NVIDIA’s SHIELD is a gaming device that defies classification. The full-sized controls and Android software make it more than a portable gaming device, at least on paper, but it doesn't compete with (or complement) more conventional mobile form factors. SHIELD is something entirely new.
The only way to evaluate a gaming machine is on how it plays games, and in that respect, SHIELD is amazing... at least in a few specific circumstances. Read More
There are heaps of Bluetooth speakers out there with more or less the same design. Sure, there’s a little tweak here and there – some of them might sound a bit better, and others have better battery life. The Bem Wireless Outlet Speaker takes a somewhat different approach. This unit has no battery because it plugs right into the wall like an AC adapter. In fact, it kind of is an AC adapter. Read More
Dateline: 1999. A 12-year-old Jeremiah Rice spends every cent of his allowance at the local Pizza Hut's dingy game room, trying to perfect an S-Class run on the brand new Crazy Taxi arcade unit. Another fourteen years have passed, and SEGA's ode to irresponsible driving isn't exactly the technical marvel it once was, but it's every bit as fun. And a single fiver will let you play as much as you want on Android. Read More
It's been a bit less than six months since I got my Kickstarter-edition Pebble, and starting today you can waltz down to your local Best Buy and pick one up yourself. In that time I've gone from impressed, to slightly less so, then considerably more so, and now somewhat ambivalent. The Pebble has been much improved since its debut, thanks to consistent updates from the manufacturer and no small amount of third-party support. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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? Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More