Gateway Your plasma-TV dreams have a little room to grow now that Gateway's 50-inch GTW-P50M203 flat-panel HDTV monitor is on the scene. Not only can the 1,366 x 768-pixel screen bring you true high-def images, but the widescreen set is only $7,000.
At $1,700, Sony's HDR-HC3 high-def camcorder is just $100 cheaper than the previous model, but it still takes a step forward by being the first HD cam with an HDMI output - the digital video connector most common on new HDTVs.
Of all the Bluetooth speakers introduced today, the new Nicki Minaj-endorsed Pink Pill from Beats by Dre has to be the most significant. Faithful (really faithful) readers of this website may remember Ken Pohlmann and Leslie Shapiro's review of the Pill (as well as my measurements).
NEVER COMPROMISE Going with an HTiB system generally means settling for convenience over performance, but Onkyo's HT-S990THX bites off a chunk of both. Not only is the included receiver rated to deliver an impressive 110 watts to each channel, but the speakers have big enough woofers (5-inchers) to actually do something with that power.
The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is growing up. A few years ago, it was known as a gathering of small (sometimes one-man) companies demonstrating exotic (sometimes downright wacky) audio products. Some of those guys are still there, but so now are most of the better-known high-end audio companies.
SAVING GRACE In 2006, how can a DVD recorder - even one as snazzy-looking as the Toshiba RD-XS55 - justify a $600 price tag? How about a 250-GB hard disk for starters, giving you enough space for at least 300 hours of shows? Then there's its compatibility with DVD-R/RW and -RAM.
HARBORING MUSIC These days, an iPod dock and $3.98 might get you a grande latte at Starbucks, but Escient has a dock model that qualifies as a premium blend. The FP-1 doesn't just stream your iPod music - it completely integrates it into the company's FireBall Music Manager, combining those songs with any tunes you have on servers or PCs.
It really is a pit stop when you park your 'Pod in Corgi's Nissan Silvia iCar ($35). Yes, we're talkin' that Corgi, the British maker of die-cast scale-model cars, celebrating its 50th anniversary. Here, you get a 1:24-scale Silvia atop stereo speakers.
If, that is, you consider the new Clarity HD Multimedia Speakers from MonsterCable (yes, the ex$pensive-wire people) to be "desktop audio." I do – they're flanking my 20-inch monitor as I write this, and while it's true that they rather crowd the work-top, they sound sweet enough in doing so that I'm willing to overlook their bulk.
ROOM WITH A CLUE The downside of having an entertainment room is that it demotes your other rooms' status. But not if you set up a multiroom system, and Sonance's C4630SE can spread the joy to six other areas in your house.
MORE SCREEN, LESS SET Got space issues with your TV? Before you go running to a flat-panel, have a look at this DLP from Samsung that's just barely over 10 inches deep. That's thin enough to put on your bedroom dresser, and the ultrathin bezel will ensure you see nothing but the 1,280 x 720-pixel (720p) screen.