Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the BlueAnt S1 Bluetooth speakerphone, Canon PowerShot A2100 IS, and HTC Touch Pro2.
CNET Reviews staff
Seagate BlackArmor PS 110
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Seagate BlackArmor PS 110 - 500 GB Hi-Speed USB hard drive
Editors' rating: 4
The good: Data transfer speeds top the competition; slim profile; preloaded backup software; generous 5-year warranty; 256-bit security encryption.
The bad: No FireWire port; other drives charge less per gigabyte.
The bottom line: A sexy slim design and backup software set make a compelling argument for the Maxtor BlackArmor PS 110 external hard drive. We like the unique "Try and Decide" feature preloaded on the drive, and the throughput speed scores stomp the competition. Shoppers on a strict budget should look into the Fujitsu Handydrive for the best cost per gigabyte, but the BlackArmor PS 110 offers many extra features for just a few more dollars more.
Panasonic KX TG6431M - cordless phone w/ call waiting caller ID & answering system
Editors' rating: 4
The good: DECT 6.0 cordless phone system; 1.8-inch LCD on handset; large, rubberized buttons that are backlit; speakerphone on handset; expandable up to sic handsets; integrated digital answering machine (on some models).
The bad: Front of phone attracts fingerprints and oil from your face; not the best looking DECT 6.0 we've seen.
The bottom line: Panasonic's KX-TG6400 cordless phone series isn't the slickest-looking DECT 6.0 system available, but the phones are solid performers with attractive feature sets--particularly the higher-end models.
The good: The BlueAnt S1 has a compact design, with features like the ability to answer calls with your voice, multipoint technology, A2DP stereo Bluetooth, and automatic reconnect. It has very good call quality as well.
The bad: The BlueAnt S1 won't replace your car stereo speakers in terms of audio quality, the volume rocker is a bit stiff, and it won't read incoming caller ID like the Supertooth 3.
The bottom line: For the price, the BlueAnt S1 is an excellent Bluetooth speakerphone with great features and performance.
The good: Stable overclocked CPU; well-thought-out component offerings online
The bad: More expensive than faster, better-equipped competition; no Blu-Ray drive; some might consider power supply too close for comfort to add second dual-chip graphics card.
The bottom line: Digital Storm's 950Si has all the makings of a quality performance gaming system, but its value proposition comes up just a bit short. The stable-yet-aggressively overclocked CPU tells us that Digital Storm knows what it's doing, and with a more competitive price it would earn a more enthusiastic recommendation.
The good: Wi-Fi radio that tunes into thousands of free Internet radio stations; better sound than step-down models; can access both Pandora and Sirius; uses online Reciva portal to organize your favorite stations and podcasts; fast start-up time; both WEP and WPA security supported; remote included; five separate alarms.
The bad: Rival Squeezebox Boom offers more features and performance (albeit for more money); no auxiliary input; build quality isn't as solid as similarly priced radios.
The bottom line: The Grace Digital Bravado Wi-Fi radio has a unique component-style design and better sound than step-down models.
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 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
The bad: The smartphone is heavy and bulky. No U.S. 3G support on this version and it's expensive. Onboard memory is low, and we would have liked an upgraded camera.
The bottom line: With a feature set to match its large size, the HTC Touch Pro2 will be a great device for power and business users once it finally hits North America and adds U.S. 3G support.
The good: The Motorola Rokr S9 HD has a comfortable and secure design and great audio quality. The buttons are easy to use as well.
The bad: The Motorola Rokr S9 HD can feel unwieldy when exercising or working out, and the Bluetooth connection cuts out occasionally if the paired device isn't positioned correctly. Also, the power button feels stiff and the charger jack cover isn't secured properly.
The bottom line: The Motorola Rokr S9 HD is a simple and lightweight stereo Bluetooth headset, but take caution when using it for an active lifestyle.
The good: The T-Mobile Dash 3G brings some nice upgrades, including 3G support, GPS, and a 2-megapixel camera. The smartphone features a slick design with a nice, full QWERTY keyboard. Other highlights include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and plenty of messaging options.
The bad: The Dash 3G does not include the Inner Circle feature or UMA support. The screen size is a bit small. Price is a little high compared to the competition.
The bottom line: Long overdue, the T-Mobile Dash 3G is a worthy upgrade to its predecessor with the addition of such features as 3G support, GPS, and an updated design.
The good: Excellent sound quality; includes component-size AV receiver; four HDMI inputs; iPod dock included; onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding; upconverts analog video signals to 1080p; automatic speaker calibration system; less expensive than competing Onkyo system.
The bad: Large speakers will overwhelm small rooms; competing Onkyo has a better-sounding subwoofer; cannot assign audio inputs; onscreen display looks outdated.
The bottom line: The Yamaha YHT-791BL home theater system sounds nearly as good as the Onkyo HT-S9100THX (while costing less), and comes with an iPod dock, making it an excellent all-in-one system for the audiophile on a budget.