The GCN Lab picks the top 10 IT products of the year, plus one overall winner.
Everybody loves winners. And, truth be told, 2011 was a really good year for innovative products, which makes choosing the best of the best extremely difficult.
The current economic pinch meant every product bought by government had to be targeted with laser efficiency toward a specific requirement and be a good value as well. So our 10 best products are already winners. Each one was either picked as our “Product of the Month” or has earned a Reviewer’s Choice designation when tested this year. We've also picked an overall best product of the year that, even though it's struggling to be called a "winner' in terms of sales, delivers ideal technology for government users.
|Remote tents can morph into war rooms with rugged HTC display system |
The HDT Interactive Visual Display System takes a simple tent and turns it into a fully-rugged war room or command center. Perfect for the first responders or the military, the entire system was deployed outside our lab in under 30 minutes.
|Steelhead appliance can cut latency out of the cloud|
The Steelhead Appliance from Riverbed uses wide-area network optimization techniques to reduce or eliminate latency in the cloud. It can also work with non-cloud programs and reduce their unnecessary talking and wasted bandwidth.
Device spots, stops advanced malware before it can cripple a network
|A rich user's printer, a poor user's dream|
Many MFPs are cutting corners in an effort to race to the bottom-line price. That is why the black-and-white Canon imageClass MF4570dn is so refreshing. It offers extreme quality and speed, a low price, and many features only found on high-end units.
|Latest Dell Latitudes add sexiness to sensibility and performance|
The Dell Latitude E6420 is a powerhouse notebook, armed with an Intel Core i7 processor, a USB 3.0 port and a spectacular 14-inch LCD monitor. Despite being loaded with all the extras many feds want and need, the E6420 doesn’t skimp on reliability.
|TurboMeeting has everything you need for remote gatherings, in a small box|
Turbo Meeting 200 from RHUB comes in a network switch-sized, easy-to-set-up box, which involves plugging it in to the network and giving it an IP address through the admin interface. And the best part, you pay for it once, and then you are done.
|At last, a key drive the government can love |
The LOK-IT SDG003FM-4GB is a secure USB flash drive that just might have overcome all the hurdles to government acceptance. It won GCN over and nailed every concern the lab had with flash drives into the ground.
|Google Apps for gov a boon for teleworkers |
Google Apps for Government is chock full of organizational tools and provides a secure platform for all of your contributors to work on the same files. And setting it up is as easy as filling out any Web form.
|Taking agency videos to the expert level |
Corel's VideoStudio Pro X4 helps modest agencies make high-impact videos. It installs quickly, and the basic functionality is easy to learn. Pretty much anyone comfortable with a computer should be able to trim and combine clips.
|Find yourself in your data — before anyone else can|
Identity Finder DLP Endpoint is true to its name. It will hunt down the types of information you specify and let you know where it found them. The setup is extremely simple, and you can have a scan under way in a matter of minutes.
|A government tablet from the ground up|
The overall best product for government in 2011 — the best of the best — is the Research in Motion BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM listened to the needs of government users and created the PlayBook for them.