Archive for September, 2010
Ever since Nintendo’s E3 video game press conference, whenever I heard the term “3D,” I immediately began to think about the Nintendo 3DS– 3D video gaming in your pocket without the need for those annoying glasses. There was though one problem the 3DS’s unveiling– we were all left without any price or release date for when would be able to pick up one of these bad boys. Today however, we have finally gotten those answers from a Nintendo event in Japan.
According to the video game site IGN, Nintendo will be releasing the 3DS next year in Japan on February 26th in blue or black colors for about $300 (the official Japan price is 25,000 yen, which converts back to about US $300), with Europe and the US said to be getting it in March (though what the prices are here may be different from the Japan price. Nintendo US also hasn’t yet announced US pricing and availability).
Nintendo also showed off some cool new features of the 3DS like using the front camera to create yourself a Mii, as well as some of the strong graphic capabilities (and I’m not gonna lie, Mario Kart looks pretty sweet!) which you can see in the YouTube video below:
Here’s the thing, with the holiday season almost upon us, are you willing to wait a few months for this or would you rather just go for a new iPod Touch, which while not 3D, does a solid job for on-the-go gaming as well as a whole lot more with all the iOS apps and Facetime (and not to mention comes in cheaper than the Japan price of $300– the iTouch starts at $229 for the 8 GB).
If you’re looking for a new portable game system this holiday season, what’s it gonna be– you gonna go for that iPod Touch or can you wait it out until the 3DS arrives?
A couple of months ago we gave our first thoughts on Microsoft’s latest and greatest version of its Office suite, Office 2010. So, is this new Office worth the upgrade? Read on for our full teen review!
File this one under strange but strange enough that it probably could happen. Rumors are swirling around the internet today of Facebook developing their own cell phone. Yes you read that right, not an app like those found on iPhone, Android or BlackBerry– but a full-out phone. This rumor comes courtesy of TechCrunch (who was the first to report the rumors of Google making their own phone, what later became the Nexus One). What this Facebook phone looks like, when it will come out, or even how much it will cost are still unknown, but what is known is that this project is (well, was) super top-secret that was hidden from even Facebook employees.
Though all the talk is of this being a teen marketed phone, which makes sense as we use Facebook more than any other demographic by a long shot. The phone is said to be a full OS focused around Facebook, including deep contact integration (so all your Facebook contacts are automatically synced to your phone. This is something already done by the iPhone app, so we wonder how this would be better), and I’m sure easy access to common Facebook uses like updating your status, uploading and viewing pix, and commenting and liking friends status’.
Now Facebook’s status (pun fully intended) on all this is the as expected “no,” telling the site Mashable “The story, which originated in Techcrunch, is not accurate. Facebook is not building a phone. Our approach has always been to make phones and apps more social… building phones is just not what we do” (emphasis ours).
Here’s what we want to know though– how important is having great Facebook access to you when your picking a new phone? Is it up there with the “must haves” like sleek design, a good camera and great texting? Or would you rather get a phone with a Facebook app (and pretty much every new phone now has some sort of Facebook app)? Me? I’m more than happy with the Facebook iPhone app, and really wouldn’t see why I’d want a Facebook focused phone (I mean, isn’t that kinda of what the now dead Microsoft KIN phones try to do?).
There’s always something going on between Verizon and Sprint when it comes to launching new BlackBerrys. I mean, whenever one announces they are getting a new one, the other turns around and says they are getting it too. But hey, if you’re a BlackBerry fan on either of the carriers this type of competition ain’t so bad, right? Yeah, we thought so, and in this case it definitely is good with Verizon and Sprint both announcing their plans to release the all new BlackBerry Curve 3G (or BlackBerry Curve 9330 if you want the specific model name) over the coming days and weeks.
What is this new BlackBerry you ask? Think of it as a solid and cheaper, but slightly lower end version of the Bold 9650 or a very nice update to the current Curve 8530 (the most recent Curve that added a trackpad in place of the trackball). Both come with what you’d expect from a BlackBerry– a sleek, thin design with that awesome full QWERTY keyboard and trackpad, 3G, GPS and WiFi (though unlike the Torch, these don’t connect to the latest WiFi N networks), a 2 megapixel camera with video recording (something we wish would’ve been bumped up at least to 3 megapixels from the current Curve’s 2. Oh, and video recording requires a microSD card. Sprint ships their BlackBerry with a 2 GB card in the box, but Verizon needs you to purchase your own separately), and BlackBerry OS 5 with all the features you know and love like App World and BBM.
Both Verizon and Sprint have also announced that their Curve 3Gs will get updates to BlackBerry 6 OS (with Sprint saying their update will be coming in 2011, and Verizon saying “BlackBerry 6 is expected to be available for the BlackBerry Curve 3G, upon network certification, in the coming months.”) In short, we wouldn’t be surprised if both updates don’t come until next year (network certification is the testing process carriers do on phones and software prior to public release, and Verizon is notorious for having a particularly strict testing process that could very easily push this update to who-knows-when).
Verizon’s Curve 3G will be available later today, September 16th, at Verizon’s site (in either gray or red colors) for a very solid $30 on a new 2 year contract with data plan and $100 mail-in rebate. Sprint’s Curve 3G release (also in either gray or purple colors) will be a little over a week away– September 26th, for a slightly higher but also very solid $50 on 2 year contract with data plan and $100 mail-in rebate.
So, anyone looking to upgrade their Verizon or Sprint BlackBerry?
upon network certification, in the coming months.
