Jun 102013

The recently announced Xbox One is now available for pre-order for $499. The “Day One” edition will be available for a limited amount of time for pre-orders only and includes a limited edition controller and some other bonuses. There is only one Xbox One SKU and it comes with the new Kinect sensor.

You can pre-order now at Amazon. If you want one on launch day, do so quickly. There is bound to be shortages at launch.


Sep 202012

To coincide with the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple has just released iOS 6. It is compatible with the iPhone 3GS/4/4S/5, iPod Touch 4g/5g, and iPad 2 and the new 3rd gen iPad. If your device is running iOS 5 you can update right on your device without having to plug it into a computer. The whole process takes around 15-20 minutes depending on your download speed (the update is almost 800MB). One of the bigger features is Siri support for the 3rd gen iPad. One of the more disappointing changes is the removal of Google Maps app for the new Apple maps app. After briefly playing around with it, I can tell you that the maps are horribly outdated. It tried to give me directions to a store location that has been closed for more than 5 years. Hopefully they work out the kinks and get it updated to a map from sometime this decade. The whole feature list is after the break.

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Sep 132012

During the Wii U preview event held today, Nintendo finally announced release dates and pricing for the Wii U console. It will launch November 18th in North America and November 30th in Europe. It comes in two different bundles, the Deluxe for $349.99 US MSRP and the Basic for $299.99 US MSRP. The Deluxe comes in black while the basic comes in white. The Deluxe comes with extra memory (32GB vs. 8GB), the game “Nintendo Land,” a game pad charging cradle plus stands for the game pad and console.

I am not terribly sold on the Wii U yet since it doesn’t have that much more horsepower than the 7-year-old Xbox 360 and 6-year-old Playstation 3. And when Microsoft and Sony likely launch their new consoles next year, the Wii U will be left in the dust in terms of graphic fidelity. At least you won’t ever lose that controller though. You can pre-order a bunch of Wii U stuff including games on Amazon already. Check after the break for a video featuring some Wii U launch titles.

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Sep 122012

Along with the new iPhone 5, Apple has announced the new iPod Touch 5g and the iPod Nano 7g. The new iPod touch gets bumped up to a larger 4 inch screen form factor like the iPhone 5’s, a new 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, an upgraded A5 chip and newly designed Apple earbuds which are supposed to improve comfort and sound quality. Also, it now comes in 5 colors as shown above. Price is $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB and it will be available in October. You can read more here.

Next up is the new iPod Nano. It has grown in size considerably compared to the previous Nano (which I thought was way too small anyway) and boasts a 2.5-inch screen. Apps have not graduated to the Nano yet, it is still limited to music and video mostly, plus whatever apps Apple includes on it. Price is $149 for 16GB and it will be available in October. You can get more info here.

Both the new iPod Touch and iPod Nano use the new Lightning dock connector, making the old Apple dock connector that’s been in use since 2003 obsolete. If you have old devices with docks that you still want to use there will be adapters available.

Sep 122012

Today Apple introduced the new iPhone 5. The main differences over the iPhone 4s are:

  • 18% slimmer and 20% lighter
  • 4-inch retina display screen with full SRGB color gamut, 1136×640 resolution
  • New A6 chip; twice as fast as the A5 plus less power consumption for improved battery life
  • Support for 4G LTE networks plus dual band 2.4GHz/5GHz a/b/g/n wifi up to 150Mbps
  • 720p front-facing camera for face time, plus face-time over cellular
  • New, smaller dock connector called “Lightning”
  • All aluminium and glass construction

Price remains the same as the 4S launched at and it starts shipping on September 21st in most countries, with others following in October. You can find out more on the Apple site here.

Sep 062012

Today Amazon announced 4 new Kindle devices. First up is the new Kindle Fire HD which comes in two sizes, 8.9 inch and 7 inch (like the original Fire). The  8.9-inch model has a great resolution of 1920×1200 and upgraded hardware under the hood including 5GHz wi-fi. The new 7-inch model with its 1280×800 screen remains priced at $199 while the new 8.9-inch version is $299 with 16GB of storage. The new Kindle Fire ships Nov. 20th and is available for pre-order. A 4G model is also available at a higher cost.

