Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the Logitech Harmony 900 remote control, 2009 Audi Q5, and the Sony Alpha DSLR-A380.
CNET Reviews staff
Logitech Harmony 900
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Logitech Harmony 900 universal remote
Editors' rating: 4.5 out of 5
The good: Sleek design, both in terms of cosmetics and ergonomics; PC programmable; excellent button layout and design that now includes new Blu-ray-centric buttons; high-resolution LCD that offers a touch-screen interface and touch-sensitive buttons for navigation of onscreen menus; rechargeable lithium ion battery and docking station; RF option included--and it's very easy to set up.
The bad: Price will scare off some buyers; PS3 control requires add-on dongle.
The bottom line: The Logitech Harmony 900 is, hands down, the best universal remote control we've ever tested.
The good: The HTC Touch Pro2 features a sharp, spacious touch screen and an easy-to-use full QWERTY keyboard. The Windows Mobile smartphone also includes conference call management tools for business users and offers good call quality. It also has 3G support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
The bad: The smartphone is heavy and bulky. Onboard memory is low, and we would have liked an upgraded camera. It's a bit pricey.
The bottom line: Though hefty in size and price, the HTC Touch Pro2 offers T-Mobile's business customers a powerful smartphone with robust messaging, voice capabilities, and a slick user interface.
The good: Bluetrack technology tracks on almost any surface; "Power" slider conserves battery; right- and left-handed compatible; contoured shape; transceiver attaches to undercarriage.
The bad: Limited battery life of nonrechargeable AA batteries; smooth vertical rocker lacks precision; pricier than other mobile mice.
The bottom line: The Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000 doesn't leave much room for complaint. Some will balk at the $40 price tag, but this mobile traveler fits comfortably in your hand and it can mouse on almost any surface, thanks to Microsoft's innovative Bluetrack technology. With a small footprint and a variety of stylish colors to choose from, this mouse makes a useful (and worthy) addition to your mobile arsenal.
The good: With the Drive Select option, the 2009 Audi Q5 is one of the best handling SUVs we've driven. Maps in the navigation system look very good, with many 3D-rendered buildings. The Bang & Olufsen audio system delivers excellent musical reproduction.
The bad: Inputting destinations can be tedious with the MMI controller.
The bottom line: The 2009 Audi Q5, in Prestige trim, offers some of the best tech of any small SUV, along with incredible road performance.
The good: High-end extras including a higher-resolution screen and HDMI output; very configurable, for a Netbook, including optional mobile broadband.
The bad: Options drive the price up into mainstream laptop territory; same basic chassis as the sub-$300 version of the Mini 10.
The bottom line: Dell's popular Mini 10 is the most customizable Netbook we've seen. Adding extras such as a higher-resolution display makes it more useful, but also blurs the price line between Netbooks and mainstream laptops.
The good: Dell's strongest chassis design in years; highly capable jack-of-all-trade configuration; strong customer support options.
The bad: Not as fast or as affordable as some of its off-the-shelf competition; a few missing features; power hog.
The bottom line: The Dell Studio XPS 435 successfully overcomes our bias against desktops that claim to be experts at everything through charming case design and a strong configuration at a relatively fair price. It misses greatness because of a handful of minor missteps, but if you need a do-it-all mainstream tower system, this Dell more or less covers all of the bases.
The good: Capable of shooting some very nice photos; fast Live View AF and single-shot performance; tiltable LCD; dual card slots; relatively simple, straightforward operation; built-in wireless flash and image stabilization.
The bad: Smallish grip; middling viewfinder; color shifts with default settings.
The bottom line: While the Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 is a solid inexpensive dSLR with a few nice features that will probably satisfy many shooters, it doesn't deliver quite enough on any front to outshine competitors.
The good: The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg TDI's diesel engine provides better mileage than its gasoline equivalent, and lots of power for towing or off-roading. Off-road capability is enhanced with a locking differential. Advanced driver aid technologies such as adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection are available, along with a Dynaudio audio system.
The bad: The navigation system made bizarre route recommendations, and its slow processor made destination input frustrating.
The bottom line: The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg TDI makes for a practical and stylish diesel SUV option, but its cabin tech only partially passes muster.