Comparison shopping is all about making informed choices and finding the best value. We're here to help with our Pronto Buying Guides. Just as we scour the web for the best prices, we have our team of guide editors scour the web for expert opinions and recommendations, user reviews and helpful facts so choosing the right product will be easier for you.
Thoreau “went into the woods into live deliberately and to front only the essential facts of life”, but he still needed something to carry his things. If you’re headed into the great outdoors, the backpack you wear can mean the difference between pleasure and pain. Pronto’s Backpack Buying Guide can help you identify which kind of backpack is best for you, whether you’re planning a day on the trail or two weeks in back wilderness. Backpacks can be purchased for less online than at sporting goods stores. However, you should always try on your pack before making a purchasing decision. When buying on-line, make sure that you have enough time to try on your pack and allow for any returns if necessary.
Women who run more than 10-15 miles a week for training or exercise should invest in a good pair of running shoes. When you run, your feet absorb 2.5 times your body weight at every impact. Because of the immense stress on your feet, it’s important to find good, supportive running shoes to avoid repetitive-motion injuries and overuse strains. Not all running shoes are made alike, however and there are several things you need to know before you buy. Pronto’s Women’s Running Shoe Buying Guide will help you find the running shoe that’s the best fit for your feet.
All hiking boots are not created equal. Women’s hiking boots are designed around the differences in the way that women walk, providing extra support to your feet and ankles. Hiking boot manufacturers have tapped in to running shoe technology to create a slew of new super-light, breathable options for day hikers. Serious trekkers can still opt for sturdy, durable, ankle-saving hiking boots, but with added comfort-enhancers like breathable waterproof membranes. Pronto’s Women’s Hiking Boots Buying Guide will help you choose the right hiking boots for your back-to-nature needs.
Rain, wind, snow or humidity may not stop the post office, but without a quality hair dryer they might make the time you spent styling your hair all for naught. Hair dryer manufacturers know this, and they’re using innovations like ceramic heaters, negatively charged ions and ground tourmaline to deliver sleek, superfunctional hair dryers. If this sounds too science-fiction for you, read on. Pronto’s Hair Dryer Buying Guide lays out all the things you need to know before choosing a new hair dryer.
Most people think of the pocket watch as an accessory of a bygone era that’s been replaced by modern technology like wrist watches and cell phones. Yet pocket watches remain popular among collectors and recent years have seen an increase in the number of pocket watches given as gifts. Few things compliment the elegance and grace of a well-tailored suit better than a stylish pocket watch. Pronto’s Pocket Watch Buying Guide will help you understand this timeless device so you can find a durable watch with a dash of style.
Leather handbags are the most beautiful and elegant bags of the handbag world. However, picking the perfect leather handbag can sometimes be a little overwhelming. So we laid out a buying guide to help you with the process. We will show you how to narrow your choices by determining your style and price range, as well as how to look for quality, functionality, and a good deal. So read on and find how to choose your perfect leather handbag.
The perfect handbag not only effortlessly pulls together an outfit but will also function as your trusty personal secretary. Chic women know picking the right handbag for the outfit, event, and personal style is extremely important.
A briefcase may say as much about you to your coworkers as the cut of your suit or the quality of your shoes. Although a well-organized briefcase can make you more productive and professional, it can also be a fashion statement. In fact, as the only accessory most men carry, your briefcase may well define your style.
While a designer handbag can be a powerful status symbol, the most expansive bag in the world is useless to you if isn’t functional or doesn’t flatter your style. Designer handbags come in many different types and the right bag for you should meet your storage and accessorizing needs. With a wide range of choices, it should be easy to find a designer handbag for everyday use or a fancy night on the town.
It doesn’t matter if it’s for an anniversary, engagement or for no event at all—buying a diamond can be traumatic. For something that comes out of the ground, there sure are a lot of things to know before you can buy a diamond with confidence! You can simplify the diamond buying experience if you have a firm budget and do your homework in advance.
Congratulations, you've decided to tie the knot. Now it's time to pick out an engagement ring. For many men, the second decision is actually harder. An engagement ring not only represents a sign of lifelong commitment, it also represents a substantial investment. Take a deep breath! With a little planning and forethought, you can turn this stress-inducing event into the happy task it was meant to be.
While there are gloves for just about any activity or occasion, the first application most of us think of is keeping warm. Gloves protect us from all kinds of dangers and inconveniences, while at the same time keeping us (and our hands) looking stylish. A good set of gloves will provide fit, comfort and protection—and look good while doing all three!
If makeup is important to your day, then makeup remover should be crucial. Leaving makeup on your skin can have damaging effects. Even the gentlest makeup will clog your pores, leading to acne and other skin problems. Although soap can be used to remove makeup, using soap consistently will leave your skin dry and irritated.
Today’s electric shavers have lost their cords, received a style makeover and are lighter and sleeker than ever. Unlike your father’s electric shaver, today’s models travel easily and work in wet or dry conditions. For men and women tired of blades, Pronto’s Electric Shavers Buying Guide will help you find the electric shaver that’s best for you.
Cufflinks have been a fashion staple for the well-dressed man since the 18th century. Today, you don’t need the resources of Louis XIV to afford these decorative shirt accessories, just a strong sense of what style appeals to you. Cufflinks come in a dizzying array of shapes, colors and materials, making it a simple matter to customize your look for any occasion.
Men's jackets are available from casual denim to almost-formal blazers. This variety can be a boon for some men, but can be confusing for others. Buying a men's jacket is simply a matter of taking the time to understand your measurements and then finding a jacket to fit your need.
Men's watches can be considered functional jewelry. In fact, next to a wedding ring, a watch may be the closest thing some men ever get to jewelry. First introduced in the mid 1800s, men's watches now come in a vast array of styles, materials and technologies. If you're thinking about buying a watch, the most important factors to consider are style, budget and what activities you'll be engaged in when you're wearing your new watch.
Whether you wear one to work every day or only on special occasions, a men's suit should have a home in every man's closet. Since not everyone can afford tailor-made suits, it pays to know how to buy the perfect suit off the rack. Focusing on quality and fit will help minimize the trauma of shopping for a great men's suit.
Whether it's winter or summer, men, or their women, are thinking about men's swimwear. Be ready for the first warm day of the season with a new and comfortable pair of swim trunks, board shorts or swim briefs, if you're daring. A seemingly limitless selection of styles and colors make it a certainty that you'll find the men's swimwear that's right for you.
Cloth diapers or disposable? Baby Einstein or Barney? The list of decisions new parents have to make is endless and can be overwhelming. Fortunately, choosing an infant car seat doesn’t have to be. All infant car seats manufactured and sold in the United States are required to meet federal safety standards, so you can focus on Pronto’s Infant Car Seat Buying Guide to help you determine which infant car seat best meets the needs of your baby, your budget and your lifestyle. Proper fit and installation are critical. Be sure to save the original box, packaging and receipt and be familiar with return policies (see also Child Car Seat Buying Guide).
Don’t short change your choice of strollers. How the stroller feels and drives can make the difference between great outings and difficult ones. With so many makes and models on the market, how do you begin to narrow your options? You can start by thinking about where you live, where you’ll be taking your child and what you need to bring with you when you go. Have more than one child? There are strollers that can tow the entire family. Pronto’s Stroller Buying Guide takes you through all the points you need to consider before clicking the “buy now” button (see also Jogging Stroller Buying Guide, Baby Carrier Buying Guide).
Baby swings can soothe parents as much as they soothe their little ones by providing a comforting environment when parents with jangled nerves have run out of ideas to get a baby to sleep. Today’s models offer parents a variety of options to choose from. From traditional hand-wound swings that lull baby to sleep to full-activity centers, there’s a swing to suit just about every need and every budget. Some manufacturers have even based their designs on how the human body moves when it holds and rocks a baby. How to choose one which one works for you and your baby? Let Pronto’s Baby Swing Buying Guide help you decide.
Most new parents would like nothing more than to snuggle their newborn for weeks on end. Too bad the realities of today’s hectic life mean most moms and dads are up and running within days, if not hours, of returning from the maternity ward. Fortunately, one piece of baby gear is designed to help parents get through their daily routines while providing the physical closeness every infant needs: the baby carrier. Studies show that “babywearing”, or using carriers to hold babies results in happier, healthier children. Pronto’s Baby Carrier Buying Guide can help you decide which of the many styles best suits your family’s needs.
Jogging strollers are showing up everywhere from city streets to country paths and every road surface in between and with good reason: they’re a great way for babies and toddlers to get fresh air while parents get their heart rate up. Although some jogging strollers do offer full recline positions, don’t mistake that for the OK to take your infant running. Infants need to lie flat and you don’t want to kick your child inadvertently when you hit full stride. Doctors recommend waiting to run with your child until they’re approximately 6-7 months of age and can hold their heads up. Even at that age, there are several things to consider before you invest in a jogging stroller and embark on family fitness. Let Pronto’s Jogging Stroller Buying Guide take you through all the points you need to consider before clicking the “buy now” button (see also Stroller Buying Guide).
