Barnes & Noble Nook

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

Barnes & Noble Nook (Wi-Fi)

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5

The good: Large library with tens of thousands of e-books, as well as newspapers and magazines; online access via Wi-Fi; separate capacitive color touch-screen pad for navigation, and a virtual keyboard for notes and annotations; 2GB of internal memory (capable of storing 1,500 electronic books) as well as an expansion microSD slot for additional memory; font style and size are adjustable; displays image files, PDF files, and plays MP3 music files; compatible with Windows and Mac machines; battery is removable and user replaceable; allows free, in-store browsing of full-text books while within Barnes & Noble stores; users can lend certain e-books for up to 14 days free of charge; EPUB format compatibility lets you read loaner e-books from your local library and free public domain e-books; built-in basic Web browser works slightly better than the Kindle's.

The bad: Though performance has been significantly improved with firmware upgrades, the device could still be zippier; no protective carrying case included; color LCD appears to have a significant impact on battery life; in-store reading and loaning capabilities come with notable limits and caveats; no support for Word or text files; some bugs in software; no ability to download books when outside the U.S., even when on Wi-Fi.

The bottom line: For the moment, the Wi-Fi-only version of the Barnes & Noble Nook is the best e-reader you can buy for less than $150.

Read CNET's full review
Price: $149

Photo by: CBS Interactive

Belkin AV360 Mini-DisplayPort converter for 27-inch iMac

Belkin AV360 Mini-DisplayPort converter for 27-inch iMac

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5

The good: Bridges the gap between 27-inch iMac and HDMI video components; simplifies set up by scaling video to match the iMac's 720p input limit, regardless of source setting; USB-powered, which minimizes cable clutter.

The bad: Won't input HDMI-equipped PC video to the iMac; no support for 2,550x1,440 native iMac resolution.

The bottom line: Belkin's AV360 iMac adapter edges out the competition by making it easier to connect HDMI-based video components to your iMac's Mini DisplayPort. We'd prefer that Apple had gone with HDMI in the iMac to begin with, but until it makes that switch, this is the adapter we'd pick.

Read CNET's full review
Price: $149.99

Photo by: CBS Interactive

Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate Silent

Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate Silent

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5

The good: Mechanical key switches provide tactile feel and satisfying clack; N-key rollover allows for multiple key presses; blank keys add elite aesthetic appeal; built-in USB hub; sturdy build.

The bad: Expensive; lacks extra features.

The bottom line: The Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate Silent is aesthetically minimal and truly designed for typing purists and keyboard snobs who have no need for key labels. If the lack of printed letters isn't enough, the $135 price tag will deter casual users who can find a cheaper input device with extra features elsewhere.

Read CNET's full review
Price: $135

Photo by: CBS Interactive

Samsung HT-C6500

Samsung HT-C6500

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5

The good: A 5.1 home theater system with built-in Blu-ray player; two HDMI inputs; outstanding sound quality for a home-theater-in-a-box system at this price range; Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, and Pandora streaming; built-in Wi-Fi; plays music, videos, and pictures off a connected USB drive or via network; 1GB onboard storage.

The bad: No wireless rear speakers; requires a dongle for iPod connectivity, rather than a sleeker built-in design; buttons on top of the player are inconvenient; last year's Samsung Blu-ray players had reliability issues.

The bottom line: The Samsung HT-C6500 combines outstanding sound quality, Blu-ray playback, and tons of features into an excellent home theater system, with only some design quirks holding it back.

Read CNET's full review
Price range: $547-$649.99

Photo by: CBS Interactive

Altec Lansing Octiv Mini M102

Altec Lansing Octiv Mini M102 iPod speaker

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: Compact, minimalist design; plays bigger than its size; turns into full-featured alarm clock after you add Altec's Alarm Rock app; GSM-shielded so iPhone can be used without the need to switch it to airplane mode.

The bad: Take away the iPhone app and the Octiv Mini is a basic iPod speaker that's a tad more expensive than it should be; app doesn't automatically launch when you dock your device.

The bottom line: The Altec Lansing Octiv Mini is an ideal option for anyone seeking an affordable, minimalist iPhone speaker for the bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen.

Read CNET's full review
Price: $59.99

Photo by: CBS Interactive

Creative Labs D200 wireless Bluetooth speaker

Creative Labs D200 wireless Bluetooth speaker

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: Small speaker bar with integrated Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming; compact design ideal for shelf placement; plays bigger than its size would indicate; solid build quality; easy to move around the house.

The bad: No dock for charging iPhone or iPod; no battery option.

The bottom line: The relatively affordable--and compact--Creative D200 Bluetooth speaker offers wireless audio streaming and reasonably good sound for the money.

Read CNET's full review
Price: $130

Photo by: CBS Interactive

Pantech Ease (AT&T)

Pantech Ease (AT&T)

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Pantech Ease has a beautiful capacitive touch screen display and a sturdy slider QWERTY keyboard. It has two modes--Easy and Advanced--and the Easy Mode is cleverly designed for cell phone novices and senior citizens. Advanced users will like the 2.0-megapixel camera, music player, and 3G speeds. Call quality is great thanks to a noise suppression technology.

The bad: We understand the need to separate out different features for Easy and Advanced modes, but we sometimes find the categorization to be arbitrary. For example, Pill Reminder and Pedometer aren't in Advanced mode, and notepad and stopwatch aren't in Easy mode.

The bottom line: Though we have a few quibbles with it, the Pantech Ease is overall a smart hybrid that will please both grandparents and grandchildren alike.

Read CNET's full review
Price range: $69.99

Photo by: CBS Interactive

Samsung Wave GT-S8500

Samsung Wave GT-S8500

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Samsung Wave has a gorgeous, crystal-clear Super AMOLED touch screen. The 1GHz processor keeps the phone running smoothly, and the Wave has great call quality. The Wave also has a 5-megapixel camera and can capture HD video.

The bad: Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 user interface is much improved over its previous versions; however, it is not as intuitive as others are, particularly as you get deeper into apps. It doesn't merge contact information from various accounts together and the Samsung App store is not available in the U.S.

The bottom line: For international markets, the Samsung Wave is a nice, budget-friendly foray into the world of smartphones, but there are more affordable and more full-featured options for the U.S.

Read CNET's full review
Price range: $370-$400

Photo by: CBS Interactive

Sony Bravia XBR-52HX909

Sony Bravia XBR-52HX909

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: Produces extremely deep black levels; video processing properly handles 1080p/24 material; relatively accurate color with linear grayscale; 3D compatible; 2D-to-3D conversion system works better than expected; numerous streaming video services; Excellent design with stylish monolithic exterior; energy-efficient.

The bad: Extremely expensive; exhibits more blooming than competing local dimming LED models; black areas tinged bluer; subpar off-angle viewing; 3D exhibited ghost images along edges (crosstalk); does not include 3D glasses or IR emitter.

The bottom line: Although its black levels challenge the best ever, some other picture-related aspects of the Sony XBR-HX909 series don't live up to the high price.

Read CNET's full review
Price range: $3,449.95-$3,999.99

Photo by: CBS Interactive

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