Logitech’s Z-5500 5.1-channel speaker system was legendary for its beefy amp and beastly subwoofer, its plethora of optical and digital input options, and its ability to decode popular surround-sound codecs. The 5.1-channel Z906 speaker system taking its place at the top of Logitech’s audio lineup is every bit its equal.
What you do alone in your man cave is your business. If you want to put on a pair of 3D glasses and practice the Na’vi language, more power to you. Sony’s F Series Vaio 3D can make that dream a reality in style, but it lacks the graphics power to deliver first-class stereoscopic 3D gaming.
In the previous how-to, we discussed multiple monitors as a great tool for increased efficiency. However, sometimes multiple displays just don’t work in a certain environment. Fortunately, there’s still a way to get some of the efficiency benefits of having multiple desktops without needing two displays: virtual desktops.
We’re not living so close to the cutting edge here at Maximum PC that we can’t see the utility of a no-frills, budget portable that’s capable of performing all the common day-to-day computing tasks. Whether it serves as a secondary machine for work on-the-go or as a primary PC for a school-age kid, we get it. It’s the same need that netbooks were meant to fulfill, if only they hadn’t fallen short of the mark. What netbooks taught us is that today’s common computing tasks—which include things like gaming and high-def video playback—require more power than an Atom processor and integrated graphics can muster.
“Incredible.” “Horrendous.” “Wow. I can’t believe that just happened!” “Ugh, I can’t believe that just happened.” “Geralt, you cheeky bastard.” “Geralt, you worthless bastard.” These are all things we said while playing The Witcher 2. It’s an incredibly hot-and-cold game, to be sure. One moment it might wow you with brilliant writing, or a choice that makes BioWare’s fantasy behemoth Dragon Age look utterly toothless. The next it’ll have you spitting flames over frustrating, repetitive combat, and design decisions that simply boggle the mind. Ignore all that, though, because here’s what really counts: We couldn’t put it down.
There are so many places where the law doesn’t get the net, but few are as extreme as the Streisand Effect. Named for the singer/actress, it’s really about how the net responds to censorship. It is insufficient to say the net routes around censorship. The net wedgies censorship and hangs it on the school fence.
For the record, the Maximum PC Lab keeps both feet planted squarely in the present tense. We don’t believe anyone should buy hardware based solely on its future potential. So what then to make of RIM’s nascent and decidedly half-baked Blackberry Playbook? Unless you’re 1) a Blackberry owner, 2) don’t care about apps or games, or 3) a devoted BB fanboy, the answer is: not much.
A laptop is a lot of things—it’s a mobile entertainment center, a portal to the web, and a way to get work done away from home. More than anything, though, it’s a freakin’-expensive piece of hardware that you absolutely do not want to lose.
Of course, the best way to keep your laptop is to not get it stolen in the first place. But if you do, you can be prepared to try and track it down.
Acer’s HN274H is remarkable. Not only is this 27-inch display the first to incorporate the 3D Vision IR emitter into the display itself, but it also has HDMI 1.4a—so it’s capable of being used with a Blu-ray deck or PlayStation 3—and a WLED backlight. Exciting stuff, but it doesn’t do much good if the display is a disappointment in 2D. Fortunately, in that regard the HN274H was stellar.