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Tech's top favorites and forgettables of 2011

Tech gadgets seem to come and go incredibly fast.

But CNET has a list of the favorites and forgettables of 2011 - the items that made it big, had the most influence, and the ones that either flopped or didn't live up to their hype.

And on "The Early Show" Tuesday, CNET Senior Editor Bridget Carey offered a look at the ones at both extremes:


iPHONE 4S: After the eager anticipation of the new iPhone, iPhone 4S brought us voice activation Siri. iPhone 4S is the ultimate comeback kid. Despite showing up four months later than expected and in the wake of endless iPhone 5 rumors, the iPhone 4S continues to outsell any other phone in the U.S. We love this phone -- the point-and-shoot-killing camera, and the iPhone 4S' voice-activated digital assistant, Siri, is a breakout cultural phenomenon.

AMAZON KINDLE 2011: We debated whether to include yet another Kindle in this coveted list of winners. But here's the thing about the ad-supported $79 Kindle: Black-and-white though this entry-level e-reader may be, the Kindle wins by dint of its rock-bottom price and the fact that its subtle ads -- mostly in the form of Amazon deals -- are so targeted that they're actually useful in and of themselves. Yep. There, we said it: We actually like these ads.

ROKU LT Box: You've probably seen ads for the little, purple Roku LT box this holiday season. From looking at the Roku, you'd never guess that this tiny device -- not much bigger than a stack of two iPhones -- is one of CNET's very favorite things. It costs a mere $49 and will change the way you watch TV (unless you're one of the few who already own a streaming television). The Roku LT (and its more expensive brethren) stream Netfix.


MOTOROLA XOOM: From the golden child of CES 2011 to steeply discounted for holiday sales, the Motorola Xoom's hype peaked before the product was even released, demonstrating the difficulty some Android tablets are having in distinguishing themselves from the pack.

NINTENDO 3DS: To be fair, the Nintendo 3DS is a good product with some impressive technology and a handful of interesting games and features. But the lack of killer apps and the public's cooling interest in 3D in general led to a quick price cut.

BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE PASS: Netflix may have shot itself in the foot with Qwickster, but at least we're still talking about them. The Blockbuster Movie Pass, available only to Dish Network subscribers, generated little more than a collective yawn.