Instead of trying to do everything — like Google’s famously ambitious and unsuccessful Google TV — this thumb-sized gizmo does one thing, does it as simply as possible and does it for the impulse-purchase price of $35. Plug it into one of your TV’s HDMI ports, and you can fling videos and other content from your laptop, tablet or phone to the big screen, no wires involved. Lots of companies have built devices to do this; Chromecast is the first one that gets it right.
2. Apple’s new iPads
Do you want a powerful iPad or a portable one? How about both? At just one pound and .29-inch thick, the 9.7-inch iPad Air is much svelter than previous full-sized models. And except for the smaller screen, the 7.9-inch iPad Mini with Retina has almost exactly the same potent components as its big brother, as well as the same ten-hour battery life. Both benefit hugely from the App Store’s 475,000 iPad-optimized apps. It’s best tablet you can buy, in two convenient sizes.
3. Oculus Rift Development Kit
At the moment, Oculus Rift is only available in a $300 kit aimed at game developers. But once you strap on this virtual-reality headset onto your noggin and experience it in action, you’ll get itchy for the consumer release, which is scheduled for 2014. Used with a PC or Android device, Rift will let games create 3D worlds which surround you — you can even look over your shoulder for enemies lurking behind. If the games live up to the hardware’s potential, it could be an epoch-shifting landmark.
4. Pebble Smartwatch
Whether smartwatches ever turn into a booming business to rival smartphones or tablets remains anyone’s guess. But Pebble is off to a promising start. The $150 wearable gizmo acts as a satellite for your iPhone or Android handset, receiving snippets such as text-message notifications via Bluetooth and displaying them on its power-efficient E Ink display. Third-party developers can write programs to let it do everything from playing games to tracking your fitness. Did we mention that it tells time?
5. Apple iPhone 5s
iPhones with an “s” at the end of their model numbers are supposedly snoozers, because they focus on refinements to the previous year’s model. But the iPhone 5s introduces two of the best smartphone features which Apple or anyone else has ever come up with. The Touch ID sensor lets unlock your phone with a quick press of your finger or thumb. And the camera sports a unique dual-LED flash which provides subtle, custom lighting for an array of picture-taking scenarios.
6. Microsoft Xbox One
Officially, Microsoft’s Xbox One is a game console, but its aspirations go far beyond play. With built-in video calls via Skype, integration with cable and satellite TV boxes and an interface derived from Windows 8, it’s really a living-room PC. The most intriguing technology is built into the new Kinect sensor, which understands spoken commands, recognizes faces and can even measure your heart rate. Some aspects of the One are still rough around the edges, but it’s going to be fascinating to see where it goes.
7. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
Amazon’s third-generation Kindle Fire tablets — a $239 seven-inch model and a $379 8.9-incher — are the first ones which felt truly polished and pleasing from the day they debuted. As always, they make it as simple as possible to consume mass quantities of Amazon content — video, music, books, games and more. And they’ve got one feature that’s a ground-breaking dazzler: Mayday, which lets you get tech support from a real live Amazon rep who appears on screen and can take control of your tablet.
8. Nest Protect
Silicon Valley startup Nest Labs specializes in making the most mundane household devices a lot less mundane. In 2012, it introduced a Web-savvy touch-screen thermostat. And its new product is Nest Protect, a $130 smoke and carbon-monoxide detector. Rather than emitting an eardrum-shattering squeal, Protect alerts you to hazards in a calm female voice which says helpful things like “There’s carbon monoxide in the den.” If it mistakes your smokey cooking for a fire, you can set it wise with a wave of your arm.
9. Leap Motion Controller
This pint-sized USB accessory for Windows PCs and Macs is an $80 preview of where man-machine interfaces may be headed. Plug it in, plop it on a flat surface, and you can perform tasks — from playing games to reading New York Times stories — by waving your hands in the air. It can even detect the angle your palms and how many fingers you’re sticking out. The technology is also being built into laptops, starting with HP’s Envy17 Leap Motion SE.
10. Nokia Lumia 1020
Every modern wireless phone is a cameraphone, but this Lumia is something new: a phonecamera. Its oversized sensor packs 41 megapixels of resolution; you can capture the most detailed phone snapshots you’ve ever seen, and zoom in without reducing your pictures to a blocky mess. (You have to download the high-res versions to a computer via USB cable, but it’s worth the effort.) Even iPhone and Android fans who thought they couldn’t care less about Windows Phones might find themselves smitten with this one.
