The era of that ubiquitous rat’s nest of power strips and AC adapters is over. Universal chargers are all the rage these days, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. A universal charger means fewer wires snaking across your desk, and as our devices get sleeker and more numerous, we’re always looking for ways to keep everything at the ready.
From its cartoony graphics to the adorable grunts and hi-yahs of its protagonist, Mini Ninjas might feel like just another kids’ computer game. However, once we got past the tutorial and began battling some of the game’s equally adorable enemies, we found that Mini Ninjas’ storyline has real depth and the cut-scenes are more than just cheese.
With 21.5- and 27-inch LED-backlit screens under a glossy pane of edge-to-edge glass, the new iMacs don’t look different from the widescreen all-aluminum beauties from late 2009. But inside, it’s a whole different story--with Intel’s latest processors powering these new models, the 2010 iMacs should see impressive performance spikes. We set up the 3.06GHz Core i3 model ($1,199) and the 3.2GHz Core i3 model ($1,499) in the Mac|Life lab to test how an i3 really performs--and what those extra three bills for the 3.2GHz iMac really get you.
Microsoft Office has always had a lot of features--too many features, some would say. With menus inside of menus, palettes aplenty, and toolbars crammed with tiny buttons, the biggest problem with Office was finding the features you needed without being bogged down by the ones you never touched. Plus, with the Mac version of Office lagging at least a year behind the Windows suite, feature parity could be an issue, so Mac users often felt like second-class citizens over, for example, the lack of VBA macros.
I live in what’s called a “fringe coverage area” for AT&T. I get one or two bars on my iPhone 4 when I’m home. Calls sometimes drop, and callers often complain about the connection quality. Outside of moving or hoping AT&T builds a cell tower nearby, the best option to improve call quality is AT&T’s 3G MicroCell. Made by Cisco, the 3G MicroCell is a “femtocell”--a cellular base station that covers up to 5,000 square feet, according to AT&T. The device connects to your home broadband network, and it can tremendously improve cell phone reception in your house.
When Apple released a battery charger, it was something of a head-scratcher. After all, we’re used to Apple releasing interesting and innovative products that break new technological ground. But honestly, how much room for innovation is there in the field of rechargeable batteries? While the Battery Charger is hardly the game-changer that the iPad is, if you’ve got a desk full of the latest Apple gear, it actually makes quite a bit of sense to pick up a Battery Charger to support it.
Every year, Apple releases new iPods, forcing us all to consider whether its time to upgrade our music player. The 2010 crop of iPods--revamped shuffles and nanos, and a refreshed iPod touch--represent some of the biggest changes to the iPod lineup in recent times. Apple curiously left the classic out of this round of updates, and as the sole remaining hard drive-based iPod, we suspect that the venerable classic is on its way to being a relic remembered by music geeks alongside other forgotten audio tech like wax cylinders and, uh, those CD things.