Every year PC Magazine (http:www.pcmag.com) editors rank the best PCs, HDTVs, components, sites, and services. Plus: the products they are looking forward to next year, and which technologies are rising and falling.
You don't need to spend a lot of money for a great, 3D-capable HDTV. The Vizio M551D-A2R can be found for just over $1,000 and its 55-inch LED screen offers very good contrast and color accuracy for the price. It's a passive 3D screen and comes with four pairs of glasses so you can watch 3D movies and play 3D games with your friends and family right out of the box. Plus it's loaded with plenty of online services and apps.Will Greenwald
There comes a time in every Mac user's life when they just have to access something on Windows. Okay, maybe not every Mac user, but more than enough to account for the proliferation of programs out there that allow you to run a full version of Windows (or Linux) virtually, right on your Mac. The smoothest-running and least obtrusive on the market is VMWare Fusion 6. It's compatible with hundreds of operating system "guests," so try them all.Eric Griffith
$130 The VuPoint Solutions PDSWF-ST44-VP wand scanner is best appreciated as a highly portable document scanner. Not only is it far better at OCR and document management than most of its ilk, its Wi-Fi support lets you find out if you have a poor-quality scan while you are still able to do something about it.TH
The WD My Cloud app is a companion app to Western Digital's My Cloud NAS device. The app delivers a surprisingly robust level of data management as well as anywhere, anytime, remote access. It's a must-have software addition for users of the My Cloud NAS, especially as we ease into the post-PC era and need our mobile devices to interact seamlessly with our home networking devices. A well-designed interface makes managing the My Cloud from any smartphone a snap, letting you perform tasks such as uploading and downloading files, adding folders, sharing files with others, and more. SL
$39.99 Webroot's Antivirus is ridiculously small package, at under a megabyte. But size isn't everything, as the app aced PCMag's malware blocking and removal tests. It is also superfast to install and scan, and it doesn't bother you with unnecessary details either (although there are plenty of advanced users controls under the hood).NJR
$179.99 Western Digital's dual-band 802.11n MyNet N900 wireless router is a delightful surprise from a vendor not known for making wireless routers. It sports a nice, simple, easy-to-remember product name along with excellent performance in the 2.4GHz band, and very good throughput in 5GHz, and best of all, seven Gigabit Ethernet ports and a couple of USB 2.0 ports for network peripherals.Samara Lynn
$300 What's so special about an internal, spinning hard disk drive these days? Western Digital's VelociRaptor line is back to show you: great speed (okay, not as great as a solid-state drive, but still pretty great) and an excellent price. A terabyte of storage translates to only 30 cents per gigabyte with this drive.Eric Griffith
ShareSpace is simple to use and includes top-notch features such as multiple RAID hard-drive configuration, networking, and remote access services. It's a well-made storage appliance with great drive performance and a wealth of management features.
A big, pleasing picture at a very good price ($2,000 street). In fact, it's the best value in a 1080p, 52-inch LCD TV we've seen. Equipped with a generous selection of 1080p-compatible video inputs, this set has picture controls that help its more than two million pixels deliver crisp, detailed images.
Free to download; 99 cents per year after first year Are you still paying to send and receive text messages? Hang onto your wallet! WhatsApp is the solution everyone is using, and you should, too. It's a cross-platform instant messaging app that lets you send unlimited text-like messages to contacts all over the world. The app itself is free to download, and use is free for the first year, with a tiny fee of 99 cents per year thereafter.JD
Microsoft has redeemed its Vista-tarnished image with Windows 7. Hardware driver issues have been ironed out, and Microsoft has also made Win 7 less bloatedit takes up less disk space than its predecessor yet offers faster start-up and slightly faster performance. Its new taskbar, user interface, and home networking features, as well as new streaming media functionality, are all part of what makes Windows 7 a winner in our book.
The Withings Pulse takes everything you love about existing top-notch activity trackers and adds a nifty built-in heart rate sensor, giving you a more comprehensive picture of your overall health. Its elegant design, informative display, and wealth of features make it our new favorite activity tracker.Eugene Kim
The highly capable Xerox DocuMate 5445 desktop scanner delivers fast speed with duplex (two-sided) scanning, an assortment of world class software, and features such as a 75-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF). Its balance of speed, input capacity, duty cycle, and price, along with its well-chosen set of application programs and capable scan utility make the Xerox DocuMate 5445 an excellent choice for moderately heavy-duty use in a small office or workgroup.TH
Year Walk is not like most other mobile games. Instead of brief, almost disposable interactions, this Swedish horror game pulls you in and challenges you with devilish puzzles that require you to use your phone in unusual ways. With starkly beautiful cut-out graphics, the game does a great job establishing a moody atmosphere. It has a few cheap (though effective!) scares, but it feels like a self-conscious effort to make the game scarier. And don't forget to investigate the Year Walk Companion app. ME
I got excited at Check Point's initial release of ZoneAlarm Extreme Security, because it combined the company's full-scale security suite with the virtualization-based protection of ZoneAlarm ForceField. ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2010 adds some new features to the original winning formula, offering good antispam, antiphishing, and antitheft protection, as well as full-disk encryption.
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