Cook outside the box with these creative kitchen appliances

Innovative kitchen gadgets are nothing new, and as anyone who's seen an infomercial can attest, these kinds of small appliances often come with bold promises of revolutionizing the way we cook. However, with the occasional exception (I'm looking at you, Crock-Pot), that kind of ubiquity never quite seems to arrive.

But if you aren't getting a revolution, what are you getting? That all depends on the specific product, but more and more, we're seeing intriguing options that actually live up to their performance claims. Whether they're introducing powerful new cooking methods like steam baking and … Read more

Is now a good time to buy a TV?

The TV industry moves in a predictable yearly price cycle.

New TVs, first announced in January at CES, hit the market in February and throughout the spring, for prices close to the manufacturer's suggested retail price -- but not so close that Amazon et al can't still claim "20% off."

As the year progresses those prices typically fall a little, but the steep discounts don't set in until November, the herald of the holiday season. Often the prices fluctuate slightly throughout the holidays, until the traditional buying spree ends.

Then it's time for the … Read more

Six big screens for the big game

Now that the teams for that certain super-sized sporting event have been determined, you might want a new TV for the occasion. Or maybe you'd like to take advantage of some of the lowest prices of the year.

Just about every HDTV looks great displaying football and other sports in high def, but there's one key ingredient that separates "great" HDTVs from those that make you say "Boom!" No, we're not talking about motion resolution, 4K, or even black levels this time. We're talking about sheer size.

This year our list of Bowl-worthy big-screens, arranged in descending order of review rating, is bigger than ever. It doesn't include any TVs smaller than 64 inches, and the final three hit 70. Because nothing says "huge fan" like a huge TV. Or because more size is the best way to spend your extra TV dollar. Or just because your buddy down the street just got a wimpy 60-incher.

Of course if you don't want to go quite this big, you can click through the review to see smaller (and cheaper) alternatives. And if none of these choices cuts it, check out our lists of Best TVs arranged by size.

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Sharp goes big with 15.6-inch Windows 8.1 tablet

Sharp's taking the high-pixel-density road with a new 16-inch-class Windows 8.1 tablet.

This could be the year of the large tablet and Sharp just chimed in with a 15.6-inch model with a 3,200x1,800 (WQHD) display and a Core i5-4200U processor.

Samsung announced a 12.2-inch tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show, and Apple is rumored to be working on a 13-inch class tablet.

The 2.7-pound, 0.5-inch thick Sharp RW-16G also packs 4GB of RAM, 128GB solid-state drive, a Mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, and Windows 8.1 Pro. … Read more

High Dynamic Range: Dolby Vision, X-tended Dynamic Range Pro, and beyond

Dynamic range: the spread between the darkest and the brightest a TV can be. In other words, contrast ratio. But having beaten that term into the ground with a decade of dubious marketing use, it was time for new terminology.

Except, this isn't just marketing fluff. High dynamic range, in its multiple forms, can be a significant and noticeable increase in picture quality. Multiple companies are talking about it, from Dolby and its Vision tech, to Sony, Samsung, and others.

While 4K, curved, and OLED get lots of attention, it's possible HDR will improve not only LCDs, but other technologies too. … Read more

Sharp's IGZO display tech: Think iPad Mini -- and Dell's XPS 15

LAS VEGAS -- The iPad Mini Retina isn't the only product out there using Sharp's IGZO tech.

Sharp was showing off the 3,200x1,800 IGZO display on the 15.6-inch Dell XPS 15.

For those keeping track, that edges out the resolution on Apple's 15.4-inch MacBook Pro Retina. Dell's comes to 229 pixels per inch, while the MacBook Pro's is 220.

Sharp was also parading the 3,200x1,800 display on the Fujitsu UH90/M laptop.

(That said, Samsung wins the laptop pixel density wars with its Ativ Book 9 Plus, which shrinks … Read more

Sharp has a full 4K television as well

With most of the attention placed on Sharp's new 4K hybrid Quattron Plus at CES 2014, it's easy to overlook the fact that the company actually has a fully-fledged 4K television.

Sharp's top of the range TV offers a true 4K panel with four 60Hz-compatible HDMI inputs. Given the dearth of native 4K content, Sharp's UD will upscale regular programming to 4K using its upscaling engine.

Given the price and size it is disappointing that the UD won't come with any form of local dimming -- especially as Sharp's 2011 premium set, the Elite Pro-X5FD, … Read more

Sharp boasts 'game changer' high-res Aquos Quattron Plus TV

Sharp unveiled its new line of Aquos TVs on Monday, once again showing the consumer-electronics world that it knows how to think big.

The company touted the Aquos 4K, Aquos Q, and what Sharp President John Herrington called a "game changer" TV, the Aquos Quattron Plus, which has 10 million more subpixels than full HD. Sharp will release these TVs in a matter of weeks. … Read more

Sharp at CES 2014: Join us at 9 a.m. PT Monday (live blog)

LAS VEGAS -- Sharp is known for abiding by the "go big or go home" mantra each year at the International CES, showing off the largest and most outlandish televisions in the mode of "because we can" more than any other strategy.

And it pays off. At last year's CES, Sharp stole the show with its eye-popping line of Aquos smart LED televisions -- including the Aquos 90-inch set that clocks in as "the world's largest LED TV" -- and touted its monstrous 85-inch 8K prototype the year before.

This year, as … Read more

Sharp's Windows 8.1 tablet has serious specs: LTE, WQXGA

Sharp is upping the ante in the 10.1-inch Windows 8.1 tablet space with a WQXGA tablet packing 4GB of memory and LTE connectivity.

The Meibus Pad from Sharp -- which is also one of the world's largest LCD manufacturers -- sports a 2,560×1,600 IGZO display.

That's just shy of 300 pixels per inch and tops the 9.7-inch iPad Air's 264.

And that resolution also beats most Windows 8.1 tablets on sale today. Ten-inch class Windows 8.1 tablets typically offer resolutions no higher than 1,920x1,200 (e.g., … Read more