Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the PS3 Slim, Samsung HT-BD1250 home theater system, and the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.
CNET Reviews staff
Cell2Tel Bluetooth Gateway
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Cell2Tel Bluetooth Gateway
Editors' rating: 4
The good: The Cell2Tel Bluetooth Gateway is a handy way to use your cell phone with a landline telephone. Call quality is great, and you can still keep features like caller ID and voice mail. You can connect up to two cell phones with the Cell2Tel.
The bad: The Cell2Tel Bluetooth Gateway does cost quite a bit, and it is not necessary if you already have a great signal in your home and don't like talking on landline phones.
The bottom line: The Cell2Tel Bluetooth Gateway offers a smart solution for those who want to use their cell phones with a regular landline telephone.
The good: With its dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive system, the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart delivers exciting performance on twisty roads. The hard drive for the optional navigation system has room for music storage, and the optional Rockford-Fosgate audio system delivers raucous sound.
The bad: No iPod integration and urban performance is rough.
The bottom line: An excellent car for weekend sport driving, the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart loses it luster when stuck in traffic. Optional cabin electronics are of surprisingly good quality.
The good: The Plantronics Discovery 975 is a unique Bluetooth headset that features multipoint, voice prompts, and fantastic audio quality with good noise-canceling and wind-noise resistance. It has a much improved charging case with a battery status indicator.
The bad: The Plantronics Discovery 975 has a hard-to-press multifunction button and the volume key is tiny.
The bottom line: Despite its finicky controls, the Plantronics Discovery 975 is a stylish headset with a comfortable fit, a great feature set, and excellent call quality.
The good: 5.1 home theater system; built-in Blu-ray player; best-in-class sound quality; excellent image quality on Blu-ray movies; Netflix and Pandora streaming; fast Blu-ray load times; iPod dock included; attractive exterior design.
The bad: Design has some usability issues; no video inputs; no automatic speaker calibration; PC streaming feature is more trouble than its worth.
The bottom line: Samsung's HT-BD1250 home theater system has built-in Blu-ray, streaming media from Netflix and Pandora, and excellent audio and video quality, making it our top budget Blu-ray all-in-one system.
The good: More affordable $299 price; slimmer, more compact design with quieter operation; all games in high-definition; easy-to-use interface; doubles as a Blu-ray and upscaling DVD player; built-in Wi-Fi; 120GB hard drive; HDMI output with 1080p support; no external power supply; built-in Web browser; free online gaming service.
The bad: Lacks backward support for PS2 games; no infrared port means non-Bluetooth universal remotes aren't compatible; online gaming, media, and commerce options still aren't as fully developed as Xbox Live, though they're getting better.
The bottom line: With a smaller design, more energy-efficient operation, lower price tag, and built-in Blu-ray and multimedia capabilities, the PS3 Slim delivers a compelling package for an affordable price.
The good: Bigger 11-inch, high-resolution screen; overclockable CPU; great battery life.
The bad: Slightly slower and more expensive than standard Netbooks.
The bottom line: Swelling the ranks of 11.6-inch Netbooks, the Asus Eee PC 1101HA impresses with its design and battery, but having to overclock a slower version of Intel's Atom CPU is a dodgy workaround.
The good: Head-turning looks mark the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro LT, while the engine strikes a good balance between economy and power. A well-designed suspension keeps it under control in the curves. iPod and Bluetooth cell phone integration are available.
The bad: OnStar is the only navigation option. Audio quality is mediocre from the stock sound system. The shifter buttons are poorly placed, and the six-speed automatic only delivers satisfying performance in sport mode.
The bottom line: The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro LT is largely about style, although it isn't bad on the performance side. For cabin tech, only a few essentials are available.
Dell Inspiron Mini 10v Netbook Computer (Intel Atom N270, 120GB HDD, 1GB)
Editors' rating: 3.5
The good: Same basic chassis as Dell's more expensive Netbooks; very low entry price.
The bad:Limited configuration options; inset screen is not as nice as the Mini 10's edge-to-edge glass.
The bottom line: Dell's Mini 10v keeps a lot of the features of the more expensive Mini 10, while dropping the price below $300. It's one of only a handful of $299 Netbooks that doesn't look and feel especially cheap.
The good: The Samsung i890 Omnia HD boasts a large and gorgeous AMOLED touch screen and features an 8-megapixel camera with HD video recording and playback. The TouchWiz interface is greatly improved, and the smartphone also offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
The bad: The phone is expensive and doesn't support U.S. 3G. Call quality could have been better.
The bottom line: While the lack of 3G and expensive price tag will keep it out of the hands of the masses, the Samsung i890 Omnia HD is a powerful multimedia smartphone that rivals the other high-end touch-screen devices.