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Top-rated reviews of the week (photos)

Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Amazon Kindle 2011, and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G.

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James Martin

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1 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S II (AT&T)

Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.

Samsung Galaxy S II (AT&T)

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5

The good: The Samsung Galaxy S II boasts a beautiful display and a thin design. With a dual-core processor, the Gingerbread device delivers fast performance, as well as good battery life. Camera quality is excellent.

The bad: Some parts of the phone feel flimsy.

The bottom line:With its dual-core processor, vibrant display, and great performance, the sleek and powerful Samsung Galaxy S II rises as AT&T's top Android smartphone.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $199.99 from 1 store

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2 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon Kindle 2011 (with Special Offers, Wi-Fi)

Amazon Kindle 2011 (with Special Offers, Wi-Fi)

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The entry-level Amazon Kindle 2011 is a compact, lightweight, and ultra-affordable e-book reader with a crisp Pearl e-ink screen and Wi-Fi. It offers access to a massive catalog of books, magazines, and newspapers via Amazon.com's familiar online store, plus online loaners from your local library. The Kindle can hold hundreds of books, and the battery lasts for weeks.

The bad: The lack of a touch screen means input is limited to a cumbersome directional pad and virtual keyboard. There's no support for audio. All accessories--including a cover and an AC charger--cost extra. You need to spend an additional $30 if you don't want the ad-supported Special Offers version.

The bottom line: If you don't want to spend the extra $20 to upgrade to the forthcoming touch-screen version, the entry-level 2011 Kindle is a great choice for an ultraportable and superaffordable no-frills e-ink reader.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $79 from 1 store

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3 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc (midnight blue)

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc (midnight blue)

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc has a slim, gorgeous build; Android 2.3 Gingerbread; and 720p HD video capture.

The bad: Several buttons on the Xperia Arc are too small, and the unlocked price would be prohibitively expense for most. Call quality was mediocre.

The bottom line: The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is a beautiful handset with some great features, but a high price tag and no network optimization leave few reasons to buy this unlocked Android phone.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $423.99 from 3 stores

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4 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo IdeaPad Y570

Lenovo IdeaPad Y570

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 looks great and has a surprising amount of configuration flexibility for a mainstream laptop.

The bad: The system is brimming with bloatware, and a physical switch for GPU modes is confusing.

The bottom line: A sharp-looking mainstream laptop with decent graphics and some configuration flexibility, the IdeaPad Y570 is a solid alternative to some of the better-known consumer laptop brands.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $849.99 from 1 store

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5 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Pantech Breakout (Verizon Wireless)

Pantech Breakout (Verizon Wireless)

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good:The Pantech Breakout runs on Verizon's 4G LTE network. Android 2.3 Gingerbread is dressed up with a handy custom UI, and the phone has good call quality.

The bad: The Breakout doesn't have a flash, and it has a poor front-facing camera, jerky video, and shutter lag.

The bottom line: If you don't give a whit about the camera or video, the Pantech Breakout is a fast and straightforward Android handset for Verizon.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $99.99 from 1 store

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6 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 (32GB)

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 (32GB)

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 packs the full Android Honeycomb tablet experience, along with Samsung's useful customizations, into a compact body.

The bad: The lack of ports on the tablet will be a problem for some and the plastic back leaves the Tab 8.9 feeling less solid than the iPad 2.

The bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 is everything we loved about the Tab 10.1 in a slightly smaller form, with a slightly smaller price.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $569.99 from 2 stores

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7 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony HDR-PJ10

Sony HDR-PJ10

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Sony Handycam HDR-PJ10's built-in projector and stereo speakers are very convenient for sharing home movies. Plus, the HD camcorder has the same wide-angle lens, built-in USB cable, and good automated performance as its projector-free siblings.

The bad: If you don't plan to use the projector, the rest of the camcorder's performance and feature set are a bit underpowered for the money.

The bottom line: You're paying a couple hundred extra for the projector in the otherwise frills-free Sony Handycam HDR-PJ10 over its identical twin, the CX160, but if you regularly show off your vacation videos in the homes of friends and family then it's worth it.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $499.99 from 16 stores

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8 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Series 7 all-in-one (DP700A3B)

Samsung Series 7 all-in-one (DP700A3B)

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Samsung Series 7 all-in-one offers a unique design and easy-to-use touch software for a reasonable price.

The bad: Samsung has decided to steer clear of the performance crowd, and it shows. We also wish this system had a Blu-ray drive like others in its price range.

The bottom line: Samsung has captured our attention, and our Editors' Choice Award, in its U.S. desktop debut, and we expect the Series 7 all-in-one PC will attract many mainstream customers with its appealing looks and accessible touch interface.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $1,129.99 from 1 store

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9 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G (AT&T)

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G (AT&T)

Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5

The good: The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G integrates phone and gaming features like no other handset before it. It offers all the essential smartphone features and call quality is respectable.

The bad: Some of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G's gaming controls are unresponsive. It lacks an HDMI-out port, photo quality is poor, and data speeds are unimpressive.

The bottom line: AT&T's Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G is ideal for gamers, but we'd prefer to see more-accurate controls, a few more features, and a faster data network.

Read CNET's full review
Starting at: $49.99 from 1 store

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