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Time magazine names iPhone 5 top gadget of the year

It's time for end-of-year lists, and Time magazine has weighed in with its top 10 gadgets of the year. The iPhone 5 tops the list, with the magazine especially appreciating the way that Apple fusses over the tiny little details: "Apple may be responsible for more than its share of the tech industry’s great leaps forward, but it’s at least as good at fussing over the tiny little details other companies ignore. The iPhone 5, which starts at $199 with a two-year contract, is one of the most artfully polished gadgets anyone’s ever built, with a taller screen than previous iPhones built into a thinner, lighter case. The camera, with a particularly well-done panorama mode, is another highlight. There are lots of nifty smartphones out there, including the iPhone’s impressive archrival, Samsung’s Galaxy S III. But when it comes to melding hardware, software and services so tightly that the seams fade away, Apple still has no peer."

I couldn't have said it better myself. It's the little details that make Apple products such a pleasure to use. The honor is well deserved. The only other phone to make the list of top gadgets is the Samsung Galaxy Note II, with its 5.5-inch display. That's almost tablet size. And the only other Apple product to make the top-10 list is Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro with retina display.

Here's the whole list:

1. iPhone 5
2. Nintendo Wii U
3. Sony Cyber-shot RX100
4. Raspberry Pi Model B
5. Lytro
6. Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display
7. Microsoft Surface with Windows RT
8. Samsung Galaxy Note II
9. Nest
10. Simple.TV

You can click through Time's list of top-10 gadgets here, starting with the iPhone 5 and (confusingly) clicking the left arrow. Or you can start here, and click the right arrow through the top 10 lists for gadgets, video games, and apps. Or you can start with Time's overview of their 55 Top Everything of 2012 lists.

Mashable points out that the only other iPhone to top Time's gadget list was the original iPhone in 2007. In 2010 the first-generation iPad topped the list, and in 2011, the iPad 2 came out on top. I guess they love Apple gadgets. It must annoy other device makers.

Topping the list of Best Apps of the Year is OnLive Desktop for iPad and Android tablets. It gives you a Microsoft Windows experience on your iPad: "The app launches you into your own personal Windows desktop, with access to fully-featured versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, all running in the cloud. The basic version is free and includes two gigabytes of storage; the $4.99-per-month 'Plus' plan adds priority access, a full desktop web browser, extra storage options and more."

If you're shopping for Christmas presents for yourself or others, Time's lists are definitely worth checking out.

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Jim Karpen's picture

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.