Ubiquitous Wi-Fi is years away, but several companies are betting enough people have wireless routers or use public hot spots to support a handheld Wi-Fi device that doesn't double as a cell phone. Nokia's handheld is pricey, but it's the first I've tried that would make me think of leaving the laptop behind. The N810 has a 400-megahertz processor with 128 megabytes of RAM and runs on a version of the Linux operating system. It includes 2 gigabytes of internal storage, expandable to 8 gigabytes or more through a miniSD port. With a 4.13-inch widescreen LCD and 800-by-480-pixel resolution, the N810 beautifully displays pictures and videos. It has a slide-out backlit keyboard that's a bit cramped. The N810 uses Google Talk, Jabber, SIP and Skype for instant messaging, but there's no out-of-the-box support for AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo Messenger. The device includes a VGA camera for video conferencing and customizable widgets for Google searches and Internet radio. It has a global positioning receiver, but directions through WayFinder cost $120 for a three-year contract.
Dirk Lammers, Associated Press
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law
Price: $29.99 to $39.99
Company: Capcom USA
Platforms: Nintendo Wii, PlayStation2, Sony PSP
Rating: T (teen)
Fans of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, Cartoon Network's cult Adult Swim animated series that ended its run last summer, might get a few chuckles from a new game based on the show. Much of the voice cast, about a litigating superhero in a bird costume, returns, and there are new jokes and animation. It's basically animated scenes mixed with menus in which the player must gather evidence, interview witnesses and present items in court as double entendres fly and the cases wrap up in a quick, warped manner. Trial and error can get you through most of the game. And the five very short cases go by far too quickly and aren't great stories to begin with. But the animation is crisp and the anything-goes spirit of the show is intact. It's a solid weekend rental for fans, but not worth the price to buy, especially for those who don't miss the series.
Omar L. Gallaga, Austin American-Statesman
Everex TC2502 gPC
$199 without monitor, amazon.com
The gPC stands out from the crowd like a man wearing sandals at cocktail party - it's cheap and it's different. It's a simple desktop computer that eschews Windows in favor of Linux, the alternative operating system that's widely used by information technology professionals but has struggled for years to gain acceptance in desktops. The gPC is the first Linux computer to be sold in Wal-Mart stores (though only some of them), giving Linux another shot at the mainstream. It's designed to be easy to use and focuses on Google's Web services like Gmail and YouTube. But like some earlier Linux computers, it uncomfortably straddles two worlds: it's a low-end box for computer novices, yet considerable expertise is needed to get the most out of the software.
Peter Svensson and May Wong, Associated Press
If your PC is slow to start, you may have too many programs set to run upon startup, including ones you can't see. Remove or disable as many as you can. A good program to help you do this comes from PC Magazine and is called Startup Cop Pro 3. It costs $8 and can be found at pcmag.com/downloads.