A handful of gadgets, gizmos and gear that saved us time and made our lives easier in 2010 received VIPs, for “very innovative products,” after hands-on testing by the white-coated folks at the magazine’s research institute.
The iPad topped the annual list of 10, but the wildly popular tablet was joined by a few less obvious choices: Coleman’s Instant Tent, Dyson’s bladeless fan, Method’s highly concentrated laundry detergent and the Goody Spin Pin, an inexpensive corkscrew bobby pin to secure updos with ease.
The researchers and engineers started with about 2,000 products that hit the market last year, from cell phones to anti-aging preparations. They actively tested about 60 for durability, performance and safety, sometimes relying on non-experts to weigh in on assembly and ease of use, said Rosemary Ellis, the magazine’s editor-in-chief.
“We really look carefully at everything that’s coming down the pike,” she said. “How truly innovative was it? Does it really solve a problem that hasn’t been solved before? That could be a huge problem or a niggling, smaller problem. They have to work as promised. We put them through the wringer.”