The release of the Microsoft Surface is a much bigger deal that the average consumer might perceive it to be. You see, Surface marks Microsoft's entry into the PC market. That might sound odd, but it's true--Microsoft may be the maker of Windows, but it's always been Microsoft partners who build the PCs. I'm talking about companies like Samsung, Toshiba, Dell, Lenovo, and others. Now, Microsoft is competing directly with its partners, hoping that consumers will flock to its Surface in a major way.
Similar to Apple's approach, Surface is the marriage of first-party software with first-party hardware. Microsoft controls the whole platform. If devices like the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and even Microsoft's own Xbox 360 have shown us anything, it's that when you have the ability to control the whole device as it pertains to software and hardware functionality, you can generally make a better product than you could using third-party ingredients. It's never a guarantee, but we think it puts you in a better spot to shine. That is the hope that Surface brings. Does Surface succeed in carving out its own niche, and filling a need that consumers are willing to pay to remedy? That's what we are here to discuss, so following along with us for our Microsoft Surface RT review.
If you've got a home theater nut in your life and you wanna get them a gift that they'll use on an almost daily basis with joy, you'll wanna check out the Darbee Darblet, our next recommendation in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. So, what's so special about the oddly-named Darblet? Well, it just makes your high-definition content look amazing. No, really, this is like nothing you've ever seen before. It adds a level of depth and clarity that is unmatched, all with a simple set-it-and-forget it interface. You can pick up the Darbee Darblet on Amazon.
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We try and feature some lust-worthy gadgets in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide, but we also like to call out great deals on things that you need for those gadgets as well, and that's why we are recommending the 32GB and 16GB Sony SDHC class 10 flash memory cards. Amazon currently has an amazing deal on these cards, sellign each at a substantial discount. The 32GB cards are 67% off, while the 16GB variety are 65% off. Of course, you can use these in anything from a digital camera, to the new Wii U, to simple file storage for your computer. Check them out on Amazon now!
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We always recommend that HDTV purchasers get their sets calibrated professionally--you just end up getting way more for your money when your television is optimized for your viewing environment. When we heard about the Darbee Darblet from DarbeeVision, we were skeptical. This is supposed to be a gadget that you integrate into your home theater setup that adds a level of sharpness and depth that's unreachable even with hours of calibration. Sounds like a cheap gimmick, right? Well, we decided to put the Darblet to the test, and…wow…we came away impressed. Join us in our Darbee Darblet review to find out why every videophile needs to pick one of these up!
Google has just put its new Nexus 4 Bumper Case up in its Google Play Store. The Nexus 4 Bumper is apparently a totally original case that protects just the sides of the Nexus 4 smartphone, leaving the entire front and back of the device open. Perhaps Apple should look into making a product with the same name, that does the same thing, for it's old iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S line of devices. Oh, wait.
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Iconic electric guitar maker, Fender, has announced the new Squier Strat. It includes USB and iOS integration and is now available in the Apple Online Store for $199.95. The Squier Strat goes perfectly with music apps like GarageBand for iOS and also works with OS X. Check out some of the features, and a video, after the break.
Read More | Apple Online Store
Alongside it's new iPad mini, Apple has released a smaller version of its Smart Cover as well. It works the same as the Smart Covers for the larger iPad tablet, connecting to the left side of the display with magnets, and also using magnet technology to wake the iPad mini up when the cover is opened, and putting it to sleep when closed. You can get the iPad mini Smart Cover for $29 on November 2.
Be sure to check out all of the news from today's iPad mini event.
It's not just the Beats Executive on-ear headphones that are new from Beats Audio, as the company has also released it's own portable Bluetooth speaker: the Beats Pill. Yes, it's a pill-shaped speaker, likely a play on the fact that it's part of the Beats by Dr. Dre line, and doctors prescribe pills. Anyhow, cheesy concept aside, the Pill brings 12 watts of power across four 1-inch drivers into it's contoured frame, made up of metal grilles and soft-touch plastic. The rechargeable battery can pump out up to 7.5 hours of tunes, and offers NFC support for easy pairing with Bluetooth devices that support the standard (including the upcoming Lumia 920, HTC devices, and all Android Jelly Bean NFC smartphones--the iPhone doesn't have NFC support at this time.) A microphone is also built-in, allowing the Pill to also work as a speakerphone, and a physical audio input lets you connect devices that don't support Bluetooth as well. You can pick up the Pill Bluetooth speaker for $200.
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Beats Audio has introduced a new model in the head-bumping Beats by Dr. Dre lineup: Beats Executive. These headphones have noise canceling technology built-in and are available today for the tune of $299.95. In addition, the materials used are far superior compared to the popular Beats Studio and Beats Solo models, which are mostly comprised of plastic. Instead, these are made from brushed aluminum and stainless steel, and the ear cups are said to be hand stitched during manufacturing. The Beats Executive feature noise cancellation that's powered by two AAA batteries, which should last for about 25 hours of usage before you need to swap in a fresh pair. You can pick these up now for $300.
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SMS Audio, makers of the 50 Cent-endorsed Street by 50 headphone line, has got a new addition to the family. The new wired on-ear model sports 40mm professionally-tuned drivers, memory foam cushions on the ear cups, and come in Shadow Black or Ghost White. The Street by 50 on-ears are set to launch on October 7th, but you can pre-order them now. The cost is $179.99.
Read More | Amazon