Belkin’s N1 router looks gorgeous, and the company has put a lot of thought into making it easy for greenhorns to build a home network, but the N1 was the slowest in this field and it delivered very poor range.
You can never have too much speed or too much storage, and the Linksys WRT350N makes it easy to have both. This router took first place while running in 802.11n-only mode and second place while running in mixed 802.11b/g/n mode. And its Storage Link feature enables you to plug in any USB storage device to add NAS functionality—the only router in this roundup to offer such a feature.
We’ve long admired Microsoft’s Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000; its combination of a downward tilting typing surface and a split layout is the perfect salve for our aching wrists. But we aren’t as fond of the Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, which is unfortunate, as the devices are paired in one bundle for the weak-wristed.
We weren’t surprised that the “U” in Yamaha’s NX-U10 portable speaker system stands for “USB,” but we were taken aback to discover that these tiny speakers can tap a USB port for power as well as digital audio.
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We find ourselves as unimpressed with Anthony Gallo’s A’Diva Ti satellite speakers as we are bowled over by the performance of the company’s TR-2 subwoofer. Since you can buy one without the other, we’ve decided to base our verdict on the subwoofer alone.
Studio-monitor manufacturers are increasingly crossing over into the consumer speaker market, giving consumer-oriented brands like Altec Lansing, Bose, Creative Labs, and Logitech a run for their money. Blue Sky International is one of the latest to jump into this segment with its EXO 2.1 system.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Grin, the developer of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, took this adage to heart after the original GRAW’s abysmally poor squad AI and mediocre missions failed to woo PC gamers. Thankfully, the developer’s efforts are clearly noticeable in the sequel, which impresses with both its improved AI pathfinding and new tactically sound team controls.