Holiday Tech Buying Guide
FAST FORWARD
How to Choose a Winning Computer
By Rob Pegoraro
Buying a computer should be easy -- almost anything sold today should competently handle most chores. But it's not, since so many companies market essentially the same machine.

New Gadgets Pose a Problem
All Reviews from Fast Forward
INTERNET CALLING
Talk Is Cheaper
It's leading-edge and, so far, inexpensive. What's the deal with VoIP? Comparing Paid VoIP Services

gadget gallery

 

Buying Guide

Personal computers
What differentiates PCs is the software and support each maker offers. The top five:
Dell   HP   Gateway   Apple   Sony
Interactive Guide to Laptop Computers

DVD PLAYERS
Let's Get Digital
Understanding confusing array of features, formats is the key.
Holiday DVDs | Chat

TELEVISION
Primal Screens
If you just can't wait for prices to drop, please spend wisely.
Guide to HDTV

VIDEO GAMES
Console Yourself
Which platform? First, ask which games will be played on it.
2004 Game Reviews

Digital Cameras
The Big Picture
As megapixels balloon, it's now possible to buy too much digital camera.
Memories Reborn

Digital Music
Sound Advice
Choosing where the music files come from is at least as important as choosing a player.
Portable XM Set

Handheld Devices
Highly Organized
Shopping lists or shopping sites? Your choice depends on how the device will be used.

Extras
Stocking Stuffers
Shopping for someone who has all the gadgets already? They can still accessorize.

Duds
Don't Believe Hype
Buzz-laden products you should feel free to cross off your holiday shopping list.

Live Discussions

Rob Pegoraro hosted four online discussions to answer readers' questions about holiday gadgetry. The transcripts are below.
Nov. 22   •   Dec. 6
Dec. 13   •   Dec. 20


© 2004 The Washington Post Company