Coolest Inventions 2004: Hot Boxes

Computers for every member of the family, full of power--and pizazz

PERSONAL VIEWS

The Media Center PC is finally coming of age. With these specially designed computers, you can already record TV shows. But now, by pairing the newest models--such as the Gateway 7200S ($1,400; gateway.com)--with two new add-ons, that technology goes mobile. You can transfer shows and songs to Creative's Zen Portable Media Center ($500; creative.com to enjoy on a plane or bus or in your breakfast nook. If the PC is in the den but you want to see your shows on the living room TV, try Linksys' Media Center Extender ($300; linksys.com) which...

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