Options that trick you into installing potentially unwanted programs are common during the setup of free tools and programs. Here's how to spot them and keep them off your system.
Stories by Lincoln Spector
You've finally made the leap to Windows 8 (or, more probably, Windows 8.1), and a pretty big leap it was. Everything looks different. Everything acts differently. Even a simple task like shutting down your PC suddenly becomes a challenge.
Design is not the Sharp's LC-52D85U ($2300, as of November 4, 2008) strong point. The on-screen menus, the remote, and even the manual could have used a once-over to make them more friendly. But this model does well on the most important criterion, image quality.
LG Electronics' 42PG25 boasts an attractive price (US$1000 as of November 4, 2008) and impressive features. This plasma HDTV produced good-looking images, too, though it struggled a bit with fast-motion video.
Vista, thy name is bloat!
Compared with other players we've tested, Pioneer charges a high premium for its Elite BDP-95FD--US$1000 (as of 4/24/08), or more than twice the price of some players we've reviewed. The price would make sense if you were paying by the pound: This sucker is heavy (14.3 pounds).
Sharp's first Blu-ray Disc player, the BD-HP20U (US$550 as of 4/24/08), is a winner on all counts.
When I saw how good the Blu-ray version of The Searchers looked on Philips' US$400 (as of 4/24/08) BDP7200, I jotted down the notation, "looks like VistaVision"--because that's truly how clear and crisp I found the image.
Panasonic's US$500 DMP-BD30 (price as of 4/24/2008) was one of the first Blu-ray Disc players to support BonusView, the Blu-ray specification for watching picture-in-picture content.
The Samsung BD-P1400 (US$400 as of 4/24/08) is, at this point, one of the older Blu-ray Disc players currently available. And its features reflect this: It lacks both BonusView for picture-in-picture playback and BD-Live for accessing Internet-connected content.
Not long ago, notebook computers were expensive accessories for traveling executives. Now, it's not a surprise to find many choices priced under US$1,000.