The PC World 100: Best Products of 2009
The PC World 100: #71-#80
71. Samsung SP-P410M LED (digital projector, $749) This stylish compact projector can handle PC-free slideshows and videos, but its low brightness makes it best suited for small groups. Businesspeople who want to travel light will appreciate its ability to manage presentations without a PC. The SP-P410M LED's features include a media player (via its integrated USB reader slot) for running slide shows, photos, videos, and music from a USB flash drive or other portable storage device; a remote control that sports media player buttons; a pair of 1-watt mono speakers with good sound; and a brightness rating of 170 lumens (up from the previous model's 150 lumens).
72. Lexmark C734dn (printer, $875) This color laser model offers the print speed, features, and expandability needed to keep most mainstream offices happy--and it uses inexpensive toner to boot. The C734dn's generous standard features include a 550-sheet input tray, a 100-sheet multipurpose tray (which can take 36-inch-long banner paper), and a 300-sheet output tray. Automatic duplexing is available for both letter- and legal-size paper. In our tests, it printed plain black text at 27.6 pages per minute and graphics pages at 4.4 ppm. The printer's standard-size replacement toner cartridges are well-priced, too: an 8000-page black cartridge costs $134 or 1.7 cents per page, while each 6000-page color cartridge costs $212 or 3.5 cents per page--putting the cost for a page with all four colors at 12.3 cents.
73. D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router (networking hardware, $73) A top performer in our tests, this router offers such useful extras as drive and printer sharing and a Wi-Fi guest zone. A single USB port on the rear supports flash drives, hard drives, and printers (including multifunction devices). One drawback: The gear does not support Macs.
74. SlideRocket.com (presentation service, basic service free) This striking and easy-to-use browser-based presentation software works with any OS and can be accessed from anywhere at any time. It may not drive a stake into Microsoft PowerPoint, but it's versatile enough to pose a significant challenge to Redmond.
75. Navigon MobileNavigator (iPhone app, $90) If you have both an iPhone and Navigon MobileNavigator, you can get turn-by-turn directions without having to use a stand-alone GPS device. And with a new $25 traffic add-on from Navigon, you can avoid commute jam-ups, too.
76. Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 (all-in-one PC, $750) The combination of a sharp, angular design and an ultrathin chassis helps Lenovo's good-looking all-in-one PC stand out from the pack. Its 21.5-inch display isn't touch-enabled, but it can double as an HDTV; you even get a four-in-one remote control that quadruples as a VoIP handset, an air mouse, and a Wii-like game controller. But the A600's best trait may be its upgradability--a virtue that other all-in-ones can't match.
77. PC Tools Threatfire 4.5 (security software, free) This antivirus application supplements your existing security software. Unlike traditional antivirus programs that primarily use malware-signature files to detect baddies, Threatfire identifies malware by analyzing its behavior. In our tests, Threatfire 4.5 caught all 15 malware samples we threw at it. The software works well alongside most current antivirus programs, but it has shown some conflicts with AVG products.
78. Adobe Premiere Elements 8 (video editing software; $100 separately, $150 bundled with Photoshop Elements 8) An excellent program gets better. The new Organizer allows you to view, keyword-tag, and manage videos and photos; and if you install Photoshop Elements 8, too, the Organizer acts as a conduit to both programs via a single interface. Automated keywording and instant Smart Tagging are other noteworthy improvements. In addition, you can drag and drop tags onto a video while it previews.
79. FanSnap.com (online ticket service, free) This online aggregator searches most of the major ticket scalping services to find the best prices on seats for your local sports team or for the latest arena rock concert. Cool graphics show you how much tickets are going for and where to find the bargain seats.
80. Dell Studio One 19 (all-in-one PC, base price $699) Better than a budget all-in-one, but hardly high-end, the Studio One 19 is ideal if your needs and budget fall somewhere in the middle. It's one of the few multitouch all-in-one PCs available with a 19-inch (or smaller) screen--and it's one of the fastest. You'll either love or hate its fabric screen-trim (available in white, navy blue, gray, pink, or red).