January 2006

Olive Musica Wireless Music System

We’re of three minds when it comes to the Olive Musica streaming box. The audiophile in us says, “We’ll pay any price for a streaming box that sounds this fabulous.” The skinflint in us says, “Why pay for features our PCs already have?” And the geek in us says, “That’s cool!”The Musica has several characteristics in common with our 2005 “Gear of the Year” pick, the Sonos Digital Music System.

Palm TX

Palm’s hard drive-based LifeDrive was, apparently, as much fun and games as the company could take for a while, so it’s back to business with the Palm TX, a sleek upgrade of the Tungsten T5.

Silverstone Sugo SG-01

From the Antec Aria to the Aspire X-QPack, medium formfactor enclosures have always had one fatal flaw: You can pack ‘em with a ton of hardware, but not a standard ATX 12V PSU.

Silverstone’s Sugo SG-01 addresses that problem by letting you use just about any standard PSU you want.

Logitech Z-5450 Digital

The most common problem with setting up a surround-sound speaker system is that you have to string cables across the floor to the surround channels.

Thermaltake Symphony External Water Cooler

Just when we thought external radiators for water-cooling kits couldn’t get any more outlandish, along comes the freakishly large Thermaltake Symphony.

S1Digital Media Center

S1Digital’s sexy-looking Media Center Platinum Edition—which is available, for the record, in either black or silver—will look right at home next to your home-entertainment gear.

Cooler Master CM Stacker 830

The original CM Stacker was so audacious that we wondered what Cooler Master would do to one-up it: Now we know.

Death in the Rabbit Warrens

By Thomas McDonaldFEAR is a perfect example of diminishing returns. The latest shooter from Monolith begins like gangbusters, offering a heady fusion of Japanese-style horror and straight-up American run-n-gun gameplay.

Wireless Power

By Tom R. HalfhillThanks to technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular telephony, more networks and consumer electronics are going wireless.

The Real Reason DRM Sucks

By Will SmithAs my wife, friends, and coworkers can attest,
I really don’t like digital-rights management technology.