Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the Marantz NR1601 AV receiver, the Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR camera, the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300, and more.
CNET Reviews staff
Audyssey Audio Dock
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Audyssey Audio Dock
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: Excellent sound with good detail and bass; GSM-shielded so iPhone doesn't need to be switched into airplane mode; built-in Bluetooth for wireless streaming from iPhone, other mobile devices, or Bluetooth-enabled PC; speakerphone capabilities; USB PC syncing.
The bad: Fairly expensive; vertical styling may not appeal to some buyers.
The bottom line: Though the Audyssey Audio Dock is on the expensive side, it's one of the better-sounding--and versatile--iPod/iPhone audio systems with built-in Bluetooth and speakerphone capabilities we've tested.
The good: 7.1-channel AV receiver; excellent sound quality; four HDMI inputs; stylish slimline design; can connect an iPod/iPhone directly via USB; analog video upconversion; audio return channel support; standby pass-through; 3D compatible; three-year warranty; fully backlit remote.
The bad: Competitors offer more HDMI inputs; text-based graphical user interface; no true second-zone functionality.
The bottom line: The Marantz NR1601 has a stylish, slimline design and excellent sound quality, although other AV receivers offer more features for less money.
The good: Distinctive design makes an unmistakable statement; strong gaming performance; overclocking potential; room to expand; front-panel hard-drive-bay access.
The bad: Design not for everyone; getting inside the case means detaching the front face plate; no Blu-ray; weak online support.
The bottom line: You'll probably decide pretty quickly whether you like the Acer Aspire Predator's looks. Those in favor will also find a higher-end gaming PC with reasonably fast performance and plenty of room to expand and upgrade. Not everyone will appreciate the Predator's visual charms, but we recommend this PC to those who do.
The good: Dual docks for two iPods or iPhones; compact, elegant design; decent sound for small size; two free apps deliver full alarm clock and dual iPod mixing functionality; electromagnetically-shielded so iPhone to be used without switching to airplane mode; USB port for charging other portable devices; included remote control magnetically attaches to the back of the speaker.
The bad: Take away the iPhone apps and the Octiv Duo is a fairly basic iPod speaker; app doesn't automatically launch when you dock your device; circular remote control takes some getting used to.
The bottom line: If you're looking for a compact, affordable speaker for your bedside table that charges two iPhone or iPods simultaneously, the Octiv Duo is well designed and offers reasonably good sound for the money.
The bad: Relatively expensive; soft photos; poor noise reduction; no HD video capture.
The bottom line: The Ricoh GXR S10 is too expensive for what it offers and has nothing that makes it stand out from the competition. The GXR+S10 24-72mm module is solid, but it is far from being a best-in-class enthusiast compact camera.
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 has Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and 512MB of onboard memory. It has a nice display and a great optical trackpad. It is a dual-mode device and can work on both GSM and CDMA networks.
The bad: The RIM BlackBerry browser can be tricky to navigate, and it doesn't have OS 6 yet.
The bottom line: The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 is one of a few phones that will please globe-trotting U.S. Cellular customers.
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G has a slim profile, a responsive optical trackpad, and external media keys. It also has Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, GPS, 3G, and a 2-megapixel camera.
The bad: The RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G is almost identical to its predecessor save for a few changes. The photo quality is poor as well.
The bottom line: Though we're disappointed that the RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G didn't have more improvements over its predecessor, it's still a decent upgrade with the addition of 3G and GPS. Plus, it's quite affordable for an entry-level smartphone.