2007

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Quake Wars: Enemy Territory

When we think of Quake games, we think of fast-paced deathmatches in
their purest no-nonsense form. In Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, the
latest iteration of the shooter franchise, that visceral run-and-gun
experience still makes up the foundation of gameplay, but the
integration of deep teamplay tactics and mission objectives makes this
a whole new multiplayer animal. The meld of cooperative squadplay and
frenzied firefighting makes for compelling matches, but both deathmatch
and tactical purists may find themselves in slightly unfamiliar
territory.

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The Orange Box

Finishing The Orange Box left us in a state of shock. It wasn’t
Half-Life 2: Episode 2’s requisite cliffhanger ending that floored us;
rather, it was the realization that Episode 2 is the low point of the
entire Orange Box package. Portal and Team Fortress 2 completely
eclipse what Valve bills as the “centerpiece” of the bundle.

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KRK VXT 4 Bi-Amplified Studio Monitors

The primary benefit of near-field studio monitors like KRK’s VXT 4s is that they don’t interact with the room. And that’s exactly what you need if you’re mixing down tracks in a sonically challenged environment such as a home recording studio, which probably doubles as your bedroom, living room, or garage.

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Creative Aurvana X-Fi Headphones

We’ve never liked headphones that use active noise cancellation because they simply mask environmental noise by generating background hiss. But Creative’s Aurvana X-Fi headphones are almost good enough to win us over.

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B&W Zeppelin iPod Speaker Dock

For many, the initials B&W will conjure images of Ansel Adams photographs and Hollywood classics; the thoughts of audiophiles, however, will turn fondly to the legendary speakers of Bowers & Wilkins. The idea of B&W turning its thoughts to the iPod will blanch the cheeks of many a blue blood, but we’re damn happy the Zeppelin has landed.

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Archos 605 WiFi

The Archos 604 has been one of our favorite digital media players since its introduction late last year. Our opinion of the new Archos 605 WiFi—which adds a high-resolution touch screen and wireless networking capabilities—isn’t as lofty.

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Zalman Reserator XT

Zalman is no stranger to gigantic external liquid-cooling devices. We’ve become so accustomed to seeing its huge, tower-like Reserator coolers that we nearly choked when the 15-pound Reserator XT arrived in our Lab. For starters, it’s not a large, awkward-to-carry cylindrical column. The rectangular apparatus is comparably compact and sleek, more akin to a subwoofer than a home-theater speaker. 

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Kingwin Revolution RVT-9225

It’s hard to find much innovation in the exciting world of air cooling. At some point, cooling potential is defined by a simple equation of heat pipes, fan speeds, and block materials—increase the efficiency of any of the above, and you’ll see lower temperatures.

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