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Win 100

Products of the Year
Image map - Products of the Year

Software Win 100

Hardware Win 100
Image map - Hardware Products of the Year

NT Winners
Software product of the year Hardware product of the year Web product of the year NT Software product of the year NT Hardware product of the year The best desktop systems The best notebooks of the year The best monitors of the year The best printers of the year The best communication devices of the year The best input devices of the year The best graphics cards of the year The best multimedia hardware of the year The best scanners of the year The best storage devices of the year The best power protection hardware of the year

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New technologies distinguish the year's top systems and peripherals.

Computers and the devices we attach to them evolve at such a dizzying pace, it's hard to keep up with them all. And over the past 12 months or so, manufacturers have nearly outdone themselves, with new technologies popping up in virtually every product category.

A short year ago, it would have taken a fanciful imagination to picture 200MHz Pentiums with Intel's MMX technology, notebooks with 13.3-inch displays, digital cameras, 6.5GB hard disks, 3D graphics cards, SVD modems, flat monitors, desktop photo scanners and wireless keyboards. Today, these products are more than realities-they're affordable realities.

Every hardware category covered in the following pages has seen significant technological advancement since our last Win 100 list. Even as technology has spiraled ever upward, prices have held steady, or even dropped. Working off the Win 100 list, you can stock your desktop with a multimedia powerhouse MMX system for about $2,500, or take a notebook on the road-without sacrificing any of your desktop PC's features. You won't have to dig too deeply into your wallet to add outstanding peripherals, such as a 17-inch monitor for about $600, a sub-$300 color ink jet printer, a $900 36-bit color scanner or a $350 12X CD-ROM multimedia kit. You can store information on more types of removable media than ever, and transmit and receive it faster with affordable 36.6Kb-per-second and ISDN modems. To keep your data safe, check out an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), a desktop device that's gaining popularity.

Some of the technologies-even product categories-have emerged and taken center stage so rapidly that keeping up with them may seem like a full-time job. At WINDOWS Magazine it is our job, and we've covered them all in the past months. Of the thousands of products that passed through our WinLabs testing center and crossed our own desktops, the best of what we saw, tested and used are represented on our Win 100 hardware list.

Desktop Systems: Introduction

Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.