NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Consumer confidence is climbing and technology keeps improving, boosting sales of cell phones, cameras, laptops, TVs, MP3 players, DVD players and GPS devices.
To help you choose among the glut of gadgets on the market -- from updated versions of old favorites to all-new innovations -- here are this year's top consumer-electronics products as rated by
. Click through to find the best deals on the hottest items of 2010.
Panasonic (PC) Lumix DMC-FP8
, $270: Like most Panasonic cameras, this highly rated subcompact model has a great battery life. According to
, you could snap 380 photos with the Lumix DMC-FP8 before losing power -- well above the average of around 220 photos.
Other features on the FP8 include control buttons that light up -- helpful in low-light settings -- an output for HDTV and wide-angle capabilities that come in handy when shooting landscapes and group portraits.
LG enV Touch
, $100: The cell phone with the highest CR rating is LG's enV Touch model, which operates exclusively on the Verizon Wireless network. With an overall CR rating score of 74, the folding enV Touch stands out among the competition with a touch-screen display, QWERTY keyboard, available GPS, music player and nice quality camera and video recorder.
, $800-$875: This laptop received a CR rating of 68 because it combines excellent performance with great versatility compared to others in its class. With 4.75 hours of battery life, 256MB video memory and a 500GB hard disk, the Sony Vaio appeals to gamers.
Laptops: 15- to 16-inch
, $2,000: The 15-inch MacBook Pro is ranked the best laptop in
testing with an overall ratings score of 78. This model has an 8.5-hour battery life, a vivid color display on the wide screen and an illuminated keyboard. Like most Macs, it appeals to video and media editors, offering a built-in webcam, a Firewire 800 port, a digital audio output and a DisplayPort video output.
Toshiba REGZA 55ZV650U
, $1,500: The biggest and best LCD television is the Toshiba REGZA. This 55-inch LCD HDTV has 1920 x 1080 resolution.
awarded the television an overall score of 76, proclaiming its HD picture quality is "excellent." This big-screen model is the best deal out there, with two component-video inputs, four HDMI inputs and a cheaper price tag than some of the smaller, lower-rated LCD televisions.
, $1,929: This 58-inch plasma HDTV from Samsung was dubbed "excellent" in every category except for sound, beating out everything in its class with an overall CR rating of 82. Its annual energy cost is $81, but nothing can compare to this high-performing TV. It has 1920 x 1080 resolution, four component-video inputs and four HDMI inputs, and comes Internet-enabled.
Apple iPod Touch
, $400: Apple's latest iPod model stands out among all MP3 players in its class. With excellent audio quality and features like photo and video playback, equalizer and volume limiter (to protect hearing), it received an overall
rating of 70.
Anything but a simple music-playing device, this 64GB flash-memory MP3 player bears resemblence to Apple's popular
, with a sleek touch screen and Wi-Fi capability -- allowing you to download the thousands of useful and entertaining applications on the market.
Video: Apple Investors Hungry for More >>
, $250: The Garmin Nuvi 885T received a 76 out of 100 on the
ratings test. At around $250, this easy-to-use GPS has a wide 4.4-inch LCD screen and an excellent mount design.
Some notable features of the Nuvi 885T include Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, MP3 player, photo viewer, voice recognition and a trip computer. It can provide real-time traffic updates, and, with the available premium service, it can also give you information on weather, flight times, local events and gas prices.
, $100: The best DVD player on the market is the Pioneer DV-410V, which
awarded an overall score of 86. Besides the excellent picture quality when playing any DVD, it also has a USB port -- so it can play MP3, WMA, DivX and JPEG files stored on a removable flash drive.
-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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