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2006 Lexus IS 350Here's our weekly roundup of new products CNET reviewers liked best. 1. 2006 Lexus IS 350
Editors' rating: 9.4
The good: The 2006 Lexus IS 350 features excellent cabin technology, including a crisp navigation screen and a top-notch audio system. Its performance doesn't disappoint, either, with an automatic transmission that hits the right gear at the right time.
The bad: We have a few minor criticisms of the IS 350: its voice-command system doesn't offer a full range of car control; we had to dig down to display song and album information; and phone address-book entries can be copied over only one at a time.
The bottom line: The 2006 Lexus IS 350 uses the highest-quality cabin electronics, and its strong engine and good handling make it a lot of fun to drive. At its relatively low price, it is one of the best values in a luxury sport car we've seen.
Apple iPod (fifth-generation, 80GB)2. Apple iPod (fifth-generation, 80GB)
Editors' rating: 8.3
The good: The enhanced iPod has the same sleek design with improved video battery life and brighter screen; it brings gapless playback to the masses; up to 80GB; new features such as instant search and enhanced games; movies now available in iTunes 7; excellent overall value.
The bad: The Apple iPod has added no major functions such as FM radio, wireless, recording; small screen not conducive to movie viewing; proprietary USB cable; narrow native video-format compatibility; body is still scratch prone.
The bottom line: The amazingly low priced updated Apple iPod gets many under-the-hood improvements, but it's still not a true video player.
Pioneer S-A4SPT-PM3. Pioneer S-A4SPT-PM
Editors' rating: 8.0
The good: The Pioneer S-A4SPT-PM speakers are audiophile-grade compact speakers housed in luxurious, finished cabinets made from aged whiskey-barrel wood. Each speaker boasts a high-quality woofer and tweeter and all-metal speaker wire connectors.
The bad: The whiskey-barrel speakers are expensive, and there are no matching center speakers or subwoofers.
The bottom line: Made from old oak whiskey barrels, Pioneer's S-A4SPT-PM speakers deliver a rich and clear sound that belies their small size.