For parents of little ones, a baby monitor may be the next best thing to cloning yourself. These handy devices, which in their most basic form consist of a transmitter and receiver, allow parents to keep an ear out for — and in some cases even keep an eye on — their snoozing tykes from as far as 600 feet away. That means that while baby naps, mom and dad can garden, change the oil, do the laundry or tend to the myriad other household chores that are often neglected during baby-awake time. With hundreds of baby monitor options to choose from, selecting the one that’s right for your needs can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re not an electronics whiz. Pronto’s Baby Monitor Buying Guide helps simplify the task by zeroing in on the key factors you may want to consider when making your choice.
Just as kids grow out of clothes and shoes and toys, they also grow out of their beds. Getting the right bed—at the right time—can mean the difference between a full night’s sleep (for you and your child) and teary bedtime negotiations. Assess your family’s needs and your child’s personality to figure out which bed size, type and style will work best in your home.
A boy’s sneaker will cover on average 600 miles over the course of its wear. That’s too many miles to spend in the wrong shoes. Fortunately, plenty of sneakers exist that will fit your budget, your boy’s style, and, of course, his feet. If you follow a few guidelines to ensure a proper fit, everyone will walk away happy.
Whether your boy is a scout or not, the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared!” are words to live by, especially when winter rolls around. So, don’t let your boy head out into a cold, rainy or snowy day without the right outerwear. Keep in mind fit, form and function as you and your son shop for the perfect winter coat.
They might not get paid for it, but kids work hard—at learning to write, coloring pictures for you, and filling out applications to schools and colleges. So, put as much thought into buying a desk for them as you would for yourself. Style, size and use will change over the years, but it is possible to find a desk that functions as well at 8 as at 18.
The quest for the perfect jeans begins in early childhood for girls and continues throughout a woman’s life. Just as a young or teenage girl has worn in her jeans just so, the tiniest hole appears on the knee or a growth spurt squeezes her out of them, and poof! The quest continues. It’s a delicate balance, finding the right rise, wash, cut and length. She’s declaring her jean personality to the world.
The problem with buying a car seat is not that you have to buy one, it’s that you actually have to buy several—one for infancy (or two) for infancy, one for toddlerhood, and one for young children. You’ll have to assess your family’s needs closely to get the best value from your purchases.
The day you try to go grocery shopping with a newborn in a bulky stroller, you’ll understand the wonders of baby carriers. But choose the wrong carrier and you could end up experiencing intense back pain and losing a lot of time each day as you struggle to load your kid in and out of some contraption.
Got a crib yet? Many expectant moms and dads race to finish the nursery before the baby’s arrival, but it’s not necessary to complete everything. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in a safety-approved crib, bassinet or cradle in their parents’ room until they are six months old. Still, decorating that nursery is something parents enjoy, and the centerpiece of baby’s naptime and sleep time will undoubtedly be the crib. Before you choose the place where your baby will spend the better part of the next two to three years, let Pronto’s Crib Buying Guide help you identify your purchasing priorities.
When it comes to buying cookware, experts agree on one thing: no one brand of cookware will suit every cook's needs. Today’s cookware selection is vast and offers endless perks at seemingly limitless price ranges. There's plenty to consider: your culinary skills, your cooking surface, compatibility with your favorite recipes, durability, and whether to buy your cookware as a set or piece by piece from open stock. It’s a lot to consider. Pronto's Cookware Buying Guide can help you sift through what you need to know before you buy.
You don’t have to go to Rome to do as the Romans do. It took a while for Americans to catch on to the European taste for espresso, but these days it seems as if there is a coffee shop on every corner to suit the growing demands of our sophisticated palates. Espresso boasts superior taste and tremendous versatility, not to mention a hit of caffeine to start your day with a jolt. Lattes, cappuccinos and other blended espresso drinks are just a short walk away, but getting your fix at the local coffee shop isn’t your only option. Pronto’s Espresso Machine Buying Guide can point you toward the right machine to help you find your inner barista (see also Coffee Maker Buying Guide).
A stand mixer may be the home cook’s best friend. Whether you bake for pleasure, or feel like you need a team of elves to keep up with the endless school bake sales and holiday madness, a stand mixer’s appeal is simple: It does most of the work for you, and does it much faster than you could by hand, or even with a portable mixer. Stand mixers can finish off time-consuming steps like beating egg whites or whipping cream in a flash, or put a family-size batch of mashed potatoes on the dinner table in mere minutes. Also, unlike portable mixers, powerful stand mixers can take on heavy-duty chores like blending flour into stiff cookie dough and kneading bread. Pronto’s Stand Mixer Buying Guide will help you choose the best stand mixer for your needs and budget, whether you’re a novice cupcake-baker or a serious home chef (see also Hand Mixer Buying Guide, Blender Buying Guide, Food Processor Buying Guide).
Few everyday items affect your morning as much as your shower. When choosing a showerhead, you’ll need to look at design, water flow and spray patterns. Whether you’re looking to upgrade an old showerhead or turn your bathroom into in-home spa, Pronto’s Showerhead Buying Guide will help you find the showerhead that meets your needs, budget and taste so you can start every day clean and refreshed.
There is an old Spanish saying that “good wine ruins the purse; bad wine ruins the stomach.” Storing wine improperly may lead to a host of problems, all of which result in ruining a good (and expensive) bottle. If you want your good wine to stay that way, avoid the perils of poor storage and invest in a wine chiller. Pronto’s Wine Chiller Buying Guide will help you find the wine chiller that fits your needs and your budget.
Work might not always be fun, but it can always be comfortable—as long as you’re sitting in the right office chair. Choosing the office chair that’s right for you depends on a number of factors, starting with your body position when you’re working. Then you’ll need to take into consideration the amount of adjustability you need and at which points on the chair. Sound confusing? It can be, but Pronto’s Office Chair Buying Guide will eliminate the confusion and make clear which office chair is best for you.
The robotic lawn mower gives consumers an opportunity to escape yard work forever. Improved technology makes the robotic lawn mower a better choice for the overall health of your lawn, as well as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional emissions-producing lawn mowers. Robotic lawn mowers are still fairly new to the consumer market, and learning about them for the first time can be confusing. Pronto’s Robotic Lawn Mower Buying Guide will show you what’s out there and help you find a robotic lawn mower of your very own.
How does a limitless supply of hot water for your home, increased energy efficiency and lower fuel bills sound? That’s the promise of tankless water heaters. Long popular in other parts of the world, tankless or “on demand” water heaters, first appeared in the United States about 30 years ago. Today they account for 8% of new water heater sales and that figure is growing. Is tankless water heating right for you? Only if you plan your purchase well. Pronto’s Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide will walk you through the not-so-simple technology so you can make an informed buying decision.
Whether you’re hosting a cookout, sunbathing or just relaxing with your family, patio furniture turns your deck, porch, patio or backyard into a soothing sanctuary and a pleasant gathering place. Dining sets, lounge chairs, gliders, benches, hammocks and shelving units for outdoor use are available in styles and sizes to fit any decor and any outdoor living space, as well as budgets from small to large. Not sure how to get starte? Pronto’s Patio Furniture Buying Guide will make buying patio furniture a picnic.
Once the staple of the dorm room, the futon has evolved into a mature piece of furniture that has gone far beyond its humble Japanese origins. Today's futon is available in wide range of sizes, style and materials, making it the perfect solution for flexible sitting and sleeping. With the right cover and accessory pillows, a futon can work in most any décor.
Spending time in your garden should be pleasure. The right garden tools can mean the difference between a bucolic outing and feeling like you're working on a chain gang. From go-to workhorses to the latest high tech gadgets, garden tools are available in a wide range of styles and prices.
Chances are that if you do much cooking, the time will come when you’ll need some version of a hand blender. Whether you’re a professional chef with top-of-the line equipment, or a home cook just learning the ropes, there are a few basic things to look for before you buy. Pronto’s Hand Mixer Buying Guide can help you find the perfect solution for all your needs (see also our Blender Buying Guide).
Electric air purifiers have become a common sight in many homes over the last 10 years. People who own air purifiers swear by their efficiency and the benefits they reap from their use. If you have certain kinds of allergies and live in a newer home, an air purifier may be a smart investment for your comfort and health. Pronto’s Buying Guide takes the guesswork out of choosing one so everyone’s breathing easier.
Food processors have been a mandatory kitchen appliance for professional chefs and serious cooks since their introduction in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Originally, their cost and size made them unappealing to most people, but today’s food processors are affordable, relatively compact and available in a host of colors and sizes. Not only that, but modern food processors have evolved from a single-function appliance to a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ kitchen necessity. Whether you want to stop the tears when chopping onions or your carpal tunnel won’t let you knead bread dough, there’s a food processor out there that can get the job done (see also Hand Mixer Buying Guide, Blender Buying Guide).
