Component Reviews

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AMD A8 3850 / 2.9 GHz processor

We recommend the AMD A8-3850 to mainstream desktop PC users in search of capable gaming power and multithreaded application performance.

Leia

Leia is a new technology that aims to revive interest in glasses-free 3D display.

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Extigy

This external sound card works great for watching DVDs, listening to tunes, or recording audio on your computer.

Iomega Super DVD Writer

Iomega's Super DVD Writer offers competitive performance for a reasonable price--perfect for anyone who wants five-format flexibility.

Nyko Charge Station wireless game controller charging stand

If you don't mind a few minor annoyances, the Nyko Charge Station is a great way to recharge your Wii remotes.

Microsoft Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit battery charger

Microsoft's Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit is a must-have Xbox 360 accessory for those who already own--or are considering buying--a wireless controller.

BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra Overclocked graphics card

The BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra OC is clearly a high-performance video card, but the overclocked settings don't do much.

Asus EN7600GT

The EN7600GT is a great mid-range card. If you're looking to get into gaming but don't want to break the bank, you could do far worse

Asus ROG Avalon

The proof-of-concept motherboard-chassis hybrid combines to make it easier to install new components, but it's not perfect.

ATI RADEON 7500 graphics card

Dual-display ability helps make the ATI's merely satisfactory performance much more palatable.

Intel Core 2 Duo

If you thought dual cores were over the top, get ready. Intel presents the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, a single CPU with four distinct processing cores. At $999, the first quad-core CPU will remain an enthusiast part for a while, but as a glimpse of the future, it's clear that clock speed is out and core counts are in.

Targus Space Saving Lap Chill Mat

Most laptop stands either are too big to carry, or only support smaller notebooks. The Targus Space Saving Lap Chill Mat packs down nearly flat, and can also support 17-inch desktop-replacement laptops.

AMD Black Edition AMD Phenom X4 9850 / 2.5 GHz processor

AMD's new Phenom X4 9850 is overpriced and outclassed compared with its Intel-based quad-core competition. If PC vendors can use this chip to make cheap systems (as they did with older Phenoms), we might have nicer things to say, but as a DIY part at this price, we can't recommend AMD's latest quad-core CPU.

ZTE MF60

Telecom Square's Global Hotspot is a dependable and convenient way to access the Internet while traveling, but you'll need to be a heavy data user to make the service economical.

AMD Phenom X4 9500 / 2.2 GHz processor

AMD's new Phenom quad-core CPU has little to recommend it over competing chips from Intel. The Phenom is marginally less expensive, but not enough to make up for its subpar performance. Unless AMD drops prices more aggressively, it looks like Intel will maintain its grasp on the CPU market for the foreseeable future.

Apogee ONE

Hook the Apogee One to an iPhone or iPad, and you can make high quality recordings at just about any location.

Editors' Choice

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Notebook

If you don't mind sacrificing a few convenient features for truly portable design, Creative's Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Notebook turns your laptop into a bona fide sound system.

Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock NST-D100SU

The Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock is a good, affordable tool for computer technicians and those who work with internal hard drives.