Hardware

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SilverStone DS351

We have 300 words to tell you about the wonders of SilverStone’s DS351 external hard drive enclosure, but we need just four syllables: me-di-o-cre. It’s not that the enclosure is overwhelmingly slow, broken, or impossible to manage, but the device dips its toe enough into each of each these categories to make for a less than stellar experience.

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LG Super Multi Blue GGW-H20LI

It’s no surprise that high-def optical drives are getting less expensive while their specs improve—that’s the trajectory of all emergent technologies—but we are still taken aback by the dramatic strides LG’s GGW-H20LI represents. Just a few months ago, in our September issue, we reviewed this drive’s predecessor, the GGW-H10NI, and not only is its follow-up better in every respect, it’s half the price!

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Planar PX2411W

It’s easy to be seduced by the sheer size of a 24-inch LCD screen—any display that big just looks like it means business. And there was a time when large LCD panels were almost exclusively high-performance parts. That’s no longer the case. As the 24-inch LCDs reviewed here demonstrate, large screens are just as varied and prone to flaws as their smaller counterparts.

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Westinghouse L2410NM

It’s easy to be seduced by the sheer size of a 24-inch LCD screen—any display that big just looks like it means business. And there was a time when large LCD panels were almost exclusively high-performance parts. That’s no longer the case. As the 24-inch LCDs reviewed here demonstrate, large screens are just as varied and prone to flaws as their smaller counterparts. 

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Western Digital Passport 250GB

Pink is our new obsession, and we have Western Digital to blame. Its pink, portable Passport hard drive (try saying that fast) is small enough to fit in Steven Tyler’s mouth, yet it comes with two of our most favorite features in the world: sweet speeds and snazzy backup software. And to top it off, you have to carry only a single USB cable alongside the little sweetheart, as there’s no accompanying power brick or annoying connector.

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Maxtor OneTouch 4

We were about to lead off this review with a Nelson Muntz-style “ha-ha” at Seagate, whose 750GB FreeAgent Pro has now fallen from the top of our external storage rankings thanks to Maxtor’s OneTouch 4. And then we remembered that Seagate now owns Maxtor. Whoops.

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Microsoft Zune 8GB

Microsoft, seeing the futility in polishing turds, went back to the drawing board to design the second rev of the Zune. (If only they’d do the same for Vista!) Fortunately for early adopters, many of the new features and desktop software will be made available for the first-gen Zune via a firmware update.

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Fabrik Simpletech Duo Pro

There’s not a lot to say about Fabrik’s Simpletech Duo Pro Drive. That’s not for any lack of remarkableness or underperformance on the part of the device itself. It’s just as plain-Jane as a storage unit can get.

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