Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Energy Take Classic 5.1 speaker system
Editors' rating: 4.5 out of 5
The good: The Energy Take Classic 5.1 offers outstanding sound quality for a compact surround-sound speaker system. All of the speakers feature a beautiful piano-black finish, looking more expensive than the system's budget price. Altogether, the system is one of the best home theater values available.
The bad: Pioneer's SP-PK21BS sounds better for the same price, although it's a much larger system.
The bottom line: The Energy Take Classic 5.1 is the best budget speaker system we've reviewed, earning our Editors' Choice Award with its outstanding sound quality and exquisite looks.
The good: The Booq Cobra Courier XS iPad bag has a sleek design, solid construction, and enough side pockets for a charger, keyboard, a notebook, or other commuting needs. The lined iPad pocket is soft and padded, and a rubber bottom offers some wetness protection.
The bad: The bag's leather flap closes with noisy Velcro pads that don't always rest evenly; there aren't any zippers or weatherproof flaps to additionally secure the iPad in its pocket.
The bottom line: The Booq Cobra Courier XS is a slick, leather-and-nylon iPad bag with enough compartments to be practical, while looking good enough to take out at night if needed.
D-Link DHP-501AV PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: The D-Link DHP-501AV PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit offers stellar performance. It is also affordable, compatible with other Powerline AV 500 adapters, easy to use, and aesthetically appealing.
The bad: The D-Link PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit doesn't come with a pass-through power socket and may obstruct adjacent power outlets.
The bottom line: Attractive, affordable, and very fast, D-Link's PowerLine AV 500 Adapter Starter Kit DHP-501AV is one of the best available in its class.
D-Link PowerLine AV 500 4-Port Gigabit Switch DHP-540
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: The affordable D-Link PowerLine AV 500 4-Port Gigabit Switch DHP-540 is a versatile Gigabit switch that includes support for Powerline AV 500. It offers great performance.
The bad: The D-Link PowerLine AV 500 4-Port Gigabit Switch DHP-540 doesn't offer the option to turn off the power-line function.
The bottom line: Compact, good-looking, affordable, and fast, D-Link's PowerLine AV 500 4-Port Gigabit Switch DHP-540 makes a great device that extends your network both via traditional cables and electrical wiring.
The good: The 2012 Nissan GT-R delivers truly blistering acceleration from a twin-turbo V-6 while its all-wheel drive and suspension systems cling to the road under the most adverse conditions. A unique performance computer displays all the car information you could want.
The bad: Even with the suspension in Comfort mode, the ride can be bruising.
The bottom line: The 2012 Nissan GT-R is a dedicated sports car, a high-tech weapon for the track, and entirely suitable for winding public roads. But it is not the most practical for day-to-day driving.
The good: The Pen & Quill Contega is a nearly bulletproof iPad 2 case, and adds new features, such as a Smart Cover magnet and adjustable viewing angles, missing from earlier versions.
The bad: A slim and lightweight iPad companion, this is not.
The bottom line: It's always nice to see a product evolve from generation to generation, and the latest version of Pad & Quill's booklike iPad case is the best yet, and the first we've considered using long term.
The good: The Pioneer AVIC-Z130BT features a wide array of digital audio sources, including Bluetooth audio streaming, USB connectivity, HD Radio, and iPhone app control for Pandora and Aha Radio. The navigation system is responsive and easy to use, and includes a traffic tuner in the box. Voice control makes it safer to navigate digital media while driving.
The bad: The iPod interface cable required to enable the much-touted iPhone functions is a separate purchase.
The bottom line: In one box, the Pioneer AVIC-Z130BT has all the must-have car tech features that most people could want, including hands-free calling, voice-controlled digital audio playback, and turn-by-turn directions with traffic data.
The good: The Motorola Droid 3 features an excellent five-row QWERTY keyboard. The next-gen Droid also offers the latest Gingerbread software, a dual-core processor, and an upgraded 8-megapixel camera.
The bad: The Droid 3 lacks 4G. Compared with the competition, the smartphone's qHD display isn't that sharp and performance isn't as snappy. Call and picture quality could be better.
The bottom line: For Verizon customers who crave physical keyboards, the Motorola Droid 3 offers an excellent one, but the rest of the Android smartphone's improvements fail to impress.