Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: The HTC Rezound has a gorgeous 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and Verizon's 4G/LTE speeds. It ships with a pair of Beats earbuds along with a Beats Audio algorithm designed to enhance audio quality.
The bad: The HTC Rezound is quite bulky, and call quality could be better. The Beats Audio software can only be toggled in the Music app.
The bottom line: While it may have a hefty build, the HTC Rezound's beautiful display, commendable performance, and multimedia-rich features make it a top phone for Verizon customers.
The good: The Kindle Touch is a compact, lightweight, and affordable e-book reader with an e-ink touch screen. It offers access to a massive catalog of books, magazines, newspapers, and audiobooks via Amazon.com's familiar online store, as well as to online loaners from your local library. It also supports MP3s and--for some titles--text-to-speech.
The bad: All accessories--including a cover and an AC charger--cost extra. You also need to spend an extra $40 if you don't want the ad-supported Special Offers version, and $50 more if you want 3G wireless support. The lack of hard page-turn buttons may frustrate left-handed readers.
The bottom line: The Kindle Touch is Amazon's best e-reader to date.
The good:The Samsung Series 7 laptop has a thin screen bezel, a sleek and attractive metal chassis, and plenty of processing power and features, along with an extremely impressive battery life and a crisp backlit keyboard. Dedicated AMD graphics also come included.
The bad: While the large multitouch click pad is the same size as a MacBook Pro's, it's not as responsive. This pricey laptop also lacks Blu-ray and a 1,080-pixel screen.
The bottom line: Samsung's Series 7 Chronos 700Z5A-S03 is the closest Windows equivalent to a MacBook Pro in terms of specs, power, and design and even nearly matches on battery life, but it's $500 less expensive than an entry-level Apple 15-incher.
The good: The GoPro HD Hero2 boasts improved optics, a few new video- and still-photo-shooting modes, and backward compatibility with current HD Hero accessories. Most importantly, its interface has been overhauled and is now much easier to view and understand.
The bad: As improved as it is, the Hero2's interface can still be a bit confusing for the first-time user.
The bottom line: The GoPro HD Hero2 is easily the best GoPro camera yet, with the ruggedness and quality we've come to expect and a new user-friendly interface.
The good: This latest Falcon Northwest Mach V features Intel's new six-core CPU, a new motherboard chipset, and the usual assortment of high-end components.
The bad: Gamers won't see much benefit from Intel's new chip compared with the old flagship Core i7, and the imposing Mach V case isn't for everyone.
The bottom line: Well-heeled gamers with professional-level application performance needs should look into this statement-making Falcon Northwest Mach V, but you can spend far less and still enjoy top-notch gaming with an older CPU.
The good: The 2012 Infiniti FX35 Limited Edition's seven-speed automatic transmission features an aggressive sport mode. Surround-view cameras stand out among the many driver assistance features available.
The bad: Fuel economy from the 3.5-liter V-6 is less than stellar, and the power isn't always available when you want it.
The bottom line: The 2012 Infiniti FX35 Limited Edition's tech may not be cutting-edge, but there's a lot of it. The car works well for suburban cruising and weekend ski trips.
The good: The Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet is a full-featured tablet with a vibrant 7-inch touch screen, built-in Wi-Fi, 16GB of built-in storage, and a microSD expansion slot. In addition to a full slate of books and magazines, it offers more than a thousand apps through its integrated (and growing) Nook Store and is optimized for Netflix and Hulu Plus video playback. The built-in Web browser works well and offers Flash support.
The bad: No access to full Android Market; no Bluetooth, GPS, or camera; no video rental (or purchase) option; sideloaded content beyond 1GB needs to be housed on microSD.
The bottom line: With more storage and a growing app store, the Nook Tablet is a worthy--albeit slightly more expensive--competitor to the Kindle Fire.
The good: The Kindle Fire is a 7-inch tablet that links seamlessly with Amazon's impressive collection of digital music, video, magazine, and book services in one easy-to-use package. It boasts a great Web browser, and its curated Android app store includes most of the big must-have apps (such as Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu). The Fire has an ultra-affordable price tag, and the screen quality is exceptional for the price.
The bad: The budget price means no premium features (3G wireless, cameras, microphone, GPS, and location services are absent), but the biggest issues are its paltry storage (only 8GB of storage--with no expansion slot), lack of Bluetooth, and dearth of parental controls. Screen brightness could be better, and the app selection doesn't match Apple's or Google's (at least for now). Also, you'll need an Amazon Prime subscription to take advantage of some of the more-unique features.
The bottom line: Though it lacks the tech specs found on more-expensive Apple and Android tablets, the $199 Kindle Fire is an outstanding entertainment value that prizes simplicity over techno-wizardry.