As kitchen tools go, your knives are your closest friends—the ones you count on to be at your side through thick and thin. No matter what kind of knife you need, purchasing the right one for the job comes down to construction, design and feel. Pronto’s Kitchen Knife Buying Guide helps you focus on the qualities that will make the difference between knives that simply look nice, and knives that serve you well for a lifetime. With some care and consideration, it’s easy to choose a few knives that will do the work of many, and ideally, hold up well enough to be the last kitchen knives you ever need to buy.
For most homeowners, the lawn mower is the most frequently used outdoor tool, yet most consumers choose a lawn mower based on status rather than performance. When you’re shopping for a lawn mower, remember that the neighbors will be more impressed with the tidiness of your yard than the brand name on your mower. Lawn mowers range from the humble manual-reel mower to garage-filling lawn tractors costing thousands of dollars. If you’ve got a very small yard and don’t mind raking, a manual reel mower is all you need. However, most consumers need a powered lawn mower, which does a better job than manual reels and is easier to use in large yards. How do you choose a lawn mower that’s right for your lawn? Pronto’s Lawn Mower Buying Guide lays down the groundwork for you.
Space heaters are the tool of choice for consumers looking to fight rising energy costs and lower their carbon footprints. Many consumers choose a space heater that is inadequate for their needs or expect more from a space heater than it can deliver. Understanding the types of space heaters—and what a space heater can and cannot do—will help you find the space heater that’s right for you and Pronto’s Space Heater Buying Guide make that process even easier.
A good clothes washer is an essential member of your household, whether you’re a busy professional who needs to show up for work looking presentable or a frazzled parent buried in a landslide of juice-stained onesies. While the basic functions of clothes washers are the same, new technology has made washers more energy efficient than ever, making this the perfect time to upgrade older washers. Pronto’s Clothes Washer Buying Guide will help you identify the best clothes washer for your needs and budget.
Refrigerators have evolved considerably from the tin-lined iceboxes used by our grandparents. Most refrigerators on the market do an admirable job of keeping your perishables from perishing, so the best way to start shopping for your new refrigerator is to consider how many—or how few—high-tech “extras” you need. Pronto’s Refrigerator Buying Guide will take you through the innovations available so you can find the refrigerator that’s right for you.
Once a luxury reserved for the rich and famous, hot tubs are now quite affordable, even regarded by some as an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle and a necessary home improvement. Whether you want to soak nightly to ease your aches and pains, submerge to center yourself or need a fun place to socialize, there's a lot to know about buying your own hot tub. Pronto’s Hot Tub Buying Guide will help you get the most splash for your buck.
From finish work to furniture making, you can’t beat the accurate cuts you’ll get from a table saw. The simple design of table saws makes it easy to get straight cuts at almost any width, which saves time and gives your projects a professional finish. Choosing the wrong table saw can lead to frustration, but Pronto’s Table Saw Buying Guide will help match you to the right one for your projects.
Admit it—you’re jealous when you toil away in your driveway with a shovel, clearing a path for your car and a walkway for your mailman while you watch your neighbor come out, start up a snow blower and go back inside a few minutes later with a clean drive and a smug expression. If the time has come for you to join the ranks of people who save time and effort by using a snow blower, you may be intimidated by the technology and terminology. A cup of hot cocoa and Pronto’s Snow Blower Buying Guide will have you shopping like a pro in no time so you, too, can be out in the driveway with a new snow blower.
Hedge trimmers are ideal for the homeowner trying to maintain their property and for commercial companies clearing land. Hedge trimmers, sometimes called hedge shears or hedge clippers, are power tools designed to quickly trim and sculpt bushes. Though a simple concept, new technology in the field offers the potential buyer a slew of options. Pronto’s Hedge Trimmer Buying Guide will help you find an affordable, efficient model, whether you’re taming the backyard jungle or practicing topiary.
No aspect of your office contributes more to your productivity than your office desk. You can have the best computer equipment, the best coffee machine and the best view in town, but if your office desk isn’t good enough then your days are going to be uncomfortable and unproductive. Fortunately, finding a good office desk isn’t hard to do, and it doesn’t need to be expensive. Pronto’s Office Desk Buying Guide will help you find the right office desk for your work style so you can get the job done right.
A smoke detector is an essential purchase for your home, not only for your own safety, but for the safety of those you live with, your pets, roommates or family. Buying a smoke detector—or detectors—is more than just grabbing one at the hardware store and slapping it on the wall. There are several key factors to consider, including detection type, power source, placement and lifespan. Pronto’s Smoke Detector Buying Guide will help you determine which smoke detector is best for you.
The traditional kitchen range with a 4-burner cooktop above that sits atop a standard oven is still the most common choice for homeowners looking to save money and space in the kitchen. If you think kitchen range technology hasn’t advanced in the last few years, it’s time to kick your avocado-colored appliance idea to the curb and upgrade to the modern cooking experience. Pronto’s Kitchen Range Buying Guide will help you get the best range for your buck (see also Cooktop Buying Guide and Wall Oven Buying Guide).
Digital picture frames have become increasingly popular as people make the transition from film media to digital formats. If you own a digital camera, a digital picture frame gives you the flexibility of displaying your photos without making prints. As digital picture frames are still fairly new, you may be unfamiliar with their features, options and technical terms as you shop. Pronto’s Digital Frame Buying Guide will help you master this fun new technology and get the best frame for your needs.
Whether you’re a college student moving into a dorm, a city-dweller moving into a small apartment or an office administrator looking for new break room supplies, you should consider the benefits of a compact refrigerator. Far from being the basic “beer fridges” with tiny freezers of years past, compact refrigerators offer numerous features, including energy efficiency, reversible hinges, thermostats and crispers. Pronto’s Compact Refrigerator Buying Guide will walk you through the confusing maze of features and specifications to help you find a compact refrigerator to fit your needs.
Few things are more beautiful than bright autumn leaves—until they’re blanketing your lawn. The rake can still get the job done, but there’s no denying that a leaf blower will get it done faster. Leaf blowers are controversial due to noise and emissions issues. This controversy has prompted manufacturers to turn out new models that are quieter and more environmentally friendly, with a trend toward powerful electric leaf blowers that compete with louder, emissions heavy gas-powered blowers. If you and your rake are losing the battle against knee-deep piles of fallen foliage, Pronto’s Leaf Blower Buying Guide will help you choose a leaf blower that will corral those leaves while keeping fumes—and fuming neighbors—to a minimum.
If you’re a professional woodworker or hobbyist, a miter saw is an essential tool for your workshop. Framers and do-it-yourselfers can also benefit from the precise cutting power a miter saw offers. Miter saws make even, perfectly matched joints and corners as simple as adjusting a few knobs, but there are big differences in quality, function and performance. Pronto’s Miter Saw Buying Guide will match you to the miter saw that’s most fit for your woodworking projects.
Drills are the most popular power tool sold in America. There are hundreds of uses for a drill around the home, from hanging pictures to replacing hardware to do-it-yourself projects, even changing your car’s tires. What you can do with a drill depends on the power, size and features of the drill you select. Pronto’s Drill Buying Guide will match you to the drill that can tackle your projects.
You may be at home on your range, but if it’s time to update your kitchen, a cooktop gives you ultimate design flexibility. A cooktop can be installed anywhere you like, including on a kitchen island, thanks to models that offer downdraft ventilation. Whether you want a sleek electric smooth-top or a professional-style, gas-powered cooktop, there are as many features to choose from as recipes to make. Pronto’s Cooktop Buying Guide will help you find the cooktop of your culinary dreams.
A good blender is an essential part of any kitchen whether you’re making smoothies, margaritas or pureeing summer tomatoes from the garden for homemade marinara. Despite the popularity of food processors and hand/immersion mixers, blenders are still the best choice for crushing ice, whipping up a smoothie or other frozen drink and pureeing soups. Pronto's Blender Buying Guide will help you find the best blender for all of your culinary tasks (see also Hand Mixer Buying Guide).
Roseanne Barr once said, “I’m not going to vacuum until Sears makes one I can ride on.” While riding vacuum cleaners at home may still be a thing of the future, buying one can be surprisingly overwhelming. With so many factors to consider, it’s easy to get lost in the terminology: upright, canister, self-propelled, HEPA filter, suction, amps—it’s enough to make you want to install hardwood everywhere. The good news is that by answering a few simple questions about how you intend to use your vacuum, you’re well on your way to knowing which one to purchase. Let Pronto’s Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide help you narrow your options and be confident in your selection.
There is “no pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater” than meat cooked in a slow cooker. Rival’s Crock-Pot, the original slow cooker introduced in the 1970s is a household name, but others have entered the slow cooker market spurring innovative cooking options, specialty accessories across a broad range of solid products. No matter which slow cooker you choose, you’ll want yours to have a glass lid to prevent you from doing the one thing you should never do: opening a slow cooker during cooking drastically lowers the temperature, extends cook time and may result in undercooked food. What else should you look for? Let Pronto’s Slow Cooker Buying Guide point the way so you’re cooking in no time.
