Bigger! Slimmer! Faster! More Powerful! When these superlatives are tossed around, you expect the subject to be a professional athlete - perhaps a superstar basketball player capable of performing multiple tasks with skill and ease. Only this time, the topic is electronics, for both the home and the road. Big screens are bigger, portable devices are smaller and more powerful, their processors are quicker. Multifunction combination units are in vogue, big time. In short, expect to be blown away. And the best thing is, these devices don't demand multimillion-dollar contracts every few years.
Here's our dream team of electronics, happily available in stores near you - soon.
SAVE THE PAST
Want a place to store all your music, videos, and digital photos? Denon's Multimedia Network Server contains a CD player/ripper to record your music to two hard drives, two personal video recorders (PVRs) to record your favorite shows, and the ability to distribute four DVD-quality video streams around the house. It provides a graphical interface so you can peruse your shows or music on a TV screen, and it can stream files such as your digital photos from a PC to your TV. $4,000-$4,500, www.usa.denon.com
THE BIG GUY
Just when you thought it was safe to drop a couple grand on a moderately sized 42-inch flat-panel plasma screen, LG Electronics announces a 76-inch wall-hanger to arrive in early 2005. Now you can have the sex appeal of a plasma screen on a grand scale. And that's in high definition, as in HDTV. Even larger plasma-based displays may come, but for now, consider this behemoth the Shaquille O'Neal of the current crop - and a thin one at that. Price still under wraps at press time. www.lgusa.com