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This is an entry from our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Check it out for suggestions on what to buy your loved, liked, and hated ones this holiday season!

Apple iPad Air

Thanks to its vast ecosystem of apps, great performance, and a fantastic screen, the iPad Air earns a spot in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide (see our iPad Air review.) Compared to the fourth-generation iPad, the iPad Air is nearly identical in terms of function, although it's much faster and also sports a better front camera for FaceTime chats. The big leap is in the design department, where the iPad Air just dominates on comfortability. The iPad Air is the best full-sized consumer tablet that you can get this holiday season.

You can pick up the iPad Air now from Apple--order now if you want to ensure that it's delivered before Christmas.

Click to continue reading 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Apple iPad Air

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Lifeproof Fre white and gray

It's said that Apple product's cycle iteration are improved upon from generation to generation; dubbed the tick tock method. In that regards, LifeProof has proven itself to be in sync. The Frē for iPhone 5s is an incremental update (see our iPhone 5s review) that goes hand in hand with the update of the Apple’s latest iPhone. To the untrained eye, the iPhone 5s' outer design is relatively unchanged from the iPhone 5 except for a few important aspects, which LifeProof simply nails.

Let me say that right off the bat, the Touch ID is nothing short of a marvel. Biometric security is nothing new, but in and of itself, many companies have attempted it and many have failed miserably. On the other hand, Apple has executed it to perfection while making it look easy. My biggest trepidation was how LifePoof's new case would continue to provide protection from environmental factors like snow, water, dirt and shock while still allowing access to the Touch ID's function, without hindering biometric authentication in any way. So, how did it perform? Join us for our LifeProof Fre for iPhone 5s review to find out!

Click to continue reading LifeProof Fre for iPhone 5s review: An impressive Touch ID-ready case


iPad mini with Retina display with iPad Air

I've been using the iPad mini with Retina display for a couple of weeks now, and after using it as my primary tablet device during that time (setting aside my iPad Air) I think it's time to report back with my findings as it pertains to Apple's second-generation miniature iPad.

Last year, Apple introduced the iPad mini to the world at the same time as the fourth-generation standard-sized iPad. Essentially, Apple took the iPad 2 and forked it into two different products--the Retina display-packing full-sized iPad, and the iPad mini, which was simply an iPad 2 that had been reduced in size. Many (me included) expected that the next iPad mini would remain a year behind as far as internal chips and technologies go, leaving the cutting edge stuff with the larger iPad.

We were wrong.

Instead, Apple released two iPad that are, from a technological standpoint, virtually identical. You got the slimmed down iPad Air (see our iPad Air review), and the iPad mini with Retina display. Both pack the same number of pixels. Both sport the new Apple A7 processor (1.4GHz for the iPad Air, 1.3GHz for the iPad mini.) Same with the M7 co-processor, and the 10-hour battery life. So, the question as it pertains to an iPad purchase becomes, is it more important to you to have a larger display, or a more compact form factor? I've already given you my iPad Air review, now join me after the jump for my review of the iPad mini with Retina display.

Click to continue reading iPad mini with Retina display review


MacBook Pro late 2013 review

A couple of weeks ago, Apple introduced the world to the iPad Air, but during the same event, the new 2013 MacBook Pro lineup was also revealed, going on sale that same afternoon. These new MacBook Pros would ship with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the new desktop operating system that was also released that same day, completely free of charge. The 2013 MacBook Pro line sees some significant updates--things like a thinner body, Retina display, PCIe storage, and Haswell processors. So, how do all these changes come together at the end of the day, and is the end result enough for you to give it your attention? Does a thinner, lighter, cheaper, and more powerful package add up to more than the sum of its parts? We answer all this and more in our 13-inch MacBook Pro (late 2013) review.

Click to continue reading MacBook Pro (late 2013) review


iPad mini with Retina display

If you've been waiting for the new iPad mini with Retina display to go on sale, it's time for you to head over to the Apple Store online. Apple announced the iPad mini with Retina display alongside the iPad Air three weeks ago, but the mini didn't see as immediate a release at the Air did due to supply constraints on the Retina panels. It's an odd move for Apple to launch as major a product as a new iOS device by simply releasing it on sale on its online store without it also being available in its physical retail locations, but that's exactly what's happened. You can order your iPad mini with Retina display now, and it'll currently ship in 1-3 business days if you want a 16GB or 32GB model. If you prefer 64GB or 128GB, those will ship in 5-10 business days. You may be able to do in-store pickup, but from what we are seeing, those are very, very few and far between.

The iPad mini with Retina display sports a 2048 x 1536 display, new Apple A7 processor, and MIMO Wi-Fi connectivity. Pricing starts at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, while the top-of-the-line version has 128GB storage and LTE connectivity for $829.

You can order your iPad mini with Retina display now.


This is an entry from our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Check it out for suggestions on what to buy your loved, liked, and hated ones this holiday season!

Apple TV

iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.

You can pick up the Apple TV for $99, or $94.95 on Amazon.

