Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the RIM BlackBerry Curve 9330, the 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring, and the Xbox 360 Kinect.
CNET Reviews staff
Shure SE535 Sound Isolating Earphones
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Shure SE535 Sound Isolating Earphones
Editors' rating: 4.5 out of 5
The good: The Shure SE535 headphones offer exceptional clarity; deep, tight bass; rich, enveloping sound; and great noise isolation. They are also relatively comfortable and include some useful extras such as an in-line volume control and an airplane adapter.
The bad: The Shure SE535s are expensive, and the earbuds are on the large side.
The bottom line: Anyone looking for ultracompact headphones with top-notch sound quality should consider the Shure SE530 Sound Isolating Earphones. This set will cost you a pretty penny, but it'll be worth it.
The good: The T-Mobile MyTouch 4G features a thin and sturdy design. The Android 2.2 device supports the carrier's HSPA+ network and offers Wi-Fi calling and mobile hot spot capabilities. The MyTouch 4G also has a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a 5-megapixel camera.
The bad: Speakerphone volume is too low. We had numerous issues with video calls. The smartphone is a little on the heavy side.
The bottom line: Though video chat isn't ready for prime time, there's plenty to love about the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G, including its speed, sleek and sturdy design, and great call quality.
The good: Voice command for phone and music selection and the best rear-seat entertainment system in the business, highlight the 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite. Honda employs three-stage cylinder deactivation for fuel saving. Rear seats easily fold flat into the floor.
The bad: The navigation system does not show 3D maps and does not seem to dynamically route around bad traffic.
The bottom line: The 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite combines easy drivability with a very advanced rear-seat entertainment system, making for an excellent multiuse family hauler.
The good: The Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones offer a stylish and comfortable design as well as an exceptionally crisp and balanced audio response with a tight low-end and warm mids. Included are a nice carrying case and a music-phone-compatible cable.
The bad: The Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones cannot be used without batteries, they're expensive, and the glossy black design is very smudge-prone.
The bottom line: The Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones deliver the trifecta of sleek, comfortable design, useful features, and top-notch sound quality. If you can afford them, they're a worthy investment toward an improved listening experience.
The good: Solid, stylish design; huge number of configuration options; comfortable keyboard; newly added dual-core Atom N550 and HD screen options.
The bad: Subpar battery life with included four-cell battery; small trackpad; gets pricey in the higher-end configurations.
The bottom line: The newest iteration of HP's business Netbook adds some useful optional features, including an HD 10-inch screen and a dual-core Atom processor, but it's looking dated next to faster 11.6-inch ultraportables.
The good: The LG Optimus T has a simple touch-screen design, Wi-Fi, GPS, Wi-Fi hot-spot capabilities, 3G support, and a 3.2-megapixel camera, and it ships with Android 2.2. It's also very affordable.
The bad: The LG Optimus T has a slower processor and lower resolution display when compared with higher-end smartphones. There's no LED flash, and it doesn't have HD video capture. Flash 10.1 is not available with the Optimus T's browser even though Android 2.2 technically supports it.
The bottom line: The LG Optimus T is one of the best entry-level smartphones you can buy, with a feature set that is on par with devices more than twice its price.
The good: The Motorola Defy is tough enough to withstand everyday hazards with its tough Gorilla glass and rugged exterior. Features include a 5-megapixel camera, a music player, Wi-Fi calling, and GPS, and it ships with Android 2.1. Call quality is excellent.
The bad: The Motorola Defy doesn't take very good pictures and its rough-and-tumble aesthetic isn't for everyone. We also wished we didn't have to activate the Motoblur account to use the phone.
The bottom line: The Motorola Defy is a great midtier Android smartphone, especially for those who need a phone to be a little more protected against life's everyday mishaps.
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Style combines a clamshell form factor and a full QWERTY keyboard. It ships with BlackBerry OS 6, which has an improved user interface, a new WebKit browser, and a better multimedia experience. Call quality was impressive.
The bad: The Style's square design may be a bit bulky for some users, and the keyboard is a touch too flat for our tastes.
The bottom line: Despite a few quirks, the RIM BlackBerry Style's practical design and advanced feature set make it a great smartphone for BlackBerry newbies and veterans alike.
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 has a very responsive optical trackpad, convenient external media keys, Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, GPS, EV-DO, a 2-megapixel camera, and a media player. It's upgradable to OS 6, and is very affordable.
The bad: The BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 only has EV-DO Rev. 0, the microSD card slot is located behind the battery cover, and photo quality is mediocre.
The bottom line: The BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 is a very affordable entry-level smartphone with a solid feature set and great call quality.
The good: Controller-free motion gaming; full-body motion sensor; solid game library at launch; voice control; games will have you very active; almost impossible to fool.
The bad: Timing-based learning curve; menu and video navigation is occasionally wonky and gets old fast; requires a lot of room to play; majority of games require standing; hard-core gamers may not feel satisfied; requires separate power supply when used with older Xbox 360 consoles.
The bottom line: With its impressive body tracking and unique, controller-free experience, Kinect is great for casual gaming parties and workouts--assuming you have enough room to play it.