Back in 2011, when Lytro introduced the Light Field, critics gasped in amazement at the camera’s ability to refocus pictures after the shutter snap… and in horror at the angular, boxy design. Lytro updated and repackaged their technology as the Illum, which represents their first real foray into the consumer market.
Choosing wisely has never been easier
Navigating the ever-expanding tablet market doesn’t have to be complicated. Honestly answering some basic questions can help quickly narrow your focus. Are you really looking to just triage work emails, browse the web and review spreadsheets, or is editing photos and playing PC-quality games the goal? Your responses make choosing between Intel’s Atom and Core i processor line the natural place to start. Next, what about Android or Windows 8? How about screen size? Chances are, there’s an Intel-powered tablet available that meets (and beats) all of your requirements. Our buying guide video breaks down some of the best options on the market today, giving you more time to focus on far more important things, like correcting that slice.
Lots of light, and a little smoke
Amazon’s Fire TV provides the best experience of any streaming device for consumers who’ve spent more than a few paychecks on the company’s media ecosystem. No question about it: if you live and die by Amazon Prime Instant Video, buy the Fire TV and rejoice. But what if you aren’t a card-carrying member of the Bezos fan club? We found a comfy couch and tested it out.
Power plus space, all in one case
Mophie’s Space Pack for the iPhone 5/5s combines extra battery power with up to 32GB of additional storage, promising to fixing two of the phone’s biggest shortcomings in one convenient package.
The filmmaker/editor's secret weapon
Fitting right between the Indie filmmaker’s DSLR and Hollywood studio’s Arri Alexa, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera ($2,000), with its 13 stops of dynamic range and 2.5K sensor, makes filmmakers jump for joy. We took it on a test drive.
A Comprehensive Guide to Ignoring Friends and Family
Consoles don’t provide much in the way of portability (anyone else ever own this masterpiece of engineering?), and grown men carrying Gameboys often attract the wrong kind of attention, but mobile games offer interactive experiences on the devices that most of us carry every day. They allow us a bit of serenity when we need it most — in the airport, on the subway, at a questionable mid-life Bris. Here, we’ve provided a list of 50 of the best games made for iOS. Play at the risk of your relationship.
Why choose when you can have both?
Sick of juggling multiple device? You’re not alone. So called 2-in-1s can offer the best-of-both-worlds solution, combining the productivity of a laptop with the fun and convenience of a tablet. Check out our video for a rundown of this growing new gadget category and start plotting your new streamlined future today.
The fitness tracker that refuses to fit in
What makes a good wearable? Comparing a laundry list of features is one way to start the conversation. The Misfit Shine proves, however, that there’s still something to be said for keeping it simple.
Small size, big sound
The typical beef with earbuds is that they sound worse than similarly priced over- or on-ear headphones. That’s not to say audio engineers haven’t figured out how to squeeze spectacular sound out of a diminutive package, there’s just usually a hefty premium for having your cake and eating it too. Klipsch’s X11i are the company’s top of the line offering in-ear offering. We spent the last few weeks with a pair to see if they were capable of producing the high-end sound worthy of their high-end price.
Since 2010, several iOS games have tried to match Infinity Blade’s incredible combination of artistry and narrative, our favorites being The Room and Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP. On April 3rd, 2014, a new challenger stepped into the arena: Monument Valley, an M.C. Escher-inspired puzzle game made by indie developers ustwogames.
Everything you want, and more
We imagined tablets long before they ever found their way into our daily lives — maybe that’s why they fit in so quickly. But don’t let their prominent science fiction legacy mislead you: there’s plenty of innovation still to be had. In fact, the category is already evolving at breakneck speed, thanks largely to the breakthroughs in processing technology being made by companies like Intel. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out the video above to see just how far tablets have come and where they’re headed tomorrow.
Release the Titans
Titanfall starts with some 1960s stock footage of rockets. There is a voiceover. From what we can understand, a group called the militia is battling a group called the IMC. Then we’re in the game, running on walls, and that stuff doesn’t matter anymore. This is Titanfall‘s big bet: that players, so intent on shooting really big weapons at really big robots, won’t care that the game lacks any sort of discernible plot or campaign. And it works — to an extent.
Little Life Hacks
Though they plague us with unfettered access to gossip sites and Flappy Bird, there’s plenty our smartphones can do to actually improve quality of life. Baby steps in the right direction — for instance, apps that aid productivity, fitness, travel, language and more — can cancel out your brain-rotting mini-game addictions and provide the small impetus you need to get out and do. These ten are helping us at the moment, and they won’t complicate your finances, either: the majority are free.
F-Stop is a relative newcomer to the camera bag scene, and its St. Louis headquarters is incongruous with its focus on packs for mountain sports photography. But don’t let that fool you. Their packs show a design maturity that could only stem from experience and a smart use of user feedback. We tested both the light-and-fast Kenti ($249) and the sturdier, larger Satori EXP ($379) in conditions as varied as multi-day hikes in New Zealand and peak bagging in New Hampshire.
Two Very Talented Spin Doctors
Today music lovers are finding more and more of their friends have returned to a beloved 1960s listening form: spinning vinyl. Unfortunately, buying a turntable is daunting. The segment tends to idolize incredibly expensive hi-fi gear, which is all well and good, except that few newcomers or even seasoned vinyl listeners can afford the tippity top of the quality pyramid. Truth is, for the price of an iPod you can be the proud owner of a turntable with great sound and the chops to convey every form of jammery until you yourself are a vinyl aficionado.
