Drobo is billed as the “World’s first data storage robot.” We like to think of it as super, super simple data storage that also doubles as a fantastic backup destination. Backing up your data is both extremely boring, and excruciatingly essential. Apple has tried to spice things up in this area with their Time Machine technology in Leopard (which Drobo supports), and Windows Home Server offers easy backup for your Windows-based computers.
As you may recall, we got a full feature rundown of Drobo back at CES 2008, so check that out if you need a refresher, or in case you missed it. We were thoroughly impressed, and had to get our hands on one to bring you the scoop on what we think of the device after using it in the real world. While the review is soon to come, we knew you’d want to see the Drobo unboxed. Oh, and as a bonus, we also have the DroboShare as well. This add-on turns your Drobo into a NAS device, and can even pair two Drobos up together for the ultimate in small environment networked data storage.
As of this moment, Microsoft’s Zune team is deploying the new Zune 2.5 software out to the Internets, with the hopes that it will result in many more people getting down with the Social. We got a sneak peak at some of the new features that the crew is rolling out, and we must say, it’s very apparent that they’ve put a lot of thought and a lot of work into tightening up some of the loose ends.
So, first things first, a huge part of this update is about connecting with friends, and discovering new music. This is being done by way of the overhauled Zune Card, which is a quick snapshot of anyones Zune profile. It auto-updates to reflect the latest music played by a user, their favorite songs, and top songs from most played artists. Even cooler, you can take these Zune Cards with you by syncing them up with your Zune device. This will give you a glimpse into what your friends are listening to, and if you are a Zune Pass subscriber, you automatically get the last 6 songs from each category of the Zune Pass, for each person you add. That’s a new 18 tracks per Zune Card that you choose to sync to your device.
Read More | Zune 2.5 gallery
Apple has quietly made a subtle change to the Apple TV movie experience. Previously, you were able to rent standard definition and high definition movies through Apple TV, and obviously, those rentals would expire if left unwatched for 30 days, or within 24 hours of you starting the movie. However, people have been asking for movie downloads since Apple TV Take 2 launched. Well, all that has changed, as Apple has come to an agreement with movie studios that will see new movies available for purchase and download on the same day that they are released on DVD.
The downside to all this? Well, for starters, you can’t buy the HD versions of these movies, despite the fact that you can rent them in HD. If you have an HDTV, we are guessing that you prefer your movies in HD. Also, for a similar price, you could just buy the movie on disc, and get all the extra special feature videos that are lacking on the iTunes download. Oh well, I guess we should just be happy that we are seeing progress.
Get this - Fortune is saying that AT&T is going to be subsidizing the cost of the 3G iPhone by $200, which would mean that you could get one of the new phones for $199 USD with a 2-year contract. Now, that isn’t as crazy as it seems, as they do this with just about every other phone that they offer. They just haven’t been doing it with the first iPhone. Now, to be clear, if you made the decision to buy the phone from an Apple Store, you would be paying the full price.
Other tidbits in the Fortune article state that the new phone will be 2.5mm thinner than the current iPhone (which itself is 11.7mm thick), and that it will also include a GPS chip. Pricing will be $399 for the 8GB version, and $499 for the 16GB model, before subsidies. As with all Apple rumors, we take this one with a grain of salt, but hey, it’s Fortune, right?
Read More | Fortune
Hey, remember that HP HDX Dragon PC that we unboxed a few months ago? Well, HP has gone and upgraded the specs on that puppy, and they want us to give one of them to you guys. Not just the computer, but a few Blu-ray movies, a few PC games, and a bunch of software too. All in all, if you were to purchase everything we are giving away on your own, you’d end up spending somewhere around $5,196.00. Yeah, I said it. Go ahead and read that again.
No, here is the real kicker. Now only are we here at Gear Live giving away one of these 1080p beasts, but thirty other sites are also going to be giving away the exact same package, including our friends over at ArsTechnica, Lockergnome, JKOnTheRun, and Jake Ludington’s MediaBlab. That means you have 31 chances to win. Seriously. That’s why we are calling it 31 Days of the Dragon.