Whether you’ve tamed your caffeine addiction, or can’t face the morning without a decent buzz, your next cup of coffee is only as good as the coffeemaker that brews it. A tasty cup depends on the right mingling of ingredients, temperature, and timing. Choosing the right coffeemaker doesn’t have to be a grind. Pronto’s Coffeemaker Buying Guide can help you find the best machine to usher you into a new day (see also Espresso Machine Buying Guide).
If you live in an area prone to high humidity or if you just have too much dampness in your basement, a dehumidifier can help reduce the risk of mold and mildew and even protect the structure of your home when moisture threatens to damage the foundation. Any owner of a newer home should consider purchasing a dehumidifier—as homes become more energy efficient and airtight, they’re getting too good at keeping moisture in and can develop mold quickly if humidity levels aren’t controlled. What should you look for when you buy yours? Pronto’s Dehumidifier Buying Guide takes you through everything you need to consider before making your purchase.
Electric grills have joined the ranks of microwaves, ovens, and stovetops as a popular method of cooking in millions of American homes. Electric grills promise easy cleanup and health benefits, but the best reason to add an electric grill to your kitchen is to whip up quick and easy meals. Thinking of taking the plunge into indoor grilling? Pronto’s Electric Grill Buying Guide can help make sure you don’t get burned by a bad purchase decision.
Grilling meat, fish and vegetables is a great way to eat healthy without sacrificing flavor. It’s no surprise then that gas grills have become one of the most popular grownup toys in recent years. Head to any hardware store or home improvement center, and you’ll see big, gleaming gas grills lined up like new cars in a showroom, some with price tags that rival good used cars. If you’re ready to make the investment, you’ll find that a gas grill is excellent for outdoor entertaining and a great way to vary your cooking. Not sure much grill you need? Pronto’s Gas Grill Buying Guide can help (see also Electric Grill Buying Guide).
Dry skin, itchy eyes and throat, and static-electric shocks every time you touch a door handle are all sure signs it’s time to invest in a humidifier. Useful in warm, dry climates and during winter in colder climates, humidifiers put moisture back in the air, creating a balanced, more comfortable living environment. Humidifiers can be small enough to carry from room to room or large enough to combat dryness throughout your entire house. No matter what size you need, all humidifiers function in the same basic ways however, they’re not created equal. Pronto’s Humidifier Buying Guide takes you through the essentials you need to know to select the best humidifier for your needs and home.
Beyond waking up your taste buds, juicers can wake up your whole body to a healthier lifestyle. Juicers pack the nutrients of several servings of fruits and vegetables into a single glass, and do it without degrading them the way cooking does. The crushing, chopping, or “chewing” action of juicers breaks down plant fibers, releasing more vital enzymes, minerals and vitamins from your pineapple or spinach than you’d get if you ate them whole. Pronto’s Juicer Buying Guide will help you choose the juicer that’s right for you, whether you’re a raw foods and wheatgrass enthusiast, or you just think a delicious glass of fresh strawberry-cantaloupe juice would be a great addition to your breakfast table (see also Blender Buying Guide).
Microwaves are not just for reheating and popcorn anymore—they have become an essential appliance in every kitchen. Some new features like convection technology have made the ovens more versatile while others like SpeedCook have made it possible to reduce cooking times dramatically. Aside from the cooking technology, there are a lot of features to consider when buying your next Microwave oven. Pronto’s Microwave Oven Buying Guide simplifies shopping so that when you make your decision, you know you’re getting what you need.
A smoker is the tool of choice for those who are serious about barbecue. A smoker provides a primal connection with our past, while infusing your food with true barbecue flavor. Smokers aren’t grills, though some can do double duty. Pronto’s Smoker Buying Guide will help you choose the smoker that’s right for you (see also Gas Grill Buying Guide).
Everybody knows that a good cup of coffee or shot of espresso owes its flavor to the quality of its beans. But what good are supreme beans if you don’t grind them properly? Finding the right coffee grinder can mean the difference between a bitter blend and a blissful brew, and you don’t have to spend a lot to reap the fresh and flavorful rewards. Whether brewing at home or in a coffee shop, grinding your own beans is a must for coffee drinkers looking for maximum flavor. Pronto’s Coffee Grinder Buying Guide can help you make the right purchase to satisfy your caffeine craving (see also Coffee Maker Buying Guide, Espresso Machine Buying Guide).
Circular saws are among the most versatile tools available, and your investment in a circular saw will pay off with just one or two home-improvement projects. Pronto’s Circular Saw Buying Guide will help you find the best circular saw for general home use—a saw that might be a little bigger than you expect—so you can become a do-it-yourselfer in no time.
Carbon monoxide (CO in chemistry) is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, which makes a carbon monoxide detector an essential item in your home. How essential? Some states now require carbon monoxide detectors in all homes. Even if you’re not legally required to own one, a carbon monoxide detector will provide your family with an extra measure of safety. Pronto’s Carbon Monoxide Detector Buying Guide will help you understand how to choose and use these devices.
A dryer is an indispensable appliance in almost every household (unless you long for the days when people lugged heavy baskets of wet laundry out to the clothesline and rummaged through the neighbors’ shrubs for the boxer shorts that blew away). Dryers have always saved time and labor, but today’s smarter dryers can also keep your favorite sweater from shrinking while saving energy and money at the same time. Pronto’s Dryer Buying Guide will help you choose the best dryer for your needs and budget. It won’t put an end to laundry, but it might make it a little less of a chore.
Cooking is a joy when you have the right tools, and that extends to choosing the right knife sharpener. Any knife, even the most deluxe, is only as good as its cutting edge, and choosing the right knife sharpener will help you get the most joy from your investment. Pronto’s Knife Sharpener Buying Guide will help you choose a knife sharpener that strikes the perfect balance between convenience and control.
Oven choices were once limited to fuel type, exterior color and whether to splurge for self-cleaning. Today, there are more oven options than you can poke a fork at. It’s likely you have lived with the basic freestanding range, a stove-oven combination with coil heaters, simple control dials and a trendy enamel finish. Modern kitchens often separate a wall oven from the cooktop, which expands the cooking area in your kitchen and can add considerably to the resale value of your home. For those who want to go in-depth on oven options or just need a wall oven, Pronto’s Wall Oven Buying Guide will help you get the most wall oven for your budget.
Those cramp-inducing grass clippers of the Leave It to Beaver era have evolved, mercifully, into the string trimmer. String trimmers reduce the time and effort involved in yard work, which has landed them among the most popular and best-selling yard tools. Although simple in function, string trimmers vary widely in performance and neighbor-annoying noise, but Pronto’s String Trimmer Buying Guide will point you to the tool that you—and your neighbors—will love to use.
Pressure washers are great tools for difficult residential cleanup, advanced construction detailing and heavy-use industrial and agricultural applications. As you might guess, the homeowner and the construction worker are using two very different pressure washers, and the industrial applications call for different models yet. So which pressure washer is right for you? Resist the temptation to run out and buy the most powerful pressure washer on the market. Too much cleaning power can actually damage the surface you’re trying to clean. Pronto’s Pressure Washer Buying Guide will familiarize you with this powerful tool so you get a model than cleans without the risk of damage.
You’ve heard it at every construction site, the rhythmic pop-pop-popping sound of nail guns in action. Let’s face it, hammers are great for removing nails, but nothing beats a nail gun for making quick work of home improvement and woodworking projects. Nail guns can be a sizable investment, so it’s essential to know what you need before buying. Pronto’s Nail Gun Buying Guide will help you find the right tool for all your projects, big and small.
How much thought did you put into your last mattress purchase? Most people spend a third of each day on a mattress and two hours or less in a car, yet comfort tends to be a greater factor when people buy a car than when they choose a mattress. Mattresses today offer a variety of support types and well as support levels, both of which can have a profound impact of the quality of your sleep. Pronto’s Mattress Buying Guide will take you inside the mattress so you can choose the one that’s best for your back and your budget.
Tired of replacing your plants when the first frost hits or planning your planting schedule around Mother Nature? Greenhouses are the solution for anyone interested in a protected environment that offers year-round gardening. Your flowers, vegetables and other plant life will survive all winter, and you can scoot around Mother Nature’s commanding hand. From weekend gardeners to state fair exhibitioners, Pronto’s Greenhouse Buying Guide will help you find the right home for your plants.
Since refrigerator freezers are not intended for long-term storage, a separate freezer can help you save money by buying on sale, in season and in bulk. When correctly prepared and packaged, many fresh vegetables, fruits and meats are as good frozen as they are fresh. There are several key factors to consider, including the type of freezer and energy efficiency, new or used, frost-free versus defrosting and, most important, size and access. Whether you can’t resist a sale or just need some extra freezer space, Pronto’s Freezer Buying Guide will help you choose the best freezer for your lifestyle and budget.
