Review: Ted Baker Six Pack

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Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 08:25
Category: Review

By Robert Kaneko
Today’s mobile community is in desperate need of portable power. As our iPods and iPhones gain functionality, they also eat through their built-in batteries. My 8GB first-generation iPod touch will last for a full day if I’m just using it to listen to music. However, if I start playing games, surfing the Internet, checking email, watching video and doing all the other things I bought the Touch for, my battery life plummets. It’s not a big stretch for me to use up the internal battery within two or three hours. Enter the Ted Baker Six Pack.
Contrary to what the name might imply, the Ted Baker Six Pack is not a strange new beverage. It is a portable external battery that will power and charge just about any small mobile device you can think of. In fact, if you are familiar with the Proporta Mobile Device Charger, the Ted Baker Six Pack is the same product in prettier packaging.
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Moshi iLynx Review

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Date: Tuesday, March 10th, 2009, 23:48
Category: Accessory, Firewire, Gadget, iMac, Mac Desktop, Peripheral, Review

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By David Klein
Moshi’s latest product, the iLynx, immediately caught my eye at January’s Macworld convention in San Francisco. When I saw Moshi’s booth I ran over to see what they had coming in the near future. My first question was: “What is that and when can I buy it?!” (Yes, I love cool looking products.) The Moshi employee told me it was a USB and Firewire hub. Somehow, they took a relatively dull concept and made it surprisingly sexy. Moshi demonstrated expertise in this style of design again.
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Review: Roxio Toast 10 Titanium and Toast 10 Titanium Pro

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Date: Tuesday, February 24th, 2009, 15:59
Category: Review

By Robert Kaneko
Roxio has once again updated their flagship authoring software package. The latest update, Toast 10 Titanium, continues the natural evolution of a mature product. It gives the user some hints about where Roxio might go with the product as we begin to approach the end of the general use optical storage era. It also presents users with a choice. Roxio has, for the first time, split the product into two versions. There is Toast 10 Titanium, which is the standard version of Toast that users have come to know and love. There is also Toast 10 Titanium Pro, a new variant that basically includes four extra third party authoring solutions in with the basic Toast package.
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Let me admit up front that I am a long time fan of Toast. It sits on my short list of “must have” applications. As I noted in my Toast 9 Titanium review last year, I find it an invaluable resource for authoring and archiving beyond the basics provided by Apple’s iDVD, iTunes and Finder disc burning features. In addition, Roxio seems to anticipate that one new feature that I didn’t even know I needed that makes me want to open my wallet one more time.
Toast 10 Titanium has joined the growing list of applications that now requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later. The funny thing is, I didn’t know that when I started this review. Sitting comfortably in my world of ignorance, I installed Toast on my trusty PowerBook G4 running OS X 10.4.11. It worked beautifully! I used most of the new features, including the ability to download and convert flash video from sites like YouTube, and they worked perfectly. I might have run into problems with AVCHD support or Blu-ray, but since I don’t have hardware that supports those features I remained blissfully unaware. Toast and SonicFire Pro 5 (part of the Toast 10 Titanium Pro package) both worked flawlessly. It wasn’t until I tried using the new Mac2TiVo feature that I realized there was a problem. That’s when I actually read the system requirements and moved the installation to a Leopard machine.
If you are familiar with any of the recent versions of Toast, especially Toast 9, Toast 10 is nearly identical. Roxio has once again polished the interface, dropping the styling of Toast 9 in favor of a more Leopard-friendly look, but the general structure of the program remains largely unchanged.
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Click the jump for the full review…

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Review: Pure Digital Flip Mino HD

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Date: Monday, February 23rd, 2009, 20:32
Category: Review

By David Klein

For many of us, purchasing a digital video camera is similar to purchasing a digital camera: a stressful experience. Am I buying the best one in my price range? What about the competitor’s? Is that enough megapixels? Is that enough storage? Endless questions and confusion. Most settle for average quality in the US$100 to US$200 range, and they are surprised by the above-average results. They get something compact and light with an LCD screen, a decent lens, and clear pictures.

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Fortunately, we now have a comparable experience with digital video: the Flip Mino HD. It’s compact, stylish, sleek, and light. It has a 1.5″ screen, and it records in 1280 x 720 (720p) resolution. Yes, that’s high definition and it’s shocking for such a small package. However, the other surprising part is the audio. Even with lots of ambient noise and jarring interruptions, the Mino HD manages to pick up close-range audio. For example, it clearly records the holder of the camera who may or may not be narrating (something I enjoy doing with my Flip).

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Charging the Flip and downloading videos is easy using the built-in USB connection that pops out of the top after flipping a switch. You have two options for accessing your videos. You can either copy them from the Flip, which mounts as an external hard drive on your desktop, or you can use the free software which is ready to install when you connect. My recommendation is to avoid this software. Although it allows you to organize, edit, and upload your videos, the interface is questionable. I prefer to use iMovie on my Mac when editing is actually necessary.

Click the jump for the full review…

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REVIEW: Futura Laptop Desk

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Date: Friday, July 20th, 2007, 10:42
Category: Review

Anyone who uses a PowerBook or MacBook for any extended period of time know the amount of heat that they generate. If you plan on using a MacBook on your lap (which is forbayed by Apple) you need to use some sort of a stand to protect your, ahem, nether region from all the heat and EMFs that it generates.

