Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked most.
Apple iPod Touch (third generation, 64GB)
Editors' rating: 4.5 out of 5
The good: The third generation of Apple's iPod Touch is still the king of the hill, when it comes to portable, Wi-Fi-wielding media players. New additions such as Voice Control, graphics enhancements, improved accessibility, higher capacity, and a faster processor help refine and already-excellent product.
The bad: The video cameras found on the iPhone 3GS and iPod Nano remain conspicuously absent. The lack of refinements to its audio quality, hardware design, and video playback leave us feeling just a little uninspired.
The bottom line: Although the updates are subtle, the third-generation iPod Touch still leaves its competitors in the dust.
The good: Extremely accurate color, including spot-on color decoding for both SD and HD; nearly perfect primary/secondary colors and linear grayscale tracking; superb black level and shadow detail performance; bright for its class, enabling it to adequately drive larger screen sizes than most of its competition; excellent lens; solid feature package with numerous picture-affecting options; sleek styling.
The bad: While improved, black level still not as deep as the best LCoS and LCD projectors; at its price, I expect a horiszontal lens shift, as well as electronic zoom and focus.
The bottom line: The new chip in Samsung's SP-A900B help it to outperform every projector in its class, including its step-down Joe Kane-designed brother, and to compete favorably against significantly more expensive three-chip DLP projectors.
The good: The HTC Hero offers a highly customizable user interface, thanks to HTC Sense. It also improves on past Android devices with Outlook e-mail, calendar, and contacts synchronization, a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, and a 5-megapixel camera. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and 3G support are all onboard.
The bad: The smartphone can occasionally be sluggish. Flash content didn't always work from the Web browser. Apps must still be downloaded to the phone's internal memory. Media-syncing software would nice, as would a file manager.
The bottom line: While it could use a boost in the performance department, the HTC Hero is the most feature-packed Google Android device to date, bringing some notable improvements and a highly customizable interface.
Read CNET's full review Price: $179.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. Requires a plan with unlimited data.
The good: Superb black-level performance with excellent shadow detail; highly accurate primary colors and grayscale in THX mode; great color saturation; uses less power than previous 1080p plasmas; VieraCast provides access to select Internet services.
The bad: Less accurate secondary colors of magenta and cyan; slight yellowish tinge and limited light output in THX mode; skimpy picture controls; still less efficient than comparable LCDs.
The bottom line: Panasonic's 54-inch TV-P54G10 offers superb image quality, plenty of features, and great value, making a strong bid for your big-screen buck.
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 offers integrated GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, and EV-DO. The compact smartphone continues to offer solid messaging capabilities and includes support for a number of features that the Verizon model does not.
The bad: The BlackBerry Curve 8330 lacks Wi-Fi, and call quality wasn't the greatest.
The bottom line: Despite some spotty call quality, the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 for Sprint is a great messaging device with the bonus of EV-DO and integrated GPS. Plus, it offers more services than the Verizon BlackBerry Curve.
Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:Research In Motion
Samsung Rogue SCH-U960 (Verizon Wireless)
Samsung Rogue SCH-U960 (Verizon Wireless)
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: The Samsung Rogue has a gorgeous display, a 3.5-millimeter headset jack, a great keyboard, and an impressive array of features that includes a 3-megapixel camera, EV-DO Rev. A, GPS, and a HTML browser with Flash Lite. It has good call quality as well.
The bad: The Samsung Rogue is a tad bulky, and the streaming-video quality is poor.
The bottom line: The Samsung Rogue is a great multimedia touch-screen messaging phone for Verizon Wireless customers.