In the last few years, wireless speakers have exploded onto the scene with prices ranging from sub-$100 utility speakers up to a few thousand dollars for large home theater packages. A fairly new competitor, Wren, is trying to place itself in the ever more lucrative high-end bookshelf market. With a lineup of 3 wireless speakers priced at $399 each, the company is trying to take some attention away from the current leader, Sonos.
There are a lot of options out there if you're looking for a quality Bluetooth speaker. Most of them have flashy names, like Beats or JAMBOX. But Cambridge Audio, a UK company that doesn't get a lot of press across the pond, has just introduced the Minx Go speaker. It has specifications that should be music to the ears of audiophiles, and a $150 price tag that fits neatly between decidedly low-fi solutions from Logitech and the pricier territory occupied by Bose and Jawbone.
PC gamers know the ARMA series as wickedly difficult, painstakingly accurate military shooters - the thinking man's (or possibly masochist's) alternative to the likes of Call of Duty. For its first full mobile game, ARMA is eschewing the first person shooter genre in favor of a tactical game: a top-down, turn-based combat system where strategy wins over speed and reflexes. It's a good choice for touchscreens, and an understandable one given ARMA's current fanbase.
Announced at CES this year, the ASUS Cube has managed to get a decent amount of attention for a Google TV Box. Formerly known as the Qube, this angular, textured device came to market toward the end of last month, and I've been living with it ever since, trying to get a feel for the product and decide whether ASUS has something special on their hands.
In reviewing the Cube I wanted to answer two main questions that I think underlie every GTV device: Is the user experience a good one, and does the product successfully make Google TV something I actually want to use on a daily basis?
I picked up Samsung's official first-party cover for the Galaxy Note 8.0 shortly after getting the tablet itself, because Samsung's plastic body doesn't inspire confidence, because all tablets scream out for an easy freestanding solution, and (not least) because it was the only option right after release. The case hits all the high points: good protection, a built-in stand, and a magnet to activate the screen's sleep feature. The only major downside, like the tablet itself, is the price.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a strange beast. Sitting more or less between the Note II and the Note 10.1, the Note 8.0 feels like a Frankenstein Android device, mixing elements of both smartphones and tablets. Of course, that's kind of the point: in territories where carriers don't have such a stranglehold on the wireless industry, the Note 8.0 is exactly the giant phone that it looks like. Here in the States, we'll have to make due with an 8-inch WiFi tablet - a mid-sized device for the category, with a premium price.
When we reviewed the MOGA Pocket (then simply called "MOGA") back in October of last year, we loved the controller, but felt it lacked a lot of functionality users want out of a game controller (emulator support, anyone?). Enter the MOGA Pro ($50): a larger, more full-featured version of the MOGA Pocket. With this controller, it appears that PowerA has taken into consideration everything it did "wrong" with the Pocket, and used that to improve things with the Pro.
Just two days ago I decried the relative lack of innovation in mobile gaming, and after climbing EPOCH's surprisingly steep difficulty curve, I get to eat humble pie. This cover-based shooter from Android newcomer Uppercut Games blew me away with its original control scheme and immersive graphics. It's not flawless, but its combination of mobile-friendly gameplay and and impressive presentation should make every action gamer (and developer) sit up and take notice.
When Jawbone's UP wristband was released in late 2011, I was excited. Then I was disappointed. The motion-tracking band seemed like a perfect step into wearable tech at the time, but its companion app wasn't available for Android. Whether and why Jawbone didn't see fit to invest resources in developing for Android was a mystery, but now – thankfully – it's immaterial. Just over a week ago, Jawbone released an official UP app to the Google Play Store, and I wanted to be first in line to try it out with Jawbone's updated 2012 wristband.
Real Boxing has garnered quite a bit of success on iOS, and with a little help from NVIDIA, it's grabbed headlines on its way to Android as well. Though the game was first spotted running on the Shield hardware, it's now available on other Tegra devices. With a title as pretty as this, it would be a shame to run it on anything less than the most advanced hardware out there - too bad we'll have to settle for a Tegra 3 for the time being.