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Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter

The delay of the first major Xbox One dashboard update isn't the only big news out of Microsoft today. The company has also announced a couple of new accessories: the Xbox One Stereo Headset, and the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter.

First, let's talk about the Xbox One Stereo Headset. As any Xbox One owner knows, the console does include a pretty flimsy mono headset in the package. Now the company is prepping to launch a full-on over-ear stereo headset that features premium, full-range sound with a unidirectional microphone. The headset includes the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter, which allows you to balance game audio and chat audio volumes, master volume, and mute your microphone. No batteries are required here, as the headset pulls power direct from the Xbox One controller that it's plugged into. These will sell for $79.99.

The aforementioned Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter will also be made available for purchase on its own, allowing you to use whatever pair of compatible headphones you'd like with your Xbox One. The Adapter itself will cost $24.99.

Both products will go on sale in early March.


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Mac Pro delay

If you're looking to order the new Mac Pro, you should be aware that shipping estimates from Apple have just slipped to April worldwide. This comes approximately three weeks after shipping estimates slipped from February to March. While this doesn't necessarily mean that supply is getting worse, it does seem to show that Apple is having a hard time catching up with the demand on the most powerful Mac it has ever made.

Of course, as we mentioned recently, you can order the Mac Pro from B&H Photo and get it shipped much, much sooner (and tax free as well in most areas!) Go to the Mac Pro page and choose to be notified when they are in stock - B&H seems to get models in a couple times per week.

If you're wondering if the cost is worth it, be sure to check out our full Mac Pro review.

Read More | Mac Pro at B&H

Xbox One update

Today was supposed to be the day that Microsoft released the first major Xbox One dashboard update, but unfortunately, it was pulled at the last minute. Larry Hryb (Major Nelson) announced on Twitter that the "team is working on finalizing," and didn't give a solid date other than to say that it is now on track to be released later this week.

As previously reported, the February update will bring battery life indicators for the Xbox One controllers, storage management for the Xbox One, and will split up My Games and My Apps into separate sections in order to more easily handle larger libraries. Additionally, the update will bring USB keyboard support.


Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500

Let's face it. Scanners aren't sexy, and are more often than not, an annoyance. Ease of use is typically out the window, paper jams are common, and software compatibility is always a mystery. Fujitsu has been on a mission to change that, and the ScanSnap ix500 is the latest entry in its desktop sheetfeed scanner series. New to the line is remote control support for iOS and Android, USB 3.0, Wi-Fi, and 25 page-per-minute color scanning. If you're looking to go paperless, or simply want to keep digital versions of your hard copies, and want to know if the ScanSnap ix500 is worth your money, we're here to answer that in our full Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 review.

Click to continue reading Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 review


Mac Pro 2013 review

Power. The Apple Mac Pro (late 2013) is the newest Mac on the block, and it's also the most powerful computer ever made by Apple. It deserves to be, too, as the Mac Pro lost that title as Apple let that product line slip into virtual irrelevancy. After all, the previous Mac Pro spent the last four-or-so years at a technical standstill. It didn't have any Thunderbolt ports, no USB 3.0, no PCIe flash storage...heck, it didn't even have an 802.11n Wi-Fi option. For all intents and purposes, Apple had allowed the Mac Pro, the one machine that was aimed at meeting the needs of the most demanding customers, to become a dinosaur.

That is, until the release of the newly-redesigned Mac Pro (late 2013) model. With its smooth metallic cylindrical shape that looks like it was plucked off of an alien spaceship, smaller and lighter profile, and top-of-the-line specs that include PCIe SSD storage, dual workstation-class GPUs as standard, the newest Intel Xeon processors (up to 12 cores!), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a bunch of I/O ports which include Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0, this thing is a beast. It's modern--no, futuristic.

For all of you professional video editors, photographers, graphic artists, 3D animators, audio engineers and the like, we're betting that Apple has piqued your interest. After all, this is a Mac which can drive up to three 4K displays simultaneously. That's a lot of power. Wondering if it should be your next purchase? It's expensive, starting at $2,999 (and climbing up to $9,559 depending on how you configure it,) so we're here to help you in your decision making. Follow along as we bring you our full Mac Pro (late 2013) review, after the jump.

