It seemed as if everyone who we spoke to about Mazda's Mazda5 said the same thing: "It's a mini-minivan." As cheesy as that sounds, there isn't really a better way to describe what Mazda has created with the Mazda5. As fuel prices soar and its full-size MPV minivan continues to grow, Mazda hopes to do for the van market what crossovers have done for the SUV market. Based on the compact Mazda3, the Mazda5 inherits performance that comes very close to Mazda's promise of "zoom-zoom." The Mazda5 isn't really a vehicle … Read more
We got our hands on the Lincoln MKS, a new model featuring the best cabin tech available. The navigation system doesn't just tell you how to get places; it also tells you how to find the cheapest gas, when movies are playing, and the weather conditions for cities all over the U.S. The MKS' Sync system offers the best voice command and device integration available, letting you hook up iPods and other MP3 players and ask for music by artist and album name. Music is played through a THX sound system, the best value in high-end car audio. … Read more
Still holding your cell phone to your ear? How 20th century. With a Bluetooth headset, you can leave your phone in your pocket--and walk around looking as if you're talking to yourself. Car Toys has the Samsung WEP200 Bluetooth headset for just $19.99, plus a ridiculously reasonable $1.95 for UPS shipping.
The WEP200 is a couple of years old, but even by today's standards, it's impressively compact. As noted in CNET's review (and the First Look video up above), it fits comfortably in the ear and has good controls, good sound quality, and a … Read more
Motorola announced two new Bluetooth headsets Thursday, namely the Motorola Pure H15 and the Motorola H780.
The Pure H15 (code name Adonis) is the star of the show with a compact and lightweight design along with a flip boom mic, which we haven't seen in a lot of headsets. The flip also acts as a power switch of sorts--open it to talk and close it to conserve battery life. Even though both headsets come with CrystalTalk technology that enhances voice clarity, the H15 takes it a step further with background noise cancellation.
Both the H15 and the H780 have … Read more
In an effort to keep up with the Joneses in the Bluetooth headset world, Plantronics is revealing its first-ever dual-microphone headset, dubbed the Voyager 835. Dual-microphone headsets are typically used to enhance your voice while keeping the surrounding background noise down. Some of our favorite headsets, including the Aliph Jawbone 2 and the BlueAnt V1, utilize this technology to boost outgoing audio quality.
The Voyager 835 is definitely designed for the mobile professional with its no-nonsense look and feel. It's not as flashy and feature-rich as other headsets in its category, but it still delivered good audio quality with … Read more
On Tuesday morning in London, Sony Ericsson unveiled its new HCB-108 Bluetooth speakerphone. The most interesting feature can't be seen by looking at the photos. Rather, it requires a peak at the specs, specifically the claimed battery life.
Sony Ericsson claims that a fully charged HCB-108 can remain in standby for a month, which is the longest claimed standby time in its segment. For those who'd rather use their hands-free device than watch it sit idle, the HCB-108 will let users talk for a claimed 25 hours before needing a recharge. Of course, these are claimed times and … Read more
Ever since we saw the Mitsubishi Prototype-X at the 2007 Detroit auto show, the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been at the top of our wish list. Well, near the top, right under the Nissan GT-R. Our desires for the car weren't diminished when we got our first chance to drive the MR version of the new Mitsubishi Evolution earlier this year, running it around the track at Laguna Seca. The car is a performance- and cabin-tech dream, with a look that's pure animal.
The front of the car is mostly grille, a big air intake to keep … Read more
We reviewed the BMW M3 Coupe with a manual transmission and the full load of cabin tech back in April, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to test out another one, this time the 2008 BMW M3 Convertible with the new double-clutch transmission. Although our convertible M3 lacked the cabin tech options, not even having the programmable M button on the steering wheel, it still proved a remarkable car to drive with all the performance capabilities of the loaded version. And we didn't think it possible to improve on the M3's performance, but the double-clutch transmission … Read more
Except for its price, the 2008 BMW 128i Convertible may be the least BMW-like car from the automaker. Oh, it does have all the cutting-edge tech found in BMW's other models, including a pop-up LCD that is surprisingly immune to glare. But where its turbo-charged brother, the 135i, feels glued to the road, the 128i Convertible's wheels seem to stretch away from the car in the corners. And where the 135i leaps forward with smooth and hard acceleration, the 128i Convertible's power delivery feels uneven.