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Apple led the way in screen technology this year – the sizzling Retina screen of its iPad 2 and MacBook range offered something no other company could match, in the shape of images far sharper than any HD television. The Retina MacBooks showed that Apple was still a master of laptops – even in the ‘post-PC’ era that it announced itself – and included Apple’s new ultra-fast ‘Thunderbolt’ ports, a row of USBs, and a processor that makes mincemeat of video editing and other heavy-duty tasks.

The top ten gadgets of the year

Apple's grip on the world of technology loosened a little in 2012 - even as the company's earnings propelled it to new heights. Samsung's Galaxy S3 outsold iPhone in its native America, the first phone ever to do so, even if briefly, and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD offered similar performance to iPad Mini for around half the price. 'Ultra HD', fitness wristbands and 3D printers kept the world of technology interesting...