Amazon Offers AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III (16GB) For Just $79.99
Check out this hot deal from Amazon Wireless, they’re offering you the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III (16GB) for just $79.99 with a new 2-year contract agreement with AT&T. Just to remind you, the Samsung Galaxy S III packs a 4.8-inch 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 2GB RAM, a 16GB of internal storage, a 1.9MP front-facing camera, an 8MP rear-facing camera, 4G LTE connectivity and runs on Android 4.0 ICS OS. Interested? [product page]
The all new Sony Xperia Advance (aka Xperia Go) is now available to buy in the US via Amazon. This waterproof and dustproof handset retails for $246.76 unlocked. Just like the Xperia Go, the Xperia Advance also packs a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 capacitive touchscreen display, a 1GHz dual core processor, a 512MB RAM, an 8GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a 5MP rear-facing camera, HSPA, GPS, DLNA, WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a 1305mAh battery and runs on Android 2.3 OS. [product page]
God of War: Ascension Collector's Edition Now Available For Pre-order
The God of War: Ascension Collector's Edition is now available for pre-order via Amazon. Priced at $79.99, the Collector's Edition features an exclusive 8-inch Kratos statue, a premium steelbook case, an official game soundtrack (digital version), PS3 dynamic theme, PSN avatar pack, multiplayer double XP unlock and pass for future DLC content. [product page]
Amazon has recently announced the new Kindle Fire HD, a successor to its popular Kindle Fire tablet. The new tablet is available in a 7-inch or an 8.9-inch model. Measuring at only 8.8 millimeters thin and weighing 20 ounces, the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD features a TI OMAP 4470 processor, a pair of speakers, a front-facing HD camera, an HDMI out and two separate Wi-Fi antennas (MIMO technology) that run on both the less-used 5GHz band and on the standard 2.4GHz band to maximize data efficiency. Amazon claims that the Kindle Fire HD’s WiFi is 41% faster than the new iPad (iPad 3). The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD with a 16GB of storage space will be released on November 20th, 2012 for $299. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE retails for $499. The smaller version of the Kindle Fire HD with a 7-inch screen will start at $199 and will ship on September 14th, 2012.
The Gateway ID47H07ulaptop is equipped with a 14-inch HD Ultrabright LED-backlit display with a 1366×768 pixel resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The ultra-portable laptop features a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430M processor with the Turbo Boost technology up to 3.0GHz. Other specs include an Intel HM65 Express chipset, a 4GB of DDR3 RAM, an Intel HD graphics 3000 with a 128MB of dedicated system memory, a 500GB 5400RPM SATA hard disk drive, an 8x DVD-SuperMulti Double-Layer drive and a 1.3-megapixel HD webcam. Its 6-cell Li-ion battery offers up to 8-hour of operation time. The Gateway ID47H07u 14-inch laptop is currently available for $649.99 on Amazon. [Amazon]
Fujifilm FinePix F505 16MP Digital Camera On Sale For Only $199
Here’s your chance to own one of this Fujifilm FinePix F505 for only $199 (normal price $399.95) over at Amazon. So here are the specs: a 16-megapixel BSI-CMOS image sensor, a 24mm wide-angle lens, a 15x optical zoom lens, a 3.0-inch 460K LCD display, an SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot (4GB Class 10 SD card included), RAW image capture, an HDMI port and 1080p Full HD video recording capabilities (30fps). [source]
Amazon has released the Acer Aspire S3-951-6646 13.3-inch ultrabook for $899 each. Measuring 0.5-inch thin and weighing less than 3lbs, the new ultrabook features an HD Widescreen CineCrystal LED-backlit display with a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The Acer Aspire S3-951-6646 is powered by a 1.6GHz 2nd generation Intel Core i5-2467M processor, a 128MB Intel HD Graphics 3000, a large 320GB SATA hard disk drive, a 20GB SSD, a card reader and a 1.3MP HD webcam. This mini notebook also provides several connectivity options including 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, 2x USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port with HDCP support. Its 3-cell Lithium polymer battery provides up to 6-hour of operation time. [Product Page]
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH5 16.1MP Digital Camera On Sale For $103.72
Finding yourself a new digital camera? Why don’t you take a look at this Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH5 which is currently on sale over at Amazon for $103.72 (normal price $169). This compact camera sports a 16.1-megapixel image sensor, a 28mm wide-angle Leica lens, a 4x optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch 230k-dot LCD display, Panasonic’s Venus Engine VI, a 70MB of internal memory, an SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot and 720p HD video recording capabilities. [source]
