December 2005

Gear of the Year!
It's lonley at the top, but that's offset by the fact that you're a winner and everyone else is a loser.

Puget Systems Custom PC

While not officially sanctioned by Intel for desktop use, the Pentium M processor has long been coveted by fans of quiet PCs and small form-factor boxes, for the very reasons the mobile CPU has excelled in the notebook arena: low power usage and minimal heat output.

Steel Sound 5H USB

Many a pro gamer or pro gamer wannabe wouldn’t be caught dead at a LAN party without a Steelpad mousepad.

Getac M220

There are two kinds of notebook geeks: the anal-retentive guy who keeps the plastic screen protector on his notebook at all times, and The Abuser.

Philips 256MB ShogBox

We blushed when we received the Philip’s ShogBox, a rather, um, suggestive name for a portable alarm clock with built-in speakers that plays MP3s.

Logitech G5

The original laser mouse—the wireless MX1000—is still one of our all-time favorite mice.

Apple Mighty Mouse

It’s shocking but true: Apple has finally shipped a two-button mouse. Unfortunately, the company’s first foray into bi-button rodentia can only be considered a flop.

Memina Pocket Rocket 4GB

We used to think a 1GB USB key was embarrassingly decadent, but in these 4GB times we wouldn’t even bother to pee on a 1-gigger if it were on fire.

BlueParrott B100

We know Bluetooth technology is capable of producing good audio, because the Toshiba Bluetooth headphones we reviewed in October sound great.

Lite-On SHW-1635S

Optical drives from Lite-On may not always tear up the competition in the benchmarks, but they come pretty damn close, and at prices that make its burners a shoo-in for frugal folk.