Technology can be frustrating. In a world where most hardware makers share the same operating system (i.e. Android, Windows) I see them release crappy device after crappy device and they’re all the same. Luckily a few fine gadgets have been released that will really set a standard, and I wanted to highlight four devices that are really unique and well built.
Google Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 is a truly unique device in that it is the first tablet to bring speed and quality at such a low price point. For $200 Google is offering a 7 inch tablet with tons of RAM, a quad core processor, a new OS, and a strong build. The value this device provides opens new doors for businesses, schools, and organizations and allows everyone to live the high tech lifestyle. Kudos to Google.
The New ipad
Another device I love is the new ipad. The new ipad sets the ultimate standard in the tablet market with a fast chipset, 4G, HD cameras, and a huge Retina Display that makes using technology a more enjoyable experience. The reason the ipad still dominates the tablet market after three years is that it truly still is the best device out there.
The Microsoft Surface
It pains me to say it, but the surface looks like a fine tablet. The faster pro model offers ivy bridge processors. The devices both have HD screens, and strong magnesium builds. It honestly looks like a well built tablet, and windows 8, as I have said is a very fine tablet OS. In terms of unique features, the two optional attachable keyboards are a great idea for attracting business customers. I have to admire Microsoft for taking the bold step of basically endorsing their OS as mostly a tablet OS.
The New Macbook Pro
The new Macbook Pro is by far the best computer I have ever used. It’s so light,(see our macbook pro review), lightning fast, and the screen is insane. I love it so much. The computer is just so well built that it could dominate the high-end computing market for years to come. This computer gives me hope for the future of technology.
After a long wait Canon has released their first mirrorless pro camera and it looks to fit right in with the pack. Billed under their EOS brand as the EOS M, the camera features a small form factor, interchangeable lenses, and touch screen controls for the price of $800/
What I dislike about this camera is that Canon took a consumer approach to a professional camera. While the camera still features an 18 MP sensor, it’s much harder to play around with this camera versus a DSLR. There are nearly no manual controls on the body of the camera meaning that you need to search through a touch screen to play with the settings. It makes it harder to capture the shot in the right way at the right moment.
Supposedly the camera has the guts of the T4i which would mean it’s pretty fast, but the lack of a viewfinder seems like another cost-saving, or space-saving decision that didn’t have professionals in mind. Most professionals will tell you they use the viewfinder of their DSLR extensively and removing it is a risky move.
Despite these weaknesses, the Canon Mirrorless Camera is a serious competitor in the market which is currently owned by the Sony Nex cameras, the nikon mirrorless, and on the lower end the pentex. As a high end and light consumer camera this camera excels, and as a second camera for professionals it is decent, but I don’t see this becoming a popular first choice amongst professionals due to its’ lack of ease of control. If you’re a photographer please let me know what you think of this camera.
A few months ago I got an email from the folks at Pressreader asking me if I would review their service. Knowing me, you know I never turn down an opportunity to try a free service, so I gave it a try, and I can tell you that what Pressreader offers truly is unique.
Pressreader offers a database of 2100+ publications which can be viewed on mobile devices in newspaper form as if you bought it off of a news stand, or in an optimized reading format.
I tested them on my iphone, and an ipad, but their apps are also available on blackberry, Android, and Windows (unfortunately no mac app right now).
Anyways, on to the review. Pressreader is a well built, easy to use service. The app works smoothly and allows you to easily download publications for offline viewing with ease. Pressreader offers some pretty big publications too. The ones I saw included The Washington Post, The international Herald Tribune, USA Today, and The New York Post. They offer that day’s issue meaning you’re always reading the latest news, and you can actually read it in newspaper form as if you were reading an actual paper.
The nice part about this is that if you habitually go straight to certain sections you can do the same with the app. Their optimized reader is well built and reflects a word document. You can find top stories from all of the publications and easily go to related articles. They even have commenting built in so that you can be social while reading. They also offer some nice article sharing with options including print, email, and instapaper among others.
The only thing that upset me was the pricing structure. They charge $30 per month for unlimited publications. For $8 a month I can get netflix. Licensing is expensive and I’m sure the prices will go down as they pay that off, but $30 per month is a lot of money.
If you don’t plan on reading at least one publication per day on there I would recommend going with the alternative pricing structure they offer. You can purchase any of the publications they offer ala carte for the decent price of $1. This give you access to everything in that issue, and it still works very well.
For the casual reader both options can be slightly expensive for their needs, but for a major news junkie like me, a service like this is invaluable and I would highly recommend it. According to the guys at Pressreader, the price will likely go down at some point.
So basically, download the app and give it a try. They offer a few free downloads at first, and when you’re travelling the ala carte option can save you money and time over finding your newspaper of choice wherever you are. Give it a try by downloading the free app.