Cambridge SoundWorks PlayDock Zen

Batteries or AC. Video-out or stereo line-in. We like options. And so we like the Cambridge Soundworks PlayDock Zen.  

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Microsoft Entertainment Desktop 7000

The problem with having a PC in your living room is simple. It’s the mouse. Mousing on the couch is a royal pain in the ass.

Resting your mouse hand on your leg, on a couch arm, or on one of your couch buddies just doesn’t work. That’s why we were excited to see that Microsoft’s new living-room keyboards ship with an integrated mousing surface. We just didn’t understand why the company also included a wireless mouse.

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Belkin Cable-Free USB Hub

When we heard about Belkin’s Cable-Free USB Hub, our first thought was, “Yes! Now we can move our iPod A/V dock next to our TV in the living room and still sync the player with iTunes on our PC in the den.” Ha! This device’s range is so poor it barely reaches across the room.

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TBI Audio Systems Majestic Diamond I Speakers

We love little speakers that deliver big sound--especially the new Majestic Diamond I from TBI Audio Systems

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Doghouse Electronics RoverTv Wide Screen

Doghouse Electronics’s RoverTv sits up and begs comparison to the Archos 604, which we named the best digital media player of 2006. But we found this dog just a bit mangy.

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Belkin SportCommand Wireless iPod Controller

This remote costs how much? The Belkin SportCommand is a solid way to interact with your iPod, provided you aren't stuck in a snow drift.

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Norco DS-500

If every other external enclosure we’ve reviewed has been a Chevy Nova, then Norco’s DS-500 external SATA storage, um, block is easily a Humvee. For this device not only performs solidly but also weighs as much as everyone’s favorite urban assault vehicle. And that’s before we stuffed five hard drives into it.

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Razer Barracuda AC-1

As we said with the Auzentech, we’re impressed when companies go above and beyond reference designs for products. Razer’s Barracuda AC-1 is such a product. Though it uses the same C-Media Oxygen HD chip as the X-Meridian, you wouldn’t think the two cards were related.

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Auzentech Auzen X-Meridian 7.1

Soundcards, like videocards, tend to have cookie-cutter designs; products that use the same chipsets look virtually the same.

That wasn’t the approach Auzentech took when it put down the traces for its Auzen X-Meridian 7.1 card. Auzentech says it carefully crafted a custom PCB and added components to get the best possible audio from the card, which is based on C-Media’s top-shelf CMI8788 Oxygen HD “audio processor.” We believe it, too. The board’s traces, layout, and components are vastly different than those of the Razer AC-1 soundcard, which also uses the CMI 8788 Oxygen HD chip.

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