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HolidayBuyer's Guide

HP EliteBook Mobile Workstation 8560w - Core i7-2720QM 2.2GHz - 15.6-inch TFT

Soul by Ludacris SL300 (Black/White)

Samsung 830 (128GB, SSD)

Maingear Vybe Super Stock (fall 2011)

Nikon 1 J1 with 10mm and 10-30mm lenses (Silver)

2011 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCab 4x4

Sony Vaio VPC-F215FX/BI

Huawei Impulse 4G (AT&T)

Toshiba Satellite P755-3DV20 - Core i5 2410M 2.3GHz - 15.6-inch TFT - with Nvidia 3D Vision Kit

Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101 (32GB, white)

Atari Arcade Duo-powered joystick for iPad

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

HP EliteBook Mobile Workstation 8560w - Core i7-2720QM 2.2GHz - 15.6-inch TFT

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5

The good: The HP EliteBook 8560w Mobile Workstation offers excellent configuration options including a color-accurate LCD, comes with great tools for fine-tuning performance and power usage, and has a tough but attractive design.

The bad: Like most mobile workstations, the EliteBook 8560w is large, heavy, and potentially very expensive.

The bottom line: HP's versatile EliteBook 8560w shows that a mobile workstation can be rugged and a solid performer and still look good.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $1,666.99 from 3 stores

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Soul by Ludacris SL300 (Black/White)

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5

The good: The Soul by Ludacris SL300s competes with other celebrity-endorsed headphones with active noise cancellation, a comfortably padded headband, and a generous array of accessories.

The bad: An overbearing bass bump drowns out the clarity of the sonic profile, especially in songs with electronic instruments.

The bottom line: Although they won't satisfy audiophiles and purists, we prefer the Soul by Ludacris SL300 headphones over the competition for their sexy light-up earpieces, supreme comfort, and street-savvy noise cancellation.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $299.95 from 3 stores

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung 830 (128GB, SSD)

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5

The good: The 2.5-inch SATA 3 (6Gbps)-based Samsung 830 series solid-state drive offers great performance, is well-built and good-looking. The drive comes with helpful desktop software for Windows.

The bad: Due to the thin profile, the Samsung 830 series requires padding or a laptop kit, which costs extra, to fit in most existing laptop computers.

The bottom line: If the price is right, you don't need to look any further than the Samsung 830 series to upgrade your computer's internal storage to the best possible performance.

Read CNET's full review
Pricing is not yet available from any of our online merchants.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Maingear Vybe Super Stock (fall 2011)

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5

The good: The updated Maingear Vybe Super Stock will charm PC gamers with its attractive new case, an innovative drive-access speed boost, and buyer-friendly support policies.

The bad: We'd like more flexibility from Maingear's online configurator.

The bottom line: The handsome new Maingear Vybe Super Stock offers everything we like to see in a modern gaming PC, and we'd recommend it particularly to those looking for a well-rounded performance computer.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $1,867.00 from 1 store

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Nikon 1 J1 with 10mm and 10-30mm lenses (Silver)

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Nikon 1 J1 delivers excellent video and low-ISO photo quality, plus some aspects of the camera's performance lead its class.

The bad: The CX lens system drops manual focus rings on the lenses; you can't use flash above 1/60 sec; and there's no option for an EVF.

The bottom line: The Nikon 1 J1 is a fine camera, but there's nothing here that screams out "buy it" over similar competitors. It's also on the expensive side for a point-and-shoot upgrader, but has drawbacks for the more advanced user.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $899.00 from 1 store

Caption by / Photo by Nikon

2011 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCab 4x4

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The EcoBoost engine in the 2011 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCab 4x4 lends plenty of power, and a solid four-wheel drive system has high and low settings. The cabin tech provides data including weather, traffic, and fuel prices. The Sony audio system adds some unexpectedly high-quality sound.

The bad: The drivetrain leads to some slight hesitation during acceleration and the four-wheel drive binds when the steering is at its lock point.

The bottom line: The 2011 Ford F-150 takes advantage of modern technology and loses none of its practical working capabilities. Nice touches include the EcoBoost engine's power and the Sony audio system's quality.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $34,495.00 from 1 store

Caption by / Photo by JoshMiller/CNET

Sony Vaio VPC-F215FX/BI

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The stylish Sony Vaio F215FX adds stereoscopic 3D and backs it up with powerful components.

The bad: This is significantly heavier than other 16-inch laptops, and at nearly $2,000, it's very expensive. The battery life is disappointing.

The bottom line: Sony makes some of the best-looking multimedia laptops out there, and the 3D Vaio F215FX is no exception. But you'll have to be willing to pay extra for that sharp design.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $1,399.00 from 6 stores

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Huawei Impulse 4G (AT&T)

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Huawei Impulse 4G is a decent budget smartphone with a colorful and intuitive touch-screen display, 720p HD video capture, a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and support for AT&T's HSPA+ network. It's also very affordable.

The bad: The Huawei Impulse 4G only has Android 2.2, and we experienced inconsistent HSPA+ speeds.

The bottom line: The Huawei Impulse 4G satisfies the basics of most Android phones, but its outdated software and inconsistent speeds keep us from fully recommending it despite its bargain price.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $279.99

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Toshiba Satellite P755-3DV20 - Core i5 2410M 2.3GHz - 15.6-inch TFT - with Nvidia 3D Vision Kit

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Toshiba Satellite P755-3DV20 is packed with features: Blu-ray, midrange Nvidia graphics, and Nvidia 3D Vision with included glasses, along with Harman Kardon speakers and USB 3.0.

The bad: Battery life is under 3 hours at best, and hard-core 3D enthusiasts would likely prefer a larger, higher-resolution screen.

The bottom line: The 3D-enabled Toshiba Satellite P755-3DV20 is one of the more affordable 3D-enabled laptops, but it lacks the horsepower we've seen in more-robust 3D gaming laptops.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $999.99 from 8 stores

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101 (32GB, white)

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101's keyboard mechanism is well-implemented and useful to those frustrated with typing on a tablet screen. Also, the inclusion of Mini-HDMI, a microSD card slot, USB 2.0, and the latest version of Honeycomb makes this tablet worth its price.

The bad: The Slider is bulky and heavy for a tablet and can't be detached from the keyboard plate. Also, the typing environment feels cramped and the curved design on the keyboard plate blocks the spacebar. No LED flash on the camera means no nighttime picture taking.

The bottom line: Though it prevents a "pure" tablet experience, the Asus Eee Pad Slider's built-in keyboard is a welcome feature for those who break into cold sweats whenever typing on a tablet is mentioned.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $579.00 from 2 stores

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Atari Arcade Duo-powered joystick for iPad

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Atari Arcade, a small, compact docking joystick, detaches easily from the iPad and can fit in a backpack; no batteries are required, either.

The bad: Buttons and joystick feel stiff and less comfortable than true arcade equivalents like the iCade. The dock forces the iPad into portrait orientation, and it's only compatible with the Atari Greatest Hits app.

The bottom line: The compact Atari Arcade joystick dock ably converts the iPad into an old-school video game machine that doesn't require batteries, as long as all you're planning to do is play Atari games.

Read CNET's full review
Coming soon.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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