Apple MacBook Pro Fall 2011

Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.

Apple MacBook Pro Fall 2011


Editors' rating: 4 out of 5


The good: Incremental updates to the CPU help keep the MacBook Pro line a step above the now-mainstream MacBook Air. The trackpad and gesture controls are still the best of any current laptop.


The bad: Unless you need an optical drive, the MacBook Air may be a better fit for most, and the Pro still lacks things we'd like to see, such as HDMI, Blu-ray, and USB 3.0.


The bottom line: A MacBook Pro is a significant investment, especially when adding in optional upgrades. Cost aside, there's not a better choice (there are, however, some close ties) for an all-around powerhouse that will work in the home, the office, and in between.


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Starting at: $2,143.99

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S

2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S


Editors' rating: 4 out of 5


The good: The 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S exhibits excellent driving dynamics owing to its active suspension, and outrageous acceleration with a dual-clutch transmission and direct-injection engine. The premium Burmester audio system delivers finely detailed music reproduction.


The bad: Voice command is not standard, and for close to $200K, we would expect more-advanced cabin electronics.


The bottom line: With a powerful yet efficient engine and high-tech suspension, the pricey 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S delivers near-supercar performance, but the cabin electronics fall short of cutting-edge.


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Starting at: $173,200

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet


Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5


The good: The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet has several business-oriented features that should bring a smile to the IT crowd, along with digital pen support and a beautiful screen.


The bad: The tablet is relatively thick and heavy, with unnecessary navigation buttons and uninspired Android interface optimizations.


The bottom line: If your IT department could design a tablet, the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet would be it.


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Starting at: $428.18

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:

Motorola Atrix 2

Motorola Atrix 2


Editors' rating: 4 out of 5


The good: The Motorola Atrix 2 has a sharp and colorful 4.3-inch qHD display, a dual-core 1GHz processor, HSPA+ support, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, a front-facing camera, Webtop functionality, and it ships with Android 2.3.


The bad: The Motorola Atrix 2 no longer has the fingerprint sensor, and there's a slight shutter lag that will not please camera enthusiasts.


The bottom line: For the price, the Motorola Atrix 2 is an amazingly feature-packed high-performance Android phone for AT&T customers.


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Starting at: $99.99

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:

Asus Zenbook UX31E-DH52

Asus Zenbook UX31E-DH52


Editors' rating: 4 out of 5


The good: The Asus Zenbook UX31E boasts sleek, pristine design; excellent-sounding speakers; a higher-resolution screen than the MacBook Air; and a better price for nearly identical specs.


The bad: The keyboard and touch pad are weak points; there are equally thin laptops out there with better battery life.


The bottom line: The Asus Zenbook UX31E is an excellent-looking Windows Ultrabook laptop that matches the MacBook Air step for step with an even better price. Fans of great audio, high-resolution screens and lots of ports will be happy; keyboard/touch pad aficionados will be disappointed.


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Starting at: $1,095.18

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Dell XPS 14z

Dell XPS 14z


Editors' rating: 4 out of 5


The good: The high-end Dell XPS 14z is an attractive, powerful 14-inch laptop built into a 13-inch body, with plenty of configuration options, including decent graphics.


The bad: Even with the approximate footprint of a 13-inch laptop, this still feels thick and heavy, especially compared with the new generation of Ultrabooks.


The bottom line: The Dell XPS 14z is a nicely designed, well-built 14-inch laptop, but the XPS "z" design works better on the 15-inch version, leaving this model feeling chunky.


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Starting at: $1,299

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LG Enlighten

LG Enlighten


Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5


The good: The LG Enlighten has a great keyboard, ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and has plenty of features, like a 3.2-megapixel camera, 3G with EV-DO Rev. A, Wi-Fi, 3G Mobile Hotspot capability, and more. It's also very affordable.


The bad: The LG Enlighten is bulky and can be a bit sluggish.


The bottom line: The LG Enlighten is a great beginner smartphone for Verizon Wireless customers who want a physical keyboard.


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Starting at: $0.00

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Monoprice 8247

Monoprice 8247


Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5


The good: The Monoprice 8247 is one of the least expensive 5.1 speaker systems we've ever seen. The system includes four small two-way satellite speakers with swivel wall-mounts, a center channel, and a compact powered 8-inch subwoofer. Most importantly, it actually sounds pretty good, as long as you're not expecting miracles.


The bad: The plastic speaker cabinets don't compare to the nicer finishes on more expensive systems. And if you can spend more money, the Energy Take Classic 5.1 and Pioneer SP-PK21BS are better in just about every way.


The bottom line: The Monoprice 8247 does the impossible by offering a competent 5.1 speaker system for less than $100, setting a new standard for ultrabudget speakers.


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Starting at: $84.10

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HTC Hero S

HTC Hero S


Editors' rating: 4 out of 5


The good: The HTC Hero S offers world roaming capabilities and an attractive, compact design. The Android Gingerbread device also features a 5-megapixel camera and the latest version of HTC Sense.


The bad: Camera and call quality could be better. For the same price, the competition offers a faster processor and more internal memory.


The bottom line: The HTC Hero S is an attractive and capable Android smartphone for U.S. Cellular customers, but the Motorola Electrify offers more bang for your buck.


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Available soon from U.S. Cellular. Please visit U.S. Cellular for additional models.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150


Editors' rating: 4 out of 5


The good: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150's lens, shooting options, and fast performance offer great shooting flexibility.


The bad: The FZ150's JPEG photos can look overprocessed when viewed at large sizes.


The bottom line: Hobbyists and enthusiasts who want a megazoom camera with a lot of control over final results should strongly consider the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150.


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Starting at: $429

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