Until recently, my ideal bag was big enough for my laptop, iPad, iPhone, chargers and cables, plus a sweatshirt, a sandwich--anything I could shove inside. And the more space I had, the more I shoved.
So what changed? I had a kid. Now when I leave the house I’ve got not only my laptop bag, but also a baby strapped into a bulky car seat, plus his giant diaper bag. When I got desperate to shave some of that weight, my own oversized bag had to go.
There’s fast, and then there’s really fast, and then there’s the disbelief that you’ve been driving in the slow lane for so long. After the debut of the Thunderbolt I/O, we were excited at the idea of syncing at 10Gb/s speeds, but the first batch of portable drives with Thunderbolt were all platter-based HDDs, and those internal discs can only spin so fast. Speedier solid-state drives can take better advantage of Thunderbolt’s potential, as Elgato’s Thunderbolt SSD clearly demonstrates.
Once you move beyond simple computer speakers and speaker docks, audio equipment can quickly get extremely complicated, not to mention expensive. Orb Audio’s line of modular products aims to bring audiophile-quality components at relatively affordable prices. And best of all, you can start with a small desktop system, then later expand into a full home theater setup using your existing speakers.
When Apple showed off Thunderbolt, we all got giddy with nerdy excitement. 10Gbps dual throughput? Yes, I would like that. Then nothing was released. Thunderbolt ports on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air sat empty and unused as we waited for the peripherals to arrive. So far we’ve gotten high-end RAIDs that are a bit out of the reach of the average Mac user. Finally Thunderbolt gets some consumer love--some pricey, pricey consumer love.
Speaker docks are a tricky proposition. Build them big enough to boom, and they’re hard to fit on your desk or kitchen counter. Build them small, and they usually lack the bass that helps us feel our favorite jams. Scoshe’s BassDOCK manages to pack a punch, securely perching your iPad above a compact speaker that fits almost anywhere.
Graphics tablet users are an odd bunch. They’ll tell you how a mouse is a horrible input device. How you’ll eventually end up with a medical device wrapped around your wrist while they draw pretty pictures of flowers and mock up logos with a pen. That love of the tablet inevitably leads them to one company: Wacom. Frankly, there isn’t another tablet maker out there that even comes close--which puts the company in an odd position. How do you upgrade a product that’s already near perfect?
The new Apple TV looks exactly like the previous version: same small black box. It’s got the same inputs and outputs on the back: AC power, HDMI output, micro-USB for service only, optical audio output, 10/100 Ethernet. It’s just as easy to set up: simply sign in to your Wi-Fi account and use the remote (or better yet, the free Remote app on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch) to navigate around.
At a cost of $899.99 (body only), the Sony Alpha 65 is $500 cheaper than the Alpha 77 that was launched at the same time, but it has the same 24.3 million effective pixel sensor, making it the joint highest resolution APS-C format camera available.
We’re in the age of the celebrity headphone. Everyone from Jay-Z to Quincy Jones to, um, Snooki has headphone deals now. Those celebrity endorsement deals don’t come cheap, which is why it’s common to see certain brands costing several hundred dollars. But not everyone wants to drop several bills on a pair of cans. So we rounded up some more moderately priced headphones and put them through their paces. And the results were surprising.