I would wager that most iPad users have at one time or another wished that the tablet had a stand that would prop it up for watching video so they didn't have to hold the tablet and look down to watch. Since Apple didn't include that feature from the factory, the only thing you can do is opt for a stand of some sort or get a case like the cool new iSkin aura for iPad.
The aura comes in black, orange, or beige colors and they all have a metallic finish, which appears to be some sort of vinyl with an embossing. The cool part about the aura is that the case is made to protect your iPad for drops and scratches while propping the screen up in two heights depending on what you are doing.
The screen can be propped at a low angle for typing on the on-screen keyboard and it can be propped at a higher angle for watching video. The case also looks really cool; I particularly like the orange version. You can buy yours right now for $119.99 with free shipping until the end of December.
I have talked about the different types of PC gamers before when it comes to peripherals like mice and keyboards. Some like lots of macro capability some want smaller and more compact keyboards. The same goes for mice, some want low-resolution mice and others want high-resolution mice. Mouse pads typically have different sorts of gamers too. Some want a smooth and slippery hard surface; others want a textured cloth mat to suit their needs.
If you are, the sort of gamer that likes hard and smooth pads for gaming Razer has a new offering for you. The new mouse pad is called the Scarab and it has a new Fractal 2.0 gaming surface. The surface is supposed to be uniform in construction allowing the mouse to track more smoothly when gaming. The bottom of the pad also has a new rubber base.
The rubber base will keep the pad in place no matter how hot the acting gets and the soft rubber is supposed to be able to smooth irregularities under the mouse pad to make your mousing even smoother. Razer ships the mouse pad with a carry case to keep it safe when you travel to LAN parties. The mouse pad will ship next month for $39.99.
Sceptre was a brand that was mostly online only for a long time and recently the sets have started to be offered in retail stores like Target as well. You can still pick the Sceptre products up at all sorts of online stores that geeks like such as Newegg. The latest offering from Sceptre has a large screen and some nice features at a good price. The set is the Sceptre X420BV-FHD.
The TV has a 42-inch screen and the 1080p 1920 x 1080 resolution will make for some good movie watching from Blu-ray discs. The screen has a 2500:1 contrast ratio, 5ms response time, and 5.1 digital surround sound capability. The response time should mean the screen has no issues with fast action for gaming or films. The set also has a lot of connectivity.
Sceptre gives the set three HDMI inputs, component, composite, VGA, audio in and a cable input as well. The TV is Energy Star V3.0 certified to save power. VGA resolution is native at 1920 x 1080 making for a nice HD screen for your home theater PC. The TV is available right now for $699.
I really liked Tron when I was a kid. The original game had all the stuff a young geek needed to get hooked with video games and what were for the time some really cool effects. I know I spent many a quarter playing the arcade game based on the film back in the day. It's funny that the new iPhone and iPad apps that have landed with games for the movie have graphics that look better than the arcade games from my youth.
The new games are available for purchase right now on the app store for 99 cents. The game has 24 rounds of racing on light cycles around tracks in Tron city. On Christmas Day, the game will also launch a Tron Mobile GRID championship that will have players competing for prizes for winning like 3D entertainment systems and more.
The player can ride lightcycles and fire cannons from the cockpit of the Recognizers to earn points and unlock new races with 16 courses total. There are races, time trials, and head-to-head competitions. Power ups are also offered and more.
When it comes to HDDs you can usually have a really thin drive or you can have a high-capacity drive, but not both. Hitachi has unveiled a new HDD that gives mobile devices the best of both worlds with a thin design that also packs in a lot of storage space. The new HDD is the Travelstar Z5K5000 and it is the thinnest 2.5-inch 500GB HDD in the world.
The HDD packs 500GB onto a single platter allowing the thickness of the drive to be only 7mm. That means that the thin profile device will work in devices that are really thin and typically rely on more expensive and lower capacity SSDs for storage. The drive spins at 5400 rpm and is a direct replacement for 9.5mm thick drives in all sorts of notebooks and external storage devices.
Other than being thin, the drive is also very green needing only 1.8W when reading or writing and 0.55W during idle. The drive is also nearly silent with 1.9 bels at idle and 2.1 bels during seek. The drive uses Hitachi advanced format tech to allow for HDD sectors of 4K bytes rather than 512 bytes improving capacity and reducing errors. The drives are shipping this month at an undisclosed price.
The latest happenings from around the web - December 17th, 2010
- Zotac GeForce GTX 580 Graphics Card @ eTeknix
- Gunnar Optiks Midnight 3D Eyeglasses Review - Ready For TRON Legacy 3D @ Legit Reviews
- AMD Radeon HD 6950 and 6970 Video Card @ Hardware Secrets
- Sparkle Nvidia Geforce GTX465 Video Card @ Testfreaks
- Inno3D Geforce GTX460 OC @ XtremeComputing
- Gigabyte GTX 570 vs Sapphire Radeon 6970 / 6950 vs Radeon 5870 - All Overclocked @ Hardware Heaven
- Powercolor HD6970 Crossfire @ Overclock3D
Our Mobile App of the Day today is Google Maps 5.0 for Android.
Yes, Google Maps has been around for awhile. Their latest build which we covered a couple days ago has some fun new features, and it is now available for download/update.
The biggest addition is three dimensional maps, which gives you a better view of the landscape and can be tilted with a two finger swipe. The new vector graphics being implemented allows for lighter weight maps than before, which ties in with offline navigation now being available for your favorite locations. These two new features are only available on Android 2.0 or later, and of course the app is free. Grab it at the QR code after the break or on the Android Market.
Android, iPhone, and iPod Touch owners have had access to Skyfire for a bit, but iPad owners have been left in the dark. It's hard to believe, considering the Flash-capable browser scored over $1 million in sales in the first weekend it was available and was so highly demanded it shut down Skyfire's servers. It looks like this oversight is going to be corrected soon.
According to Skyfire Labs, their first build for the iPad is complete and in Apple's hand awaiting their almighty approval. Along with the obvious Flash video capability, Skyfire for iPad will bring one touch access to Facebook and Twitter, Fireplace Feed Reader that filters your Facebook down to browsable pages, images, and videos while cutting out status updates, as well as Google Reader access. The app will reportedly sell for $4.99, which is two dollars more than the iPhone app. Android fans still get the app for free.
Our Download of the Day today is AVG Free Edition 10.0.1188.
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is trusted antivirus and antispyware protection for Windows available to download for free. In addition, the new included LinkScanner® Active Surf-Shield checks web pages for threats at the only time that matters - when you're about to click that link.
AVG Anti-Virus Free has these following features:
Award-winning antivirus and antispyware
Real-time safe internet surfing and searching
Quality proven by 80 million of users
Easy to download, install and use
Protection against viruses and spyware
Compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is only available for single computer use for home and non commercial use.
Sony is saying that the official Playstation app for Android and the iPhone/iPod Touch will be available "very soon," but don't start thinking that you'll be able to start playing your favorite Playstation games on your mobile device.
The application will allow PSN users to check out their trophies, keep up with the latest news and new devices for Sony gaming devices, and share their favorite products and trophies via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail. While the social networking aspect is nice I suppose, there's really not much here that you can't do from your network connected PS3 or PSP.
The initial launch will be in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and The Netherlands, with no official word when the app will be available to the rest of the world. Maybe the small testbed will allow them some time before Sony puts some actual games into a game-oriented app.