CNET Editors' Choice awards recognize computing products of the highest quality, design, and service to users. Products bearing the CNET Editors' Choice graphic have been rigorously tested and carefully evaluated by our panel of expert editors and writers. We are committed to making the CNET Editors' Choice seal the hallmark of good product design, performance, quality, and value.
|Polk XRt12 (XM)
Polk's homebound XM radio sets a new standard for satellite radio sound quality.
The good: XM satellite home radio receiver; superior connectivity options; video output to display menu on a TV; improved sound quality; dozens of commercial-free music channels; news, sports, and talk channels; easy-to-read display; remote.
The bad: Relatively expensive; receives only XM programming--no AM, FM, or Sirius.
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|LaCie 321 LCD
This is one of the best LCDs for people who need a monitor with precise color and shading capabilities.
The good: Excellent color fidelity; bright; advanced image-adjustment controls; wide viewing angles; plentiful inputs.
The bad: Chintzy stand that makes position adjustments difficult; no cable-management system; toll-call tech support with limited hours.
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|Sonos Digital Music System
While pricey compared to other digital single-room audio receivers, the multiroom Sonos Digital Music System is currently the slickest solution for affordably distributing your music throughout the house.
The good: Sleekly designed; easy setup; wireless, color screen remote for accessing your music from anywhere in the house; easily expandable (up to 32 rooms); built-in 50-watt-per-channel amp; Rhapsody compatible; audio inputs for streaming music from other sources; impressive sound quality.
The bad: Somewhat expensive; no amp-less option yet; no digital audio output; remote's rechargeable battery isn't removable; doesn't play protected WMA or AAC files; Rhapsody support planned but not yet implemented.
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Skype 1.1 is a free and easy way to make phone calls to any other PC user in the world, and now there's a way to make cheap calls to technophobe friends, too.
The good: Free download; no ads; free Skype-to-Skype calls; conference calling for up to five people.
The bad: Inconsistent call quality to landline phones with SkypeOut.
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