Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the X-Mini Happy Speaker MP3 player, LG BD590 Blu-ray player, and the Origin Genesis gaming PC.
CNET Reviews staff
LG BD590 Blu-ray player
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
LG BD590 Blu-ray player
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: Excellent Blu-ray image quality; rips CDs directly to built-in 250GB hard drive; Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora, and CinemaNow streaming; built-in Wi-Fi; plays music, videos, and pictures off a connected USB drive or via network.
The bad: Does not support 3D Blu-ray; no quick-start mode, which makes it feel slower compared with some other players; media interface is overdesigned; must change the output mode to 1080p.
The bottom line: The LG BD590 deftly handles Blu-ray playback, CD ripping, and streaming media services like Netflix from a single box, but you'll have to pay for that simplicity.
The good: Fastest gaming performance we've seen; convenient front-panel hard drive access; expert build quality.
The bad: No USB 3.0 support with this motherboard; questionable scaling in some games across four 3D chips.
The bottom line: More than its clean interior or its fast gaming performance, the Origin Genesis won us over with its case, which makes it easier to swap hard drives in and out than those of any of its competitors. This is an expensive gaming PC from a new name in boutique vendors, but its founders' experience at Alienware shows. We recommend this system with no major reservations to well-heeled PC gamers.
The good: The X-Mini Happy features an innovative all-in-one design with an impressive-sounding speaker and a built-in MP3 player. The unit comes with an SD card slot and an SD-to-microSD adapter, and it can be daisy-chained with other speakers. A stowaway line-in cable on the bottom makes it easy to attach to other audio sources.
The bad: The integrated MP3 player on the X-Mini Happy has no navigation options or organization. The speaker always starts up at the loudest volume.
The bottom line: The X-Mini Happy is a great little speaker that offers a creative all-in-one solution with an integrated MP3 player and a cable for attaching external audio sources. If you want to share music on the go, this is a great option.
The good: With an advanced all-wheel-drive system and active suspension, the 2010 Acura MDX handles like a sports car. Voice command for iPods, blind-spot warning, adaptive cruise control, and an excellent audio system round out the cabin tech.
The bad: The navigation system's maps are the same old chunky things we've seen for years from Acura, and the engine is a throwback to the previous generation as well.
The bottom line: With bumped-up luxury appointments in the cabin, an advanced cabin tech suite, and unexpectedly good handling, the 2010 Acura MDX provides driving satisfaction for leisurely cruises and mountain romps.
The good: Integrated Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming; tiny satellite speakers sound bigger than they look; subwoofer is compact but delivers decent amount of bass; good connectivity options; Bluetooth dongle included for laptop and desktop PCs and Macs.
The bad: Some distortion at higher volumes; Bluetooth connection isn't very reliable; setup isn't totally wireless.
The bottom line: Creative's diminutive Bluetooth PC speaker system delivers impressive sound for such a compact package.
The good: The Ineo USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station quickly turns any internal hard drive into an external one. It offers very fast throughput speed with USB 3.0 and is backward-compatible with USB 2.0. The device also is compact, easy to use, and supports both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA hard drives.
The bad: The Ineo USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station doesn't support eSATA or FireWire connections.
The bottom line: The Ineo USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station makes a good hard-drive docking station for those who need to work frequently with internal hard drives. It saves time and negates the need to open the computer's case.
The good: Sony Ericsson's Naite offers a clear, sharp display with smooth navigation and plenty of organizational and multimedia goodies under the hood. E-mail, an FM music player, and music, photo, and video-editing tools stand out.
The bad: A nonstandard headphone and charger jack, slightly cramped dial pad, and terrible speakerphone don't do the Naite any favors. Some of the best multimedia features like video calls don't work in North America. Associating a contact with a photo is less than intuitive, and you can't assign ringtones to contacts at all.
The bottom line: The esoterically named Sony Ericsson Naite may classify as a feel-good eco-phone, but its packed feature and toolsets make it a good pick for socialites shopping in the midlevel range--daintier carbon footprints notwithstanding.