We’ve spent a few days with the Amazon Kindle 2, which has been the talk of the gadget world this week. We know some of you are wondering if you should pick one up, so we are here to give you our thoughts on the latest iteration of Amazon’s e-book reader. If you’re like us, you already know that the Kindle 2 is available for purchase now, and you likely have one in your hands - but for the rest of you, join us for our full review of the Kindle 2 (and if you missed it, check out our Kindle 2 gallery.)
Okay, so while we were working on the review, we sent a couple of questions out to some of our Twitter peeps asking what they thought of the device, and Lisa from EllisLab hit us back with so much info, that we are using her feedback to break this down for you. Sometimes you need the point of view of a “real world” user anyway, as opposed to one of us gadget fiends. So what we will do is give some of our thoughts on the Kindle 2, and then bring in Lisa’s thoughts as well.
The Kindle 2 was announced on February 9th, and just started shipping on February 24th. The announcement came with the promise of a 25% improvement in battery life, 20% faster page turns, a better screen that supports up to 16 shades of gray (as opposed to 4 shades with the original,) and a much thinner design.
Ipevo was generous enough to lend us one of their movable PoV cams that we first told you about it back in December. The $39.99 priced camera came intact with a CD, mounting pieces that are mostly easy to attach, and almost everything we needed to test it out. Unfortunately, the extended instructions were on the CD, so it was a back and forth effort. Our full review after the jump.
Read More | Ipevo
Creator Crispin Jones was kind enough to send us a Tengu, knowing that no one can ever have enough friends, even if they are electronic ones. We nicknamed ours Monty, and from the time we plugged him into the USB port, he was instantly on, albeit asleep. No software is needed to get him to do his thing. We have a full review and video of our 2 3/4 x 1 3/4 x 1/2-inch buddy awake after the jump.
(Thanks, Crispin and Mike)
Read More | Mr. Jones' Tengu
Not to rest on the laurels provided by Baulders Gate and Knights of the Old Republic, Bioware has created another instant hit: Mass Effect. Mass Effect is in many ways the spiritual successor to the Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) series although it goes far beyond the capabilities and offerings of its predecessor.
Mass Effect is a third person shooter/space exploration game set in humanities future when alien discoveries have catapulted human technology ahead centuries and given our race a place among many in the galactic empire. Click through for our full thoughts on this stunning game.
Surrounding the release of Apple‘s iPhone there was a flurry excitement surrounding various cases to protect and showcase a consumer’s shiny new obsession. A number of cases including simple cloth slipcovers, protective rubber enclosures, and elaborate leather constructions flooded onto the market, each with different plusses and minuses.
Gear Live has previously reviewed several of the high-end leather cases by Argentinean case manufacturer Vaja, and given our extremely positive experiences in the past, we jumped at the opportunity to check out their new iVolution line of iPhone cases. The iVolution line has a number of different styles of cases and holsters, and we selected the fully-enclosed protection offered by the iVolution Top SP Holster. Click through the jump for the full in-depth review.
The geniuses over at Plasq have created another application, and while it hasn’t won any awards yet (it’s still in beta) but it’s certain to do so shortly. Skitch allows you to show the world something on your Mac effortlessly rather than try tell them about it in writing or sending massive and unmanageable screenshots. I’m 5 minutes into my experimentation with it and I already can tell this is one of the coolest applications I’ve played with in a while. It makes image capture and annotation a breeze, and does it all with a highly polished elegance.
Skitch allows you to capture screenshots, windows, webcam images, and all sorts of other media into its editing window. Once you have a base image it’s easy to annotate and edit the image with text, handwriting, or other shapes then one click saves it up to the Skitch site on the web for easy sharing. If you don’t want to go the upload route it’s easy to drag your creation into any other application on your Mac, or just save the finished file to disk.
Stay tuned for a much more in-depth review over the next couple of days so stay tuned and check back for more info on this delicious little software treat.
UPDATE:As amazing as the Skitch application is that’s not everything Plasq is throwing on the table with Skitch. Now that I’ve spent a few more minutes with it the service side of Skitch is starting to shine. The ability to save and upload one of your creations (skitches?) to the Skitch service with a single click is wonderfully simple and well implemented. Once the upload is complete you are taken to a webpage for that creation where you can share it with friends as simply as pasting a link into an IM, e-mail, or forum and you can instantly share what you just created. Check out the Skitch page for the photo above.
UPDATED UPDATE: Gear Live’s in-depth review of Skitch has posted - check it out!
Read More | Skitch by Plasq
The reviews have been coming in for a week now, and they have been phenomenal. Consider that according to GameRankings.com, BioShock is the 4th best game of all time. On Metacritic, BioShock has received more perfect 100 scores than even The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, usually the game cited as the best of all time. Clearly, 2K‘s Mature-rated, failed utopia FPS is a critical smash hit.
Perhaps then there is little need for another glowing review of the game. Except this is not a glowing review in the strictest sense, because BioShock is not exactly the masterpiece of perfection indicated by these scores. Instead, BioShock is a wonderful game that happens to draw to light the inadequacies of the way games are typically reviewed and the inherent inconsistencies of how games are judged.
Now that we’ve spent two weeks with the iPhone, we are now ready to hit you back with our in-depth review and impressions. Needless to say, Apple generated a lot of hype with the iPhone, and many feared it would flop in the face of near impossible levels of pre-release fanaticism. Thankfully I am glad that after a full weeks usage I can attest: Apple actually pulled it off. They lived up to or exceeded every single promise they made about the iPhone.
As a preface, our impressions are quite favorable overall, but the iPhone does have a few flaws. Regardless of those flaws, we think this will be an industry-changing phone and will raise the bars for Microsoft, Symbian, Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and other competitors in the mobile marketplace. We expect them all to produce better phones featuring integration, ease of use, and stability all orders of magnitude ahead of what they now offer.
We recently got our hands on the Samsung YP-K5 digital audio player, one of the few MP3 players that has a built-in speaker. The K5 also has an FM tuner, a 1.7-inch color OLED screen, touch-sensitive controls, and 2GB or 4GB of embedded flash memory. Tack on the promise of fantastic battery life, and this one should be a keeper, right? We have provided you with a Samsung K5 unboxing gallery, and also give you our thoughts in our full review, after the break.
Looks like my boy John over at CrunchGear got his hands on one of the new T-Mobile Dash phones, and is reporting back with his impressions of the unit. The Dash is the new Moto Q-esque phone by HTC, which runs Windows Mobile 5.0 and has a full QWERTY keyboard. While John’s lack of love for Windows Mobile 5.0 may seem unfair at first, we can totally sympathize. That said, CrunchGear seems to think the phone is an all around good experience, WinMo 5.0 notwithstanding. If you are looking for a consumer-level phone ($199 with 2-year contract) that does more than just play fancy ringtones, this one might be worth a look if you are on T-Mobile (or looking to switch.)
Read More | CrunchGear