Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
88Volts Dropcam Echo Wi-Fi Security Camera
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: Wi-Fi-enabled network Webcam; easy setup; view remote video feed over the Internet or on your iPhone (via free Dropcam app); no service fee for basic live viewing; DVR functionality with paid plan; recorded video stored online (in cloud); Dropcam Echo has audio capabilities.
The bad: Webcam isn't HD; no panning capabilities.
The bottom line: The Dropcam system is one of the simplest and more affordable DIY Wi-Fi video security solutions we've seen to date.
The good: Attractive and well-designed; capable of producing very nice photos; complete set of manual controls; solid 720p video.
The bad: On the slow side, with subpar battery life; no low-compression JPEG option.
The bottom line: Though we'd like it to perform better, dSLR shooters looking for a sidekick camera will find the Canon PowerShot S95's top-flight photos and a full manual feature set worth the tradeoff of its compact size.
The good: Dual 3-inch drivers carry impressive bass output; runs on four AA batteries; four color options.
The bad: Lacks remote control; can't use it as a speakerphone; wireless transmitter sold separately.
The bottom line: The Creative D100 speaker plays music wirelessly from your Bluetooth-compatible music player with impressive low-end range from its dual 3-inch drivers, making it a worthwhile addition to your next outdoor get-together. And although it doesn't have a remote control or speakerphone functionality, the price is right for this portable speaker and it earns our recommendation.
The good: Produces among the deepest shades of black of any TV; superb shadow detail; exceedingly accurate color; better off-angle viewing than many LCDs; controls local dimming "blooming" well; solid streaming and interactive features; extensive picture controls; beautiful styling with slim bezel, single-pane design, and 1.3-inch-deep panel.
The bad: Expensive; uneven backlight uniformity; adjustable dejudder doesn't work well; subpar bright-room performance; cannot properly process 1080p/24 content; benefits of 480Hz difficult to discern; washed-out image with no picture adjustments in 3D mode; lacks 2D-to-3D conversion; 3D exhibited ghost images along edges (crosstalk); does not include 3D glasses.
The bottom line: Loads of features, a nearly frameless design, and excellent overall 2D performance increase the appeal of the LG LX9500 series LED-based LCD TV, but its 3D picture needs work.
The good: Excellent sound quality; six HDMI inputs; best-in-class graphical user interface; analog video upconversion; audio return channel supported; standby pass-through; 7.1 multichannel analog inputs; 3D compatible; second-zone functionality.
The bad: Requires $100 dock for iPod/iPhone connectivity; no minijack input; more expensive than some competitors.
The bottom line: Yamaha's RX-V667 is one of the best midrange AV receivers of 2010, with excellent sound quality, a best-in-class user interface, and more connectivity than its competitors, but it may be more AV receiver than you need.
The good: The Apple LED Cinema Display's high resolution and screen coating gives it not only great performance in movies and games, but also in everyday tasks. The monitor works seamlessly when connected to a recent model MacBook, and provides a charging station and three USB ports. And it just looks really slick on a desktop.
The bad: Thanks to Apple's decision to only include a Mini DisplayPort connection, the LED Cinema Display can only be used with Macs from late 2008 and on. Also, the display lacks ergonomic features and more-granular customization options. Some users will not appreciate the overly reflective and glossy screen.
The bottom line: As a desktop display and USB extender, the 27-inch Apple LED Cinema Display works wonderfully; however, for $1,000, there are better monitors that offer more options, including PC and Mac compatibility.
The good: The Sanyo Zio has a user-friendly design and agreeable call quality. Its functional feature set includes a File Browser app.
The bad: The Sanyo Zio runs Android OS 1.6. Speakerphone calls and music quality over the external speakers was shrill.
The bottom line: The Sanyo Zio isn't the fanciest Android phone, but it's an ideal beginner smartphone for Cricket customers. It's easy to use and its feature set offers the essentials, though we don't like that it runs Android OS 1.6.
The good: Very compact and lightweight; responsive touch-screen interface with no glare or contrast issues; high-contrast E Ink Pearl display; zippier performance than that of its predecessor; integration with Sony e-book store; good battery life (up to two weeks); supports ePub e-book standard, which allows for e-book downloads from libraries.
The bad: No Wi-Fi or 3G wireless means you'll need to drag and drop purchased books from a PC or Mac; more expensive than Wi-Fi versions of Kindle or Nook; no protective cover included; Sony Reader Store isn't quite as extensive as Amazon's or Barnes & Noble's.
The bottom line: If you can overlook the fact that it's missing wireless connectivity, the Sony PRS-350 is a very nice little e-reader that's anchored by an impressive and easy-to-use touch interface.