Quick TakesBrainy Power Strip
Bits Limited's $30 Smart Strip includes a sensor that detects variances in electrical flow: When you turn off your system, it suspends power to all PC peripherals connected to the handful of clearly marked jacks, making shutdown fast and easy.
--Michael S. LaskyRoxio Evolution
Roxio's Easy CD & DVD Creator 6, a long-awaited update, aims to address all of your DVD and CD burning needs under one roof. Running the gamut from data discs to MP3 music files to your own movies, the $100 program can even help you assemble menus for your DVDs.
--Melissa PerensonTwice the Wi-Fi
Toshiba's shipping Satellite Pro 6100 Series (prices start at $1799) is the first notebook to offer not only built-in 802.11b wireless connectivity but also its faster cousin, 802.11a. With the 6100 Series laptop, you're ready for both common flavors of the increasingly popular Wi-Fi--though not for the up-and-coming 802.11g (see "Best Wi-Fi Ever").
--Tom MainelliFive-Headed Monster
Do you ever have the right USB device but the wrong USB connector? You can get around that with JDI Technologies' GoldX 5 in 1 QuickConnect USB Cable package. A 6-foot-long cable ships with five interchangeable USB 2.0 heads and sells for $25.
--Anne B. McDonaldBreak It Up
Two modes make Acronis PartitionExpert 2003 fit for both novices and experts. Newbies get wizards to automate the task; experienced users can manually access more-sophisticated tools.
--Tom MainelliThe Frozen Web
LG Electronics' $8000 Internet Refrigerator features an Internet-ready computer and a 15-inch LCD screen. You cannot, however, download more vanilla ice cream.
--Andrew BrandtNetworking Zen
Siemens's $130 SpeedStream 2524 Powerline Wireless DSL/Cable Router offers you the best of two home networking worlds: the reliability and range of a wired network using your home's electrical wiring (for desktops) and the mobility of a Wi-Fi network (for laptops). Setup is easy, and either way no new wires are required.
--Yardena ArarExtreme Spam Eliminator
DigiPortal's $40 ChoiceMail One promises to eliminate junk from your in-box by requiring people to obtain your approval via an online registration form before their e-mail messages can reach your in-box. Once a sender is registered on your e-mail "whitelist," their messages get through, no more questions asked; messages from rejected senders simply disappear into the ether.