When it comes to TVs, everybody likes to know what CNET--and in particular, senior editor David Katzmaier--thinks are the best models. That's why we have top products lists and why a lot of people tend to check out the sets on those lists. But then there's a whole group of TVs David doesn't get a chance to review that are popular with readers and show up high in CNET traffic reports.Those models usually are more entry-level sets that manufacturers tend to avoid sending to us because they know we grade pretty tough and it's not … Read more
When it comes to e-readers these days, most of the action here in the U.S. seems to be concentrated around the Kindle, Nook, and iPad. But every week or so, we'll notice a traffic spike on CNET for an e-reader that isn't from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Inevitably, this is due to a special discount that some store is running on the product or perhaps even an appearance in a Best Buy circular.
That discount price is usually pretty attractive--and has to be--to compete with the Kindle with Wi-Fi at $139 and the Nook Wi-Fi at $… Read more
The newly elected governor of California wants to cut state spending and has starting by calling for the shut-off of half of the state-issued cell phones, some 48,000 devices, by June 1.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who will also be returning his own state-issued phone, said that the move will save the financially strapped state $20 million. In a statement, Brown said:
It is difficult for me to believe that 40 percent of all state employees must be equipped with tax-payer-funded cell phones. The current number of phones out there is astounding.
Of course, the push to cut the number … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Toshiba makes good Netbooks, but they were never on the affordable side. The Mini NB305 is one of our favorite Atom Netbooks around, but its price hovers higher than perfectly suitable entry-level alternatives from Acer and Asus.
While some manufacturers, such as Asus, seem to be shifting focus away from Netbooks completely, Toshiba appears to be giving it another go with the NB505, a more affordable Netbook that matches its stiffest competition at $299.
Its specs are baseline: Windows 7 Starter OS, 10.1-inch display, 250GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, and an unspecified Atom processor that we assume … Read more
Cheap Android tablets seem to be popping up in the oddest places these days. While holiday shopping over the weekend, I randomly came across budget-priced ($100-$200) Android tablets at Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and even Toys "R" Us.
I understand the appeal. The iPad is going bonanzas, but it's priced out of reach for most people. Android smartphones like the Motorola Droid franchise have been heavily promoted on TV, extolling the virtues of the OS and its iPhone-killing "does" philosophy. Throw in our existing love affair with e-book readers, and you'… Read more
It's hard to maintain excitement about Netbooks lately, with all the tablet and ultraportable developments of the last few months. That's not stopping manufacturers from trying to offer some valuable solutions. HP has announced the December release of the Mini 1103, a business-targeted Netbook for $299.
Based on the specs, there's nothing to get excited about: a 10-inch screen at 1,024x600-pixel resolution, single-core Intel Atom N455 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Starter in the entry configuration. Optional 3G mobile broadband from AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon is also available. The … Read more
NHT (Now Hear This) speakers have been audiophile favorites for going on 23 years. I loved the original SuperZero, SuperTwo, Model 3.3, and Evolution speaker systems; each was in its own way a classic design.
The new SuperZero 2.0 is an update, rather than a replica of, the original SuperZero. The new, shiny black laminated speaker is an understated jewel, but the SuperZero 2.0's price tag is $99 vs. $125 for the original model. NHT now sells speakers through dealers and factory-direct.
I recently heard the SuperZero 2.0, and the sound was vivid, with a … Read more
Financial software might not be the type of thing to make your knees go weak, but a good program is a control freak's dream come true. Such is the case with Intuit's latest offering in the form of Quicken 2011, which is available starting today in a choice of three versions: Starter Edition ($29.95), Deluxe ($59.95), and Premier ($89.95).
It's immediately apparent that Intuit's acquisition of Mint last year has had a positive effect on the Quicken update. For one, the start-up process has been noticeably streamlined when compared with the previous version. … Read more
Whether you believe in a kid-oriented laptop probably depends on whether you have kids, and whether you like the idea of them fiddling with your own computer when you're out of the room. Accordingly, your reaction to the Satellite L635 will probably vary.
Toshiba's Best Buy-exclusive Satellite L635 feels at first glance like a larger-scale version of the education-oriented Netbooks we've seen from Intel and others. A ruggedized look, bright colors, and a easy-to-clean keyboard create that impression most of all, but in reality this is a full 13.3-inch-screen laptop that isn't much different under the hood from the low-end doorbusters you might see in retail circulars. We got to check one out recently, and it seemed pretty much like many entry-level Toshiba Satellites we've used before, except for its rubberized keyboard.
Besides size and capability, another key difference lies in its target audience: this is meant for home use, whereas many of the educational Netbooks we've seen, such as the Intel Classmate and HP Mini 100e are institutionally targeted, many of them never even seeing the light of a retail store. The Satellite L635 will be at Best Buy starting September 26. … Read more
We review a lot of personal finance software, and to be frank, most of it is pretty bad; such programs tend to have terrible, confusing interfaces and a decided lack of important features. Accounts and Budget Free is a happy exception to this trend. Although the program doesn't compare to the big-name financial software that dominates the marketplace, it's definitely a good choice for users who want a decent program without having to spend money to get it.
The program's interface is attractive and intuitive, with just a few menus and a handful of well-labeled buttons. Although … Read more