Now, each site is going to set their own criteria for how they are going to run things, and we will be announcing what we will be doing soon. Our giveaway date for the HDX Dragon is June 7, 2008. You’d better keep it locked here, peeps. Oh, and anyone in the world is eligible to win.
Hit the break for the full scoop on everything we are giving away, which other sites are also giving these away, and an unboxing video of the HDX Dragon.
Read More | 31 Days of the Dragon
The Apple Store online went down again this morning, and when it came back up, we were graced by the presence of updated iMacs. For those keeping count, the update finally brings the Intel Core 2 Duo Penryn processors to the iMac, and the entire line also gets a 1066 MHz front-side bus and 6MB L2 cache. Pricing are remaining the same, so for $1,199 you walk away with a 20-inch iMac sporting a 2.4GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 250GB hard drive, and ATi Radeon HD 2400 XT graphics card. If you would rather go the 24-inch route, you can get a 3.06GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, and a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS. While the internals have changed, don’t expect to see anything new on the outside. These are still the same aluminum and glass beauts we saw last August. Check out the unboxing video after the jump.
Read More | iMac product page
Okay, so we’ve been graced with a copy of Mario Kart Wii a few days early by Nintendo themselves. We’ve played the game a bit, and will be will be reporting back with our initial thoughts, but for now, we wanted to hit you with an unboxing gallery. We have a bunch of images of the Wii Wheel for you to take a gander at, as well as the box, game disc, and the like. Just a little something to tide you over until Sunday. Go ahead and click on over to our Mario Kart Wii gallery for the images.
Gallery: Mario Kart Wii unboxing gallery
We’ve been trying not to stir the iPhone rumor pot too much lately, but it seems like details are starting to come out that we believe may just be legitimate. Ryan over at Engadget heard a few things from a trusted source that match up with a couple of things we’ve heard, plus he got a few things we weren’t sure about.
For starters, we had heard that the 3G iPhone would likely be just a tad thicker than the current model, which seems to match up with what we read. Physically, Apple may be doing away with the two-toned back color of the iPhone, opting instead for a smooth black finish. The headphone jack will no longer be recessed into that hole of frustration, and lastly, the thing will have full-on GPS.
Engadget is saying that the next iPhone could ship as early as July. We are thinking it could be as early as June. We know for a fact that there is at least one person here in Seattle who has one, and that the person doesn’t work for Apple. Apple typically doesn’t seed these things outside of their organization until they are in the last phase of testing. That leads us to believe that these are just about ready to launch. What do you think? This is all a bit too exciting for us, as we die a little inside with each day that passes where we have to use EDGE on our iPhone.
Read More | Engadget
If you were one of the Apple fanboy nay-sayers who swore that no one would ever want to run Windows on their Mac, it looks like Parallels just proved you wrong. The company just announced that they’ve surpassed one million units sold across the globe. If you stop and think about that for a second, you’ll realize that software like Parallels must be having a very significant effect to the Mac and computer market. We are guessing that, thanks to software like Parallels and VMWare Fusion, more and more people are willing to stray away from the WIndows PC to venture into Mac territory.
“Parallels Desktop not only broke down the barrier between the Mac and PC worlds, it also broke down the barrier that kept desktop virtualization from becoming a mainstream technology for consumers and professional users” said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels. “We will continue innovating to extend our position as the desktop virtualization leader and provide our users with the fastest, easiest and most seamless solution available.”
Now, don’t get us wrong - we know that Parallels can also run Linux and other operating systems as well - but seriously, the success if all about the fact that you can run Windows apps right alongside your Mac apps. Congrats are in order. If you haven’t yet tried it yet, here’s a Parallels discount coupon.
Man, April is just shaping up to bring us all sorts of goodness - Mario Kart Wii, Grand Theft Auto IV, and now Windows XP SP3. Don’t get me wrong, I sure as hell am not saying that XP SP3 will be anywhere near as enjoyable as two of the biggest console game releases of the year, but seriously, if those rumors about a 10 percent speed increase hold true, that is just one more reason to stick with XP over Vista. Look for WIndows XP SP3 in the Microsoft Download Center, as well as Microsoft Update, on April 29th.
Read More | Microsoft TechNet