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Tom's Holiday Buyer's Guide 2008, Part 1

Introduction

by: Chris Angelini

Welcome to the first installment of this year’s six-part Tom’s Hardware Holiday Buyer’s Guide, put together by editors from Tom’s Hardware, Tom’s Guide, and Tom’s Games. We’ve all worked together to compile the hottest list of PC components, gadgets, and gaming titles, which we’ll introduce one part at a time throughout the months of November and December.

Each guide is organized to center on a slightly different theme. This first one is aimed right at our hardware audience and includes gifts for enthusiasts who just want to plug and play—no time for building. But don’t think that we’re only including pre-built boxes here. We cover the gamut, from monitors, to security cameras, to power protection, storage, VoIP, and sound.

Here’s the breakdown for what you can expect to see as the series progresses. Each time we publish a new piece, we’ll update those that came before with links to the newest guides. By the time we ring in 2009, we hope you’ll be enjoying at least a couple of gifts from our six stories!

Even as the subject matter of each installment changes, you’ll see the same two models popping up over and over to show off the gifts that we showcase.

Before we get into our favorite gear for this year’s holiday season, please allow me to introduce you to our models, who so graciously spent a full day in our Culver City, CA office posing with the massive collection of hardware we amassed for these six guides.

Danielle, the lovely blond with a penchant for Hello Kitty merchandise, is originally from Oklahoma City. She’s an enthusiast in the truest sense of the world—she builds her own PCs and has been reading Tom’s Hardware since high school. She moved out to California for college, where she earned her B.S. in computer science.

Alicia, the beautiful brunette Mrs. Claus, is my wife. She grew up in Bakersfield, CA and went to University of California, Irvine where she majored in dance. She’s a professional ballet dancer now and doesn’t spend much time around PC components, though her interest in technology does spike when boxes of hardware start spilling out of my office into places where they shouldn’t be, at which point they often come back flying at my head.

If you haven’t yet checked out our "behind the scenes" video footage of our photo shoot, you can check that out here.

If you’d like to check out the full photo album for Part 1, you can do that here. There will be others, of course, as this series progresses, so keep checking back!

Now, onto our first piece of hardware!

  • ravenware
    Dell 3008WFP Ultrasharp 30"

    , we can’t think of any computer user who wouldn’t be thrilled to get one.

    Gamers. The 8ms response time is a little on the slow side.
    Reply
  • Portall
    Nope. You won't see difference between 8 and 4ms :)
    Reply
  • V3NOM
    well you can... CRT vs LCD is quite clear.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    I play on the prior year's model (3007) all the time without any problems. Don't pass up gaming on a 30" display without at least trying it for yourself!
    Reply
  • Dual-link DVI does NOT need two seperate cables. HDMI's video component IS DVI. I'm amazed this slipped through and into the article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Visual_Interface
    Reply
  • radnor
    Well, you will actually. If you ever seen them side by side you will notice the difference. 5ms seems to be the sweet spot.
    Reply
  • LazyGarfield
    Interesting article! I´m still looking for the two beautiful women but cant find them :P
    Reply
  • Just a word of warning to anyone purchasing this monitor and wanting to watch Blu-Ray titles on it. If you use DVI as your input it can not display Blu-Ray titles above 1920 x 1080. Now I know this is the native res on the monitor. But HDCP will fail if the monitor's resolution is set any higher than this. This is due to a design flaw in the monitor's chipset. This wouldn't be a problem if all it meant was you had to reset the resolution when you want to watch a movie, but the problem is, 1920 x 1080 is not the same aspect ratio as 2560 x 1600. So your picture is vertically stretched. I know this because I bought one and spent hours in forums and on the phone with Dell before finding this out. I returned the monitor, because at $2000, there's no excuse for buggy HDCP support over DVI.
    Reply
  • what happened to the really cute girl you guys had last year ?
    Reply
  • xsamitt
    I think I'd take the 30 inch dell if it was free......Guess I won't be having one now for sure.lol.
    8 mills is just to slow.And Leigon thanks for the heads up.

    I do hope the new items to come are more interesting than this first round.
    Reply