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Jumat, 19 Desember 2008

The Best Products of 2008

by Staff
In a year when the economy isn't going to win "the best of" anything, it's more important than ever to know where to spend your dough. Our team of analysts puts products through rigorous tests to discover the winners and dismiss the duds, all rounded up in the following pages. To get the real nitty-gritty on features, flaws, and performance, follow the links to in-depth reviews at

the best desktops
Work Hard, Play Hard

Full SetSony VAIO VGX-TP25E
The PC that your 65-inch plasma wants to meet, Sony's VAIO VGX-TP25E ($3,000 direct) is an attractive home-theater PC meant to sit in the cabinet next to the widescreen HDTV. As a home-theater system, it drops some features common to desktop PCs yet adds others that acclimate it to the living room. Though it isn't perfect, the "mostly wireless" TP25E is a good choice for the HD-consuming connoisseur.

Velocity Micro Raptor Signature Edition : Full SetVelocity Micro Raptor Signature Edition
The best gaming system we've seen. Its blazing, top-of-the-class performance coupled with middle-of-the-pack pricing ($6,999 direct) makes the Raptor a hands-down winner. The overclocked processor helped this rig dominate all but one of our gaming tests. But the Raptor is more than a killing machine. It's got multimedia muscle. This system is so fast it will complete your photo or video edit before you have a chance to think about what you want to do next or become entranced by the spinning circle cursor.

Full SetApple iMac (24-inch Penryn)
This iteration ($1,799 direct) is powered by the Intel Penryn Core 2 Duo CPU, which means lower energy usage and enough speed to do serious work. The extra power helps the iMac maintain its place in the vanguard of all-in-one PCs. Resolution is the same as a Mac Pro with an Apple 23-inch Cinema HD screen, big enough to view true HD video content.

HP Pavilion Elite m9400t : Full SetHP Pavilion Elite m9400t
The m9400t ($843 list) has most everything you'd want in a media-creation system, without those expensive extras you don't. HP has built in as many inputs and outputs as an A/V receiver in a home theater. This is the Windows PC you'll want when you get serious about the photos and videos you shoot and the shows you watch.

Falcon Northwest FragBox QX9650 : Full SetFalcon NW FragBox QX9650
The roaming gamer has reason to rejoice: The Falcon FragBox is now available with the latest graphics, and its 3D performance is impressive. With an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 processor overclocked to 3.8 GHz and a blazing ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card with two GPUs, the FragBox is quite adept at keeping you alive on the game grid. At $4,095 (direct) it's not cheap, but it's a bargain compared with high-end gaming PCs that reach closer to $8,000 for a similar level of performance.

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