Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the Nokia N8, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, and the Phillips DS8500 Fidelio Dock.
CNET Reviews staff
Linksys E2000 Advanced Wireless-N Router
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Linksys E2000 Advanced Wireless-N Router
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: The Cisco Linksys E2000 Advanced Wireless-N Router offers excellent performance and includes a nice set of features. The router also has an aesthetically pleasing compact design and an intuitive software application to help home users set up and manage their home wireless network with ease.
The bad: The Linksys E2000 can't operate in both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequency bands at the same time. The router's Web interface and desktop software don't work together, and neither offers complete control over the router's configuration. There's also no USB port to host network storage or printers.
The bottom line: The Cisco Linksys E2000 Advanced Wireless-N Router is the fastest router we've seen in both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands and will definitely make home users happy with its easy-to-use setup software. Advanced users, however, might find its desktop software and Web interface combination a little disjointed.
The good: The Nokia N8 and Symbian 3 offer a better and more enhanced user experience than previous devices. The N8 delivers excellent camera and video quality. The smartphone has solid hardware and offers 3G support for both T-Mobile and AT&T. You get free turn-by-turn navigation via Ovi Maps.
The bad: It's expensive. User interface is much improved, but still trails the competition in ease of use. The N8 can be sluggish. You only get a QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode, and there's no user-replaceable battery.
The bottom line: The Nokia N8 excels as a camera phone, and the improvements of Symbian 3 make it one of the company's best smartphones to date. However, it still has its shortcomings and an expensive price tag, making it a hard sell for the North American market.
The good: Excellent raw photo quality; sharp, bright lens; compact but comfortable design; broad manual shooting feature set.
The bad: JPEG processing should be better.
The bottom line: Despite its shortcomings, notably its weak JPEG processing, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 delivers an excellent all-around shooting experience--fastest in its class, full featured, and capable of shooting some very nice photos.
The good: The Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus has a very comfortable fit, with a dedicated power switch, a volume rocker, and a swiveling boom mic. It has multipoint, A2DP streaming, voice alerts, a battery meter when paired with an iPhone, and access to Plantronics Vocalyst, an automated phone service that lets you send e-mail, texts, and even tweets with just your voice. Audio quality and wind noise reduction is very good.
The bad: The Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus is quite bulky, and might not fit comfortably for those who wear glasses. The Vocalyst service is only free for the first year, plus you have to upgrade to the Pro level to get the speech-to-text feature.
The bottom line: The Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus may not be the most stylish headset, but its features and performance more than make up for it.
The good: The Philips Fidelio speaker dock for iPhone and iPod delivers exceptional audio quality for its price, along with unique extras, such as a full-feature remote, proximity-sensitive lights, and an iOS app with integrated control over the hardware's sound-enhancement technology.
The bad: The Fidelio's bulky design isn't travel-friendly, the power adapter brick isn't pretty, remote control range is mediocre, and you'll be nagged into downloading the free Fidelio app, whether you want to use it or not.
The bottom line: The Philips Fidelio speaker dock is a good value with impressive sound and a solid, attractive design.
The good: Perfect for its luxury mission, the 2010 Lexus LS 460's air suspension gives it a very smooth ride, while engine and transmission combine for efficient power. The Mark Levinson audio system produces excellent sound quality.
The bad: The iPod interface is very sluggish. Lexus does not offer driver assistance features such as blind-spot detection and adaptive cruise control.
The bottom line: With excellent ride quality, a sound-deadened cabin, and superb audio system, the 2010 Lexus LS 460 is a very comfortable luxury cruiser. But its tech is very conservative, failing to push any boundaries.