Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Apple iPod Touch 2011
Editors' rating: 4.5 out of 5
The good: Apple's new incarnation of the iPod Touch boasts a new color, a new price, and a feature-packed OS. It records HD video; allows for chats over video or iMessages; checks your e-mail; keeps your appointments; connects to the cloud; and lets you rent movies, play music, take pictures, and play more games than you could using any of its competitors.
The bad: Photo quality doesn't hold up to the iPhone 4's; there's no GPS, and no option for 3G data service.
The bottom line: The iPod Touch is the best iPod yet, offering all the fun of the iPhone experience without a carrier contract or monthly bill.
The good: Powered by eight drivers, the Logitech Wireless Boombox for iPad uses Bluetooth connectivity to play music wirelessly from Bluetooth devices, including the iPad and other tablets.
The bad: Its bulky stature is best for stationary use, and competitive models offer slightly diminished sonic quality in a much smaller candy-bar design.
The bottom line: Logitech wins again with the Wireless Boombox for iPad, delivering a speaker that sounds great and won't empty your wallet. We recommend it for stationary indoor and outdoor use, but portable music lovers should keep shopping.
The good: The HTC Amaze 4G features a premium chassis, a sharp Super LCD touch screen, and a dual-core processor. It's equipped with an 8-megapixel camera with a number of advanced shooting modes and settings. T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 speeds were impressive.
The bad: The smartphone is heavy and expensive. The camera still struggled in low-light environments.
The bottom line: The HTC Amaze 4G is a beautifully designed and fast Android smartphone, with some advanced camera features, but don't go ditching your point-and-shoot camera just yet.
The good: Apple's iPhone 4S has a faster processor and an upgraded camera, all the benefits of iOS 5, and a useful and immensely fun voice assistant. Call quality on the Sprint model is admirable, and the data speeds, while certainly not 4G, get the job done.
The bad: It's about time we get a larger screen.
The bottom line: The iPhone 4S isn't the king of cell phones, but it's part of the royal family nonetheless. Even without 4G and a giant screen, this phone's smart(ass) voice assistant, Siri, the benefits of iOS 5, and its spectacular camera make it a top choice for anyone ready to upgrade.
The good: The Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 has a lower price than laptops with similar processors and specs. Despite that, its design is a cut above competitors', with an excellent keyboard and surprising speakers.
The bad: The battery life is disappointing compared with recent 2011 laptops, and configuration options are limited.
The bottom line: As long as the price stays around $599, the Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 should be a strong consideration for anyone looking for a very good all-around 13-inch laptop, although it's hardly a showstopper.
The good: The all-wheel drive of the 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design includes torque vectoring for better control in the corners, and 25 horsepower more than the standard S60. The navigation system shows lane guidance on surface streets and is aggressive about avoiding traffic. Standard City Safety automatically brakes to avoid low-speed collisions.
The bad: The automatic transmission and suspension fall short of the car's sport aspirations. Volvo's adaptive suspension option is not available.
The bottom line: The 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design does little to justify its extra cost over the standard S60, but otherwise makes for a comfortable, premium sedan with modern tech amenities.
The good: The PS3 Wireless Headset is incredibly easy to use, sports an intelligent design, and is comfortable for hours of gaming.
The bad: We wish the PS3 Wireless Headset had an adjustable boom mic (instead of just telescoping) and a longer battery life. Also, the virtual surround sound effect isn't worth using. It would have been nice for Sony to include a cheap USB charging cable as well.
The bottom line: Attractively priced and full of great features, the PS3 Wireless Headset provides above-average sound quality and hassle-free performance.
The good: The Sony Reader Wi-Fi PRS-T1 is a compact and lightweight touch-screen e-book reader. It offers access to large catalog of e-books, magazines, and newspapers via Sony's online store, plus online loaners from your local library, has support for EPUB files, and is compatible with any e-book store that uses the Adobe DRM format. This Reader also offers audio capabilities and has a microSD card expansion slot, and its battery lasts for up to five weeks on a single charge with Wi-Fi off.
The bad: At $149, the PRS-T1 costs $50 more than the $99 Kindle Touch, and it doesn't offer some of the little extras, like 3G wireless, e-book lending, and social-media integration, that competing e-readers offer. The Sony bookstore isn't as extensive as Amazon.com's, and the Sony Reader app isn't currently available on the iPhone and iPad.
The bottom line: While there's no compelling reason to buy it over the Kindle Touch, the Sony Reader Wi-Fi is a very solid e-reader.
The good: Lenovo's IdeaPad U300s is the coolest-looking of the new generation of Ultrabook laptops, and packs in a large SSD drive, USB 3.0, and more.
The bad: Our more expensive configuration offers no discount from a comparable MacBook Air, and leaves out some basic ports and connections.
The bottom line: Lenovo's stylish U300s Ultrabook is one of the best-looking Windows laptops we've seen and matches Apple's MacBook Air nearly spec for spec. The entry-level version is $100 less than Apple's, but that discount vanishes on the higher-end model.
The good: The TomTom GO Live 1535M features a suite of destination searching apps from Yelp, Expedia, Trip Advisor, and Google. Twitter integration allows users to update friends and family with ETAs in a manner safer than texting. Other Live services, such as HD Traffic, fuel prices, and weather forecasts, round out the unit's great connectivity service.
The bad: Searching the connected services is clunky and, at times, unintuitive.
The bottom line: The TomTom GO Live 1535M is a solidly performing GPS device and its app integration for search is a nice first, but that's hardly this PND's strongest feature.