Honorable Mention: Roku 2 XS Streaming Player

Read More | Apple TV

iPad Air review

Thinner. Lighter. Anyone familiar with Apple keynote events knows that these two words mean a lot to the company. In essence, Apple aims to reduce the bulks of its products, stripping away any unnecessary heft while simultaneously packing in as much power as possible. It's quite a task, really. The company has backed itself into a corner where it's now expected that anything that's a newer version of a previous thing will be smaller, thinner, and lighter.

Back in 2008, Apple did this with the jaw-dropping MacBook Air. Fully a Mac, but so thin you could slid it into a manila envelope. It was hard to believe that a Mac that thin, with a full-sized keyboard and display, was possible when PC makers were all focusing on grossly underpowered netbooks with cramped keyboards.

Now, Apple has done the same with its tablet lineup. Three-and-a-half years after releasing the original and iconic iPad, Apple has now made it almost impossibly thinner and lighter with the iPad Air. Sporting a new, slim design that borrows heavily from that of the iPad mini, the iPad Air bezel has been reduced by over 40%. Thickness has been reduced as well--20% thinner than the iPad 4 at 7.5mm. Perhaps most importantly, the iPad Air sheds almost half a pound of weight when compared against the two iPads that preceded it, all while maintaining the same impressive 9.7-inch Retina display.

So, the question now is, is the new iPad Air worth your time, attention, and hard-earned cash? Read on for our full iPad Air review as we explore Apple's latest flagship tablet.

Click to continue reading iPad Air review


TiVo remote streaming

If you're the owner of a TiVo Roamio Pro or Roamio Plus DVR, out-of-home streaming (a.k.a. TiVo's holy grail) has finally arrived, letting you stream and download content from your TiVo to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad when you're away from home. Even better? You can also access one of your tuners for live television watching remotely as well, so when you're away from home and wanna watch the big game live, you can do so. For now, out-of-home remote streaming requires that your iOS device be connected to Wi-Fi, but LTE streaming is definitely in the cards, set to launch in 2014.

"Until now, your shows have been locked up in your set top box at home," said Jim Denney, Vice President of Product Marketing at TiVo. "Now with a TiVo Roamio DVR, whether it’s a hotel in Denmark, the waiting room at the dentist office, when you’re stuck at the airport, or at the gym, out-of-home streaming gives you the level of choice, control and freedom that consumers have come to expect from TiVo."

Out-of-home viewing requires a software update, which begins rolling out to TiVo Roamio Pro and Roamio Plus users today. If you have a base-model TiVo Roamio, you'll need a TiVo Stream in order to enable out-of-home streaming (support for out-of-home for the TiVo Stream is set to roll out next month.) As mentioned, remote TiVo streaming works only on Apple iOS device, and they've gotta be running iOS 5.1 or higher. Android users, don't worry, you'll be able to get in on the remote streaming action in Spring 2014 (let's be honest, you're used to watching iOS get the cool stuff first,) alongside the launch of LTE streaming.

You can pick up the TiVo Roamio Plus, TiVo Roamio Pro, TiVo Roamio, and TiVo Stream right now on Amazon.


OS X Mavericks

OS X Logo history

We had a few readers email in yesterday after it was announced that OS X Mavericks would be free, a first for a major desktop operating system release. It seems a few of you are curious about how Apple got here, and what the history is as it relates to the pricing of OS X. So, here's a quick history lesson. 

  • 10.0 Cheetah: Released March 24, 2001 for $129
  • 10.1 Puma: Released September 25, 2001 for $0
  • 10.2 Jaguar: Released August 23, 2002 for $129
  • 10.3 Panther: Released October 24, 2003 for $129
  • 10.4 Tiger: Released April 29, 2005 for $129
  • 10.5 Leopard: Released October 26, 2007 for $129
  • 10.6 Snow Leopard: Released August 28, 2009 for $29
  • 10.7 Lion: Released July 20, 2011 for $29
  • 10.8 Mountain Lion: Released July 25, 2012 for $19
  • 10.9 Mavericks: Released October 22, 2013 for $0

So, as you can see, both OS X 10.1 Puma and 10.9 Mavericks were released as free updates, however, Puma was released just six months after 10.0 Cheetah, so that would have been ridiculous if Apple has chosen to charge for it. Other than that anomaly, OS X updates remained at $129 each until Snow Leopard in 2009, which sold for $29. The last $129 version of OS X was Leopard, which saw massive delays due to Apple pulling engineers from it to work on iPhone OS 1.0 (now known as iOS.) Lion was also sold for $29, and was the first version of OS X to be available as a digital download from the Mac App Store. The following year, Mountain Lion debuted at just $19--the best bargain in OS X release history until yesterday, when Mavericks launched for free. The trend has always been that OS X updates would cost the same as the previous year, or less--never more (discounting the Puma issue, which was a huge bugfix patch.) As this point, it appears that OS X has gone the way of iOS, where all updates from here on out will be available for free, on an annual basis.

You can download OS X Mavericks, for free, right now.


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