Reviews

iPad Air review

The first iPad was magical and revolutionary, Apple's most advanced technology at an unbelievable price. It lifted the tablet from a decade of obscurity and made it not only a household name, but a household product. The iPad 2, however, proffered that technology alone was not enough. It was thinner, lighter, and faster, but most importantly - more confident. It defined post-PC even as it made the computer itself far more personal. The iPad 3 was new and "resolutionary", but at the expense of thinness and weight. The iPad 4, twice as fast. Both brought specs to what Apple had previously framed an experience fight, and the latter was overshadowed almost entirely by its newer, smaller sibling, the iPad mini. When it came to the full-sized iPad, it seemed Apple had hit a wall.

Enter the iPad Air. Where the limitations of 2012 dictated Apple had to choose between Retina and lightness, the advances of 2013 mean that Apple - that we - can now have both. But is it just more specs, or is it once again getting technology out of our way? Is it simply thinner, lighter, and faster, or has Apple recaptured the delight and the magic? Is it merely a step forward, or is the iPad Air truly another leap?

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Waterfield Designs Staad Backpack review

For nigh on a decade I've carried my laptop in backpacks, which work out great - they're comfortable to use over both shoulders and can hold a lot of stuff. Finding one that doesn't look like I'm heading to class or getting ready for a wilderness adventure can be a bit tough, though. Enter the Staad Backpack from Waterfield Designs. It's a more upscale and elegant design that's still eminently practical and capable of holding a lot of stuff.

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Olloclip 4-in-1 lens system for iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s review

Olloclip recently released an update to their current lens system for iPhone which is supposed to bring with it better overall optics and a new macro option. In the past we've been impressed with the results the old Olloclip system produced when it came to taking wide-angle, macro, and fisheye shots on the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5. Now that I've had my hands on the new 4-in-1 system for a while now and had the chance to test it out with my iPhone 5s, here are the results...

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IK Multimedia iLoud speaker review

On Thursday IK Multimedia announced the release of iLoud, a new Bluetooth portable speaker that is aimed at musicians and consumers alike. It costs $299.99. I've had a chance to put one through its paces, and I'm quite pleased with it.

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Slope by Dekke is the most magical iPad stand you'll ever own

Slope by Dekke is a new stand for iPad, actually tablets in general, that is unique in its own right. As you can see above, it looks much like the base of an iMac stand and pairs beautifully with an attached iPad. The most amazing part, however, is that it uses a series of tiny air pockets to secure your iPad into place and secure itself to most surfaces. It really is like magic.

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iPad Air Smart Case review

Apple typically releases two types of cases for the iPad, the Smart Cover and the Smart Case. While the Smart Cover only protects the screen and attaches magnetically, the Smart Case provides full body protection in a variety of different colors. The last generation Apple Smart Case left us disappointed to say the least. Let's see if the new version is any better...

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Touch ID takes hardware security to new levels - Here's how, why, and what it means!

We already know that the iPhone 5s' Touch ID secures your digital fingerprint by storing it on the Secure Enclave portion of the A7 that's only accessible to the sensor itself. But what if that wasn't the only safeguard Apple took in order to protect your prints? We've taken a closer look at Touch ID and through some collaboration with repair company mendmyi, we've found that Apple actually did take extra precautions, but on a hardware level that we've never seen implemented before. Here are the details!

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Dragon Realms combines monster collecting, town building, and online battles

Yesterday we looked at Elemental Kingdoms, a card battling RPG. Today we're back with a massively multiplayer online RPG/town-building hybrid called Dragon Realms. The spiritual successor to last year’s Kingdom Age, Dragon Realms was developed internally at GREE’s RPG+ Studio. Hundreds of creatures to collect, cooperative and PVP play, and cross-platform multiplayer make for a lengthy and addictive experience.

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Round table review: OS X Mavericks

Last Tuesday Apple released OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the tenth generation of their modern desktop operating system. We've already published Peter Cohen's extensive OS X Mavericks review, but many of us have been using it for awhile now as well, some since the beta went live following WWDC 2013 in June. So, to bring you as many opinions as possible, we've put together a good, old-fashioned, Mobile Nations round table. Here's what all of us think of Mavericks!

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OS X Mavericks review

Over the course of the past decade, we've seen many changes to OS X - some iterative, some significant. OS X's newest incarnation, "Mavericks" or version 10.9, is a bit of both. It doesn't significantly rework the user interface like Apple did with iOS 7, though there are some nice tweaks. Apple did make a number of changes under the hood to improve performance and efficiency, however, especially for mobile users.

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