Apple has announced the new iPad Air, the 5th generation and the next evolution for its 9.7-inch tablet, and it has taken on a whole new design. If you've seen the iPad mini, then you have an idea of what the new full-sized model looks like. It's rear shell is the same shape that the iPad mini has been using since its launch. The smaller bezel results in a much smaller footprint, making it 20% thinner at 7.5mm thin, and weighs just 1 pound (down from the 1.4 pounds of the iPad 4.) On the inside, you get a 64-bit A7 processor, along with the M7 coprocessor found in the iPhone 5s. No major camera upgrade, as the shooter remains at 5-megapixel, although the FaceTime front camera does see a modest update. MIMO 802.11n Wi-Fi support rounds things out.
You can pick up the new iPad Air at the Apple Store on November 1, starting at $499. LTE models are available as well for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and for the first time, T-Mobile.
Check out the rest of the news from today's Apple iPad event!
Update: You can download OS X Mavericks now!
At this morning's Apple iPad event, the company announced that its next major desktop operating system, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, will launch today. It will be available exclusively in the Mac App Store, and in a huge shift for the company, it will be completely free. Mavericks brings a few cool features and optimizations to OS X--things like Apple Maps, iBooks, greatly-improved multi-monitor support, native tabbed Finder, tagging support in Finder, iCloud Keychain, and much more.
Mavericks is compatible with a wide range of Macs:
- iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
- MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
- Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
There you have it! Who's planning on grabbing that upgrade when it hits the App Store?
Read More | OS X Mavericks
SOL Republic is still a relatively new headphone company, but buyers of consumer-level headphones should pay attention. The company is aiming to sit between the cheap, horrible tolerable headphones and the expensive luxury brands with cans that look and sound good for a nice price. How do they fare in the real world? Join us for our SOL Republic Tracks review to find out.
The fashion headphone market has grown exponentially over the past five years, and SOL Republic has carved its niche into the game with headphones that are incredibly customizable and focused on great sound for your dollar. The company started with the Tracks on-ears and Amps in-ears, and over time, has added new models that offer better an increase in sound fidelity and features.
The SOL Republic Master Tracks are the first over-ear headphones from the company, matched up with the new "X3 Sound Engine" ear cups, all of which are backwards-compatible with the other SOL Republic headbands. Are the good enough to warrant your attention? Read on for our full SOL Republic Master Tracks review for the answer.
Sonos has formally announced the new Play:1 wireless speaker, bringing the price of entry into the Sonos world down to $199. This is a welcome addition to the lineup of what Gear Live considers to be the best speaker system on the planet, making it more affordable to get into. Even better, those who pick up the Play:1 between now and the end of 2013 will also get a free Sonos Bridge thrown in ($50 value) to get the system going.
A custom-designed mid-woofer and tweeter deliver deep, rich and surprisingly big sound. With a powerful low-end and crisp mids and highs, new smart processing technology pushes Sonos’ drivers further than ever before, minimizing distortion even at full volume. Plus, PLAY:1 projects a wide field of sound, delivering a great listening experience no matter where you are sitting in the room.
The new Sonos Play:1 is available in two colors (black and white,) and maintains the same feature set as the other Sonos standalone wireless speakers--it's just smaller, with two drivers (despite the name) powering the sound. There's a 3.5-inch extended-throw mid-woofer paired with an extended-throw tweeter. You can grab two of them and create a true stereo pair with audio separation for even better sound, or pair two of them with a Sonos SUB for even better bass. Heck, throw two Play:1 units, the SUB, and the Sonos Playbar together and you have a fantastic 5.1 wireless surround sound system that you can also use to play your music (see our Sonos Playbar review.) Or, just grab one Play:1 and put it in the kitchen or bathroom as an extra Sonos zone--they're wall-mountable and humidity-resistant.
The Sonos Play:1 is available now throughout the US, and will see its international release on October 29. Again, you can pick up the Play:1 now and get a free Sonos Bridge thrown in if you buy before the end of the year.
Read More | Sonos Play:1
Nest, makers of the massively popular learning thermostat, is getting into the smoke detector game with Protect. The Nest Protect is a sensor-packed smoke and carbon monoxide detector that aims to remove all the annoyances of the "modern" smoke detector, making it more helpful, more pleasing to use, and ultimately, safer. So, how does Nest aim to reach that goal?
Like the Nest Learning Thermostat, Protect is constantly connected to your Wi-Fi network. This allows you to set the device up with your iOS or Android device, and lets you use the Nest app to check things like battery life and other settings, while also receiving push notifications in the event of any emergencies. Even cooler, Nest devices can talk to each other. So, if the Protect senses a fire, it will let all the others know, and they will speak in a female voice alerting you to smoke detected in a particular room. If it senses a rise in carbon monoxide, it can let your Nest Thermostat know to switch off the heat.
The world of the portable Bluetooth wireless speaker is a crowded one, but SOL Republic is confident that its Deck speaker can stand above the rest, what with it's unique feature set. The SOL Republic Deck is a $199 speaker that comes out of of a collaboration between the company and Motorola (which took care of the Bluetooth connectivity side of things,) resulting in a flat, eye-catching design that can pump your beats with relative ease. Is it worth your time and money? Join us for our SOL Republic Deck review as we answer that question.
Now that I've been using the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for over a week, my search for the ultimate keyboard might be finally over. It might be one of the strangest looking keyboards Microsoft has ever put out.
The Sculpt combines the curved ergonomic structure the company has been making for almost 20 years with a raised wrist area and a completely empty middle. Couple that with something Microsoft has barely done with their keyboards—laptop-style, easy-to-press scissor key set that's way less stressful on the fingers than anything previous--and you've got a keyboard that's vying for the title of "best keyboard they've ever made."
According to Apple, the iPhone 5s is the most forward thinking smartphone ever created. Of course, being that this is an S-model iPhone launching in a year that ends in an odd number, and that means that we'll find plenty of naysayers who dismiss Apple's flagship smartphone as simple and iterative. It looks just like last year's iPhone 5 on the outside, so what can be so different, right?
Well, being an S-class device, the iPhone 5s follows a now-familiar pattern. The iPhone 3GS in 2009 doubled the speed of the iPhone 3G from the year before and added video recording and basic voice commands. The iPhone 4S brought Siri, 1080p video, and dual-core processing. This year, Apple has highly focused the iPhone 5s on three big changes. The iPhone 5s is the first smartphone to ship with a 64-bit processor, and includes the first 64-bit version of iOS in iOS 7. It's also the first smartphone to ship with a capacitive fingerprint sensor, and includes a greatly improved camera system. Sure, these things may not be important to those who are just fine with their current iPhone (or competing device, for that matter,) but for Apple, these moves are a big deal and set up the future.
But is a phone so focused on a future worth your attention today? Join us for our full iPhone 5s review as we seek out the answer.
The iPhone 5c is Apple's first mid-range iPhone handset to be introduced as a new model alongside a higher-end version. Available in five distinct colors, the device sports last year's internals with a fresh coat of external paint. As such, it's clear that the iPhone 5c is going after a different demographic than the top-of-the-line iPhone 5s--one that isn't necessarily looking at the specs of the device, and instead cares about the look and feel, and wants access to Apple's App Store without breaking the bank. That said, don't think of the 5c as the cheap iPhone--in fact, we'd bet that the "c" is gonna stand for cash, because Apple is poised to make a lot of it with the introduction of the 5c.
Is the iPhone 5c the right phone for you? Join us as we answer that question in our full iPhone 5c review.
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