The good: The 2012 Audi A7 boasts a Google Earth-based navigation system and many connected features, such as Google local search, gas prices, and Wikipedia landmark entries. Quattro all-wheel-drive torque vectoring combines with the braking system for excellent cornering.
The bad: The A7's sport suspension can feel harsh at times. Bluetooth audio streaming is not available.
The bottom line: An extraordinary tech powerhouse, the 2012 Audi A7 combines luxurious driving with sport capabilities and an impressive navigation system.
The good: The new 27-inch iMac offers the best performance among current all-in-ones, along with the largest display, the best design, and exciting potential from its Thunderbolt ports.
The bad: We still miss built-in HDMI inputs for easy media component integration, and, as usual, custom hardware options for the iMac remain more expensive than those for its Windows-based competition.
The bottom line: We recommend Apple's new 27-inch iMac to digital media editors and others with serious performance needs on the strength of its impressive speed, its connected device potential, and its market-leading 27-inch display.
The good: The Panasonic DMP-BDT210 has built-in Wi-Fi, a simple user interface, and an excellent suite of streaming-media services, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, Vudu, Pandora, Skype, and CinemaNow. The DMP-BDT210 also has the fastest overall disc-loading speeds we've tested. And though its "touch-free" disc tray opener is a little gimmicky, we found it occasionally useful.
The bad: The Panasonic DMP-BDT210 has fewer overall streaming services than some competitors, missing some high-profile services like Hulu Plus and MLB.TV. It also lacks onboard memory for accessing BD-Live features.
The bottom line: The Panasonic DMP-BDT210's built-in Wi-Fi, simple user interface, Amazon Instant streaming, and blazing fast disc-loading speeds make it our favorite Blu-ray player of 2011 so far.
The good: The Samsung Droid Charge has a gorgeous Super AMOLED Plus touch screen. Verizon's 4G LTE data speeds are superfast, and the smartphone offers longer battery life than the HTC ThunderBolt. Call quality and camera quality are also good.
The bad: The Droid Charge is large. It's also pricey, especially considering it doesn't have some of the latest features, like a dual-core processor.
The bottom line: It's not the prettiest or most advanced smartphone, but the Samsung Droid Charge takes advantage of Verizon's great 4G data speeds, while offering decent battery life.
The good:The Panasonic TC-PST30 has excellent overall picture quality, with deep black levels, accurate color, and solid video processing. It can handle 1080p/24 sources well and exhibits the nearly perfect screen uniformity of plasma, as well as solid 3D picture quality. Its Internet suite is simple to use yet content-rich, and it includes a Wi-Fi dongle.
The bad: The chunky ST30 seems dated by today's flat-panel TV design standards. Picture quality flaws include limited brightness--a liability especially in bright rooms--and less-saturated color in its most accurate picture mode. The ST30 has fewer picture controls than the competition, doesn't include 3D glasses, and uses significantly more power than LCD TVs.
The bottom line: If you can live with its homely design, the excellent picture quality and feature set of the Panasonic TC-PST30 series combine to make it one of the best plasma TV values available.
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Canon Vixia HF M41
Editors' rating: 3.5 out of 5
The good: With a nice set of features for home-movie-type shooters and pleasing video quality, the Canon Vixia HF M400 series has lots to like.
The bad: A small, coarse LCD that's hard to view in direct sunlight and touch-screen-impaired menu system hamper an otherwise solid design.
The bottom line: A fine follow-up to last year's M3xx series, the Canon Vixia M4xx series should please most home-movie-oriented videographers despite its relatively high price. If you don't need the EVF, the M400 is your best buy, but if you'll be shooting a lot in sunlight, it's worth it to step up to the M41.
The good: The D-Link DHP-1320 Wireless N PowerLine Router incorporates HomePlug AV power-line technology and works with other HomePlug AV-compliant power-line adapters. The router offers fast wireless throughput speed, long range, and IP6 support, and is easy to use.
The bad: The D-Link DHP-1320 has only three LAN ports and doesn't support Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band wireless, or the 500Mbps power-line standard. The router's range throughput could be better and it's a little bulky.
The bottom line: Supporting Wireless-N and HomePlug AV, the D-Link DHP-1320 Wireless N PowerLine Router is an ideal router for a home network that favors flexibility over performance. Its lack of support for Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band wireless, and the 500Mbps power-line standard, however, makes it less suitable for those who need to share or stream a large amount of data.
The good: The HTC Droid Incredible 2 improves on its predecessor by adding world-roaming capabilities and a larger, sharper screen. The Android device has a solid construction and features an 8-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture.
The bad: The smartphone lacks 4G support and isn't running the latest Android software.
The bottom line: Though the lack of some features is disappointing, the HTC Droid Incredible 2 is an improved device and a good choice for Verizon customers looking for a global smartphone.