In four days, Sony’s answer to the wildly popular Wii and Wiimote and Microsoft’s upcoming Kinect for Xbox 360 will be released. You may have already seen some ads for it online or on TV, but are wondering what in the world it is? Is it any good, and more importantly, is it any good for both the casual AND Metal Gear Solid playing hardcore gamer?
We got all that info and more on Sony’s new motion controller, so what are you waiting for? Read on!
As we walk into our classrooms this year, we will see more netbooks in use than ever before. This is in large part because you can get a solid netbook for under $4oo. These netbooks allow us to take notes in class while being way more mobile than laptops that, as we all know, are much bigger and heavier than even the largest of netbooks. All in all, netbooks are the becoming the student’s choice for school use and in this Back to School Guide, we have our top 5 Netbook picks for under $400.
We’ve been following this one very closely since the first rumors began trickling out, and now we finally have some official answers on what exactly T-Mobile’s new HSPA+ (their very, very fast 3G network with 4G like speeds) phone is. As was suspected recently, the G2 is very much a high spec’d phone that should be a very good choice for any T-Mobile user looking for a new high-end smartphone. Just check out the specs:
- 3.7-inch multi-touch screen with full slide out QWERTY keyboard– just like the G1.
- WiFi, GPS, and that HSPA+ 3G
- 800 MHz Snapdragon processor– While not as powerful as other high-end smartphones rocking 1 GHZ processors (like the Droid 2, EVO 4G, and Samsung’s Galaxy S phones like T-Mobile’s Vibrant), this drop off isn’t too bad as T-Mobile is saying this should still offer very solid speed (and more than enough for texting, playing music, watching YouTube and browsing the web) while also offering very good battery life (as it doesn’t have to use as much power to power the phone).
- Android 2.2 with Swype (as an onscreen keyboard) and built-in Adobe Flash– One of the big differences here is that it doesn’t seem to have a custom skin like an HTC Sense, MOTOBLUR, or TouchWiz 3.0, instead going with the standard Android 2.2 interface which looks very nice and simple to use (and should offer more speed as it doesn’t have to run that special interface in the background). The G2 also has a Quick Keys app on the homescreen for one-touch access to your favorite Google shortcuts and applications, something we haven’t yet seen on other Android 2.2 phones.
- 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, autofocus and HD 720p video recording– Like the Vibrant and iPhone 4.
- 4 GB of built-in memory with a pre-installed 8 GB microSD memory card– With support for adding up to a 32 GB memory card.
When you’re looking for a new top of the line T-Mobile phone, this should definitely give the Vibrant a run for its money. Sure the screen is a drop smaller (the Vibrant’s is an even 4 inches) and it the processor is a tad slower, but the keyboard on the G2 does look really great to use and of course who can forget about the ability to rake in 4G-like speeds? Is this better than the Vibrant though? That’s a really tough call as again, both on paper have some slight differences which, depending on your particular preferences, could go either way.
We still don’t have an exact date for when this bad boy drops or how much it will cost (Best Buy has already announced they will sell it for $199 on October 6th, but T-Mobile still hasn’t announced their pricing and availability just yet), but if your already on T-Mobile and looking to pick one of these up for your next phone, you can sign up today to be notified when the pre-order goes live later this month. And if you’re not on T-Mobile, well, stay tuned.
Waiting for those new iPods or the new iOS 4.1 for the iPhone/iPod Touch? Then today is your day as Apple has finally made both available, with the new iPods now available in Apple, Best Buy and other stores, as well as shipping between 1-3 days (the new Shuffle), and 3-5 days (the new Nano and Touch) from Apple’s online store. And if you already got your iPhone 3G, 3GS or 4 or an iPod Touch 2nd (2 years ago, with the built-in speaker), 3rd (last years model) or 4th generation (the latest one announced last week), you can download iOS 4.1 now.
Just as a recap, iOS 4.1 offers a bunch of new features to iOS 4, including Game Center (Apple’s mobile gaming network, kinda like Xbox Live), HDR photos, and iTunes movie rentals for $0.99 as well as mobile access to Apple’s iTunes Ping music social network (both of these are in the iTunes store app). We’ve got iOS 4.1 running on our iPhone 4 here, and while a lot of iOS 4.1 is minor updates (it is after just .1 update not iOS 5), we really are liking some of the new additions like HDR photos. If you use your phone (or now iPod Touch!) to take a lot of on-the-go photos, you’re going to really appreciate this, and as you can see below, it really makes a difference.
iOS 4.1 HDR– pic on left with HDR, on right without
So did you get a new iPod today or download iOS 4.1? If so, what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Thinking of trying to use Apple’s back-to-school deal (which runs until NEXT Tuesday, September 7th) to snag that brand new iPod Touch or Nano for “free?” Think again. We were searching around Apple’s site to see what the deal was with the new iPods and the back-to-school deal, and sure enough, we found this little line on the deal’s Terms and Conditions page:
Please be advised that Apple announced new iPod models on September 1, 2010. These new iPod models are NOT ELIGIBLE for the Back to School promotion. Rebate claims submitted in conjunction with these new products will not be honored.
We can’t say we’re too surprised about this (I mean, it doesn’t make sense on a whole bunch of levels for Apple to put the new iPods into this deal), but yeah, if you want one of those new iPods you’re going to need to actually buy it.
Yeah, you’re gonna wanna read on.
We know today was going to be a big day for Apple, and boy did they not disappoint. Apple gave the pretty much the whole iPod line a refresh (except for the Classic which appears to be on its last legs)– and all look really, really nice. We got the whole round-up and breakdown of what you need to know about Apple’s Fall Event after the break, so read on!