CNET's rating: 7.5 Good
The good: Near-silent operation; powerful Pentium 4 processor; double-layer DVD burner; large hard drive; big software bundle
The bad: Large case won't fit in a standard AV rack; cheap plastic drive and port covers on front panel
What it's for: Running regular Windows apps plus managing digital pictures, music files and video via remote control
Essential extras: Double-layer DVD+R discs, Pioneer PDP-4340HD
The bottom line: Sony keeps its processor cool without an army of cooling fans, making it nearly silent and giving it living-room appeal.
Street price: $1,490