Bird-watching is a fun, fascinating and educational hobby the entire family can enjoy from the comfort of home. Bird houses are a great way to attract these awe-inspiring creatures to your corner of the world, providing them a safe place to feed and nest where you can observe them up close. Bird houses come in so many sizes, styles, and types that you may not know where to start. Pronto’s Bird House Buying Guide will help you determine how to bring birds to your backyard and how to keep your avian friends happy in their new home.
The bathroom vanity: launch pad for your day and centerpiece of your bathroom. Whether it’s a powder room or a master bath, a bathroom vanity can help define the look of your bathroom. The second most important fixture in the bathroom, the vanity allows for an almost limitless expression of your style and design sense. Don’t have any? Bathroom vanities can be simple and functional as well.
They may be small, but bathrooms require careful planning when it comes to lighting. Bathroom lighting must banish shadows but not introduce glare. Lights must be functional and safe from the hazards of splashed and spilled water. Oh, yeah. Bathroom lights need to meet all these requirements and be affordable and stylish at the same time.
Ceiling fans have been keeping homes and businesses cool for over a century. That kind of track record is the sign of a good idea. Ceiling fans are an energy efficient way to cool a room and a great way to augment air conditioning and heating. Match a fan to the size and décor of your room and you’ll be on your way to comfort and savings.
The coffee table was born in Victorian England, but had its roots in Turkish and Japanese furniture design. One of the most functional pieces of furniture in many homes, the coffee table serves as stage, serving area, desk and foot stool—sometimes all at once! Finding the right coffee table requires finding the right balance of form, function and style.
Finding the perfect computer desk to fit your home office means matching your needs to your space. Computer desks are required to fill several functions and good desks are designed with the unique storage and connection needs computers require. A quality computer desk will make sitting down to work—or play—a pleasure.
Indoor lighting has been a priority since man moved into his first cave. From gooseneck to Tiffany, there are as many types and styles of lamps as there are stars in the sky—well, the visible ones, anyway. Match your desk or table lamp to your décor, task and lighting scheme and you’ll be on your way to a brighter future. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
A dining table and chair set can be the stage for an elegant dinner party or serve as a temporary desk for the kids' homework. Whatever you have in mind, buying a dining table and chair set takes a little planning, a little imagination and a little common sense. Narrowing the field by knowing what you want will make buying a dining table and chair set a simple task.
An entertainment center is the perfect way to house, organize and display your home electronics. Many types of furniture fall under the entertainment center banner, from TV stands to full-sized wall units. The wide range of styles and finishes makes it easy to find an entertainment center that is perfect for your home and your family's needs.
Every kitchen could use a place to store things like gadgets, small appliances and seldom-used items. You know, the stuff spilling out of your cabinets and cluttering your counters? Combining storage, utility and food serving needs, kitchen carts are an elegant solution that can hide discreetly in a corner or be displayed as the focal point of a room.
Choosing the right kitchen sink can really make your kitchen pop. Far from a simple functional necessity, the kitchen sink can bring style and convenience to an area of your kitchen that gets used every day. With bowl styles, mounting choices and varying materials, it's easy to make your sink the star of the kitchen.
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Or is it the floor? Or the counter? Mirrors are extremely useful as tools and decorative accessories. Beyond providing a reflection for personal grooming, mirrors can add light to a room or make it seem bigger. The versatility of the mirror makes it a favorite tool of interior designers. Framed or unframed, mirrors can enhance any décor, bringing style and shimmering grace.
The image of a hammock often invokes ideas or feelings of leisure, relaxation, simplicity in living, and serenity. Hammocks originally come from the native peoples of the West Indies, and were later adopted by South Americans, Navy men across Europe and eventually, The United States. Thus, to date, there are various incarnations in hammock styles and purposes. Which types are best for your needs?
Adding a table to your backyard, patio or outdoor area can open up many possibilities as to how your space will be used. From creating a nice, quiet area for outdoor reading to building a potential barbeque party dining area, Pronto's Outdoor Table Buying Guide can help you bring your outdoor vision to fruition.
Patio chairs are the foundation in populating or decorating your patio, deck, backyard, or outdoor area.
Windchimes can be a relaxing addition to any backyard, patio, deck, porch, or outdoor, or near-outdoor lounging area. According to the principles of Feng Shui, windchimes can be used to activate positive chi to attract friends, money, health, and harmony to your home's occupants. Windchimes come in a variety of materials and sizes, but, which one is best for your home or outdoor area?
Whether you’re planning an outing at the park, the beach, or the woods, picnics are always a fun idea to get you out of your every day routine. There are plenty of picnic baskets to choose from to suit any sized outing, specific food/dishware needs, and style ranging from elegant to rustic. Pronto’s Picnic Basket Buying Guide is here to help you sort it all out.
Grass trimmers, also called string trimmers or weed whackers, can transform an unkempt lawn into an immaculate one without breaking your back. Though the most important element in selecting a grass trimmer is thinking about exactly how much area you plan on maintaining, there are many other factors to consider about the grass trimmer itself that make the choice a bit more challenging. Pronto has highlighted some of these items you might want to consider so that choosing your grass trimmer will be as easy as actually trimming your grass.
Whether you want to clean greener or clean deeper, a steam cleaner gets the job done. Sometimes called vapor cleaners, steam cleaners are gaining popularity for their ability to clean deeply without detergents by using pressurized steam. Unlike carpet cleaners, sometimes called steam vacs, steam cleaners don’t provide suction. Best used for bathrooms, upholstery, draperies and appliance surfaces, steam cleaners are lauded by allergy sufferers for their ability not only to clean, but help rid your home of dust mites and mold. Ready to start steaming? Let Pronto’s Steam Cleaner Buying Guide lead the way.
For some, a portable air conditioner may be the only way to get relief from summer heat and humidity. A portable air conditioner can also cut your energy use, reduce your carbon footprint and solve cooling problems in your home. Portable air conditioners aren’t quite as effective as wall or window units, so you need to choose carefully. Keep your expectations reasonable and let Pronto’s Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide steer you to the portable that’s best for your needs.
Even the most passionate fans of summer will concede that an air conditioner is a great addition to a home. When heat and humidity make it impossible to function, an air conditioner provides cool comfort in the bedroom, office, or family room. Air conditioners have come a long way in energy efficiency, but it’s still important to choose the right size for the job. Pronto’s Air Conditioner Buying Guide will give you the technical and feature information you need to get the best cooling with the least energy use. (Also see Pronto’s Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide).
If you’ve sat in your car in the pouring rain or driving snow, wishing the garage door would open by itself, now’s the time to get that garage door opener you’ve been promising yourself. You certainly wouldn’t be alone: An estimated three million people buy garage door openers annually. They’re a hot item, and that means you have a number of brands, styles, prices and features to choose from. Pronto’s Garage Door Opener Buying Guide will give you all the information you need to make a choice you’ll be happy with for years to come.
Until very recently, the ability to create poster-sized photographs with near-perfect clarity was solely in the hands of professional photographers. The amateur photographer was left with fuzzy 4x6 snapshots developed at the local drugstore. Since the advent of digital point and shoot cameras, the professional and amateur worlds have radically collided. Now, spending a few hundred dollars gives the armchair photographer the power to create the same images as the pros. With new technology, however, comes new terminology. Megapixels? Optical lens? Red-eye reduction? Pronto’s Point and Shoot Digital Camera Buying Guide breaks down these confusing terms and facts so you choose the camera that could make you the next Ansel Adams or Robert Doisneau (see also Digital SLR Camera Buying Guide).
HDTV has arrived, and it’s more affordable than ever. Whether you’re playing video games, watching movies on DVD, or tuning in to the local news, there is HDTV programming available, and if you don’t have an HDTV set, you’re literally missing half the picture. With prices falling and technology improving, this is an excellent time to buy. But before you rush out, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the basics of how it all works, so that you’ll find the best HDTV for your needs (see also Plasma TV Buying Guide, HDTV Front Projector Buying Guide, LCD TV Buying Guide, Rear Projection TV Buying Guide).
Plasma TV is the starting point for a superior home-theater experience, and it’s more affordable than ever. Pacific Media Associates, a California-based price-tracking firm, reports that the average in-store price of plasma TVs has dropped 22% over the past year. That makes plasma TVs competitive with higher-end LCDTVs, and it has also brought larger plasma screen sizes into the reach of consumers. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to buy a plasma TV, then it’s time to start shopping (see also HDTV Buying Guide, HDTV Front Projector Buying Guide, LCD TV Buying Guide, Rear Projection TV Buying Guide).
