Home-entertainment technology has lent new meaning to the phrase ‘home box office,’ but can any of the new on-demand Internet movie services really deliver the big-screen experience? We examine the top eight options to find out .
We’ve tested a lot of earbuds over the past few years and invariably
find ourselves gravitating toward products at the very high end of that
market—we’re talking buds that’ll set you back more than the most
expensive iPod. At $200, Future Sonics’s Atrio m8 earbuds certainly
aren’t cheap—but they’re competitive with some products that cost twice
With the price of oil surpassing $100 a barrel, the apocalypse imagined
in Frontlines: Fuel of War may not be so far away. In this vision of
the future, the world’s remaining superpowers—split between two
factions—clash in a winner-take-all war for Earth’s last oil reserves.
Lucky for us, this makes a great backdrop for some intense multiplayer
ViewSonic’s VLED221wm 22-inch LCD is the first LED-backlit display to grace our Lab, and we were anxious to put the technology to the test. LCD monitors typically sport cold cathode fluorescent backlighting, which can be less than uniform, and because it’s always on in the background, it can impair a screen’s ability to produce a true black. With LEDs, the screen is backlit with a grid of lights that can be turned on and off as needed. Sure enough, the 1680x1050 VLED221wm was capable of a black that exceeded that of any other LCD we’ve tested—but the result was actually overkill.
If you think deploying a subwoofer is a prerequisite to obtaining big-time bass, you haven’t heard Audioengine’s A5 speakers. And if you’re convinced you need huge cabinets for thumping bass, you haven’t heard the company’s new diminutive A2 system.
Performance scores are one thing, but we’re equally impressed by Samsung’s technical accomplishment in achieving the highest areal density to date on its new series of Spinpoint F1 drives. And at the top of the heap sits the HD103UJ, the company’s long-awaited drive that reaches an areal density of an astonishing 334GB per platter.
One of the most obvious differences between an external optical drive and its internal brethren is in appearance. A device that’s going to sit out in the open for anyone to see, after all, has to look the part. Lite-On’s latest EZ-Dub optical drive accomplishes this with a fashionable white and black aesthetic that would surely do Apple proud. It’s an update from the more staid look of the previous EZ-Dub model, which was also nearly two inches longer and a half-inch taller. As with the older model, this EZ-Dub comes with a stand, so you can set the drive on its side to save desktop space.
Can you get Ferrari performance for the price of a Camaro? That’s the
question we asked when we uncrated Falcon Northwest’s small formfactor
FragBox II. Falcon, the recognized father of the modern gaming PC's,
normally throws us lustworthy $9,000 gaming rigs. At $1,500, the
FragBox II is no such home wrecker.