Archive for June 24, 2009

Jun 24, Magnavox TB110MW9 DTV Converter Box

Features of the Magnavox TB110MW9 DTV Converter Box. An NTIA approved CECB with analog pass through. Buy a replacement remote.

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Jun 24, Magnavox TB100MW9A DTV Converter Box

Features of the Magnavox TB100MW9A DTV Converter Box. An NTIA approved CECB with analog pass through. Get a replacement remote.

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iPhone 3G S vs. Palm Pre: A video shootout

They're the two hottest smartphones of the year. The iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre emphasize multimedia capabilities and are centered on versatile touchscreens that are among the best we've ever tested. Both even cost the same: $199 with a two-year contract (though there's a more capacious iPhone that costs $299.)

Both are also fine performers that we expect to formally recommend next week, once we've fully completed our tests and added them to our smart phone Ratings. (Both Consumer Reports Ratings and Recommendations are available to subscribers.)

Meantime, here's a Western-themed video shootout, in which phone-slingers Mike Gikas (at the iPhone end of the saloon) and Paul Eng (representing the Palm Gang) settle their differences.

Mike fires with the iPhone's new Voice Control feature, which allows you to dial numbers and even search for music by speaking to the phone. He also singles out the camera on the 3G S, which offers features lacking from past iPhones, like auto-focus and the ability to shoot videos, and adds nice video-editing and tap-to-focus capabilities.

Had the shooting continued for longer, Mike would have also mentioned the varied, larger capacity of the iPhone. Where the Palm comes in only an 8GB version, the iPhone has 16GB of capacity in the $199 version and 32GB in its $299 version.

Paul blasts back with the Palm's impressive multitasking capability. Unlike the iPhone, it allows you to have multiple applications open on the desktop, which you can shuffle around like cards. The closing shot: The phone's service plans, which offer more for the money than those for the iPhone—as Palm touted in print ads that ran this week.

For his part, Paul was silenced before he could say that the Palm is one of the smallest smart phones in our labs, and that you can replace the battery yourself—a convenience not offered for iPhones.

The final verdict will come next week, when we add the phones to the Ratings, which will be available to subscribers. We'll let you know when that happens. —Paul Reynolds

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New printers Ratings: Something for everyone

We’ve just posted our latest Ratings of 72 printers.

Do you need a regular inkjet or an all-in-one? A multifunction laser or a regular model that does nothing but print, and does it quickly? Or perhaps all you require is a portable snapshot printer. Whatever your needs, we’ve got recommended models for you: Four regular inkjets or lasers, four all-in-ones, and a couple of great snapshot printers.

All the lasers print excellent text; some are quite a bit faster than others. With many of the inkjets, you can print very good to excellent photos for 35 cents apiece, or less. Check out our Ratings to find the model that best suits your needs and budget. —Donna Tapellini

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