Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including two gaming PCs with Intel's new Core i7 CPU, the HP Officejet Pro 8500 wireless printer, and Logitech's G500 gaming mouse.
CNET Reviews staff
Falcon Northwest Talon (Intel Core i7)
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Falcon Northwest Talon (Intel Core i7)
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: Fast, overclockable, and power-efficient new Intel Core i7 CPU; performs in the same neighborhood as PCs that cost $500 more; will play any game on the market at almost any image-quality setting; strong new case with some clever features.
The bad: Limited room for expansion.
The bottom line: Falcon Northwest's revamped, mainstream-oriented Talon gaming desktop puts its best redesigned foot forward with a new case and a strong, price-competitive configuration built around Intel's latest batch of Core i7 CPUs. Shop around, as many vendors will have adopted Intel's new chips, but for this build at this price, Falcon Northwest sets the example to beat.
The good: Autoduplexer; automatic document feeder; easy to use 3.4-inch LCD touch screen; painless 802.11b/g wireless setup; industry-leading print speeds; excellent quality prints.
The bad: Lacks autodial fax buttons, Bluetooth, and a dual paper input tray.
The bottom line: The HP Officejet Pro 8500 wireless makes a convincing inkjet argument for offices with a high volume of prints. With a function touch screen, multiple networking options, and an astoundingly fast print speed, it makes perfect sense to give this workhorse an Editors' Choice award.
The good: The HTC Touch Pro2 for Sprint offers a gorgeous touch screen, a spacious keyboard, and a 3.5-millimeter jack. The Windows Mobile device also features world-roaming capabilities, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
The bad: The smartphone doesn't support international 3G bands. The device is bulky in size and also expensive. GPS acquisition was a bit slow in our tests and video streaming wasn't the smoothest.
The bottom line: Despite the jaw-dropping price tag, the HTC Touch Pro2 is a powerful smartphone that delivers in performance and features to make it one of the best devices for Sprint's business customers.
The good: All of the same features we love about the older G5 Laser Mouse; dual-mode scroll wheel; onboard memory stores custom profiles; requisite, ludicrously high sensor DPI maximum.
The bad: Competing Microsoft mouse in the same price range offers a different set of compelling features.
The bottom line: There's quite a lot to like about Logitech's new Gaming Mouse G500, but with a competing mouse from Microsoft offering its own set of features, gamers now have some choices to make. The G500 will appeal to performance-driven shooter fans. The choice is less clear for other kinds of PC gamers.
The good: Performance is enhanced in the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe with a nearly slushless, seven-speed automatic transmission and adjustable suspension. The Bluetooth phone system includes dial-by-name voice command and the navigation system automatically avoids traffic jams. The premium Harmon Kardon sound system is audiophile quality.
The bad: The iPod cable is poorly placed, and the stereo could use a USB port. Fuel economy averages in the high teens.
The bottom line: The 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe strikes a balance between luxury and sport, with engaging driving and high-quality cabin electronics, while presenting a very stylish exterior.
The good: Outstanding performance for its class; excellent photo quality; solidly built; flexible custom-settings architecture; video capture; onboard wireless flash controller; dual card slots.
The bad: Some annoying design and interface quirks; no significant improvements in high ISO noise performance.
The bottom line: The Nikon D300s is a great camera, especially if you need the burst speed or slightly improved low-light focus, but if you don't care about video you might consider looking for a really good deal on a D300 and using what you save to splurge on a good lens.
The good: DECT 6.0 cordless phone; 2.1-inch LCD; large, rubberized backlit buttons; speakerphone on handset; expandable up to six handsets; integrated digital answering machine; talking caller ID; "Choice Mail" Selectable Voice Message (visual voice mail).
The bad: Front of phone attracts fingerprints/oil from your face.
The bottom line: Panasonic's excellent KX-TG7400 series of DECT 6.0 cordless phones one-ups the company's highly rated 6400 series with the notable addition of a larger 2.1-inch screen and "Choice Mail" (a form of visual voice mail) to its impressive feature set.
The good: Best value among midrange gaming PCs; Velocity Micro's consistently high build quality; compact case makes few sacrifices; second graphics card slot previously uncommon at this price.
The bad: Might need to dial down game image quality on 24-inch displays at full resolution.
The bottom line: Velocity Micro's Edge Z30 is the best deal going right now for midlevel gaming PCs featuring Intel's new Core i7 chips. The overclocked Core i7 860, a fast Nvidia graphics card, and a solid selection of features all around make it easy for us to recommend this system to anyone looking for a capable gaming desktop.