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Samsung Q1 Ultra

Microsoft created a ton of fuss with the launch of a version of Windows tuned for palmtops and other keyboardless PCs. But the devices that utilized it—code-named Origami—couldn’t live up to the prelaunch hype. The initial Windows XP–powered Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPCs) suffered from a tacked-on user interface, goofy or unusable input mechanisms, poor performance, and an absurdly high price. Although Samsung’s second-gen Q1 Ultra fixes some of these problems, many others remain.

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Intermatic Home Settings Lighting Control Starter Kit

If you’re considering automating your home, lighting is the best place to start. But if you’re afraid that handling bare electrical wires will leave you with an Einsteinian hairdo, pick up Intermatic’s Home Settings Starter Kit.

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Shure SE530PTH Earphones

For the price of one set of Shure’s SE530PTH earphones, you could buy two 30GB iPods, 17 sets of Apple earbuds, or 500 encrypted songs from iTunes. A worthy investment or Marie Antoinette­–style consumption?

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Flip Video 1GB

It seems that most people would want to use a high-def video recorder to document their growing families or Star Wars action-figure collections, but can a case be made for purchasing a low-res camera? At 640x480, the Flip Video’s resolution isn’t VideoCD low, but you won’t stun your family when you proudly display your movies on a 60-inch, 1080p set.

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OWC Mercury On-the-Go External Drive

There are three schools of thought concerning external storage solutions: build an oversized bookend that rocks out with huge amounts of storage, sculpt a supremely portable device that you’d actually want to carry around, or just make a plain-vanilla enclosure. OWC’s Mercury On-the-Go drive is a surprise contender in the second category, as it’s a delightful combination of portability and speed.

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AeroCool PowerWatch

At first glance, AeroCool’s PowerWatch front-panel display looks like every computer enthusiast’s worst nightmare. Admittedly, the display itself is pleasing to the eye, but the back of the device looks like two octopi trying to leg wrestle. It’s a tangled mess of cords, cables, connectors, and prongs that’s sure to bring ruination to anyone’s wire-hidden case.

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Hammer Storage Myshare

When we first got the Myshare into the Lab, we were a bit taken aback by its simplicity. There’s no fancy software to accompany the 500GB device; it’s actually two 250GB drives striped using RAID 0. If you want to access the Myshare, you have to go through Windows Explorer, just as you would with any other network drive.

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Western Digital My Book World Edition II

We fondly recall reviewing this unit’s connected brother in arms, the My Book Pro Edition II (March 2007). The products are virtually identical, featuring two 500GB hard drives locked in a RAID 0 configuration that gives you one honkin’ terabyte of space. The difference, of course, is that you access the World Edition II through an Ethernet cable instead of a FireWire or USB connection.

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