Consumer Reports lists 'best products' of 2012

Published On: Oct 02 2012 05:44:05 PM EDT

Many of us spend time and effort agonizing over what products to buy, from vacuums to washing machines to wine.

That's why Consumer Reports does some of the research for you. It compares products and puts them through a series of test to help you get the most for your money.

For example: to test washers, they put a piece of fabric through the washer multiple times and then count by hand the number of threads exposed in the worn-down area.

Vacuums are hooked up to a mechanical guide and forced to suck up crumb after crumb and hair after hair. Food and drinks are put through a battery of taste tests.

As we near the end of 2012, the consumer magazine has released a list of 475 of the best categories. What most people don't realize, Mandy Walker, senior projects editor at Consumer Reports told NBC News by phone, is that you can "often get top quality products, from a brand name, at a good price."

Here's a sample of the list of those best products.

Best washer: LG Washer WM3470HVA, $1100
Best dryer: LG Dryer DLEX3470V, $1200
Best vacuum: ?Kenmore Intuition 31100, $250 bagless upright
Best TV: ?TV Samsung UN55ES8000, $2500
Best tablet: ?iPad 3 16 GB 3rd Generation $500 OR ?Google Nexus 7 16 GB $250
Best eReader: Barnes and Noble Nook Simple touch $100
Best SLR camera: ?Nikon D3200 $700
Best camera: Nikon Coolpix AW100 $300
Best GPS: ?Garmin Nuvi 2455LT $160
Best Mac laptop: Apple Mac Book Pro 15 inch $2200
Best PC laptop: ?HP Pavillion M6-1045DX $700
Best streaming player: ?Roku 2 Streaming Player $80
Best olive oil: 16 oz. Trader Joe's California Estate Olive Oil
Best red wine: ?Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon $10
Best white wine: ?Bogle Chardonnay, $10
Best coffeemaker: ?Krups Grinder & Brewer KM7000, $130

Check out more of the 475-plus Best Products of the Year over at Consumer Reports.