Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: The Asus PA246Q has terrific performance with vibrant colors in games and movies. Its robust OSD offers detailed customization options and a unique overlay feature that provides extra graphical precision. Lastly, the monitor has full ergonomic support and a relatively affordable price.
The bad: The PA246Q's powerful backlight prevents really deep blacks from being attained, and there's a consistent color imperfection that gives most images a slight reddish hue. More connection options would have been useful.
The bottom line: The Editors' Choice Award-winning Asus PA246Q is a professional-class monitor with a satisfying number of features at an affordable price.
The good: Extraordinary performance technology changes the 2011 BMW M3 Coupe from mild-mannered sports car to track star at the push of a button. Excellent navigation and audio systems are available for cabin tech.
The bad: The 2011 BMW M3 gets hit with the gas-guzzler tax, burning through gas like a pyromaniac in a napalm factory. The idle stop feature is annoying in many driving situations.
The bottom line: Performance technology makes the 2011 BMW M3 Coupe a thoroughbred performer, yet it can be optioned with plenty of cabin gadgets. Poor fuel economy limits its daily utility, but we still give the M3 an Editors' Choice Award.
The good: The Boston SoundWare XS 5.1 speaker system is one of the most compact and style-friendly systems we've seen. It sounds much better than you'd expect given its size, and it's very affordable.
The bad: The Boston's cramped speaker wire connectors are difficult to use. And if you don't need extremely small speakers, you can find better-sounding (and still stylish) speakers for the same price.
The bottom line: The Boston SoundWare XS 5.1 is an exceptionally compact system and sounds great for its size--although larger systems sound even better.
The good: The Contour+ sports camera is highly configurable, yet also extremely easy to pick up and use. An included Connect View card allows the Contour+ to connect to Contour's iPhone app for live viewfinding and settings adjustments. HDMI output, microphone input, and Bluetooth connectivity offer expandability.
The bad: The Contour+ is noticeably more expensive than the competition and Contour's other models. The flush-mounted lens glass seems vulnerable to scratching.
The bottom line: The Contour+ sports camera is simple to use, with pro-level flexibility and quality; however, Contour's lower-priced options may be more appropriate for casual users.
The good: The Dell XPS 17 3D is a sharp-looking desktop replacement that can handle 3D content, as well as output 3D movies and games to a compatible 3DTV. Highly configurable, the more-expensive options are powerful indeed.
The bad: Some wonky stereoscopic 3D issues make this less plug-and-play than a 3DTV, and the 17-inch version of the XPS has not gotten the same slim makeover the 15-inch version has.
The bottom line: Dell's XPS 17 3D is for those who want a powerful media and gaming 17-inch laptop, but in a more aesthetically upscale package than offered by Dell's Alienware brand. The stereoscopic 3D is gimmicky, but a certain breed of PC gamer will love it.
The good: The HP TouchPad uses Palm's unique WebOS interface and delivers Adobe Flash-enabled Web browsing, Beats audio enhancement, and impressive compatibility with third-party calendar, messaging, and e-mail services.
The bad: The TouchPad has a thick, smudgy design, offers no rear camera or HD video capture, includes a limited app selection, and its unique cards system of multitasking isn't as fully utilized as it could be.
The bottom line: The TouchPad would have made a great competitor for the original iPad, but its design, features, and speed put it behind today's crop of tablet heavyweights.
The good: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 delivers great photo quality and useful features like an articulated LCD and extended bracketing in a comfortable--if somewhat big--shooting design.
The bad: While not bad, its performance is in the middle of the pack, and the battery doesn't last long enough.
The bottom line: If you're looking for a camera that's not quite as big as a dSLR but doesn't skimp on hardware controls or features like an articulated LCD, EVF and stereo full HD video, the G3 is a top option. But performance is hit-and-miss for shooting action, so you may end up having to go with something just a bit bigger, anyway.
The good: Improved design, Beats audio, new USB 3.0 ports, an HD Webcam, fingerprint sensor, a variety of configurations ranging from budget to high-end, and second-gen Core i-series processors are all part of the HP Pavilion dv6t's design makeover.
The bad: Underperforming AMD graphics, too many confusing configuration options, and a flexy keyboard make for a less-than-overwhelming overall experience.
The bottom line: The HP Pavilion dv6t is a solid improvement on HP's previous 15-inch mainstream consumer laptop with numerous tweaks, bells, and whistles, but the wide variety of options means you'll get wildly different systems based on what you can afford.