PNY Verto GeForce 7900 GS
Featuring Nvidia's latest midrange GPU, the $200 PNY Verto GeForce 7900 GS offers a strong bang for the buck compared to its ATI rival. We recommend it if you are looking to play 3D games on an LCD monitor, aren't too concerned about sky-high frame rates, and won't be bothered if a next-gen replacement emerges in the coming months.
ATI TV Wonder 650
ATI's flagship TV tuner card offers the best image quality we've seen from a TV tuner card and includes over-the-air HDTV support, but it's still not as good as a direct cable-box-to-TV signal.
ATI Radeon X1950 XTX ( 512MB)
ATI's Radeon X1950 XTX is the fastest single-chip 3D card that you can buy. Unfortunately, with Windows Vista and its accompanying gaming technology, it's going to become obsolete in just five months. ATI adjusted the price of the Radeon X1950 XTX accordingly, but at $450, it's still not an insignificant purchase. We recommend it only if money is no object.
SanDisk Cruzer Micro ( 512MB, black)
The well-designed and inexpensive SanDisk Cruzer Micro comes with great software, but it's marred by its incredibly slow write speeds.
Targus Universal Notebook Docking Station with Video
The Targus Universal Notebook Docking Station with Video would be a winner if the VGA-over-USB experience were more fluid; however, video performance is so poor that we'd wager most people won't use it.
GrandTec Ultimate Wireless
The GrandTec Ultimate Wireless offers some potentially useful video-conversion ports in its base unit, but the wireless output is composite video only, which greatly limits its appeal.
The Aspire X-Qpack is an inexpensive small-form-factor case that will appeal to those looking to build a mini PC that's more about function than form.
SnapStream Beyond TV 4.3
A popular MCE alternative, Beyond TV 4.3 offers no showstopping new developments. Instead, this incremental upgrade offers a few new features that will appeal to current Beyond TV users.
Pricing not available
Lexar JumpDrive Mercury ( 2GB)
The JumpDrive Mercury provides a handy feature we have yet to see on a thumbdrive: an external capacity meter that lets you know at a glance how much space is left on your drive.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+
AMD's new high-end dual-core CPU offers plenty of bang for the buck, outpacing Intel's Pentium 965 Extreme Edition, which costs $200 more. Sounds like a good deal, but wait to see what Intel's next-gen Core 2 Duo chips have to offer when they debut later this year.