Paint for Cats
You give so much to your cats, it’s time they gave back — in the form of vaguely expressionist digital paintings. Pick a color palette, with choices ranging from muted grays to garish neon, and set your tablet down in front of your cat. A rainbow-colored mouse emerges from the edge of the screen and scrambles around, tail twitching so enticingly I kinda wanted to bat at it myself. Wherever the cat attacks the screen, a smear of paint appears, leading to anything from a wild map of attempted mouse-murder to a minimalist canvas, depending on your cat’s demeanor.
This is a winning app, not just because it gives overly attached cat owners a record of their precious pet’s playtime, but because the creators really know what gets a cat going. Not every cat I showed this to leapt on the digital mouse, but almost all of them did, and some went after it with a ferocity usually reserved for my feet at six in the morning.
WIRED Amusing squeal when your cat catches the mouse.
TIRED Squeal not so amusing after the fiftieth time.
Enjoy With Cat
What could be better than a game for your cat? A game you
Read More at:: http://www.wired.com/reviews/2013/05/cat-toy-apps/
With the powers that be continuing to expand their use of sensors to monitor our every action as we move about in the world, it’s nice to encounter a product that lets us do the same inside our own homes. A simple “Internet of Things” device like Twine won’t give you the omniscience of a surveillance super-state, but, by allowing you to lord over your domain, it will give you a little taste of the joy The Man must feel whenever he catches a citizen running a stop sign, or gives the population of an island nation sufficient warning to escape an impending tsunami.
Twine is an inexpensive, customizable little box that can be rigged to monitor your home for various changes or actions, and alert you when they happen. It debuted in 2011 as a Kickstarter project, and became a fully funded reality in early 2012. The team behind this box, Texas-based Supermechanical, has continued development on the product, bringing both new software and hardware features. In March, Twine gained the ability to send text messages and place phone calls (both are paid services, starting at $5/month) along with a new accessory capable of interfacing with an Arduino board.
The basic Twine box, which costs $125, can sense vibration, orientation, and temperature.
Read More at:: http://www.wired.com/reviews/2013/05/twine/
Thin is no longer in.
With the IdeaPad Y500, Lenovo says to hell with the modern laptop diet plan and drops this beast on the table, a 6.4-pound, 37mm-thick slab of plastic and brushed metal. Consider it a curative for users who are finding ultrabooks too small or too anemic.
If you’re looking for loaded specs, this guy’s got ‘em. The IdeaPad Y500 features a bright 15.6-inch screen (no touch) at 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution. Under the hood, a 2.4GHz Core i7 takes center stage next to a full 16GB of RAM and an NVidia GeForce GT 650M graphics processor (and even a dual-GPU option, which we tested). The hybrid hard drive brings a terabyte of space, plus a 16GB SSD to back it up.
That’s a beefy configuration. It’s primed for gaming and performance computing, and only the lack of a full SSD keeps the Y500 from crashing through benchmark records. It’s plenty fast at most tasks you throw at it, and it dominated my graphics tests, with fully playable framerates on video-intensive titles like Metro 2033 and Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. To put performance in perspective, I got up to 40 percent better framerate performance from the Y500 than I did from Razer’s powerful Blade r2 late last year (though the Blade was running Windows
Read More at:: http://www.wired.com/reviews/2013/05/lenovo-ideapad-y500/
When my editor praised the exceptional quality of Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Cover with a near-perfect rating, I wondered how any iPad keyboard cover could top or equal that.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to The Contender with the funny name: ZAGGkeys PROplus, a keyboard cover equal to Logitech’s in design and typing comfort that goes one step (actually, make that seven steps) further by adding a week’s worth of backlight color options.
It comes to us from Zagg, a company that makes screen protectors and all sorts of other inexpensive accessories for tablets and smartphones. Though at $130, this backlit iPad keyboard falls closer to the pointy end of its product lineup.
Pair it to your tablet (it’s compatible with iPads 2 to 4) via Bluetooth and, like other keyboard covers, you slot the iPad into the groove just above the keys. Zagg has chosen the familiar island-style (aka chiclet) keys, and I approve of the design. The keys are shaped and spaced in a way that feels balanced on the otherwise compact keyboard. As a finicky touch typist, I felt right at home here, especially since the keys offer a just-right level of travel. Not to be outshined by other models with extra built-in features, Zagg has also added a top row of function keys for cutting
The new Archos Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad is tantalizingly close to awesome, which is part of what also makes it so frustratingly far from awesome.
First the good things. The Archos is super lightweight and almost paper thin. At a mere five millimeters thick and weighing only half a pound, it’s considerably thinner and lighter than what I would consider the best iPad keyboard currently available, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. Despite its svelte profile, the Archos feels sturdy, and thanks to the aluminum backing, it doesn’t flex and bend the way plastic backings might. The model I tested displayed some minor warping that caused it to pull off the iPad by just a hair when used as a cover, but that may well have been a problem with this individual tester.
Like most of its brethren, the Archos has a magnetic groove which neatly anchors the iPad in both horizontal and vertical orientations. But since the iPad only has magnets on its long edge, the vertical orientation is obviously less secure and makes the iPad prone to tumbling off your knees should you jostle it.
