Hardware

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iZ3D 22-inch 3D LCD

Over the years, 3D displays have periodically surfaced, but none has taken hold. The public just hasn’t had the stomach for them. Cost has been one factor, but also, the stereoscopic imagery used to create a 3D effect tends to cause dizziness and nausea in users after even short periods. Nevertheless, vendors keep plugging away at the concept, hoping to capitalize on the growing number of games and movies produced in 3D.

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LG GGC-H20L

So your DVD burner is getting a little long in the tooth and you’re ready for an upgrade, but you’re not all that keen on adopting next-gen tech. And who can blame you? Even the falling price of hardware doesn’t make up for the relatively slow burn times, costly media, and compatibility issues that plague Blu-ray burners (and the same would be true of HD DVD burners if you could even find them!). Trouble is, you’ve got a brand-new 27-inch LCD that’s just begging to display high-def movies. What’s a consumer to do? Well, you could buy a combo drive—one that lets you read next-gen discs and write data to fast, friendly CD and DVD, like the two models we review this month.

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Seagate Momentus 7000.2

Seagate wasn’t the first to the 7,200rpm mark, but that hasn’t stopped it from making the fastest hard drive around. The Momentus 7200.2 has a well-deserved reputation as the notebook hard-drive performance king. What you give up in space, you gain in speed—the Momentus easily eclipses the ginormous Western Digital Scorpio in read speed, access time, and all around zippiness. (Seagate has announced but not shipped a 200GB version of this drive.)

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Western Digital WD2500BEVS Scorpio

Western Digital has pulled off a significant coup with its 250GB Scorpio notebook hard drive; the device is the current capacity champion. (Fujitsu has also announced a 250GB drive but has not shipped it yet.) Packing 250GB into two platters, the areal density of the Scorpio easily outstrips that of the other hard drive reviewed here—Seagate’s two-platter 160GB Momentus drive.

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Toshiba Portege R500

When we first laid eyes on Toshiba’s latest ultraportable, we were in awe of its crazy-thin, crazy-light profile. In the past, such notebooks sacrificed performance to fit into such tiny shells. To combat this performance sag, Toshiba paired its machine with Intel’s new ultra-low-voltage Core 2 Duo.

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Mtron MSD-S25032

An early 16GB SATA solid-state drive from Mtron wowed us, but that was just the beginning. The company’s 32GB version of the drive slays all other contenders for the speed crown.

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