What a week for Panasonic. Of all the products CNET reviewed this week, the company scored the best ratings for both the most expensive gadget and the cheapest. There must be some sort of award for that. (Actually, there isn't, but there should be.)
The Panasonic TC-P65VT50 (affectionately known around these parts as the "VT50") is a 65-inch plasma TV that nabbed the hardest-won praise of all: A glowing review from our own David Katzmaier. Katzmaier gets right to the point in his review, explaining that the whole line of TVs in the VT50's series have "some of the best pictures ever, with exceedingly deep black levels, highly accurate color, and perfect screen uniformity and off-angle performance." Of course, you'll pay for that beauty, somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,700.
This bud's for anyone
For approximately 650 times less money, you can get one of the cheapest sets of exercise-friendly earbuds in existence, and coincidentally also from Panasonic. David Carnoy doesn't usually review bargain-basement earbuds, but he's heard so many good things about the Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120-D, that he went ahead with a full-on review of these practically disposable buds.
His verdict: Yep, they're good. They sound decent, and they're comfortable. CNET Reader Skyd0c agrees. He tells us in the comments: "I've been using these ever since I first got them on a whim in the PX in Iraq back in 2009. They are the best worry-free exercise earbuds and are comfortable to wear for even up to an hour!" So not only do they cost less than $6, they apparently also last as long as three years, some of those in the desert. Nice.
The point and shoot that's better than that
The other day I had a friend ask her Facebook buddies whether she should buy an iPad or a dSLR with a few hundred dollars set aside for a new gadget. She concluded that what she really wanted was a dSLR, but that she only had enough money for an iPad. Frustrated and envious of her dSLR-owning friends' beautiful photos, she finally threw up her hands and decided she wanted to buy nothing at all if she couldn't buy a dSLR.
She might actually need a camera like the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V, which reviewer Josh Goldman calls "a lot of camera, both in lens and features" for very roughly the price of an iPad. This camera doesn't require all the knowledge it takes to properly operate a dSLR (nor can it fully replace the wonderful resolution you'll get from a dSLR -- this camera doesn't shoot in RAW), but it creates similar effects. Check out this photo, for instance, and its shallow depth of field. The HX200V also takes and stitches together panoramic shots and offers an HDR (high dynamic range) mode to help manage light and contrast challenges.
There's plenty more to browse from last week's review, but I've got to be honest: I'm even more excited about what's coming in the weeks ahead. We'll be bringing you live Apple WWDC keynote coverage Monday morning at 10 a.m. PT, and we're looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy S III event on the 20th. June is the tech month that just won't stop.
Tune in Monday anytime after 8 a.m. PT for our Apple WWDC keynote live blog.