They say music is the universal language, and as music lovers ourselves, we think it's one of the best gifts that you can give, and we're putting it in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Rather than grabbing an iTunes gift card, or worse, a random CD from the bargain bin, we recommend hitting your loves ones up with Rdio gift subscriptions. Why? It allows the user unlimited access to the entire Rdio music streaming catalog. That means on-demand access to millions of tracks from the web, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and even your Sonos system. Rdio costs $9.99 per month for full access. We love it--check out Gear Live on Rdio!
We are giving away three 3-month subscriptions to Rdio to our readers as well! To enter, all you need to do is:
- Follow Gear Live on Twitter
- Tweet the following message: "Hey @GearLive - hook me up with that free @Rdio subscription! http://gear.lv/SEjTdi" (Click here to tweet this now!)
Good luck to all entrants, and be sure to look through the rest of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for more giveaways!
Read More | Rdio
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.
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.
The one glaring hole in the iPad mini has now been fixed, as Apple has announced a brand new iPad mini with Retina display. It sports the same 2048 x 1536 display that is found on the new iPad Air, and also sports the same processor as well--the Apple A7 processor, also found in the iPhone 5s. It even has the M7 processor built-in as well. In fact, it sports all of the same features internally that are found on the iPad Air--the only difference seems to be the size of the actual display, and since the iPad mini and iPad Air share the same display resolution, the mini ends up having the more pixel dense panel. No exact launch date has been announced yet, but we know that it'll launch in late November, starting at $399 for the 16GB model--that's a $70 price increase when compared to the original non-Retina iPad mini.
Read More | iPad mini Product Page
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!
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
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.
We're putting the finishing touches on our iPhone 5c review, and in the meantime, we've put together a large gallery of images showcasing Apple's new lower-cost smartphone. The iPhone 5c is everything you liked about the iPhone 5, but ditches the aluminum enclosure for a more colorful plastic outer shell. The device is available in five colors (white, green, blue, pink, and yellow,) and has a slightly improved battery, and an improved FaceTime camera on the front, but other than that, it's an iPhone 5 through-and-through, but $100 cheaper than it used to be. Head on over to our iPhone 5c unboxing gallery to check out the device in some up-close-and-personal images.
You can pick up the iPhone 5c starting at $99 now from the Apple Store.
Gallery: Apple iPhone 5c unboxing gallery
The next generation of gaming is upon us, with both the Xbox One and Playstation 4 launching in about six weeks time. Our friends over at Monster are looking to hook you up, and we've teamed up with them to bring you this awesome Playstation 4 accessory pack giveaway. Basically, if you're getting a PS4, you'll wanna win this, since we'll be hooking you up with games (Madden 25 and FIFA 14,) a pair of Monster MVP Carbon gaming headphones, and a bunch of other swag. Here's the full list:
- Monster MVP Carbon High-Performance gaming headphones
- Monster Video ISF 2000HD Hyper (12 ft HDMI Cable)
- Monster GreenPower HDP 1400G PowerCenter
- Monster ScreenClean
- Monster Swag Clothing Package
- EA Sports FIFA 14
- EA Sports Madden NFL 25
Cool, right? Ready to enter? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:
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