Next up is the Kindle Paperwhite which has a higher resolution screen and an optional back light. It promises 8 weeks of battery life (without backlight obviously) and ships on October 1st for $119 and $179 for the 3G version.

Finally they have dropped the price of the basic wi-fi Kindle to only $69! It is available for purchase starting today.

Since I already use an iPad as my tablet the Fire HD isn’t of huge interest for me but as someone who still owns and uses a second gen original Kindle the new Paperwhite is looking tempting so you don’t have to get a reading light once it gets dark all the time.

Aug 222012

The Nikon Coolpix S800c on one hand is a 16 megapixel compact digital camera and on the other hand is a Android-powered touchscreen device. On the camera end we have a 10x, 25-250mm (35mm equivalent) zoom lens and 1080p video support. The “smart device” part of the camera runs on Android 2.3 gingerbread with a large touchscreen on the back.

It has built-in wifi and GPS and like any other Android smart phone or tablet you can install apps, surf the web, check your email and most importantly upload the pictures from this camera directly to your social networks without having to download the photos to a PC. The benefit being a high quality Nikon Coolpix camera compared to the mediocre camera you would find in your phone or tablet. If a wifi connection is not available you can also wirelessly transfer the photos to other nearby Android devices.

The S800c will be available in September 2012 at a MSRP of $349.99 US. Get it on Amazon or Adorama.

Aug 112012

Crysis 2 was a little bit of a disappointment for PC gamers – not because it was a bad game but because it didn’t really dethrone Crysis 1 as the ultimate test of the performance of your gaming PC. Many would argue Crysis 1 even looks better on PC compared to Crysis 2 in some ways. Later on they did release high res textures which helped but gamers were still left with a sour taste in their mouth from the “consolization” of their precious game. Enter the Crysis 3 trailer and now you finally have a use for your Quad-SLI GTX 680’s:

The game will come out for 360/PS3 of course, but I also suspect it will later come out for the next-gen consoles later in the year (if the rumors are true) and will look similar to this on them. Even if you are not a console gamer, the new consoles will trigger a major graphical quality shift in PC titles. Developers are mostly multi-platform nowadays and that means developing for the lowest common denominator (which right now is ancient 7-year-old technology in the consoles). The current consoles use Direct X 9 which is why most PC games do as well. The next consoles will use DX11 which means PC games will fully take advantage of it simply because the developers are already doing it for the console versions. It’s about time considering we’ve had DX11 video cards for 2+ years now.

Jul 232012

Canon has just announced its new mirrorless EOS-M camera. This looks like a very interesting camera because unlike most mirrorless cameras, it has a full APS-C size sensor. In fact the sensor is the exact same 18MP sensor as the one found in the Canon 650D or T4i. They’ve also announced two new “EF-M” mount lenses alongside it, the 22mm f/2 pancake lens and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens. With an adapter the camera will also support regular Canon EF-S lenses.

A camera this small with a DSLR class sensor is the holy grail of travel cameras. Nikon has similar cameras in their “Nikon 1” lineup but these feature much smaller sensors which means poorer noise performance and less of an ability to separate the background from the subject with depth of field.

The EOS-M is due out in October and is available for pre-order at Amazon and Adorama.

Jul 182012

For those of your eager to re-mortgage your house to buy a lens, Nikon has kindly announced its new 800mm f/5.6 telephoto lens. It has a silent-wave auto-focus motor and Nikon’s vibration reduction II system. You’ll have some time to get that loan or mortgage paperwork in order as exact pricing and a release date will be announced later. Right now it is still in the prototype stage. For comparison, Nikon’s current 600mm flagship costs about $10,000 USD. $20,000 for this lens wouldn’t shock me. That’s about the going price for a kidney isn’t it? Hmm…