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A cool new stand that I’ve been using is the Futura Laptop Desk from LapWorks. Similar to its Laptop Desk 2.0 and UltraLite siblings, the Futura has a dual-purpose design: a) to provides an ergonomically-sound workspace across the lap, and b) to fold into a wedge-shaped stand for use at a desk. Pictured above is the Futura in the opened configuration which leaves enough room on the side for a mouse pad and a mouse.
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Although it looks more like a futuristic mountain biking helmet, make no mistake, this is an excellent notebook stand. I don’t really use mine much in the opened configuration but instead prefer to use it in the folded “stand” position.
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Futura features several open ventilation slots which allow air to enter from underneath and rubber pads create an extra 1/8-inch air space to let air circulate under the notebook. Visible in this third picture is the adjustable “kick stand” leg which allows you to adjust the amount of angle in the stand to suit your needs.
My favorite feature in the Futura stand, hands down, is the weight and slim profile. It weighs just 16.25 ounces and folds in half to 11 x 10.75 inches and half of an inch thick so you can easily stow it in your bag with your MacBook and you’ll barely notice that it’s there.

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Top Three Notebook Drives Duke It Out

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Date: Friday, July 20th, 2007, 10:51
Category: Hardware

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The guys over at Bare Feats have ran a full comparison between the Western Digital Scorpio 250 gigabyte 5,400 rpm drive, the Seagate Momentus 7200 160 gigabyte 7,200 rpm drive and the Hitachi Travelstar 7K200 200 gigabyte 7,200 rpm drive.
The full rundown is available here and if you’re interested in upgrading your MacBook or MacBook Pro’s SATA hard drive, take a look.
If you’ve come across a killer hard drive or have thoughts or opinions on this, let us know in the forums.

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Recent Apple Patent Filing Describes Backlit Touchpads and Click-Wheels

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Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2007, 11:55
Category: Hardware

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A recent Apple patent filing submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office published earlier this month discusses the concept of illuminated touchpads and click-wheels as a means of providing constant visual feedback.
According to AppleInsider, which pointed out the 34-page filing, Apple cited that visual stimuli could be used to both alert the user via feedback to a touch event as well as be used in low light conditions.
The patent filing also stated that such devices could change intensity or color based on motion characteristics or pressure. Visual characteristics could also be used to highlight events, especially before and after an event occurred.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Myvu “Solo” Now Available Through Web Site

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Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2007, 07:56
Category: Hardware

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In other news, one of the cooler accessories for the iPod just became more accessible. The Myvu, an eyewear system that attaches to the iPod and simulates a 27″ video screen being viewed from about six feet away, is being introduced in a more affordable “solo” edition.
According to Macworld News, the Myvu solo retails for US$199.95 and arrives without the power pack and premium travel case found with its “fully loaded edition” cousin. The Myvu solo edition includes the eyeglasses, in-ear noise-reducing earbuds, inline audio and picture controller and microfiber protective sleeve and lens cloth.
Myvu has states that the “solo” edition is now available from its web site (which still lists it as “coming soon”) and is available through the Apple Store and ZoomSystems-based automated retail systems found in airports and Macy’s department stores.
If you’ve tried the Myvu system and have comments about it, get it off your chest in the forums.

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Reports Surface of Santa Rosa-Based MacBook Pro Overheating

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Date: Thursday, June 21st, 2007, 11:31
Category: Hardware

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Your Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pro just arrived in the mail. And after showing it to your spouse, kids, pets and co-workers, you settle down to work with it.
If it feels a bit too warm, that might be Apple’s contribution.
A report over on Engadget is citing how dozens of users on MacRumors and Apple discussion threads are mentioning that their newly-acquired MacBook Pros are running hot.
An intrepid reader pulled his laptop apart only to find about 40 times too much thermal paste having been applied to the logic board. Other readers have echoed similar complaints and offered similar logic board pictures.
A recent firmware update issued by Apple seems to have helped somewhat, but no official comment as to the issue has been released.
If you’ve seen this problem on your new MacBook Pro or have a solution, idea or workaround, let us know.

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Macworld Offers Full Review of Santa Rosa-Based MacBook Pro Laptops

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Date: Wednesday, June 20th, 2007, 08:54
Category: Review

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Apple’s new MacBook Pro laptops have been out for a few weeks now and, true to form, have become the tech maven’s objects of desire. Macworld’s Henry Norr recently sat down with the new laptops, the magazine putting them through their paces and discovering the better ends of Intel’s new Santa Rosa hardware architecture, which was used in the creation of the new units.
The review highlights the better points of the new laptops such as improved display technologies, brisk speeds, upgraded RAM capacities and improved frame rates on many games. Norr also brings up shortcomings such as slower frame rates than the previous generation of MacBook Pro on Unreal Tournament 2004, only modest gains on battery life improvement and current lack of PCMCIA and eSATA ports.
For the full review, click here.
If you’ve picked up one of the new MacBook Pros and have feedback about it, let us know.

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