The good: Automatic parking works incredibly well in the 2010 Lincoln MKS, as does adaptive cruise control. Sync and Sirius Travel Link provide useful device connectivity and information for road trips. Ecoboost power gets this sedan moving fast.
The bad: The map resolution in the navigation system isn't top-notch, and we encountered a few glitches with the car, such as the USB port failing. At ridiculously fast speeds the handling felt a little wobbly.
The bottom line: The 2010 Lincoln MKS is quite a tech cruiser, with features that will thrill any gadget lover while traveling in comfort.
The good: The Sony Ericsson Aino has a beautiful display, an intuitive interface, great multimedia features, Remote Play compatibility, Wi-Fi, GPS with Google Maps and geotagging, and good call quality. We also like that it comes with a desktop charging dock plus a stereo Bluetooth headset.
The bad: The Sony Ericsson Aino's touch-screen interface is limited to the media browser, it has no 3.5mm headset jack, and the navigation keys are a little small. Some may find the price tag a little steep.
The bottom line: The Sony Ericsson Aino's luscious display and multimedia offerings make it one of the better unlocked phones we've seen this year.
The good: Reproduces deep black levels and excellent shadow detail; solid color saturation; adequate connectivity with three HDMI and two component-video inputs; relatively efficient for a big-screen plasma.
The bad: Less-accurate primary colors and color temperature; skimpy picture controls; uses more power than comparable LCDs
The bottom line:Excellent picture quality for the money makes the Panasonic TC-PS1 plasma the best value among large-screen flat panels.
Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Headphones from Monster (black)
Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Headphones from Monster (black)
Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5
The good: The Beats by Dr. Dre Solo headphones offer a stylish, compact, and durable design that lends itself well to on-the-go use. The cable is ultranice and features an integrated mic, iPod controls, and volume rocker. Bass is thumping, and the package includes a handy carrying case.
The bad: The Beats Solo headphones may not be comfortable for everyone, audio is muddy overall, and they leak a fair amount of sound.
The bottom line: The Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Headphones from Monster offer a killer, travel-friendly design that's sure to turn heads, but the audio quality fails to live up to the price tag.
The good: Strong performance for its price; impressive power efficiency; better deal than the same configuration on Dell's Web site.
The bad:All-black exterior in this retail model looks bland next to the multicolored models available directly from Dell; midtower design would benefit more from a better graphics card than wireless networking.
The bottom line: The retail version of Dell's Studio XPS 8000 desktop might lack some of the charm of its direct-from-Dell counterpart, but its strong price-performance offering makes it easy to overlook the minor cosmetic deficiencies. That and its admirable power consumption make this system an impressive all-purpose midrange desktop.
The good: Tremendous battery life; solid brushed-metal construction; better-than-Netbook specs.
The bad: No optical drive; ULV processor still lags behind higher-end systems; uncomfortable touch pad; some configs can be expensive.
The bottom line: With a rock-solid feel and a whopping 7-plus hours of battery life, the HP Pavilion dm3-1002 is a professional-looking thin-and-light, but depending on what you put in it, it could cost you.
The good: Affordable sub-$130 price tag; streams a variety of Internet video and audio services, including Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Major League Baseball games, and Mediafly podcasts; dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi; works with all TVs; upgradeable firmware allows for periodic update of content and features; good HD video quality (on channels and programming that support it).
The bad: Ever cheaper Blu-ray players offer many of the same Internet viewing options plus disc playback; video quality varies from channel to channel, depending upon provider and source material; setup and content queues usually require at least some PC interaction; yet another box under the TV; no centralized way to access and manipulate channel providers.
The bottom line: New content channels and faster Wi-Fi make the Roku HD XR Player a good choice for anyone who wants a quick and easy way to add Netflix--and a variety of other Internet media channels--to any TV.
The good: The Casio G'zOne Rock is military-certified to withstand a variety of environmental hazards, plus it features outdoor-specific applications like a compass and a thermometer. It also has EV-DO Rev. A, Push-to-Talk, GPS, a 2.0-megapixel camera, and more.
The bad:The Casio G'zOne Rock is rather bulky, the music player interface is a little sluggish, and both photo and call quality could be improved.
The bottom line: The Casio G'zOne Rock is the ultimate all-in-one phone for the outdoors enthusiast, but we did wish it had better performance.
The good: MP3 player and cell phone integration through Sync, and traffic and gas price information through Sirius Travel Link are features in the 2010 Lincoln MKT unrivaled by other automakers. Adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot detection, and automatic parking add to the MKT's luxury quotient.
The bad: We couldn't get anywhere close to the EPA highway mileage figure of 22 mpg. The navigation system's maps look a little rough.
The bottom line: With three rows of seating, the 2010 Lincoln MKT is a big, powerful cruiser capable of carrying many people in high-tech comfort.