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Worst Tech Products of the Year (So Far)

With July just beginning we’ve reached the midway point of 2010 (yes, already), which makes it a good time to take a step back and look at the gear that didn’t make the grade. Perhaps that’s putting it too lightly. This is the stuff that really stunk, the mobile tech we wouldn’t recommend to an enemy. So without further ado...

Flip SlideHD

Flip SlideHD

How could something that takes great-looking high-def footage get such a poor rating? Easy. The Slide HD has a bulky design and confusing interface that involves both a touchscreen and a touch strip beneath the display, which does things a touchscreen should do. This from a company that has built its reputation on easy-to-use products. Add in a sky-high price of $279 and you have a clunker of a camcorder.

Archos 9 PCTablet

Archos 9 PCTablet

It’s a pretty rare product that earns a mere 1.5-star rating at LAPTOP, but Archos achieved that very feat in March with its Archos 9 PCTablet. Sure, it had a thin design and built-in kickstand for watching videos, but its unresponsive touchscreen, crappy virtual keyboard, sluggish performance, and scorching 122-degree temps doomed this Windows 7 Starter slate.

Microsoft Kin

Microsoft Kin

During the Kin launch Microsoft told us that its new dumb phone for hipsters was three years in the making. So how did the company forget to include apps? Or games? It also didn’t help that Verizon Wireless forced its smart phone data plan on customers to cover the cost of all those photo and video uploads. The good news: the Kin family won’t be around much longer. Microsoft just killed the product after six short weeks on the market.

JooJoo

JooJoo

You know you have a bad product when the company is too afraid to send it to us. The JooJoo tablet endured harsh criticism during the first round of reviews for its awful battery life, confusing interface, and choppy Flash video playback. Then the company behind this 12-inch barrel of fail never got around to shipping out our evaluation sample. We wonder why.

iBuyPower Battalion Touch CZ-10

iBuyPower Battalion Touch CZ-10

Quick, name five touch-friendly Windows 7 games. You can’t? Neither can we. Which is part of the reason why we panned the Battalion Touch CZ-10. It’s low-res 15.6-inch touchscreen screamed “gimmick!” And then during testing the laptop’s aluminum logo literally cut us, though the company has since switched to a different treatment. Even with that fix, a chintzy keyboard and other flaws make this one notebook we’d like to forget.

Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.