First there were big screens. Then big flat screens. Now there are big flat screens packed with tricks, like the ability to record TV or access your home network. It’s all part of the push to minimize the number of decor-busting black boxes while maximizing entertainment choices—movies, slideshows, your music collection. Here are five reasons to chuck your TV in favor of a multitalented model.
1. The Laptop Impersonator
This 2.7-inch-thin flat screen takes its cue from the computer world, with two PC-card slots to handle its latest features. Insert the included five-gigabyte hard-drive card—or better yet, a compatible 40-gig one—to record programs using the built-in PVR software. Pop in a Wi-Fi card, and the set’s PC Connect feature wirelessly serves up your computer’s photos and music.
Sharp Open Aquos Liquid Crystal LC-15PX1U and TV LC-20PX1U
Screen type LCD
Size 15 or 20 inches
Extras Record and play back voice message WMA/MP3 player
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.