After a two-year hiatus, Polaroid is back with an instant camera that has a whole new look and feel. The Polaroid 300 instant camera is a cross between the company’s now-antiquated One600 model and the i-Zone pocket camera from the early 2000s, and taking photos with it is just as much fun as it was with its predecessors.
GoodGuide, a website that reviews companies based on their impact on health, the environment and society, has had an iPhone application for a while that allowed you to search through the more than 65,000 products they have in their database. Recently, however, they updated the application to include a barcode scanner, making it even easier to search for the "good" in any product.
Almost six years after its release on Windows, the legendary Half-Life 2 has arrived on the Mac thanks to Valve’s Steam digital distribution channel. For newcomers to the series, Half-Life 2 is everything the Mac hasn’t had since the halcyon days of Marathon--it’s a terrific sci-fi/horror first-person shooter with a brain.
When I was a kid, we played videogames with plastic Atari controllers—mine had teeth marks on the joystick for some reason. But time marches on, and now we play with all kinds of futuristic implements: a plastic Fender Stratocaster, motion-sensing nunchucks...and a sophisticated dual-camera, Wi-Fi equipped, iPhone-controlled quadricopter.
Yes, really. Not only is the AR.Drone a mind-blowingly cool toy and efficient way of making nerdy new friends at the park, its support for augmented reality gaming could really help it take off (ooh! pun!) if developers jump on the open platform. At press time, no games were ready, except the built-in "Drone Wars" which requires two copters, one more than we had. But the potential for awesomeness is clear.
The iPad is great for video, but after about 15 minutes of holding it up, we start looking for ways to use it hands-free. Griffin’s A-Frame gives your arm a rest and sports a minimal style that doesn’t detract from the iPad itself. If it weren’t for the logo plastered on the front, it could almost pass as a piece of modern sculpture. But don’t be fooled--there’s quite a bit of substance here to go with that style.
Cases--we needed them to shield our iPhone 4s and our iPads from the inevitable crash and burn they could suffer after months of hardcore usage. Not only that, but with all the movies you're making with your iPhone 4, there's bound to be a time you'll drop it onto the floor, just to see that gorgeous retina display shatter into a million little pieces. Or, at least, force you to high tail it to the Apple Store for a replacement unit.
For everyday snapshots of your kids, your dog, and your road trip to see the world’s largest ball of twine, your Mac comes with iPhoto, a simple way to organize and edit your photos. But pro shutterbugs and photography enthusiasts need far more serious tools to manage ever-growing libraries of tens of thousands of images. Adobe’s latest iteration of Lightroom aims to answer that call with pro-level organization and photo management, as well as robust editing tools for perfecting your shots.
From the moment you take it out of the box, Doxie will charm you--and not just because it’s adorned with pink heart stickers. Doxie is a portable, easy-to-use scanner that may very well replace that huge hunk of a scanner you have collecting dust in the corner of your home office—as long as your scanning needs fall into the “nothing too complicated” category.
The CoolPix L110 is a low-cost superzoom from Nikon’s “L” line of consumer shooters, and while its 15x zoom is attractive, the camera’s other features are somewhat limited. For users with modest needs, the 12-megapixel L110 offers straightforward photography at a good price, but advanced shooters will quickly outgrow the L110’s minimal feature set.
We still miss our now-defunct local video store, but yes, Netflix movies beamed right to our TV is a pretty fair trade. And if Netflix streaming hasn’t found its way to your TV yet via a game console, Blu-ray player, or TiVo, the WD TV Live Plus (the fourth iteration in Western Digital’s line of home media players) makes a great purchase. After all, who doesn’t want to pipe their digital videos, music, and photos to their existing TV and stereo these days? If that’s a superpower your living room lacks, the Live Plus can be your radioactive spider with minimal hassle and none of that messy biting.