LCDTV is the hot new technology for the home, and thanks to huge price drops during the last two years, it’s more affordable than ever. If you’ve been sitting out the HDTV revolution and waiting for the right time to buy, the time is now. You’ll find a surprising variety of choices at any price range and solid performance in some budget models. Ready to kick that clunky old tube set to the curb? There are a few things you’ll need to consider—buying an LCDTV is a little trickier, but once you know how they work, you’ll be ready to make the best choice for your lifestyle and budget (see also HDTV Buying Guide, HDTV Front Projector Buying Guide, Plasma TV Buying Guide, Rear Projection TV Buying Guide).
Headphones have evolved to fit every need, niche and price range imaginable. The new generation of aftermarket headphones offer much more functionality than the headphones included with almost all device purchases. Some aftermarket headphones utilize noise-canceling properties to help tune out ambient noises, allowing the listener to truly enjoy their audio experience, while others use soft gell inserts to maximize your listening comfort. Whether your aim is luxurious theatre sound at home or hip-hop on the treadmill, there are many headphones on the market to fit your needs without breaking the bank. Pronto’s Headphone Buying Guide will help you make an informed decision on which headphones are right for you by giving you an overview of the different styles and technologies available.
Ready to make the plunge into the next level of photography? Do you want more manual control of your camera? Want the benefits and results only specialty lenses can lend to your photography? If you are ready to own a more serious digital camera, you should be shopping for a digital single lens reflex (DLSR) camera. Don’t get lost in a sea of camera bodies, lenses and flashes—let Pronto’s Digital SLR Camera Buying Guide provide you with the basics so you can begin to build out a well-planned inventory of digital photography equipment (see also Point and Shoot Digital Camera Buying Guide).
Socrates said, “To find yourself, think for yourself.” We know he wasn’t speaking literally, but thanks to the increasing affordability of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, they can do the thinking for you whether you’re in Athens, Greece or Athens, Georgia. Developed by the US Department of Defense for military tactics, GPS technology is a 24/7 radio navigation system that identifies and tracks the location of the GPS device virtually anytime, anywhere. GPS devices get their data from 24 satellites orbiting Earth. Locking into a minimum of three satellites determines your location in longitude and latitude. Some devices routinely lock into four satellites to provide altitude. Use of the satellite network is free—all you need is an unobstructed view of the sky, but while GPS devices will work under cloud cover and inside cars, they may falter under heavy tree canopies, inside tall buildings or tunnels, or dense urban areas with lots of skyscrapers. Not sure which brand or model to look at? Let Pronto’s GPS Buying Guide help you choose (see also Auto GPS Buying Guide).
Gone are the days of choosing which CD to bring to the gym, or deciding how many CDs to bring on a trip. Today's MP3 players allow us to carry our entire CD collection in the palm of our hand. We can even take along our favorite photos and video. But this convenience comes with a dizzying array of options. Apple seems to have cornered the market in this industry. The iPod player is known for its innovation, reliability, and ease of use. And the iTunes Store offers a comprehensive selection of video and audio content. But before jumping on the Apple bandwagon, be sure to check out some of its worthy competitors whose performance, features, and download options that might better fit your needs. Pronto's MP3 Player Buying Guide can help you sort it all out.
DVD recorders have officially replaced video cassette recorders as the permanent-storage media for home entertainment. If you’re still clinging to VHS, it’s time to let go and upgrade to a DVD recorder. Most of us are familiar with digital versatile discs thanks to movie rentals, but when it comes to DVD recorders, there are a lot of features to consider before you make a choice.
More and more we hear this is the Digital Age, but the reality is that more often than not, almost everything we create digitally finds its way into print. For most offices and some homes, laser printers are the most cost-effective way to manage your printing needs. Inkjet printers may carry low upfront price tags, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best printer for your needs over the long term. How do you know if a laser or color laser printer is the right choice for you? Pronto’s Laser Printer Buying Guide explains it all so you can make an informed purchase (see also Inkjet Standard Printer Buying Guide, Inkjet Photo Printer Buying Guide, Multifunction Printer Buying Guide).
Monitors tend to be the most ignored part of a PC. Hard drives get upgraded every few years, and mice and keyboards are replaced as soon as they show signs of trouble. So why overlook that monitor which is staring you in the face? If your monitor is more than three years old, it’s time for an upgrade, and lower prices coupled with advances in LCD monitors mean there are more affordable choices than ever. Not sure what to buy? Let Pronto’s Computer Monitor Buying Guide show you what to look for.
An external hard drive is a must for every computer owner. Sooner or later, you’re going to have more files than available space, and it’s far less expensive to get an external hard drive than it is to buy a computer with a larger internal drive. And in case you haven’t noticed, small external hard drives have replaced ZIP drives, and even rewritable CDs, as the best way to move data from place to place. Pronto’s External Hard Drive Buying Guide outlines your options so you can find the best way to store your files.
A digital camcorder can put the power to create broadcast-quality video in your pocket. Whether you’re capturing important family events or you’re aspiring to be the next Steven Spielberg, there’s a compact and affordable digital camcorder for you. Understanding what you need and how digital camcorders work will help you get the most for your budget and Pronto’s Digital Camcorder Buying Guide explains it all.
With so many households boasting high-definition televisions, the challenge is now on manufacturers to provide high-definition DVD viewing options. A few years ago, Sony stepped up to the plate with its Blu-ray technology, followed shortly thereafter by Toshiba’s HD DVD format. If you’re like most consumers, you’re completely in the dark as to what those terms mean and how to shop for a high-definition video player. Why would there be two video formats, and which one is better? Pronto’s High-Definition DVD Buying Guide will give you those answers so you can choose the best HD DVD player for you.
If you’ve ever been caught in a speed trap, you’ve probably thought about buying a radar detector. With the cost of speeding tickets rising and the possible impact on your car insurance premiums, a radar detector can pay for itself in less than a year. Radar detectors are not a license to drive recklessly, but they can keep you from getting caught in hidden speed traps, if you’ve got reliable, effective technology. Pronto’s Radar Detector Buying Guide will help you choose the radar detector that will let you know when your speed is being checked.
As computer keyboards evolve to cater to every need, be it a sleek design or a slew of multimedia functions, shopping for them has grown increasingly complicated. Do you need a wired computer keyboard or a wireless model? What’s Dvorak, and is it for you? Computer keyboards are subjective tools, and what feels good for one person may be uncomfortable for another. Pronto’s Computer Keyboard Buying Guide will outline what keyboards are available and help you choose the one that’s best for your needs.
With the increasing number of devices that require Internet access, a wireless router is a must for those who can no longer survive with the single connection offered by cable or DSL modems. Wireless routers also eliminate the cable clutter that surrounds most computers and let you use Internet-enabled devices throughout your home. Even if you’re already familiar with the world of wireless routers, new changes have made the certain knowledge of a few years ago a thing of the past. Pronto’s Wireless Router Buying Guide will get you up to speed on the latest wireless routers.
With so many of today’s electronics operating on frequencies that were once used only by cordless phones, manufacturers have developed new technology to reduce interference so your calls are crisp, clear and uninterrupted. As result, there’s more you need to know before you choose a cordless phone. Pronto’s Cordless Phone Buying Guide will introduce you to the new technology and outline what you need to know before you buy.
If your cell phone contract is up, or if you’ve waited as long as you can to join the ranks of cell phone users, there’s good news: Today’s cell phones pack more features at a lower price than ever before. Need a music player, digital camera, or the Internet to go? There’s a cell phone for you. And while Apple’s pricey iPhone may be stealing the headlines, there’s a cell phone with the features you need available for less than you might realize. (see also Smart Phone Buying Guide, PDA Buying Guide).
Video game consoles used to be a moderately priced form of entertainment, but the new generation of consoles has upped the cost of ownership to the point where you need to carefully consider your gaming investment. Today’s video game console delivers features once reserved for DVD players and home PCs, so it’s as much a multimedia hub as a system for playing the latest version of Madden NFL Football. Which video game console is right for you and your family? It all depends on how you’ll use it.
Long gone are the days when speakers were called “stereo speakers” and came packaged with your stereo. Also gone are the days when consumers were happy to listen to their television programming through the TV’s built-in speakers. Today, speakers are often referred to as “loud speakers” and they are available for viewers who want a cinema-quality soundscape at home. If you’ve recently spent a small fortune on an HDTV setup or top of the line home entertainment system, you won’t get the full experience if you don’t also invest in good speakers. Prices vary greatly, from a couple of hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. With such a wide range of price and feature, Pronto’s Buying Guide can help you determine which speakers are right for you.
The advent of digital photography has changed how we take photographs, but what about those boxes and albums filled with all the photographs taken years or even centuries ago? Scanning them and other large-volume collections (e.g., documents, art work, etc.) into digital format is the best way to preserve these visual histories for generations to come. As multifunction printers with scanning capabilities rise in popularity, it may seem that purchasing a dedicated scanner is no longer necessary, but that depends on your scanning needs. If those needs are more than the occasional document or collection of business cards, a dedicated scanner will produce greater quality digital images. Pronto’s Scanner Buying Guide explains the options so that when you go to buy, you already know what you’re looking for (see also Multifunction Printer Buying Guide).
