Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the 2011 BMW 740i, Canon PowerShot G12, and the HTC Inspire 4G.
2011 BMW 740i
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
2011 BMW 740i
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: The standard navigation system in the 2011 BMW 740i looks and works excellently. The Bluetooth phone system downloads contact lists and offers dial-by-name voice command. With the optional active suspension, the 740i handles like a sports car.
The bad: Cabin tech interfaces, most notably for points of interest and music selection, are not the most intuitive. BMW charges extra for little things such as iPod integration.
The bottom line: The 2011 BMW 740i proves that you don't need a V-8 in an executive sedan. It offers first-rate cabin electronics and driver assistance features, and preserves BMW's sports car reputation.
The good: The HTC Inspire 4G is affordably priced and boasts a large display. The Android 2.2 smartphone runs on AT&T's HSPA+ network and offers mobile hot-spot capabilities. New HTC Sense provides faster boot time and other enhancements. It also has an 8-megapixel camera that takes excellent photos.
The bad: The smartphone is rather large and heavy, and the battery cover is difficult to remove. We didn't experience great 4G speeds. AT&T blocks third-party apps. Lacks a front-facing camera.
The bottom line: Though dual-core smartphones are on the way, the HTC Inspire 4G stands as one of AT&T's best, high-end Android devices and is an incredible value.
The good: The Motorola Atrix 4G features a dual-core processor and a sharp qHD (quarter HD) display. The Android 2.2 smartphone has a sleek design and a 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing camera for video calls, and an HDMI port.
The bad: No 1080p HD video recording or playback at launch. You can't install non-Market third-party apps. We didn't experience great HSPA+ 4G data speeds.
The bottom line: The laptop dock is a decidedly cool (and pricey) feature, but the dual-core Motorola Atrix 4G has plenty to offer on its own. The smartphone packs speed and high-end features into a sleek package and earns its place at the top of AT&T's Android lineup.
The good: Optical viewfinder; articulated LCD; built-in neutral-density filter; very good photo quality for its class.
The bad: Shot-to-shot performance still a little sluggish; some annoying controls.
The bottom line: Relatively unchanged from its predecessor, save the addition of 720p video, the Canon PowerShot G12 remains a very good, more-or-less compact model, designed to please photo enthusiasts.
The good: Budget-priced Netbook with solid construction; excellent battery life; comfortable keyboard.
The bad: Lacks HDMI; single-core Atom CPU; narrow touch pad; limited customization; ultimately, still a plain old single-core Netbook.
The bottom line: If you're looking for a budget-level Netbook with a long battery life, the HP Mini 1103 offers a very affordable package compared with other HP Netbooks. Just be forewarned: there isn't anything here you haven't seen before.
The good: Responsive touch-screen interface with no glare or contrast issues; high-contrast 7-inch E-Ink Pearl display; both Wi-Fi and 3G wireless connectivity; zippier performance than its predecessor; integration with Sony e-book store; good battery life (up to 22 days); supports EPUB e-book standard, which enables e-book downloads from libraries and other third parties; audio capabilities; SD and Memory Stick Duo memory expansion slots; charges via Micro-USB port.
The bad: Expensive compared with the competition; Sony online store isn't as robust as Amazon's; Sony Reader app not available on many other platforms; no protective cover included.
The bottom line: Sony's flagship e-reader, the Daily Edition PRS-950, is a capable, well-designed e-reader that offers both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity--but at $300, it's too expensive.