A dozen new kinds of point-and-shoot cameras flood electronics stores
each year, and that’s often just from a single company. To distinguish
itself, Nikon took an interesting approach with its Coolpix S1000pj.
Instead of focusing on pictures, this camera shines--literally. It can
project photos and movies on a wall so everyone can see them. We like
the concept and had fun presenting instant vacation slideshows while
still traveling. But the average quality of both its photos and its
projection make this camera purely a technoholic’s toy. Discerning
photographers and home buyers on a budget should think twice.
The iPad isn't just a big toy, dig? Yes, it's an amazing e-reader and rocks for watching videos, but it's very possible to get some work done with the iPad too. Apple's iWork productivity suite has been redesigned for the iPad, with Keynote, Pages, and Numbers available in the App Store for $9.99 each. These apps let you create documents that can be synced to your Macs and shared via iWork.com, although if you're familiar with the Mac versions of these apps, there are constraints you're bound to hit quickly.
Last year, photographers interested in Apple’s software had to choose
between Aperture, a pro-level image organizer and editor, and its
farm-club counterpart, iPhoto ’09. It was a tough decision because
power users needed the editing tools in Aperture but were tempted by
Faces, Places, and other iPhoto-only tricks. Aperture 3 rebalances the
roster, adding those iPhoto functions while also juicing up with
high-end tools like Brushes. It’s an impressive update, and Aperture’s
streamlined, iPhoto-esque interface welcomes intermediates while
meeting the demands of power users.
iPods are fantastic, but the most important part of any mobile music
experience is the earbuds or headphones that you connect to your
device. Plenty of people are happy to use the stock Apple iPod earbuds,
but many are less than thrilled by their sound quality--or the fact
that those hard plastic ’buds aren’t the most comfortable things to
stick in your ears. Yurbuds are soft rubber eartips meant to work with
your existing phones, offering better fit and improved performance.
The first time I put on the Synapse (which Tom Bihn sent to us in an electric purple called “Plum”), Robbie called from across the office, “So you finally joined Prince’s New Power Generation?” Sigh. All kidding aside, finding a great bag for your MacBook is challenging. Messenger bags are stylish, but lugging a full one around all day can get tiring. Tom Bihn’s Synapse is a compact backpack that’s easy to carry, fits a MacBook, and offers a well-thought-out design that’s a step above your average backpack. And it’s available in many other shades--assuming that you don’t actually want to be mistaken for The Purple One, that is.
Lately, our Sundays have been spent enjoying the latest trend in urban
cycling: group bicycle parties. So it seemed a logical extension to add
music to the festivities with Cy•fi’s Wireless Sports Speaker.
A MacBook is one beautiful slice of technology, and it deserves only
the most stylish accessories. With its graceful curves, the BookArc
stand from TwelveSouth sleekly holds and displays your MacBook, MacBook
Pro, or MacBook Air while also reducing its footprint on your desk to
only 10x4 inches.
In an ideal world, our Macs would be impeccably organized, not stuffed
with old versions of Word docs and umpteen copies of the Beastie Boys’
“Hey Ladies.” Hyperbolic’s Tidy Up offers powerful tools for
identifying (and dispatching) duplicate files, helping us get closer to
that ideal Mac by sorting and disposing of unneeded bytes.
The recent spike in sales of vinyl and turntables brings a warm glow to
our hearts. We love our technology, but vinyl is just a beautiful
format. Having said that, vinyl records aren’t perfect. They’re bulky,
fragile, and easily scratched, and those milk crates filled with your
block-rocking jams can get heavy. Fortunately, DJ software is a
rock-solid alternative for amateurs and pros, and one of our favorites,
djay (5 out of 5 stars, Jan/10), just got a sweet dedicated hardware controller, the Vestax Spin.