Since its introduction in the 1990s, DVD has been the most popular format for Hollywood movies and has become the de facto choice for video gamers, software installation and now music and audio too. Even at its most basic, the DVD player is a technical wonder. The DVD is a high-density optical disk that can hold up to 4.7GB of data and supports multiple and often incompatible technical formats, including audio CDs, and is available with a wide array of features in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price ranges ($50-$1,000). How do you know which one to take on that flight to China or keep the kids occupied on the drive to grandma’s? Pronto's DVD Buying Guide can help you determine which one's for you (see also DVD Player Buying Guide, DVD Recorder Buying Guide, Combination TV Buying Guide).
Choosing a desktop computer is a tough home electronics decision for most. While it’s easy to compare the picture quality on HDTVs or the features on a DVD player, desktop PCs are hard to understand until you get them out of the box and start using them. Knowing a little about how a desktop PC works will help you find one that can meet your needs for years to come, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much your desktop PC dollar can buy.
DVD burners were a costly component for desktop PCs just a couple of years ago. Today, you can get a DVD burner for about what you’d pay for a movie on DVD, and as prices have dropped, consumers have discovered that there’s more to DVD burners than just movies. If your desktop PC is still limited by a rewritable CD drive, it’s time to think about adding the extra storage and versatility a DVD burner delivers.
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Everywhere it seems, people are talking about “clearing the clutter.” Will purchasing a multifunction printer simplify your life? We can’t be sure, but at least your home office will gain space so you can work more efficiently. Before you haul out your old stand-alone equipment to the curb, or list it on eBay as a collector’s item, there are a few things you’ll want to know before you purchase a multifunction printer. Not all multifunction printers share the same functions or perform those functions using the same technology. Pronto’s Multifunction Printer Buying Guide will take you through the key pieces of information you need to select the multifunction printer that does what you most need it to do. (see also Inkjet Standard Printer Buying Guide, Inkjet Photo Printer Buying Guide, Laser Printer Buying Guide).
Fax machines almost seem quaint in this era of graphical e-mails and multimedia Web sites. As an underappreciated office essential, the fax machine tends to get ignored until it breaks, so there are plenty of fax machines from the 1990s still in use today. If you’re ready to replace that aging fax machine, or if you need a new one for the office, there are a lot of features and operating costs to keep in mind. Pronto’s Fax Machine Buying Guide can help you make the best choice for your home or office.
Binoculars bring us closer to the world around us. Whether you’re a bird lover, sports fan, star gazer, opera lover, or sightseer, a set of binoculars is an essential tool to see the world the way you want to see it—up close and personal. Pronto’s Bincoulars Buying Guide can help you choose the pair that maximizes your viewing pleasure.
Laptop computers were once reserved for businesspeople and students, but the days of expensive, underpowered laptops are over. The advent of wireless Internet and a desire to save desk space has lured many consumers to abandon desktop PCs in favor of the slim, go-anywhere power that a laptop provides. While some tasks, such as graphics and video editing, are still best left to powerful desktop machines, you might find that a laptop is the best choice for a new computer (see also Desktop PC Buying Guide).
Portable digital projectors have replaced the overhead and slide projectors once used for conferences and meetings. By hooking up a portable digital projector to your PC, you let your presentations come alive with graphics, movement, even full-motion video. Portable digital projectors are an investment, and matching your budget to the best portable digital projector means knowing how you’ll be using it. Once you know that, Pronto’s Digital Projector Buying Guide takes the rest of the guesswork out of making your purchase.
In this digital phone age, most people regard the answering machine as a technology on its way out. But answering machines have a distinct advantage over the built-in voicemail programs on your cell phone or landline—they let us screen our messages AS they’re being left. This is crucial when you’re unsure if Aunt Sally is just phoning for a marathon chat or has important news to share. Whether you’re buying an answering machine for your home or small business, there are a few things you should know before buying. Pronto’s Answering Machine Buying Guide takes the guesswork out of choosing for you so that you wind up with the answering machine that meets your needs.
You’ve either heard satellite radio or you’ve heard about it. Sick of the same 10 songs playing over and over again on local radio? Miss Howard Stern? Want to hear your local team’s games anywhere in the country? These are all good reasons to bring a satellite radio receiver home. Pronto’s Satellite Radio Receiver Buying Guide will take you through the choices available so you can make satellite radio a part of your daily life.
One day, your children will look at you with pity and awe as you reveal that DVRs didn't exist when you were a kid. Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) are a common fixture in most homes now, but they were only a gleam in TiVo's eye just ten years ago. Whether you have cable or satellite TV, a DVR will change the way we watch television.
Today's portable devices have an insatiable appetite for flash memory. From cell phones to music players to digital cameras, flash memory provides the storage to hold your music, pictures and vital information. Created by Toshiba researchers in the early 1980s, flash memory has all but replaced micro hard drives and other forms of disk-based storage in portable devices.
Are you looking at home theater systems? With high definition video and surround sound, today's home theater experience truly rivals anything you can see or hear at the multiplex. The good news is that buying a home theater system is simply a matter of getting the most features for your money. Once you understand what features are important, your buying decision will quickly fall into place.
Webcams are the cutting-edge communication tool for technophiles. By sending video, and possibly voice, a webcam turns your PC into a futuristic video phone: you can stay in touch with loved ones across the miles, share your life with the world, or even keep an eye on what’s happening at home while you’re away. Although webcams seem simple, there are some key factors to consider to find the webcam that’s right for you and Pronto’s Webcam Buying Guide lays them all out for you.
Two-way radios, a common sight in the hands of police and firefighters, are becoming a popular way for families to communicate and a backpack essential for hikers and climbers. In situations where cell phones are too costly or impractical, two-way radios offer the ability to stay in touch at the push of a button, and new designs have made two-way radios easier than ever to use. Pronto’s Two-Way Radio Buying Guide will match you to the two-way radio best suited to your needs.
The humble computer mouse has grown up and become a multifunctional tool designed to optimize your PC experience. Scroll wheels, navigation buttons and optical sensors have complicated the computer mouse buying process, but these innovations allow you to choose a computer mouse that is tailored to the way you use your computer. Pronto’s Computer Mouse Buying Guide will help you find a computer mouse with features you never knew you needed (and that you soon won’t be able to live without).
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t look forward to your twice-yearly visits to the dentist, but love how your teeth and gums feel afterward. Craving that ‘just cleaned’ feeling at every day? Electric toothbrushes have been gaining popularity in recent years for their ability to clean thoroughly (cleaning those hard-to-reach molars, fighting plaque and keeping tartar at bay), and they can even let you know when you haven’t brushed long enough. If you haven’t made the switch from manual to electric brushing, Pronto’s Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide can help you determine which electric toothbrush will put—and keep—a smile on your face.
Innovations in ironing technology deliver performance and convenience features that almost make pressing pleats and smoothing shirts fun. With advances like “vertical steam” and hassle-saving perks like retractable cords, you may find yourself skipping trips to the dry-cleaners in favor of doing the job at home for a fraction of the cost. Whether you like to face each day looking crisp and professional or just need to de-crease your denim for that big date, Pronto’s Iron Buying Guide will help you choose an iron that fits your lifestyle and budget without getting you hot under the collar.
The term “water filter” can be a bit misleading, because there are drastically different types of equipment for filtering water that share the same name. Pitchers and faucet mounts filter tap water for drinking, while whole-house water filters reduce contaminants like sediment and rust in your plumbing. The type of water filter that you need depends on the type of contaminants in your water and how much water you want to purify. Whether you plan to filter pitcher-by-pitcher or every drop that comes into your home, Pronto’s Water Filter Buying Guide will help you find the filter system that’s right for you.
Whether you’re simply health conscious or trying to shed a few pounds, a bathroom scale can help you know what you weigh and track your progress toward your goal weight. Digital bathroom scales are gaining popularity over analog bathroom scales for their ability to measure more than pounds. Don’t let bathroom scale choices and terminology weigh you down. Pronto’s Bathroom Scale Buying Guide will make finding the bathroom scale you need quick and easy.
No longer are wheelchairs frumpy and clunky. A good wheelchair can evoke renewed feelings of independence. New advances in technology have opened the door to innovative designs, and there are almost as many wheelchairs and features as there are personalities. Even for those who can still walk, a wheelchair can help curb or lessen debilitating pain and increase your mobility choices. Wheelchairs can open up a person’s world; no longer will your activities be limited by your physical capabilities. After assessing your health, your abilities and your desires, Pronto’s Wheelchair Buying Guide will help you make your wheelchair-buying decision.
A women’s electric shaver is just the thing if you’re tired of suffering nicks and razor burn for the sake of beauty. Women’s electric shavers are also useful for the traveling woman who wants to look her best without packing razors and shaving cream. Women can choose from a variety of electric shaver styles and functions, so if you’re ready to toss those blades, Pronto’s Women’s Electric Shaver Buying Guide will help you find the shaver that’s best for you.
