New Gadget Preview

Say Goodbye To Screen Flicking- The iCade Mobile ($70)
Before the new iPhone drops, get your hands on the iCade Mobile ($70). Fitting every iPhone from 3 to 4S and any third or fourth generation iPod, this sleek, ergonomic cover emulates a controller reminiscent of the SNES. Last month, Apple announced that 30 billion apps had been downloaded from their app store. With over 400,000 different apps available for Apple’s Iphone and Ipod Touch, the two have become the hottest portable gaming devices. With games like World of Goo, Dead Space and Scribblenauts, and almost 7 million iPhone users in the US alone, it would be hard for the iPhone’s gaming side to not catch fire.

The biggest advantage to the iCade,
aside from the easy blue tooth setup, is you can be sure you won’t ever get cramps in your fingers again. The controller is small enough to fit in your jacket pocket and it’s easy enough to set up and break down for you to play it hopping from LA to SF. Give your gaming side a shot in the arm with this peripheral, and when your friends complain you’re winning too often, just tell them to step up.

Pick one up off for a steal at $70.

Trouble for HTC: Sony Makes A Great Camera, Good Phone Too- The Sony Xperia S ($480)
The Sony Xperia S has been around since February, but now’s the perfect time to get your hands on it. The Xperia S, and the related Xperia lines (all with the same basic hardware, just focused differently), has recently received a huge upgrade with the release of Android’s 4.0 ICS (and the code behind it). Couple that with Sony’s 4.3″ Bravia HD screen and you suddenly have more than a phone, you have a gateway to constant quality entertainment. In fact, the 4.3” screen’s 342ppi is flat-out better than the 3.5” display on the iPhone 4S. The 12MP Exmor R camera that the phone comes equipped with is as beautiful as it is powerful. Oh, and did I mention you have the entire Sony media library, including every game they ever made portable, literally at your fingertips?
Unfortunately, the phone has one major drawback: there is no memory card slot and the 32gb the phone comes with is all you get. 32gb isn’t bad, but if you lead a tech-heavy lifestyle, then this phone won’t be with you every step of the way. If you want something stylish for your life, go and get this now; if you want a phone that you can take to work, you might be better off getting a tablet anyway. $480 is fantastic considering the camera you suddenly have in your pocket.


Good Technology Borrows, Great Technology Steals-
Microsoft Surface Windows 8 RT ($TBA)

Did anyone notice something strange about Microsoft’s release of the Surface tablet? The lights went up, the applause died down and the audience was left staring at a bald man in a turtleneck holding a tablet; I half expected the projector behind him to boot up with an Apple logo. Yet, while Microsoft seems to have taken a page out of Apple’s book, their tablet leaves little room for comparison.
First, Windows has actually been getting better with each new iteration, and Windows 8, which the Surface will invariably run, looks pretty good. Second, you absolutely can’t miss the Surface’s sheer force of computing power hidden under that stylish case and Corning Gorilla Glass. Both the processor and the graphics card are strong enough to make you throw away your old PC. Third, it has memory card capabilities. No matter which size you get, 32gb, 64gb or 128gb, you can always add more memory.

Honestly, this tablet might be the only piece of technology you need when it drops. It seems powerful enough to satisfy gamers and nuclear physicists alike, and it looks about as good as anything Apple thought up. Plus, you can expect Microsoft to make it connectable through the Kinnect and Xbox. If you’re a Microsoft fan-boy or just a PC user, your future got a whole lot brighter. Grab it when it drops close to the holidays.

Look Under Your Chair, Google Got Everyone Tablets- Google Nexus 7 ($200)
Lets face it: electronics are expensive. We would all love to be able to stay up to date technologically, but we all also like to eat. Well, relief has come. Google’s Nexus 7 might not be the prettiest device out there. It might not have the biggest screen, the clearest camera or the fastest processor. Hell, it even does some funky things to text rendering now and then. But none of that matters in the long run.

Built by Asus, the machine sports a Quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1gb of ram, Android Jelly Bean and a highly detailed display. The processor and OS alone put the machine far ahead of anything Samsung has rolled out, above Apple, and on-par with the un-released Microsoft Surface tablet. If that isn’t enough, let me tell you again that the Google Nexus 7 is $200. Ipad’s run between $500 and $800 from the Apple store, meaning you could get four Nexus 7’s, that’s one for you, your partner, your retired father and one for your upcoming 6 months in Chile, all for one iPad. You could also just get one Nexus 7 and put the rest of that money towards an extra week at La Mirage Parador.

Still, with no way to upgrade the memory beyond the standard 8gb and 16gb, you might want to pick up all four to be safe.

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