Music and audio bling make terrific presents, so here's a nice assortment of goodies. While audiophile gear can be quite expensive, picking out a selection of terrific gift ideas that won't break the bank is still doable. Prices start at $10 and go up to $100. I'll trot out another list of $100+ gift ideas in a few days.
Shopping for gifts can be difficult. It's sometimes impossible to find the right present for certain people -- there are those people who have everything and those who don't want anything. To tackle this conundrum, Pinterest is trying out ways to help gift givers this year.
"In the spirit of the season of Pinspiration, we're unveiling our first-ever Holiday Giving Guide," Pinterest's head … Read more
Walk into your living room, say "Xbox on," and your Xbox One, TV, and sound bar automatically power on. Sit down and say "Xbox Watch ESPN," and the cable box automatically turns to ESPN and fills the TV screen. It feels futuristic, but in a retro way. It's the kind of thing someone in a Disney "Home of the Future" exhibit might do, right after getting out of a flying car.
With the Xbox One, Microsoft wants to bring all your living room entertainment -- cable TV, gaming, and streaming video -- to … Read more
The Xbox One is ready to be the hub of your living room.
That's been the pitch since Day 1 for Microsoft's next-gen console, but it wasn't until this Wednesday that the CNET crew had a chance to check out many of the Xbox One's home entertainment features in person.
We already knew that the Xbox One would include Blu-ray playback, the TV overlay functionality called OneGuide, and built-in support for voice and motion control through the included Kinect. But many of the specifics have been hard to come by, especially regarding the challenges of integrated TV.… Read more
Ah, the vacuum. That extremely useful hunk o' plastic that's relegated to a utility closet for most of its life. Yes, I admit it: I have a love-hate relationship with vacuums. Sure, they clean the floor, but these home appliances can also be guilty of a number of offenses that make even the most basic clean-ups a major pain. Some are noisy and heavy and have too few or too many accessories. Others come with bins that are a challenge to empty or bags with hard-to-find replacements -- you get the idea.
Basically, there are a lot of potential … Read more
I recently met with speaker designer Andrew Jones at the CNET office in NYC to discuss his latest project, the new Pioneer SP-SB23W Speaker Bar. And after we finished, I picked his brain about the value of speaker specifications.
My take is that most, but not all, are nearly useless for providing consumers with information that could lead to opting for one speaker over another. For example, what exactly does "power handling" mean? When a manufacturer claims its speaker has a 100-watt power handling rating, can it be safely used with a 200-watt-per-channel amplifier? Or a 500-watt amp? … Read more
The first time I handed an iPad to my kid, I felt a little guilty, but not for the reasons you might think. The way I figured, with such an awesome tool in his tiny hands -- with the collected knowledge of mankind literally at his fingertips -- my child had an unfair advantage over his peers and a fast track to an Ivy League education.
But minutes later, when I had to pry Angry Birds from him like a T-bone from a tiger, I quickly realized that the iPad, for all its potential, was a tool that needed some … Read more
The microwave is a kitchen staple, but it wasn't always so. These handy kitchen appliances were actually developed by accident shortly after World War II by a man named Dr. Percy Spencer. Dr. Spencer worked for Raytheon, a company that supplied many of the magnetron tubes used in US and British radars during the war.
One day, Dr. Spencer was standing in front of an active magnetron and noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket had begun to melt. Perplexed by this, he decided to see what would happen if he exposed popcorn kernels to the magnetron and … Read more
Shopping for a new oven or stove can be a daunting experience. Gone are the days when stoves came in two options: a gas stove with a gas oven attached or an electric stove with an electric oven attached. You will likely find yourself inundated with options and a slew of new vocabulary to learn. And while all of those new options might seem overwhelming at first, in most cases, they mean great things for you in terms of accessibility, usability, and overall quality. We hope that this buying guide will give you all of the information you need to … Read more