Laptop, upgrade thyself
When you pull a brand new MacBook Pro out of the box it looks so neat and sleek and immortal; it’s hard to imagine a day when that thing will be so slow it’ll make you want to drive an adze through it. But age, lack of space and low memory have set their marks on it. Computers get old and tired and confused, just like people. Fortunately, computers are easier to freshen up than people, and if your machine is three or four years old and lagging, there are some easy solutions to improve its performance, saving you some money and frustration in the process.
A Thorough Guide to Listening the Right Way
Our obsession with hardware is here to stay — don’t expect an apology for it anytime soon. We’ll be the first to admit, though, that even the right headphones, speakers and amps are only as good as the source material you play through them. Garbage in, garbage out. The solution? Get more out of the tunes you love by upgrading your music library.
Five Oceans, Five Cameras
Nowadays, there are many options for underwater photography and videography available to the avid diver and occasional vacation snorkeler alike. These five underwater imaging options — everything from custom-machined metal housings to cameras that don’t need a housing at all — will serve you well on your next dive trip. What you shoot is up to you.
No excuses, just good shots
Today’s affordable tools, cameras, classes and copious creative outlets have brought making a film (one of the best story-telling devices) nearly to the everyman. Still, all those advances can’t change a basic fact: sometimes making a movie means going to where the story is rather than waiting for it to come to you. But paying to check 10 Pelican cases of equipment will essentially eat your entire production budget, not to mention it’s tough to sneak into a location if you have a fleet of boxes and bags. This kit can be carried by one or two people in traditional suitcases — which means you get your shots, no matter where those shots may be.
Nip your audio in the bud
Earbuds, rather than full-size headphones, are essential to many a man mostly because they are so very compact. If you’re a commuter or jogger or some other type of person who can’t balance one-pound earmuffs on your head all day, and you don’t want to spend a pretty penny on something that you’re likely to lose or break, these are for you. They’re the best budget earbuds we’ve heard of, so listen up.
Nowadays media streaming devices offer dramatically improved user experiences, access to a wide range of content at 1080p, and price tags easily within anyone’s budget, making it easier than ever to cut the cable company’s iron umbilical cord. We’ve selected the top five that should satiate any media user, aficionado to amateur.
Stuttgart Speeds Into the 21st Century
From the Archives: Mercedes has been innovating in Silicon Valley for over two decades, but they’ve decided to bolster their cutting-edge technological efforts with their new Mercedes Benz Research & Development North America (MBRDNA) headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. We were on hand to explore the new facilities, check out their in-car technology and gawk at the beautiful, newly unveiled AMG Vision Gran Turismo.
If you fake it, you won't make it
Canon is on the front line of the assault against counterfeit parts, taking the proverbial (cannon) shot across counterfeiters’ bows. Counterfeit products, be they purses or batteries, boast cheap price tags because they’re cheaply made. Fake Canon batteries, battery grips and chargers aren’t manufactured under the stringent quality standards and regulations that true Canon products are, and as such they can be at best a nuisance — lower performance, voided warranties — and at worst cause hazards like overheating, device damage and fires.
Three Amateur Gamers Play for 14 Hours Straight
From the Archives: Three GP staffers, all casual gamers, tested the Xbox One for over 14 hours straight and came away with a severe lack of sleep and plenty of strong first impressions. Addicted? Clearly. Here’s what they remember.
Ever wish you could hit a 95 mph fastball? Us too. In lieu of that pipe dream we’ll happily take the ability to see a 95 mph fastball better while whiffing. Aaron Seitz — a neuroscientist at The University of California Riverside (UCR) — seems to have an answer with a new eye training app. His creation may have more far-reaching consequences than an increase in homers.
The pick of the little
Does your iPad Mini Retina need some love? We’ve updated our best iPad Mini & Mini Retina cases at a variety of price points to help get your new Cupertino buddy from birthday suit to warm and cozy. Whether you prioritize looks, function or insurance for your butterfingers, each of these iPad Mini cases has a forte — and a price.
Anyone who followed CES this year saw the amount of new wireless Bluetooth speakers — an avalanche eclipsed only by the utter horde of new fitness trackers. Still, it’s clear when a winner emerges from the pack. While the fight for the best portable Bluetooth speaker continues, one high-end contender threatens to end the competition: the foxL DASH 7 ($219), produced by Soundmatters, the same company that originally provided components for the best-selling Jambox.
To Russia We Fly
Packing for a trip to Russia for the Sochi Olympics is no small feat. There’s weather, international travel, technology and a desire to stay light on our feet to consider. Gear needs to be tough, functional, lightweight and understated. Here’s a sampling of what we’re packing to use on a normal day in Sochi.
Less is more, you photo whore
As it turns out, most of Instagram’s 100 million users aren’t jet setting to exotic locations, climbing mountains or doing other exceptionally picturesque stuff (see #dentist for further evidence). That being said, you don’t have to summit Everest to post interesting Instagrams. By following a few (relatively) straightforward guidelines you’ll soon be ‘gramming like Ansel Adams.
Go Forth and Multiply
The Iris Smart Kit ($299) does a fantastic job of keeping our home in check, but a quick survey of the complementary products available for the Iris Home Management System, by Lowe’s, had us feeling like a pot-bellied biker with a bone-stock Harley at home. Accordingly, we tested out an Iris Kit army of great add-ons.