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2013 Lexus GS 350, 450h: A tale of two sport sedans

Every year at the Western Automotive Journalists' annual Media Days at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, there's at least one large sedan that surprises me with its on-track poise. Last year, that car was the Acura TL SH-AWD, but this year it was the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport that left me scratching my head.

2013 GS 350 F-Sport

The last time I found myself behind the wheel of a Lexus GS, it was back in 2008 when a GS 450h hybrid surprised me with its straight-line performance and understated, muscular stying. The newest 2013 Lexus GS is anything but … Read more

Airbus starts up assembly line for new A350

Airbus yesterday formally opened the assembly line of its next-generation A350 when it began final construction of the first test aircraft in Toulouse, France.

The center fuselage section, which arrived at the company's production facility in the belly of an A300-600T (aka the Beluga), can now be joined with the forward fuselage section already in place. Next to come will be the wings and aft fuselage, which are currently being built in plants in Germany and the United Kingdom

The first aircraft, MSN5000, will be used only for static testing on the ground. According to FlightBlogger's Jon Ostrower (… Read more

CNET Roadside Assistance 46: How to cozy up with Siri while driving (podcast)

Siri can be great in car, but you need to do some work to get it to play ball with all your other gear.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 46 SHOW NOTES

Car Tech Live 240: BMW head up display goes full color and full cooler (podcast)

MirrorLink ramps up for smartphones in cars, new Ford escape features hands-free door, survey says you want voice command and wall plugs in your car, and we drive the Mercedes SLK 350.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 240 SHOW NOTES

Lexus gives its GS sedan an 'F' in performance

LAS VEGAS--A letter F on a report card is usually a bad thing. However, when Lexus slaps an F-badge on the back of one of its vehicles, you should know that the automaker means fast and not fail.

Actually, the F stands for finesse, but let's not split hairs. The GS 350 sedan with F Sport package that Lexus debuted at the 2011 SEMA Show is no mere appearance upgrade, it should also be faster than the standard model.

However, the extra performance comes in the form of suspension, aerodynamic, and chassis upgrades, as the GS 350's 3.… Read more

Samsung SyncMaster S23A350H review: Going in with low expectations

I expected the Samsung SyncMaster S23A550H to be a worthy successor to the Samsung PX2370. I was wrong, and while the S23A550H wasn't a bad monitor, it failed to live up to the performance and smart design of the best TN monitor to date.

I guess it stands to reason that I went into the SyncMaster S23A350H's review with low expectations. Having just been disappointed by the S23A550H, I wasn't willing to put my heart back out on the chopping block just yet.

Sometimes, however, lowering your expectations can yield some surprising results. So, does the S23A350HRead more

AMD updates Fusion E and C series processors

AMD's Fusion series of APU processors first grabbed our attention at the beginning of 2011 for their impressive showing in 11.6-inch ultraportable laptops like the HP Pavilion dm1z, offering great performance and battery life for a good price. The E and C-series APUs representing the entry-level and thin-and-light side of the laptop and desktop universe have been updated, with memory and graphics enhancements and a promised gain in resting battery life.

AMD claims 12 hours of resting battery life on a charge on the C-series APUs, and 10.5 hours on the new E-series. Of course, our battery … Read more

Hands on with the 12.5-inch Samsung Series 3: Thin Series 9 alternative on a budget

More than a month after we got our first surprise peek at the Samsung Series 3, a new mainstream line of Samsung laptops that included some very attractive and affordable 12- and 11-inch ultraportables, the 12.5-inch version of the Series 3 has arrived at CNET's offices. We've taken it out of its box and will be running it through benchmarks and testing it, but for now here are our initial impressions.

Ultrabook, schmultrabook: why pay a lot of money for a thin laptop if you can get one for cheaper? While the Series 3 isn't technically an "Ultrabook" by Intel's definitions--it's thicker and uses a regular non-solid-state hard drive--this little laptop reminds us a lot of the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s. It's nearly the same size and weight and has the same-size screen and keyboard, but features an even faster processor. … Read more

Chromebook, Netbook, iPad: Which would you rather spend $500 on?

Yesterday's formal introduction of Chromebooks marked yet another category of portable computing gadget in a landscape that's starting to feel overrun.

For $499, the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook has its work cut out for it--namely, because tablets and "high-end" 11- and 12-inch laptops and Netbooks (some with faster processors) have already occupied the same landscape.

It's a question we've been pondering for a while now, writ again: what truly constitutes the perfect small-screen portable? Suddenly, instead of one or two OSes to consider, there are four: Windows 7, Apple's iOS, and Google's Android and Chrome.

While the high end of the computer spectrum remains relatively stable (desktops, laptops), the increasingly fertile (or, perhaps, unstable) ground between laptops and smartphones has bred a variety of tech forms that all, in some way, are portable. Options have never been more diverse, or confusing.

Which one would you rather spend about $500 on? Well, let's see what you get.… Read more

Building a mini man cave

Moving is always a time-consuming, life-upending experience, but it can also be an opportunity to rework, rewire, or completely redesign your multimedia setup. Having just moved 60-odd boxes, plus furniture, from one end of SoHo to the other (well, the movers moved, but I packed), that's the situation I currently find myself in.

As a native Manhattanite, I know going into any new apartment situation requires savvy use of minimal space. And in fact, while my new place is a larger than my old one (with an extra bedroom for the summertime arrival of Ackerman Jr. and a private … Read more