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Photos: Top 10 reviews of the week

Here are CNET Reviews' 10 favorite items from the past week, including Logitech's Squeezebox Duet, the Apple MacBook Pro 2008 Edition, and "one of the fastest laptops on the planet right now."
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By ZDNet UK on
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Logitech Squeezebox Duet

Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.

1. Logitech Squeezebox Duet

Editors' rating: 8.7

The good: Network digital audio system includes excellent wireless remote with color screen and scroll wheel control; supports Wi-Fi and Ethernet home networks; compatible with virtually all non-DRM audio file formats, provides access to PC-based music files (on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines) as well as PC-free Internet radio, podcasts, and premium online music services including Rhapsody, Slacker, and Pandora; excellent online account integration; expandable to multiple rooms.

The bad: Minor improvements could make the already good interface even better; scroll wheel isn't quite as responsive as the iPod's; no compatibility with DRM music files such as those purchased from iTunes or Zune online stores; setup process could frustrate those who aren't tech-savvy.

The bottom line: With its excellent iPod-like remote, the Logitech Squeezebox Duet is an ideal way to stream the full range of digital music--including files on your computer's hard drive, premium subscription music services, and free Internet radio--to your living room stereo system.

Read ZDNet's full review
Price: $400

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2008 Acura RDX

2. 2008 Acura RDX

Editors' rating: 8.2

The good: Offering sharp handling and a compact size, the 2008 Acura RDX easily maneuvers over urban and mountain roads. The stereo produces excellent audio quality while the navigation system includes live traffic reporting and a comprehensive POI database.

The bad: The RDX's turbocharged engine sucks down the gas. Acura litters the dashboard with buttons and poorly integrated cabin gadgets.

The bottom line: The 2008 Acura RDX is an excellent compact SUV and tech cruiser with some major flaws, such as lousy gas mileage and a difficult interface.

Read ZDNet's full review
Price: $36,695

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Apple MacBook Pro 2008 Edition

2. Apple MacBook Pro 2008 Edition

Editors' rating: 8.2

The good: Updated CPUs, improved battery life, adds touch pad gestures from the MacBook Air.

The bad: Small performance premium over the cheaper 13-inch MacBook; only 90 days of toll-free technical support; still no SD card reader.

The bottom line: A solid, if predictable, upgrade to the MacBook Pro line, but noteworthy for stealing the MacBook Air's best feature--expanded gesture controls for the touch pad.

Read ZDNet's full review
Price range: $2,729-$2,800

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Alienware Area-51 m15x

4. Alienware Area-51 m15x

Editors' rating: 8.1

The good: Top-of-the-line components; backlit keyboard is a cool touch; highest resolution we've seen in a 15-inch display; one of the fastest laptops on the planet right now.

The bad: Still not as slick looking as it should be; thick, clunky chassis; touch pad hard to use.

The bottom line: Alienware's amazingly powerful flagship Area-51 m15x has the insides down, but our finicky aesthetic sense isn't sold on the look of this otherwise awesome 15-inch powerhouse of a gaming laptop.

Read ZDNet's full review
Price: $2,149

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2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

4. 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Editors' rating: 8.1

The good: The all-wheel-drive system and the limited slip differentials give the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI excellent grip. Above 4,000rpm, its engine rockets the car forward, and we like its available navigation system.

The bad: We were less than impressed by the audio quality of the STI's stock stereo. Its very uneven power delivery makes everyday driving and low power maneuvers difficult.

The bottom line: The 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI is a blast on the right kinds of roads, but gets tiresome on the daily commute. Music fans will be disappointed with the stereo.

Read ZDNet's full review
Price range: Starts at $34,995; model reviewed cost $35,878

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Canon Vixia HF10

6. Canon Vixia HF10

Editors' rating: 8.0

The good: Excellent video quality; fast focus; compact, attractive, and comfortable design.

The bad: Wind filter not as dependable as previous Canon models; manual focus pretty useless.

The bottom line: Canon's first flash-based camcorder, the Canon Vixia HF10, delivers excellent HD video quality and performance in a tiny package.

Read ZDNet's full review
Price range: $1,099-$1,100

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Canon PowerShot A590 IS

7. Canon PowerShot A590 IS

Editors' rating: 7.8

The good: Great picture quality; fast shutter speed; broad manual feature set.

The bad: Chunky appearance; slow shot-to-shot time with the onboard flash enabled.

The bottom line: The Canon PowerShot A590 IS's manual exposure controls and surprisingly sharp pictures make it a great choice for almost anyone looking for a sub-$200 shooter.

Read ZDNet's full review
Price range: $168-$185

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Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS

8. Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS

Editors' rating: 7.6

The good: Great image quality; minimal shutter lag; speedy performance; optical image stabilization; face detection; optical viewfinder.

The bad: No manual exposure controls; slow flash recycle time.

The bottom line: Canon's SD1100 IS adds optical image stabilization to last year's hit SD1000, while delivering just as impressive image quality.

Read ZDNet's full review
Price range: $232-$250

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Norton 360 V2

9. Norton 360 V2

Editors' rating: 7.5

The good: Norton 360 v2 includes more native support for the Firefox browser; enhanced backup options; enhanced PC Tune Up; works great on clean, new machines running Windows Vista.

The bad: Norton 360 v2 can be hard to install on legacy machines; places a gadget in Windows Vista without asking; requires personal information for access to a technical support section that can be confusing; costly to use.

The bottom line: A near-perfect all-in-one solution for brand new PCs, Norton 360 v2 may be hard to install and run on legacy machines. However, don't count on Symantec's time-consuming and expensive technical support for help.

Read ZDNet's full review

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Edimax BR-6504n Router

10. Edimax BR-6504n nMax Wireless 802.11n Broadband Router

Editors' rating: 7.0

The good: Sleek design; excellent throughput, particularly in mixed environments; intuitive Web-based interface; bountiful wireless networking and security options; supports an antenna extender; two-year warranty.

The bad: Range could be better; no Gigabit Ethernet.

The bottom line: It's cheap, easy to set up, and delivers more than acceptable performance at shorter ranges. We like the sleek, white Edimax BR-6504N router, particularly for networks with a mix of Draft N and older 802.11b/g clients.

Read ZDNet's full review
Price: $80

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