The good: The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9930 has a wider and thinner design and is exceedingly well-made. It boasts stunning graphics, a new touch-screen display, an amazing physical QWERTY keyboard, a faster 1.2GHz processor, and the new BlackBerry OS 7 that brings augmented reality apps, 720p HD video recording, and more. We're also pleased with the photo quality of the 5-megapixel camera.
The bad: The BlackBerry Bold 9930 doesn't have the best call quality, and we think its price is too steep. The OS 7 user interface is not that different from OS 6.
The bottom line: The BlackBerry Bold 9930 is the best QWERTY BlackBerry to date, but should be priced lower.
The good: The Clear Spot 4G - Apollo mobile router provides fast cellular Internet access to up to eight clients at a time, with affordable unlimited data plans. The Apollo incorporates a large LCD that shows helpful information about the device, and the battery lasts a long time.
The bad: The Apollo doesn't support 3G, Wireless-N, or text messaging, and is comparatively bulky.
The bottom line: For those who live or travel within Clear's 4G coverage, the Clear Spot 4G - Apollo is an excellent mobile-broadband option and wins our Editors' Choice Award.
The good: The Roku 2 XS is an ultrasmall Wi-Fi streaming-media box that offers dozens of Internet video and audio services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Pandora, NHL, NBA, and MLB, among many others. It works with HD and standard TVs, and it includes a Wii-like motion controller for casual gaming. (Angry Birds is included.)
The bad:The best streaming channels require paid subscriptions or pay-per-view fees. The Roku 2 XS doesn't currently support DLNA access (streaming media from networked PCs), and USB file support is very limited. Don't expect a full-blown Wii-like gaming experience; Angry Birds is currently the only game available.
The bottom line: Thanks to a varied range of content offerings--including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Pandora--that beats the Apple TV, the Roku 2 XS is the best all-around streaming-media box you can get for less than $100.
The good: Navigation enhanced by Google, a touch-pad cabin tech interface, a supercharged direct-injection engine, an eight-speed transmission, and Quattro all-wheel drive combine to make the 2012 Audi A6 one of the most cutting-edge cars on the road.
The bad: Audi's routing algorithm does not do a very good job of avoiding traffic jams. Only the top trim level offers branded audio systems.
The bottom line: Despite some very slight issues, the Audi A6 is a tech powerhouse, a comfortable sedan with a powerful, efficient engine and the most advanced navigation system available.
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Torch 9810 has a sharp, colorful, and responsive touch screen along with a full slide-out keyboard. BlackBerry OS 7 promises support for augmented-reality apps, voice-activated universal search, a new Liquid Graphics technology, an improved Web browser, and more. Other upgrades include a 1.2GHz processor and 720p HD video recording. It's very affordable.
The bad: The BlackBerry Torch 9810's design is very similar to its predecessor, with the same feature set as before.
The bottom line: The BlackBerry Torch 9810 won't wow newcomers with its tired old design, but its affordable price and much-improved specs should keep BlackBerry enthusiasts satisfied.
The good: Offering excellent battery life and processing power in a compact, sturdy design, the Dell Vostro V131 improves on last year's version while keeping a clean look.
The bad: Other 13-inch laptops are even thinner and lighter; the matte screen and mono speaker are weak for a laptop this size.
The bottom line: The 2011 Dell Vostro V131 succeeds at being an affordable and powerful update to the 13-inch small-business laptop, adding much-needed battery life and processing boosts. At its lower-priced configurations, it's worth a look for budget shoppers.
iHome iA63 App-Alarm Clock with Motorized Rotating Dock (Black)
Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5
The good: The iHome iA63's biggest assets are an attractive design, a motorized rotating dock that allows you to switch easily from portrait to landscape mode for video watching, and an affordable price tag. It also has a good array of app-based alarm and radio functions, time-syncs with your iPod or iPhone, works with iHome apps, is GSM-shielded for iPhone docking, and comes with a remote.
The bad: The built-in radio is FM only (though many AM stations may be available via online streaming), and the speaker is light on bass.
The bottom line: If you're looking for a very functional clock radio that also has a rotating iPod/iPhone dock for bedside video watching, the iHome iA63 is a good choice.