Performance testing might not be the first thing you think of when you read product reviews, but it often plays an important role in helping to evaluate how some products stand up against their competition. CNET Labs takes performance testing very seriously, and it's sometimes a lot more difficult than you might think... When we encounter testing problems in the lab, we often turn first to the manufacturers to help us troubleshoot the issue. We like to give the vendors the opportunity to address the issues and offer explanations or solutions, in part to make sure we're not … Read more
Have you been jonesing for the top-tier version of Microsoft's new operating system, Windows Vista Ultimate, but not willing to part with $400 of your hard-earned cash? Does spending half that amount make taking the plunge more palatable? If you can do without the fancy packaging and user manuals, consider instead Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit for System Builders, selling for $200 at Amazon.com, Newegg.com, and other e-tailors. The license agreement for this particular version states it is meant specifically for "system builders." Paragraph one of the license agreement provides several definitions of who a … Read more
We've been logging some long work days of late--deadlines, you know--and the experience has given us the opportunity to make a few observations. First, most desks are just no good for geeks. In addition to the normal paper detritus, a mess of peripherals, accessories, and their attendant cords can quickly turn a desk into a disaster zone. Second, when you sit for a long time in the same desk chair, no matter how ergonomic your setup, your hip joints will threaten to fuse together in a permanent L shape.
This one definitely falls under the category of What Took Them So Long? Universal remotes have claimed (dubiously) to do everything under the sun, but they've gotten increasingly difficult to use by cramming in more keys and buttons, not to mention indecipherable commands.
Sharp has responded to that frustration with "the world's first remote controller with a touchpad," according to Gearfuse, for its updated line of Aquos TV-PCs. The design overhaul means 40 percent fewer buttons and computer-like navigation on the remote.
The new products appear to be available only in Japan for now, but we'… Read more
If you're thinking of building or buying a home theater PC, you might consider looking for a motherboard that has AMD's new 690G chipset, announced today. The reason is because the new chipset will come with both a DVI video output, as well as an independent HDMI output for connecting your computer directly to an HD television. It also comes with HDCP support built directly into the new, onboard ATI Radeon X1250 graphics chip, which should ensure digital encryption compatibility for playing HD-DVD or Blu-ray movies.
The other model in the new series, the budget-oriented 690V, is more … Read more
With monitors breaking the 30-inch mark, a 20.1-inch LCD seems downright puny--which may be one reason Europe's Formac is taking a distinctly aesthetic route to market its new displays. It makes good sense regardless of size because the "Gallery 2010 Xtreme-5" is aimed at professional designers and photographers, with a "unique controller board" for color rendering, according to PCLaunches.
As companies continue to expand their thinking on monitors, we've seen designs that look appropriate for settings ranging from architect's offices to museums. As long as they don't take the form of … Read more
Contrary to popular belief, we at Crave don't buy a new computer every month. In fact, our desktop is so old that it doesn't even work with Bluetooth. (It may have been made before we'd even heard of Bluetooth, come to think of it.)
So we read with great delight on Crunchgear about a simple USB device that can magically bring our ancient PC into the modern wireless world, finally allowing us to get a Bluetooth mouse or other peripherals of the 21st century. The best part of all about Trendnet's compact adapter is the price: $… Read more
I'll be the first to admit I'm no Photoshop power user. As an avid photographer, I've managed to perfect a few simple edits to treat my photos. I use a small fraction of Photoshop Elements, itself a small fraction of Photoshop. I've found only a few filters useful for my purposes, which is why I was excited to try out Alien Skin's Snap Art. This Photoshop plug-in supplies 10 filters that mimic various fine art forms, including oil and watercolor paint, pen-and-ink drawing, comic book, and pointillism effects.
For treating my photos, I liked the … Read more
Okay, this is officially the coolest thing I've seen all week. A blogger managed to dig up a 1996 issue of MacAddict magazine that features a Mac-PC personification from the day. If you're a fan of the Apple ads, you'll love this pseudo-predecessor. Click here for the big printable version. You know, for your cubicle.
The main difference here, at least to me, is that in the "vintage" Mac/PC ad, the "PC" is actually a good-looking, vaguely Jude Law-ish character (he's got that "sinister Wall Streeter" look, it's … Read more