Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the Garmin Nuvi 3790T, the Microsoft Arc Touch mouse, and an Iomega 1TB hard drive built for the Mac.
CNET Reviews staff
Garmin Nuvi 3790T
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Garmin Nuvi 3790T
Editors' rating: 4.5 out of 5
The good: The Garmin Nuvi 3790T is one of the thinnest and lightest portable navigators we've tested; it's the best looking, too. Voice Command is truly hands-free and can be activated merely by speaking to the Nuvi. Bluetooth calling also helps drivers keep their hands on the wheel. Traffic data is free.
The bad: The glossy screen tends to create a good deal of glare when used in direct sunlight. Traffic data cannot be accessed while using the device in the hand.
The bottom line: The Garmin Nuvi 3790T is an exceptional portable navigation device with just the right blend of form and function.
Apple iMac summer 2010 (Intel Core i5 2.8GHz, 27 inch)
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: Largest display among all-in-one desktops; best-in-class productivity and gaming performance; DisplayPort provides home entertainment flexibility; SDXC card slot supports cards up to 2TB in size.
The bad: Connecting external video devices requires an extra, expensive adapter because it lacks an HDMI port; no Blu-ray drive; runs hot.
The bottom line: Apple's new $1,999 iMac comes with a faster CPU and a new graphics card, helping this 27-inch all-in-one desktop stay as competitive in performance as it already was in screen size. Despite the still-frustrating absence of an HDMI port, we have no qualms recommending this system for work or play.
The good: Includes Intel's dual-core Atom CPU, plus Nvidia Ion graphics and Optimus graphic-switching technology; good game and video playback performance.
The bad: Other low-cost ultraportables with AMD's dual-core Neo are faster; flimsy keyboard; stiff mouse buttons.
The bottom line: The Asus Eee PC 1215N combines Intel's dual-core Atom CPU with Nvidia Ion graphics and Optimus GPU-switching for an impressive overall package, but one that still feels a bit too much like a Netbook.
Iomega eGo BlackBelt Mac Edition external hard drive
Iomega eGo BlackBelt Mac Edition (1TB) external hard drive
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: Cheap; three interface connections; rapid data throughput; rugged Drop Guard Xtreme band protects drive from drops up to seven feet; lightweight.
The bad: Doesn't come in capacities other than 1TB.
The bottom line: In the latest version of its eGo Portable Mac Edition, Iomega adds dual FireWire 800 ports, USB 2.0, and a durable Drop Guard Xtreme band that shields the drive from the impact of falls (up to seven feet). Also, Iomega made the drive even more affordable than its previous version was. With its included array of data protection software, the Iomega Ego BlackBelt Mac Edition hard drive is sure to meet your storage needs.
The good: 23-inch, 1080p display uncommon at this price; fast Intel Core i5 CPU; HDMI input lets you connect other video devices.
The bad: Clunky design; no Blu-ray drive; obfuscated tech support phone number and user-unfriendly online support.
The bottom line: Acer's Aspire Z5700 is a fast, media-friendly all-in-one that would serve well as a media hub in a dorm or a den. We'd like to see a bit more polish in its design, and a Blu-ray drive would make it a home run, but on balance we can recommend this system for its speed, its large screen, and its digital media versatility.
The good: Slim design; automatic GPU switching; Core i5 processor; good graphics performance.
The bad: Short battery life; flimsy keyboard; poorly designed touch pad.
The bottom line: The Gateway ID49C08 combines speedy Core i5 performance and automatic-switching Nvidia graphics in a small package at a reasonable price, but several small annoyances take away from the experience.
The good: Distinct convertible design lets you pack the mouse flat for travel; touch-sensitive scroll tab has vibration feedback and accelerated scrolling features; BlueTrack sensor lets you use the mouse on a variety of surfaces; small USB receiver stays out of the way when plugged in.
The bad: Expensive; scroll tab occasionally unresponsive; lacks heft compared with standard desktop mice; no thumb-side forward-and-back buttons.
The bottom line: Microsoft's new Arc Touch Mouse features a travel-friendly design and some clever technical additions to its touch-sensitive scroll tab. Neither of those features makes it better than a full-size desktop mouse, but the Arc Touch Mouse is different enough in its form and in some of its functions that it should appeal to people looking to make a statement with their technology.
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 for MetroPCS has a lightweight and compact design with features like Wi-Fi, EV-DO, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 2.0-megapixel camera. It has fantastic call quality as well.
The bad: The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 has a low-resolution screen, and we experienced spotty 3G service.
The bottom line: Though not the best BlackBerry on the market, the Curve 8530 is a great entry-level smartphone, especially with MetroPCS's inexpensive unlimited monthly plan.
The good: The attractive Samsung Gravity 3 receives a makeover from its previous version while keeping many of its predecessor's best features, including Web mail and Exchange e-mail support, TeleNav turn-by-turn directions, and a full QWERTY keyboard.
The bad: Unfortunately, the Gravity 3 lost the two soft keys from its slide-out keyboard in the upgrade. E-mail is clunky to use, and there's no dedicated headset jack for listening to music or making wired calls.
The bottom line: The Samsung Gravity 3's full QWERTY keyboard and messaging features are enough to satisfy most heavy communicators, with other advanced features icing the cake. At $50 with a two-year service agreement, the Gravity is a good midlevel option for those who aren't ready to jump into the smartphone arena.
Scosche Increased Dynamic Range earphones (IDR655m)
Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5
The good: The IDR655m in-ear headphones from Scosche offer ear-whopping fistfuls of bass, along with an inline remote and mic, a shirt clip, a generous selection of ear tips, and a classy leather carrying case.
The bad: The unapologetically bass-heavy sound isn't flattering for some types of music, and unlike an EQ preset, there's no switching it off.
The bottom line: If you own an iPod or iPhone and tend to listen to music with the bass EQ cranked all the way up, the IDR655m headphones are easy to recommend. For sonic versatility, look elsewhere.