For nearly 15 years, Reviewed.com has put thousands of products to the test, all to help consumers buy, use, and understand electronics and appliances. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week.
Critics and enthusiasts don’t usually give the time of day to the Nikon 1 series of mirrorless compact system cameras. But thanks to aggressive discounts and brand-name recognition, these point-and-shootish, interchangeable-lens models have beaten sales expectations. The new Nikon 1 J3 (MSRP $599.99) is more of the same that we’ve seen from the series over the past few years—it’s about as short of a step up as you can possibly make from a fixed-lens compact or smartphone camera. The sterile, non-threatening interface and solid image quality are well and good, yet for the asking price, we can think of a long list of better cameras for hobbyist photographers.
Many dishwashers can make washing dishes less of a chore, but it takes a real quality one to reduce it to a minor inconvenience. It’s a pricey machine, but the KitchenAid KUDE48FXSS (MSRP $1,249) will deliver on its promise, and look good doing it. This dishwasher easily earns our Editor’s Choice award.
The Toshiba L7300U series (MSRP $1,099-$1,999) is the company’s flagship line for 2013, and just like last year, Toshiba’s flagship series is notably cheaper than the high-end options from Samsung, Panasonic, and Sony. Picture quality is quite good, and the price-to-size-to-slimness ratio is admirable. But the slow-loading, sluggish menu system is a huge burden—this should not be an issue on a modern TV!
Get it? Beets? A gimmicky parody of the super-overpriced Beats By Dre? The OrigAudio Beets (MSRP $25) won’t win any awards, with inconsistent sound quality and an uncomfortable design. But they’re incredibly cheap and actually look pretty cool—our review unit came with an actual can of beets, too.
The Canon HF R40 (MSRP $399) sits squarely in the middle of the company’s entry-level camcorder lineup. With solid 1080/60p recording, strong battery life, and 32x optical zoom, this is a smart choice if you need something more capable than a smartphone for shooting video.
Leica rangefinders are the camera of choice for pro photojournalists and street photographers everywhere. But it also positions itself as a luxury brand, complete with how-can-they-justify-the-cost products like the Leica M Monochrom, an $8,000 camera that shoots only in black-and-white. It obviously failed our color test, and you probably shouldn’t buy it, but we still had a lot of fun trying it out.