Apple’s been pouring its design magic into handhelds lately, but now the lowly Mac mini joins the ranks of unibody hotness, complete with a glossy, almost liquid-looking black Apple logo on top. The smooth aluminum brick has zero screws or visible seams, just a round black hatch on the bottom that pops off with a twist, letting you upgrade the included 2GB of DDR3 memory to a maximum of 8GB. Gone and not missed is the sweaty pleasure of prying open a previous-generation mini with a putty knife.
We’ve seen some fairly ridiculous iPhone and iPod accessories in our day, so it’s extra refreshing when we find one as useful, well designed, and...well, sane as the P-Flip. It ably fills three roles: a dock for charging and syncing to your Mac, a travel stand that works in landscape or portrait, and a powerful external battery.
Every time my day deviates from the normal home-to-work-and-back routine, I have to plan a strategy for iPhone power. Car chargers are an option, as is keeping a spare charging cable in your go-bag. But what are you supposed to do if your day’s travels aren’t going to include time in a car or in front of a computer?
On paper, the UBoard seems cool. It’s a desktop shelf with a built-in USB hub and even a cupholder. Once we got it set up, however, its many shortcomings quickly became apparent, and it ended up taking up more desk space than it saved.
A new entry in Intuit’s venerable line of financial software, Quicken Essentials is all about keeping track of your cash. Load it with your bank accounts, credit cards, assets, and loans, and it’ll show you where the money is going.
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.
Those familiar with Vin Diesel might expect a sci-fi counterpart of the Bic’d barbarian to blast the doors off the mothership, avenge his fallen comrades, and hit the NOS--all in time to get the kids to soccer practice.
However, in Assault on Dark Athena (which starts where the last Riddick game, Escape from Butcher Bay, left off), Diesel sticks to the shadows. Quite literally.
Recently, Sony announced that they were killing the 3.5-inch floppy disk. Which is fine, as far as we’re concerned. Macs haven’t used floppy disks in well over a decade, and with the internet, who needs ’em? But sometimes you just need to move files from point A to point B with a minimum of fuss, which is where the USB flash drive comes in. Plug it into your Mac, copy some files, plug it into another Mac--boom! File transfer done. While we usually use flash drives to move images, Word docs, and maybe a few ripped MP3s between machines, Kingston’s new Data Traveler 310 is made to carry a lot more--256 gigabytes, to be exact.
PocketMoney is probably one of the few apps to boast origins on the Apple Newton, but this digital dollar tracker is a useful pick for those looking to stay on top of their budgets and expenses on the go.
Zinio's multiplatform reader -- which lets you download digital magazines and view them on numerous devices, including iPhone and Mac -- expands to iPad in a stellar app, delivering hundreds of top publications with single issue and subscription purchases. At launch, the Zinio app displayed a few frustrating stumbles, including slow-loading pages and blurry text when zooming. Luckily, numerous post-release updates have largely addressed these quibbles, making for a worthwhile reading experience on the iPad.