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  • Blu-ray players

    Blu-ray players give you lots of entertainment options. They'll play high-definition Blu-ray discs (including 3D movies, in some cases), regular DVDs, and CDs. And a growing number of players stream video from Internet sites such as Netflix, giving you access to the world of on-demand entertainment. With prices now starting as low as $100 or so, it's no surprise that Blu-ray players are pushing standard DVD players to the sidelines. It makes sense to consider a DVD player only if you have an older, standard-definition TV and don't expect to upgrade soon. (We no longer test standard DVD players, but you can get buying advice here.)

  • Security software

    Failing to protect your computer from online threats can shorten your machine's life and lead to the theft or corruption of data, including sensitive personal information. But you don't have to spend a lot on security software. We found that free programs are fine for most people.

  • E-book readers

    E-book readers are portable devices, usually with display screens optimized to show the electronic text of digital books. These electronic book readers are typically larger than cell phones and smaller than most tablet computers. Tablets with e-book apps, Web browsers and more robust processors typically offer more versatile than e-readers.

  • Tabletop humidifiersHumidifiers

    Who needs a humidifier? Anyone who has uncomfortably dry or itchy eyes, throat or skin, or whose asthma is a problem indoors during the heating season. In addition to the health benefits, a humidifier can also reduce static electricity, peeling wallpaper, and cracks in paint and furniture.

  • FoilElectric razors

    Electric shavers are popular on men's gift lists for several reasons: They let you shave without the muss and fuss of lather and water, a real plus when you're traveling or if you like an afternoon touch-up at the office. And unlike blade razors, they avoid nicks, since the blades don't touch your skin.

  • Computer monitors

    Like TV screens, computer monitors are continuing to go wider and bigger. The squarish 17-inch monitors are now almost obsolete, replaced by widescreen models. Their larger size allows for easier side-by-side page viewing or more spreadsheet columns with less scrolling.

  • Dishwashers

    When you're shopping for a dishwasher, there are a number of factors to consider. Besides determining how much you're able to spend, you'll need to decide how many and which options you want and really need, check the quietness and energy efficiency of the different dishwashers, and look at other aspects, including cycle time.

  • Top-freezer refrigeratorsRefrigerators

    Now is a great time to buy a new refrigerator as more brands pile on high-end features such as LED temperature displays and "theater lighting" for less. Our tests also show that even relatively basic, $500 refrigerators now offer glass shelves with rims to catch spills and enough storage in the door to hold gallon milk jugs.

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