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Top-rated reviews of the week (pictures)

As the first month of 2014 comes to a close and we no longer have an excuse for writing 2013 on our checks, CNET's editors were still busy reviewing all kinds of gear, from a killer app for note taking to a smartwatch actually worth wearing. And on top of that, we saw what one editor said is the "best small Android phone around."

CNET Reviews staff
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1 of 12 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

As the first month of 2014 comes to a close and we no longer have an excuse for writing 2013 on our checks, CNET's editors were still busy reviewing all kinds of gear, from a killer app for note taking to a smartwatch actually worth wearing. And on top of that, we saw what one editor said is the "best small Android phone around." Don't worry, you won't have to wait long to find out which one it is.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

With its powerful processor, great camera, decent screen and gorgeous, waterproof design, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the best small Android phone around. Read the review.

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2 of 12 Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

SwiftKey Note

SwiftKey Note

If you can accept its limitations, SwiftKey Note's robust predictive keyboard and clean design make it a must-have for taking notes. Read the review.

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3 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

TDK Life on Record A33 Wireless Weatherproof Speaker

TDK Life on Record A33 Wireless Weatherproof Speaker

While the TDK Life on Record A33 Wireless Weatherproof Speaker has a few small shortcomings, it delivers very good sound for its size and price and is well suited to both indoor and outdoor use with a sturdy, splashproof design. Read the review.

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4 of 12 Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Cut the Rope 2

Cut the Rope 2

Cut the Rope 2 is both fun and challenging with new characters and game dynamics that make it a worthy sequel, but watch out for in-app purchases. Read the review.

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5 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga

Lenovo solves half the Yoga equation with a clever hidden keyboard on the ThinkPad Yoga. If we could combine this with the higher-res screen and better looks of the consumer version, we'd have the ultimate hybrid. Read the review.

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6 of 12 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Fragment

Fragment

Fragment has great touch controls for doing something truly unique with your photos, but if it's a basic photo-effects app you're looking for, there are better options. Read the review.

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7 of 12 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Staples Connect

Staples Connect

It's probably too early to commit to a master smart-home platform, but for basic home automation across multiple devices, Staples Connect works well -- and at $99, it's priced just right. Read the review.

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8 of 12 Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Springpad

Springpad

Springpad takes time to set up, but once you find how it works for you, it's a fantastic free tool for staying organized. Read the review.

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9 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Pebble Steel

Pebble Steel

Equal parts fashionable and functional, the Pebble Steel leaps to the top of the smartwatch heap, but does so by improving existing tech rather than adding something totally new. Read the review.

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10 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker BTV1

AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker BTV1

The AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker BTV1 is one of the better "generic" mini wireless Bluetooth speakers and a good value at $60. Read the review.

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11 of 12 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Neato XV Essential

Neato XV Essential

The Neato XV Essential is a whopping $320 less than the iRobot Roomba 880 and performed similarly well. However, its cheap filter makes it hard to use -- if you want a Neato, stick with the $399 XV Signature or the $449 XV Signature Pro. Read the review.

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12 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

Nokia Lumia 1320

Nokia Lumia 1320

Steer toward Nokia's Lumia 1320 for an affordable supersize phone you can rely on, but not before checking out Android rivals with fancier specs and comparable price tags Read the review.

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