Posts Tagged ‘Electronics’

Top 3 Educational Wii Games for Kids

Take it from a former 1st grade teacher: keeping kids engaged is tough!

With Smartphones, laptops, iPads, TV, and countless other distractions, getting kids’ attention when it comes to learning can be a daunting task. But….it’s possible!

With the help of a little technology, kids are learning new concepts and skills at a ridiculous rate. Check out the top 3 educational Wii games for kids to learn more.

Continue Reading »

Top 3 MacBook Pro Accessories for Power Users

The MacBook Pro is Apple’s hottest selling, fully-featured laptop computer. While the light and slim MacBook Air seems to get all the attention lately, the MacBook Pro is the company’s flagship laptop.

In fact, Apple is quietly shifting the Pro series towards professionals and developers, slowly phasing out their Mac Pro desktop, which hasn’t seen a refresh in quite some time.

Since the MacBook Pro has roughly the same processing power as Apple’s iMac desktops, it is a viable desktop replacement. However, there are still a large number of folks who prefer the desktop experience, rather than coding in your pajamas with the MacBook situated on your lap. Fortunately, there are a ton of accessories that breathe new life into your MacBook Pro.

Check out the top 3 innovative Mac accessories, brought to you by comparison shopping website, Nextag.com.

Continue Reading »

The New iPad: Has Apple Reached the Glass Ceiling of Innovation?

March 16th was a busy day for UPS and FedEx workers nationwide as they delivered millions of iPads to eager households.. But does the excitement of the iPad 3 last once you open the box and power up this new hunk of metal?

In my opinion, it doesn’t. And this is coming from a self-proclaimed geek of all geeks.

It seems that Apple may have reached a glass ceiling of innovation when it comes to the iPad 2. The form factor on the last three device refreshes hasn’t changed since Tim Cook took the reins.

New iPad Is Still The Same Old iPad

The new iPad doesn’t seem to do anything new. Does the iPad 3 do things better and faster than the iPad 1? Most certainly. But there is nothing revolutionary—or evolutionary—about the new device.

My iPad 1 can still do 99% of the same tasks as the new iPad. While text appears sharper, images are crisper, and apps open faster, is it really worth buying a new device? After all, money doesn’t grow on trees these days.

My First Hand Experience with the iPad 3

Chances are, you’ve already read an iPad 3 review by now. It’s hands down the best tablet on the market, but is it enough to justify the expense if you already own the iPad 1? I’m not even mentioning the iPad 2, because quite frankly, who can afford to buy a new tablet every time there is a new version?

Continue Reading »

5 Gadgets to Help You Get in Shape

Uh oh, it’s almost April! And you know what that means… Spring is here. It’s time to whip yourself into shape before the beaches open up and the margaritas flow.

Check out these five gadgets that’ll help you get in shape, brought to you by Nextag!

Fitbit Ultra Activity and Sleep Monitor

Fitbit took the ordinary pedometer to the next level. Perhaps you could even say they “reinvented” the old-fashion  step-counter. About the size of a nail clipper, the FitBit Ultra attaches to your waistline and accurately tracks how many steps taken and how many stairs climbed; it also measures the total distance, and calories burned. Plus, Fitbit measures your activity on a “tree” scale, so you can see when it’s time to get moving again.

The Fitbit sensor also tracks and monitors your sleeping patterns. Simply insert the Fitbit into the included wristband and it will calculate your sleep effectiveness. And since the Fitbit is discrete, you can wear it wherever you go, including more formal events. As someone who owns a Fitbit, I can attest to its accuracy and barely-there design. Once attached to your clothing, you’ll forget you are even wearing it.

The Fitbit includes a rechargeable battery that lasts for 7 days and can be charged via a USB dongle plugged into your PC. When your computer is on and the Fitbit is within range, the device wirelessly synchronizes your activity data with Fitbit’s servers. Their web and smartphone apps allow you to see your weekly or daily progress, as well as log your caloric consumption for the day, if you choose to use the feature. Continue Reading »

3 Android Tablets that Give the New iPad a Run for Its Money

There’s no denying Apple’s newest iPad is a killer tablet. But no matter how much RAM or how many processor cores the iPad has, it’s still an Apple. Living in the heart of innovation—Silicon Valley—I encounter two groups of distinct individuals: hardcore Android users and Apple fans.

Android vs. Apple

Based on my personal experiences, hardcore Android users wouldn’t be caught dead with an iPhone or an iPad. You might find them using a MacBook Pro, but that’s because it’s one of the only decent, nonplasticky rigs out there. Android folks are more concerned with specs than design.

Android Fans 

This is exemplified in the latest Android phones—they have RAM up the yin yang yet still crash more than iPhones with half as much memory. Moreover, Android users embrace freedom and despise locked down environments.

Apple Fans

Apple fanatics, often called fanboys, are extremely loyal to the Apple brand. Every pore in their body oozes iPhones, iPads, and Macs. They value the stylistic elements of their iDevices and prefer design over functionality.

For example, the iPhone 4 had antenna issues because of the design, yet Apple sold gazillions of them. Seventeen Apple fans are also willing to pay for the premium design. For example, a 17-inch MacBook Pro costs $2,500, whereas a 17-inch Windows laptop with the same spec sells for $1,000.

Continue Reading »

Apple Unveils New iPad and Apple TV

On Tuesday, March 7, Cupertino-based Apple Inc. announced their newest iteration of the widely successful iPad tablet and Apple TV set top box.

Apple Flourishes in Post PC Era

An influx of post-PC era devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, has contributed to a large portion of Apple’s success. According to CEO Tim Cook, Apple sold 172 million post-PC devices last year, which accounted for 76 percent of Apple’s revenue. Cook describes their iOS platform as one of the “world’s most advanced mobile operating systems.”

