Why doesn’t this great audio receiver include great audio/video streaming tools? The NetBoxx R-904N sounds good, but its streaming is more annoying than awesome. You have to dig up your own Mac software, you’ll fight the weak interface, and you’ll be rewarded with video-resolution issues. We’d hoped that this one box could rule our A/V needs, but you’re much better off buying a standard audio receiver and an Apple TV.
The Dualie is a portable hard drive and a docking station for your iPhone or iPod. It connects to your Mac via USB, enabling you to sync or otherwise manage either device while it’s in the dock. But it’s also powered via AC adapter, so you can recharge your phone or audio player even when your computer’s switched off.
Backing up your hard drive is important. But even the most rigorous backup plan isn’t going to help if your house floods--or worse, catches on fire. In a true disaster, even your triple-redundant RAID backup system isn’t likely to be much help. With dark days like that in mind, ioSafe’s line of fireproof, waterproof externals might be big and bulky, but they promise to withstand even the toughest data disasters.
If you are one of the lucky ones this week, then you're holding an iPhone 4 in your hand. Perhaps you've even it had it for a few days. So, it stands to reason that as more consumers get Apple's latest iteration of the iPhone in their hands, some of those screams of joy have turned into shouts of horror about problems that may be encountered with the iPhone 4.
The iPad is different things to different people. For some, it’s mostly a reading machine--books, magazines, blogs, and news sites. Others are using it as a partial laptop replacement, adding in a Bluetooth keyboard and using it for work-related tasks. If your iPad spends most of its time in your lap, a dedicated stand might not seem important, but if you’re putting in a lot of keyboard time, a stand is a worthy investment. Let’s look at three of the best options.
We’ll admit it. We’re still having a hard time typing on the iPad--in particular, serious work in Pages, Bento, or other productivity apps cries out for a hardware keyboard. While we quickly adjusted to thumb-typing on the iPhone, iPad is a horse of a different color. In portrait mode, the keys are a little too spaced out to comfortably type with two fingers--and in landscape, forget it! Meanwhile, our traditional 10-finger typing is hampered by the lack of tactile feedback and having to hover over the virtual keyboard. Luckily, the iPad supports Bluetooth keyboards out of the box, so we rounded up the most interesting options to test as companions to our iPad.
I’ve resisted buying a Bluetooth headset because I’m not down with cyborg fashion. But as the Borg used to say on Star Trek: The Next Generation, resistance is futile--especially now that many states are adopting laws requiring the use of hands-free devices while driving. Sure, you could use a wired headset, but wires are cumbersome--and besides, it’s 2010. In that spirit, we called in three intriguing new Bluetooth headsets and put them through their paces.
The best thing about the iPad’s snappy, speedy, futuristic hardware is how it pretty much disappears once you start using it. The black bezel doesn’t just give you a place to grip your iPad without engaging the 9.7-inch touchscreen--it makes the apps jump right out at you. The screen is large enough that the apps become immersive, filling your field of view and almost making you forget you’re holding the iPad in the first place.
In my ongoing quest to never again leave the house without my iPhone,
I’ve tried to adopt the zealous-organizer habit of using a landing
strip inside my front door. This island of unclutteredness is supposed
to give me a place to stash my can’t-forget-’ems--I’m thinking the
modern trinity of keys, wallet, and phone, or anything essential that
regularly hitches a ride in my pocket. Once I’ve fully trained myself
to deposit those items there without fail, I’ll be more apt to remember
to take them every time I leave. And avoid running around searching for
my keys while the carpool idles outside and considers leaving my
lagging behind… well, behind.
Great-sounding headphones that don’t cost an arm and a leg are kind of
like aliens--you’re pretty sure they’re out there somewhere, but
they’re really hard to find. Yamaha’s EPH-30 earbuds should come
packaged like a flying saucer--they offer a terrific listening
experience at an affordable price.