Its main claim to fame, or at least the feature that would help it beat the Logitech, is the adjustable kickstand which allows you to vary the angle the iPad
Read More at:: http://www.wired.com/reviews/2013/05/archos-ipad-keyboard/
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. A statistic like that should jolt you into thinking harder than I did about the car seat you end up buying. And with the recent changes to child car seat laws, you’re going to have to think harder.
In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics revised its recommendations on child car seats by urging that children be made to sit in a rear-facing position until age two. It was just a recommendation, but the AAP is one powerful group, so lawmakers around the country crafted new rules. Now, depending on the state, the law says you have to keep your kid in a rear-facing child seat until age two, as well as a forward-facing car seat (or, to use the formal and somewhat more fun terminology, “child restraint device”) of some fashion at least until they’re four or five. In some states, your kid has to stay strapped into a special seat until the bugger is seven or eight years old.
Most rear-facing seats and rear-to-front convertibles have weight and height limitations that won’t even hold your child to age two. So, these changes also pressured manufacturers to design new
Read More at:: http://www.wired.com/reviews/2013/05/clek-foonf/
As tablets go, the Razer Edge is big, heavy, and expensive. Its battery life is pretty lousy, too. But it’s also fast as hell, well built, and a total blast to use. It’s one of the least-mobile mobile devices I’ve ever tested, and also the most powerful.
First things first: this is not an iPad rival. It’s not even really a competitor to the Microsoft Surface Pro, though it’s priced about the same. Conceived and constructed by Razer — the venerable gaming PC-maker responsible for last year’s awesome Blade laptop — the Edge is a tablet aimed specifically at PC gamers, the sort of folks who have no problem dropping a grand or two on a machine that’s used mostly to play Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, or Diablo III. Having spent years toting beefy laptops or being tied to their bespoke desktops, they will not complain loudly about the weight, price or battery life — precisely the points people seeking an iPad alternative would bemoan.
The Edge is all about performance, and it’s the only tablet that can match something like an Alienware or Blade gaming laptop because it has essentially the same PC guts sandwiched into a tablet chassis. It’s not small: 0.8-inches thick and 2.1-pounds. The 10.1-inch, 1,366 x 768-pixel display looks
Read More at:: http://www.wired.com/reviews/2013/05/razer-edge/
Battling the e-reader juggernaut Amazon is tough. Just ask Barnes Noble.
Yet, Kobo lives on — not just surviving, but thriving. The Japanese company’s success in the e-reader market can be pinned equally on its strong international presence and its willingness to create a product specifically tuned to the wants and needs of its most hardcore customers.
The Kobo Aura HD is a device for those hardcores: people who not only crave a better e-ink screen (really, who doesn’t?), but also those who pay closer attention to a device’s design. Most of all, they’re people who root for the little guy. They shop at independent bookstores and routinely pick titles from small publishers, side-loading them on their e-readers. They’re also people who prefer to contribute to the success of a hardware device not made by the bigger, more dominant company.
In this case, the rewards aren’t just warm and fuzzy vibes. There’s a clear win: the Aura HD has the best screen on the e-reader market today. The display — a 6.8-inch, 1440 x 1080 screen with a density of 265 ppi — knocks the Kindle Paperwhite off its throne as e-ink emperor. Text appears crisper on the Aura’s display than on any of the other e-readers I’ve tested, not just the Paperwhite.
In well-defined markets, it’s rare to see a breakthrough device. And yet here we are. There are a lot of sleep and activity trackers to choose from right now, but none better than the Fitbit Flex. It is the most wearable, best-syncing device in the scrum, with the best app to boot. And it does all this at a great price.
The Flex is very similar to the Fitbit One, but smaller and housed and without a display. And instead of wearing it on your belt, bra or pocket, you slide it in and out of a slim, rubberized wristband. The band is extremely basic, and it lacks the design elements of the Jawbone Up or the display of the Nike+ FuelBand. Other than the LED lights it uses to give you feedback, it is visually flat. In short, it’s not obviously some sort of sensor.
What it is, however, is highly wearable. A fitted clasp keeps it locked on your wrist securely. Most of the time, at least — I managed to dislodge it once while getting my squirming two year
Read More at:: http://www.wired.com/reviews/2013/05/fitbit-flex/
While jaded tech writers and reviewers have become accustomed to seeing $1,000-plus price tags on laptops, the reality is that the vast majority of the rest of the world’s buyers aren’t ready to pay such lofty prices. For years, the average selling price of a Windows laptop has hovered around a mere $500, according to NPD Group, a number that is unlikely to move significantly.
Those aren’t the kind of computers that companies like to send to publications to write about, because they don’t have all the bells and whistles that the expensive machines have and which give you something to put into the “Wired” section, and they’re slow and heavy. And yet they sell like mad, so manufacturers have no choice but to keep grinding them out.
Lenovo’s budget laptop for the Windows 8 era is this, the IdeaPad Z400 Touch. For your modest investment, you get a 14-inch (1366 x 768-pixel) touchscreen, a 2.6GHz Core i5 CPU, integrated graphics, 6GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. There’s even a dual-layer DVD burner.
All of this will set you back 600 bucks, squarely in the wheelhouse of ultra-budget laptops.