Mobile apps, such as Nextag’s Shopping App for the iPad, set the tablet apart from the lackluster Android devices. Last week, iOS received their 25th billion app download, which occurred in China, nonetheless. With over 200,000 iPad apps and 585,000 apps overall, the App Store is the centrifuge of innovation.

Apple Launches New 1080p Apple TV

The previous generation Apple TV could only play 720p video, which isn’t “full 1080p HD.” Fortunately, today Apple announced an updated version of their set top box. Using the same hockey puck design, the Apple TV supports 1080p Full HD and has an updated, simpler interface. The receiver supports iTunes Match and Photo Stream, which integrates your entire iOS ecosystem with your home theater. Available March 16, the Apple TV costs the same price as the previous model, $99.

Apple Unveils “The New iPad”

Apple sold over 15.4 million iPads last quarter alone. The number is even more representative when compared to the 15.1 million PCs HP sold worldwide during the same timeframe. With over 100 competitive tablets last year, Apple’s iPad 2 won the hearts of consumers by a wide margin. Continue Reading »

5 Insanely Good TVs for March Madness

March Madness, March Madness 2012, college basketball, NCAA Tournament 2012, TVs

When the calendar flips to March, it means only one thing: madness is upon us.

Whether or not you’re a college basketball fan the other 11 months of the year is irrelevant. Even folks who know very little about the game — those who think “on the bubble” must be a reference to the Jake Gyllenhaal classic, Bubble Boy — are likely fillin’ out a bracket sheet somewhere or another.

And for those die-hard fans who follow their team all season long, consider Selection Sunday the single most important day of the year, and despite knowing their team, Long Beach State, has no real shot of cutting down the nets on April 2nd, they still pick ‘em to win it all, the month of March is truly maddening.

Delightfully maddening.

So for those destined to get their craziness on in the comfort of their own homes, here are 5 TVs to make your March Madness certifiably insane: Continue Reading »

HTC Launches New ‘One Series’ Product Line at MWC 2012

Is HTC looking to leverage Samsung’s success with their premium “Galaxy” brand? After consumers and industry analysts criticized HTC for its rapid release of Android devices, the China-based manufacturer introduced a unified product line of premium Smartphones at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The One Series is unlike previous HTC Android handsets.It marks a strategic shift in the company’s core product focus. The series balances a premium design with robust functionality, such as Beats Audio™ and high-resolution optics.  According to CEO Peter Chou during the Sunday press event, the One Series improves upon a user’s “emotional experiences.”

In addition to running the latest hardware, the HTC One Series will feature the latest version of Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. The company plans to upgrade their HTC Sense™ UI program for the One Series, which complements the Android interface.

HTC notes market differentiation is essential, given the significant saturation of Android devices. As part of the One Series, HTC unveiled ImageSense™, a new set of image editing tools that will complement HTC’s high resolution cameras.

HTC One Series Aims to Replace Your Digital Camera

The camera is one of the HTC One Series biggest selling points, as it aims to ‘raise the ante” on smartphone optics. The ImageSense™ software is only the beginning, as the One Series includes a custom HTC ImageChip for improved shooting. By using their proprietary chip, it aims to capture images faster and under more adverse conditions compared to leading smartphones. Continue Reading »

Bring Your Home Theater System into the 21st Century

Do you still have a DVD player – or worse, a VCR – in your media cabinet? What good is having a fancy flat-panel HDTV if it’s connected to archaic, cable ridden devices from the 90s?

If you’re anything like me, your TV is still connected to an old-school multichannel receiver that doesn’t have HDMI inputs. It’s time, my geeky friends, to upgrade your entire living room.

Are you afraid of your TV retaliating because it’s no longer the new kid on the block? Don’t worry, your TV will thank you for this upgrade

Wires Be Gone!

A huge part of this upgrade will be getting rid of wires. Everyone hates wires. They’re cumbersome, ugly, and most importantly, they crimp your modern style. If you still have component or composite cables collecting dust behind your TV, it’s time to upgrade.

The beauty of the “modern” home theater is its minimalistic design. Almost every new device after 2009 has an HDMI port.

HDMI Cables to the Rescue

For a neat freak like me, HDMI cables are one of the best inventions…ever. Connect one cable to your television, and it delivers both the video and audio streams. Say goodbye to matching colors or jamming cables in, since HDMI cords snap into place like a USB device.

But wait… there’s something better than HDMI cables. No cables! That’s right, wireless! Given most modern devices use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, there are a plethora of cordless home theater products out there. But they are still relatively pricey and aren’t mainstream…yet.

Minimalism Reigns Supreme

Having tons of set-top boxes in your cabinet creates clutter that collects dust. Since televisions connect to Netflix and cable boxes have built-in TiVos, there’s no need for multiple devices occupying your cabinetry. Continue Reading »

Top 10 Cheap Android Tablets

Who says you have to spend half of your paycheck on a fancy new tablet??

It’s easy to be lured in by the iPad and Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, but there are a plethora of decent Android tablets that cost 50 percent less than an iPad.  Not everyone needs a shiny 9.7-inch screen, dual-core processor, or sturdy aluminum case.

Affordable Android tablets are a smart choice for budget conscious shoppers. Affordable tablets can perform most of the same tasks high end tablets can, but without the extra frill. Now, is that “extra frill” really worth spending another $200 to $300? Well, that part is up to you.

Manage Your Expectations

When considering an affordable tablet, it’s best to set your expectations relatively low, especially if you’re comparing it to an iPad. Here’s what you need to know about affordable tablets:

Affordable tablets thrive on plastic… and lots of it. You won’t find any Kevlar, metal, or other fancy material. Continue Reading »