2007

Ed Word: Do Not Chase Waterfalls

Read about what's next, but don't get hung up on always having the fastest and the best.

Watch Dog: Holiday 2007

Our consumer advocate investigates the definition of "HD", DriveCleaner drive-bys, and a NAS drive recall

Game Theory: Hangin' out at the Quad Core

Tom McDonald tries out a top-of-the-line quad-core gaming laptop and discovers true happiness.

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HTC Mogul

To the surprise of some, companies continue to make handsets even after the Jobsian conception of the Jesus Phone, or, as it’s more commonly known to PC users, the iPhone. Rather than proving itself to be the phone of phones (see review here), it is clear that we remain in a polytelephonic universe in which a number of devices, including HTC’s Mogul, show themselves to be worthy mobile handset options.

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Swiftech H2O-120

A lot of the enclosed “for newbs” water-cooling kits we see at Maximum PC are pretty lame. You get a pump/heatsink combination that’s mildly irritating to install, connected by tubing that’s slightly wider than the veins in your arm. The tubing goes to a radiator that’s often unable to handle the heat output of the processor—even with a noisy 12cm fan pushing more air through it than a jet engine. You spend half an hour installing the device for a whopping cooling difference of three degrees versus what you get from a stock air cooler.

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Apple iPhone

Hey did you hear? Apple came out with a mobile phone. Of course you heard—the only way you could’ve avoided the iPhone hype machine was to move to Antarctica, shut yourself in an igloo, and avoid all contact with other humans. But in case you’ve just crept out of your ice house, the iPhone is Apple’s new gadget that combines a mobile phone, iPod, and Internet access into one handy bundle that fits in your pocket.

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Data Drive Thru Tornado

We’ve seen various USB transfer devices over the years, and for the most part they’ve been clunky and sloooow. Not so with Data Drive Thru’s Tornado, which blew into our Lab and impressed the hell out of us. Essentially a coiled, flat USB 2.0 cable that retracts into a plastic housing, the Tornado works by plugging into the Hi-Speed USB ports of two PCs running a newer Windows OS (Millennium, 2000, XP, or Vista). A basic file-transfer application executes from a bit of flash memory in the device, which allows you to simply drag and drop files between the two rigs. Similar cables from other companies force you to install software to transfer files.

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Olympus Stylus 780

Olympus’s Stylus 780 packs a 7.1 megapixel sensor, a 5x optical zoom, a crisp 2.5-inch LCD, and face-detection technology into a weatherproof camera body that is slightly larger but more stylish than the Sony DSC-W80’s.

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Sony Cyber-shot DCS W80

Sony’s 7.2 megapixel DSC-W80 boots quickly, and its 3x zoom lens focuses with minimal shutter delay. Plus, this cam includes a traditional, if tiny, optical viewfinder!

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Rocketfish USB Gaming Headset

The gap between cheap and inexpensive widens to a yawning chasm when you’re talking audio gear, which is why we’re so pleasantly surprised with the Rocketfish gaming headset. We didn’t realize this was a Best Buy private-label product until after we’d given it a listen, but we’re glad we didn’t dismiss it out of hand.

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