Click to continue reading Apple Mac Pro (2013) review: in a class of its own


Mario Kart 8

We know, the Wii U has been taking a beating in recent weeks in the press--but Mario Kart 8 is fast approaching, arguably just the second AAA title that will be available for the struggling console (with the first being the magnificent Super Mario 3D World.) While the release date isn't as close as we'd like it to be--we really enjoy throwing those red shells, after all--it's close enough. You'll be able to get your hands on the next home console installment of Mario Kart in May.

That's as solid a date as we've been given from Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, but once we get the exact date, we'll update you guys to let you know when you can get your Mario Kart 8 on. Now, if only Nintendo would finally fix their jumbled online multiplayer...

You can pre-order Mario Kart 8 now.


We give you a look at the newly designed Apple Mac Pro in this episode! Apple has rebuilt the Mac Pro from the ground up to be a multimedia powerhouse, optimized for tasks like video editing, audio work, 3D modeling, and other such pro tasks. Here are the specs on the Gear Live Mac Pro featured in this episode:

  • 3.5 GHz Intel Xeon E5 Six-Core
  • 64GB of 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC RAM
  • 256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
  • Dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs (2 x 3GB)
  • Six Thunderbolt 2 Ports
  • Four USB 3.0 Ports, One HDMI 1.4 Port
  • Supports up to Three 4K Displays
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Unique Compact Cylinder Design
  • Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Apple has these on backorder for about 8 weeks, but if you order a Mac Pro from B&H Photo, you should be able to get one shipped out much sooner, if not immediately.

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BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

BMW has announced a new four-door to its lineup in the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. What you have here is what amounts to a 3 series BMW that has a tailgate rather than a proper trunk. The 4 Series Gran Coup is also half an inch longer and wider than the 3 series, and also and inch-and-a-half lower to the ground. Prospective buyers in the US can choose between the 428i GC model, which has a 2-liter 240hp turbo engine that can go from 0-to-60 in 5.7 seconds, or the 435i GC with a 300hp 3-liter inline-six that goes from 0-to-60 in 4.9 seconds. Pricing starts at $41,225.

Click to continue reading BMW announces 4 Series Gran Coupe

Read More | BMW

Samsung Galaxy S4

It looks like Samsung is set to announce its new Galaxy S5 smartphone at the Samsung Unpacked 5 event on February 24th. It was previously expected that the Galaxy S5 would be announced at Mobile World Congress, similar to the S4 last year, but perhaps Samsung wants to churn out a new model a bit quicker this year.

Recent reports suggest that Samsung will align its Android devices a bit more closely with Google's vision, rather than in the grandiose fashion they've used in the past, focusing on superfluous features that weren't that exciting or usable in the real world. Of course, Samsung isn't saying anything, keeping the cat in the bag until February 24th.


Xbox One system update

The first significant Xbox One update is set for release on Tuesday, February 11th. Microsoft gave a few details on what gamers can expect from the new software, without going into too much detail on what all it entails. Here are three features you can look forward to on February 11th as an Xbox One owner:

  • The ability to see and manage your storage space. With this update, you will find it easy to find how much space your content takes up and better manage your content. You can also control your install lineup and more easily manage your download queue. We’ve separated My Games and My Apps into separate lists, so you can easily create separate queues for both. Now you can pick the order in which you want your content to load and we’ve added a boot progress indicator so you can better track updates while they load.
  • The battery power indicator is back! You can see it right on the home screen, so you can easily track how much battery life is left on your controller.
  • And, you will be able to use your USB keyboard with your Xbox One.

While we haven't been waiting with bated breath for USB keyboard support ourselves, we're sure there's many a gamer out there excited to see that update. For us, being able to view and manage storage is a big deal--especially for a console that prides itself on selling all titles on demand with a paltry 500 GB hard drive. Speaking of which, we're still waiting on the update that enables external USB storage.

After the February 11th update, there will be another one released on March 4th in anticipation for the release of Titanfall. That one will be focused on multiplayer matchmaking and the party system, making sure it's in top shape for the release of the big-name title. You can pre-order Titanfall now.


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