From vibro-sound chairs to killer joysticks: how to make the most of your computer
If you spend all day staring at a grey box - a computer, that is, not a TV - you'll know it can get pretty monotonous and uncomfortable. Luckily, there are now gadgets to increase your viewing pleasure...

1. Intensor Chair Built-in speakers pump sound waves though your torso, so you feel as well as hear the action of your computer game. Comes with a four-channel amplifier and subwoofer for extra gut-shaking bass. $600 (plus shipping). For more information and mail-order, visit the Intensor website at www.intensor.com

2. Microsoft Digital Sound System 80 An 80-watt system, which comprises two satellite speakers for the desktop and a subwoofer which sits on the floor (not shown). There is a surround-sound option with a programmable graphic equaliser to preset sound levels. pounds 180. For stockists and information, call Microsoft on 0345 00 2000.

3. Union Reality Headset Go hands-free and control your PC with your head. The headset connects with a monitor-top sensor (not shown), allowing head movements to control the game or move the mouse pointer. There are also built-in headphones and a microphone for voice-recognition software. pounds 85. For further information and stockists, contact Gem Distribution on 01279 822 800.

4. Microsoft Sidewinder Freestyle Pro

Action is controlled by tilting the joystick in the direction you want to move, giving particularly fluid results for flight simulators and other 3-D games. There is also a D-Pad for traditional game control (the type where you end up with sore thumbs). Comes complete with Motocross Madness game. pounds 50. For stockists and information, contact Microsoft, as before.

5. Cordless Desktop Both the keyboard and mouse communicate with the PC by digital radio, giving greater freedom to work (within a 2m range), and a cord-free desk. pounds 90. From Dixons, PC World, Tempo.

6. Logitech QuickCam Home PC Video Camera Keep in touch the modern way with face-to-face video conferencing. This small video camera with built- in microphone allows you to send pictures and motion video over the Internet (see feature on page 39). pounds 100. Available from Dixons, PC World, Tempo.

7. Hewlett-Packard Brio 7100 PC Full-feature compact PC; spec includes Intel 300aMHZ processor, 32MB SDRAM memory, 4.3GB hard drive, CD-rom drive, sound card and Windows 98. pounds 84. For stockists and further information contact Teletech on 0990 474747.

8. Destiny Force Feedback Steering Wheel Act out your racing fantasies in the safety of your own home. Force Feedback technology reacts to all the tight corners, skids and crashes in the game, making it much more realistic. Comes with sprung foot pedals and a copy of Andretti Racing Game. pounds 130. Available from Dixons, PC World. For stockists and further information, call the LMP customer line on 0800 0183 061.

9. `Microsoft Pinball Arcade' pounds 20 (available from 27 November). For further stockists and information, contact Microsoft, as before.

10. Trackman Marble+ Unlike a traditional mouse that uses moving parts, the trackball works with an optical-sensing system that is not affected by dirt and scratches. pounds 40. Available from Dixons, PC World, Tempo.

11. Labtec LCS-1040 USB Speakers USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports are the new standard of connection for PCs and peripherals. One of the advantages of USB (used with Windows '98) is much better quality and less distortion. You don't even need a sound card - just plug them in, and Windows '98 recognises the speaker system and configures the system automatically. pounds 60. For further information and stockists, contact Labtec on 01252 62 99 00.

12. Logitech Wingman Force A beast of a joystick that jolts and recoils along with the action of your game. Loads of buttons, a throttle and sculpted hand-grip so you can keep at it for hours. Hang on tight. pounds 120. Available from Dixons, PC World, Tempo.

Note Check that your computer meets all the necessary specifications before purchasing any of the above

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