ASUS Eee PC X101H 10.1-Inch Netbook Available For Pre-Order In Germany
ASUS’ latest 10.1-inch netbook "Eee PC X101H" is now available for pre-order in Germany via Amazon.de. This mini laptop is sold for 229 Euro (about $306). Specs-wise, the X101H offers a 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 display, a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N570 dual-core processor, an Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics, a 1GB RAM, a 320GB hard drive, a 0.3MP webcam, WiFi and runs on Windows 7 Starter OS. [Source]
The all new Nikon Coolpix S6100 point-and-shoot camera is now available for pre-order via Amazon for a retail price of $199. To remind you, this compact camera offers a 16-megapixel CCD image sensor, a 7x wide-angle optical zoom lens, a 3.0-inch touchscreen display, an HDMI output and 720p HD movie recording capabilities. Pre-order yours now! [Product Page]
The Avaak Vue CM2040 CM motion detection wireless camera is now available via Amazon. This security camera can be remotely viewed from any browser and most popular smartphones. When motion is detected, the camera will automatically record a 10- or 40-second video clip of the activity. You will also receive a motion activated alert via email to any address you specify. These motion activated email alerts contain a snapshot and link to a short video clip of the recorded activity. If you are interested, you can purchase the Avaak Vue CM2040 CM motion detection wireless camera for $129.99. Each purchase comes equipped with a unique patented camera mount for simple peel and stick mounting virtually anywhere. [product page]
Amazon UK is ready to release the new HTC Desire S. The handset is powered by the Google Android 2.4 OS with HTC Sense. The HTC Desire S also has a rear 5-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling purposes. The phone will be launched on April 18th, 2011 for $680 without contract. [source]
Some friends from Photography Bay have reviewed the new Canon PowerShot G12. It is a 10MP point-and-shoot camera, which is designed for the enthusiast photographer. The Canon PowerShot G12 features a 5x optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent) with an Optical Image Stabilization, an ISO 80-3200, an ISO 12800 at 2.5-megapixels, a 2.8-inch articulating LCD display, a Hotshoe for external flash and 720p HD video capture capabilities. Here is the conclusion:
While the Canon G12 is still a point and shoot camera with a small sensor that doesn’t match the quality of some of the mirrorless cameras available today, it still beats those cameras out on portability. And, it doesn’t lag too far behind on image quality. Stick to a reasonable ISO setting, and you’ll get great photos from this camera. The ability to capture RAW image files and 720p HD video makes the G12′s package especially sweet. The G12 comes with my highest recommendation – I bought one for myself.
The Canon PowerShot G12 is now available for $439.92 at Amazon.
Acer’s upcoming AMD Fusion-powered netbook ‘Aspire One 522′ is now available for pre-order via Amazon for $329.99. In case you didn’t know, this mini laptop offers a 10.1-inch 1280 x 720 HD display, a 1GHz AMD C-50 dual core processor, an integrated Radeon HD 6250 graphics card, a 1GB DDR3 RAM, a 250GB hard drive, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, WiFi, an HDMI port, a 6-cell battery and is pre-loaded with Windows 7 Starter OS. [product source]
Amazon has started selling the Samsung Epic 4G for only $99. The Epic 4G features a large 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display that provides brighter, thinner, and higher-resolution than traditional screens. The handset also supports Samsung’s innovative display technology that makes watching movies, viewing videos and playing games come to life like never before, even in bright light and outdoor environments. Additional specs include a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, Swype input system, Samsung Social Hub, a 5.0-megapixel camera/camcorder with auto-focus and HD video recording (720p) and a forward-facing VGA camera for making video calls. -Amazon-
The all new Sprint HTC Evo Shift 4G is now available for purchase via Amazon for only $119.99 on contract. As we all know, Sprint sells the HTC Evo Shift 4G for $149.99 on contract, meaning you could save up to $30 if you buy it via Amazon. Just to remind you, this Android smartphone offers a 3.6-inch WVGA multi-touch display, an 800MHz processor, a 5.0-megapixel autofocus camera, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 2GB ROM, a 512MB RAM, a microSD card slot (up to 32GB), a G-Sensor, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, 720p HD video recording support and runs on Android 2.2 Froyo OS. HTC EVO Shift 4G Android Phone (Sprint) Interested?
Amazon has started selling NBA Jam for the Nintendo Wii for only $27. This online store also offers the Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for 10.50, MAG for $9.5, God of War Collection for $10, Red Dead Redemption for $22 and Fallout: New Vegas for $35. If you are interested, you can visit Amazon right now.