The good: Beautiful, slim, and well-thought-out new design; extremely fluid pen operation.
The bad: No bundled Bluetooth adapter or mouse; schmutz very visible on black pen grip; buttons could use a bit more tactile differentiation; mouse still a bit awkward; a tad pricey; need more real-time feedback when configuring; glossy plastic panel shows fingerprints.
The bottom line: Wacom improves on its excellent Intuos4 tablet by adding relatively seamless Bluetooth connectivity.
The good: With a new cabin electronics suite, the 2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS integrates traffic data with its hard-drive-based navigation system and offers a good iPod interface. Although an SUV, it handles like a sports car.
The bad: Mileage is dismal, and the shifter is too truck-like for the Cayenne GTS' handling. The placement of the car's LCD is too low, leading to eyes-off-the-road distraction.
The bottom line: Unlike most SUVs, the 2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS delivers excellent handling and speed, but at a high cost. New cabin tech options make it more livable for everyday driving.
The good: Intuitive scroll wheel; large 2-inch LCD for photo viewing; wireless; auto-duplexer included; dual paper trays.
The bad: Mediocre print speeds; competition offers better image quality for less.
The bottom line: The Canon Pixma MP560 multifunction printer and its flashy 2-inch LCD screen and auto-document feeder may seem appealing at first, but the average consumer will find that Lexmark's Impact S305 offers faster performance and higher quality results for $50 less.
The good: Small size, quality video playback, and HDMI output make it a viable home theater PC; virtualized quad-core Intel CPU offers competitive performance for its price; massive 1TB hard drive; room for half-height expansion cards.
The bad: No wireless networking; relative power hog compared with the Mac Mini.
The bottom line: Gateway's SX2840-01 remains the budget PC to beat. Its combination of small size, fast performance, and living room competence makes it one of the most flexible desktops on the market. That it has room to upgrade makes the deal that much sweeter. We recommend this desktop to anyone looking for a powerful, versatile low-cost computer.
The good: The Nokia N97 Mini improves on the design of the N97 with a smaller size and a more solid construction. Performance is also better and you now get free voice-guided navigation via Ovi Maps. The smartphone continues to offer a full range of wireless options, e-mail capabilities, and a 5-megapixel camera.
The bad: The user interface still has inconsistencies, making the phone frustrating and confusing to use. The phone's Web browser is a bit clunky to navigate and there's limited support for video codecs.
The bottom line: The Nokia N97 Mini is a more stable and better designed device than the bigger N97, but its Achilles' heel remains as the confusing user interface keeps it behind today's leading touch-screen smartphones.
The good: It has 1080p and 720p video; 2.5-inch swiveling LCD; one-touch video uploading to YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook; removable lithium ion rechargeable battery; HDMI output; compatible with both OS X and Windows machines; dual memory Stick Duo and SD card slot; 5x optical zoom; capable of focusing on objects close up.
The bad: Relatively large; no HDMI cable included for HD output to HDTVs; no bundled carrying case; Picture Motion Browser Portable software is underwhelming and won't work on some operating systems.
The bottom line: The Bloggie CM5 isn't as compact as competing models from Flip Video and Kodak, but it delivers an above-average feature set and video for the money.