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Big Video Bliss at a Bargain Price

Gateway's P46M103 Plasma TV
Gateway's 46-inch P46M103 Plasma TV wooed us with a sharp, bright picture and a smorgasbord of connectivity options. You can hook almost any video source to the set and virtually be assured of a pretty darn good picture. Whether you mount the TV on the wall (the bracket costs another $280) or use the tabletop stand (an additional $150), the power cord and A/V connectors are readily accessible, positioned so the cables hang unobtrusively. But be warned: Even though the TV looks stylishly thin (less than 4 inches from front to back), it weighs in at around 100 pounds (including the stand), so setup is definitely a two-person job. You can also use it as a PC monitor, with screen resolutions up to 1280 by 1024 pixels. There are certainly plasma TVs with much better picture quality to be had, but you'd be hard pressed to find one of this size at such a reasonable price.

A Do-It-All Music Machine

TDK's DA-9000 CD-RW Jukebox
TDK's DA-9000 CD-RW Jukebox combines a 20GB hard drive with a CD-RW drive to produce a hybrid stereo component that plays, rips, and burns music CDs and organizes digital music files. The Jukebox rips music tracks to its hard drive, from which you can burn the tunes to music (not data) CD-R or CD-RW media, or just play them back. The built-in GraceNote database of more than 14,000 commercial CDs adds a nice touch: As you rip your music, GraceNote associates each song with the album, artist, and track name--without an Internet connection. A six-line front-panel LCD displays song names and album titles. Using the included software and USB cable, we transferred MP3s from our PC, and could update the album database from the Web. Rear audio connectors let you make digital copies of an LP- or cassette-based music collection. As much as we like the Jukebox, the less-than-invigorating speed (about 8X) at which it burns CDs and saves files puts us off somewhat. Nevertheless, its ultimate convenience in the living room overcomes that peeve.

Movies on Demand

Samsung DVD-L200 Portable DVD Player
Is it just us, or are movies on airplanes getting worse and worse? The best solution is to bring your own, but DVD viewing on a laptop depends on two factors: Will you have room to open your notebook, and how long will the battery last? Most portable DVD players we've seen have batteries that could get you through all 171 minutes of The Godfather, but they're also saddled with ridiculously small, playing card-size screens. That's why we particularly like the bright and crisp, 10-inch wide-screen display of Samsung's diminutive DVD-L200 Portable DVD Player. Its 3-hour battery let us view the entire movie without a snag, and at just 3 pounds, the player is light enough for easy carrying. A pair of headphone jacks enables two people to watch a movie at the same time, and an S-Video port lets you hook the player to some televisions. A remote the size of a credit card matches the controls on the top panel of the unit. Want to mount the player in your van instead? At the touch of a button, you can turn the picture upside-down.

Gateway 46-inch P46M103 Plasma TV

Price when reviewed: $3800
Current prices (if available)

TDK DA-9000 CD-RW Jukebox

Price when reviewed: $400
Current prices (if available)

Samsung DVD-L200 Portable DVD Player

Price when reviewed: $600
Current prices (if available)
Michael S. Lasky is a senior editor and Andrew Brandt is a senior associate editor for PC World.
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
At a Glance
  • AlphaSmart Dana

  • LG Internet Refrigerator (LRSPC2661T)

  • SnapStream PVS 3

  • Rio D2730 Networked DVD Player

  • ReplayTV Replay TV 5504

  • Gateway P46M103 42

  • Samsung DVD-L200 Portable (Samsung-DVDL200)

  • TDK DA-9000 Audio CD Recorder (TDK-DA9000)

  • NEC HT1000 Entertainment Projector

  • Generic Company Place Holder Toshiba Satellite P25-S609 Notebook

  • Onkyo GXW Home Theater Speakers

  • AlphaSmart Dana Wireless

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