T3 has announced that the final shortlist for the fourth annual T3 Gadget Awards has been finalised, following an 'unprecedented' number of reader votes.

More than quarter of a million votes have been cast already, with contributions from a team of gadget experts including Sky News' Martin Stanford, MSN's Nik Taylor, Claudine Beaumont from the Telegraph and TechRadar's own Patrick Goss.

There are a whopping 18 T3 awards up for grabs, with categories including Brand of the Year, the T3 Design award and App of the Year.

Record breakers

"We've seen a record breaking number of votes cast this year with over 250,000 in the longlist stage alone," T3's online editor Kieran Alger told TechRadar.

"I think it goes to show just how gadgets and consumer tech are increasingly reaching the mainstream with more and more people having strong views on what's the best kit for their needs.

"Aside from the annual tussle between the PS3 and the Xbox in the gaming category, the big news for me is all about the iPhone 4.

"We've seen big support from the T3 readers and judges which earnt it a wildcard place in a number of categories at the expense of the iPhone 3GS.

"But it's going to be interesting to see if a handset hit by such documented woes is worthy of winning a category like Gadget of the Year.

"It's up against some strong contenders like the HTC Desire, Samsung's ultra slick 9000 series TV and Apple's iPad."

Fierce competition

T3 Editor Luke Peters believes that the competition this year is more firece than ever:

"With Sony's PlayStation 3 going up against Microsoft's new Xbox, this Christmas is going to be more important than ever to the games industry," he said.

"Apple has already wowed us all this year with the iPad, but there are a host of other equally impressive new innovations and companies in this year's awards shortlist.

"It will be interesting to see who picks up the Retailer of the Year award, with a real focus this year on bigger online stores such as Amazon and Play.com."

You can find out more about the expert judges and cast your votes over at T3.com/awards, with winners to be announced at the ceremony on 11 October at Old Billingsgate, London.

We should also point out, because we are more open than the default Facebook settings, that TechRadar and T3 are both part of Future Publishing. In fact, they sit about 20 yards away.