Whether you’re starting on a new fitness regime or simply trying to gauge how healthy your current activity level is, a pedometer can help track your progress by counting the number of steps you take in a day, track the distance you traveled and estimate the number of calories you’ve burned. What features do you need in a pedometer? Pronto’s Pedometer Buying Guide will answer this question and steer you toward the pedometer that meets your needs.
Bunny slope or black diamond, skiing is America’s most popular winter sport because it’s an activity that appeals to people of all ages and all levels of athletic ability. You’ll enjoy skiing more if you’re outfitted with the proper equipment, so start at the bottom with skis that are suited to your body and your style for better performance and greater comfort. Skis and accessories can be a substantial investment, but Pronto’s Ski Buying Guide will get you off on the right foot.
Whether you’re a seasoned superstar on the PGA Tour or a first-timer eager to start hacking away at your local public course, the thrill of playing with a good set of golf clubs never fades. In fact, the pleasure you derive from your golf clubs is likely to intensify over time as your game improves with every swing and putt. Buying the right set of golf clubs requires a bit of advanced planning so that your golf clubs will adapt to your changing needs. Pronto’s Golf Club Buying Guide will help you find the golf clubs that will lead to more fun—and lower scores—when you’re out on the links.
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute estimates that a careful bicyclist will crash on average every 4,500 miles. Some states require riders to wear a bicycle helmet, and even where it’s not the law, a good bicycle helmet is a solid investment in your health and safety. Pronto’s Bicycle Helmet Buying Guide will help you separate marketing buzzwords from actual performance to find the bicycle helmet for your next ride.
Snowboarding is no longer a fringe sport turned to by those rebelling against the conservative sport of skiing. Snowboarders are showing up at mountains across the country, both the young and more mature slicing through the snow on a lone snowboard. Interested in joining them? Pronto’s Snowboard Buying Guide will help you navigate through the potentially confusing process of buying your first snowboard.
Snowboard bindings are the last thing you probably think of when picking out a new snowboard setup. You know you need a board and boots, but don’t forget about the snowboard bindings that connect your boots to your board while you enjoy a day on the mountain. Snowboard bindings come in different styles and materials and, depending on your riding style, they can make a major difference in performance. Pronto’s Snowboard Binding Buying Guide will explain what you should consider as you’re shopping.
Your child’s first bike is more than just a rite of passage—it’s a way to get good exercise and to start to explore the world around them. Choosing the right kids’ bike is as much a matter of safety as style, as the wrong bike can be hard to ride or even dangerous to your child. Pronto’s Kids’ Bike Buying Guide will help you choose a bicycle that your child will love and that will give you peace of mind.
Used for years in high-intensity athletic training, the heart rate monitor has worked its way down, in price and usefulness, to the average person who wants to monitor his or her fitness goals and performance. If you think a heart rate monitor would help you achieve your fitness goals, but your head is spinning from the number of brands on the market and the number of functions they perform, Pronto’s Heart Rate Monitor Buying Guide will help you sort through the options available and find a heart rate monitor that’s simple to use and understand.
You can’t play golf without golf balls, but you can play better with the right golf balls. New innovations in technology have resulted in golf balls that soar higher, longer and faster than ever before, making golf balls just as important as clubs when it comes to getting the most out of your game. Choosing golf balls requires you to understand your swing and overall skill level, but Pronto’s Golf Ball Buying Guide will get you started by explaining what’s new on the links.
Whether you ride horses professionally or just as leisurely way to relax, you need the right kind of saddle. Choosing the right saddle not only results in better riding, but it ensures that both you and the horse are comfortable. A well-made saddle provides support and comfort as well as greater security when riding, but only if you match the saddle to the kind of riding you prefer. Pronto’s Equestrian Saddle Buying Guide will help you choose the right equestrian saddle, whether you’re riding for work, show or pleasure.
Inline skating is an effective way to get and stay in shape while having fun at the same time. Besides recreational skating outdoors, inline skaters can participate in a variety of activities including speed skating and hockey. When choosing your inline skates, take into account which type of skating you’ll be doing. Will you be skating around a nearby lake or on a boardwalk? Taking laps at the local rink? Maybe you’ll be meeting up with friends for a game of hockey or testing your speed limits. Different types of skating call for different inline skates, and Pronto’s Inline Skate Buying Guide will help you find the right wheels for your personal style of skating.
If you choose your equestrian bridle wisely, you will not only heighten communication between you and your horse, but you can become a better rider as well. You may be able to ride a horse without a saddle, but it’s nearly impossible to ride without a properly fitted bridle. Without this signaling device, you cannot communicate with your horse. Pronto’s Equestrian Bridle Buying Guide will help you talk to the animal by showing you how to buy one of the most important pieces of your horse’s tack.
No camping trip is complete without a campfire and s'mores. But, what if you want to make something beyond dessert, or are going to be camping for several days with no restaurants in sight? Pronto's Buying Guide to camping cookware is here to help.
A sleeping bag might be the most essential and important piece of camping equipment you'll need. You'll want to choose the right one for all types of camping situations so that your body temperature is maintained no matter what the weather or environment. Pronto's Buying Guide to Sleeping Bags will help you identify all of the most important components in choosing the best one for you.
Tent camping is a fun and adventurous way to enjoy the natural splendor of the landscape. A tent lets you get back to nature, but it’s important to choose a tent that won’t let nature get to you. With a huge variety of tent choices available, finding the right tent depends on how, and when, you’ll use it. Use Pronto’s Tent Buying Guide to answer those questions and purchase the tent that’s best for you.
Camping stoves may lack the romance of sitting around an open fire, but there are good reasons to consider packing one for your next outdoor adventure. Camping stoves are faster and more efficient than fire boxes and pits, you don’t need to burn up some of the environment to use them, and they present less of a fire hazard to the great outdoors. Some parks now prohibit fires and require the use of camping stoves, so they are essential if a hot meal is one of the creature comforts you need. Whether you’re packing up for a weekend with the kids or striking out solo on a hike to the Himalayas, Pronto’s Camping Stoves Buying Guide will help you choose one that meets your needs.
Whether you’re a hobbyist who dabbles in watercolors or a serious student of the fine arts, you need a comfortable and sturdy painting easel to support your work in progress. Painting easels vary widely in price, features and style, so how do you know which one to select for your studio? Your choices will be based on the media you use, the size of the canvases you work with and the places where you paint. Pronto’s Easel Buying Guide will put you on the path to painting like Picasso. Beret on? Brush in hand? Let’s get painting!
Whether you’re looking for an easier way to hem the occasional pair of pants or want more fine control over your quilting, you can find a sewing machine that’s suited to your project and skill level. Knowing which one is right for you can be difficult, especially when you start looking at high-end, computerized sewing machines that can cost as much as or more as quality HDTVs. Pronto’s Sewing Machine Buying Guide will help you choose the best sewing machine for your skill level, projects and budget.
For the cigar enthusiast, humidors are the stylish, practical way to store your goods. Because cigars respond to their environments, you will want a humidor to provide the right moisture for your cigars, help promote their cultivation and protect your investments for years to come. Humidors come in a variety of sizes and models and some humidors fill the gaps in a room’s decor while others can be taken on the road. Pronto’s Humidor Buying Guide will help you find the humidor that’s best for preserving your cigar collection.
If you’ve been looking to live out your rock star fantasy or just pick up a new hobby, a bass guitar is a great place to start, but before you form that garage band you need to know a few things. Whether you love rock, jazz, blues or funk, Pronto’s Bass Guitar Buying Guide will help you choose the bass guitar that is best for you. When buying online, make sure you’re familiar with the retailer’s return policy so you can make a return if a bass guitar doesn’t make your heart sing.
Microphones aren’t just for live bands and recording studios anymore. The explosion in podcasting, home recording and desktop filmmaking has made microphones an increasingly common sight in homes. If you want good sound on your projects, or if you’re hitting the clubs to tune up for the next American Idol, you’ll need a quality microphone that captures the full range of sound. Pronto’s Microphone Buying Guide will match you to the best mic for live, studio or home use.
Want to become a real life guitar hero? Of course you do. Playing the guitar is probably one of the coolest things you can do (unless it’s an air guitar). Whether you want to shred like Eddie Van Halen, lick them blues like Eric Clapton or rock out like Jimi Hendrix, Pronto’s Electric Guitar Buying Guide will help you find the guitar that is just right for you.
Horror stories about identity theft are leading many consumers to buy a paper shredder for the home. While a paper shredder won’t guarantee you immunity from identity theft, it will prevent thieves from stealing personal information from your trash, or from your home during a burglary. Finding the right paper shredder for your home or business is a question of how much you need to shred and how thoroughly you want it destroyed. Pronto’s Paper Shredder Buying Guide will help you find the best tool for disposing of those documents.
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