen, but Consumer Reports said this one is a great, easy way to enjoy music throughout the house. If you pair it with the Sonos Bridge adapter you can wirelessly access streaming Internet radio stations and music from a computer that's on your Wi-Fi network.
With one speaker, you'll get very good sound quality. If you set up two in one room as a two-speaker pair you'll get excellent sound that rivals what testers have heard from any home-theater system.