This is the week of the Internationale Funkausstellung (er, International Consumer Electronics Show) in Berlin, which is pretty much just what it sounds like. It's one whopping, European CES. The trouble with IFA for us on the State-side, though, is that a lot of companies forget one key thing: the magical Internet can cross water. Because of that, a lot of "new product announcements" are "things we have already seen," so it takes a little more effort (and flexing what's left of my undergrad German skillz) to figure out what's worth paying attention to.
Over the last two days, the IFA press preview has kicked up some real goodies -- even before the show floor opens to the public today. IFA '09 has already shown us a real taste of how our home theaters will look in the next half-decade, laptops on serious diets, and a couple cool new toys.
Dear Kindle: Watch your back. This morning at the New York Public Library, Sony President of Digital Reading Steve Haber announced a new member of the company's e-book reader family, the Reader Daily Edition. The 7-inch device connects to AT&T's 3G network to allow Kindle-like access to Sony's online library.
Sony’s PlayStation 3 is a gaming giant -- figuratively and literally. Figuratively, its graphics are amazing and it has been praised as the best Blu-ray player you can buy. Literally, the 80GB system weighs more than 11 pounds and sucks five times as much energy as a fridge when running, according to a 2008 study. The just-announced PS3 Slim kicks those beastly qualities to the curb.
Very funny, Sony. We get that Microsoft's Project Natal has grabbed a lot of attention with the full-body motion control concept. But you had to take it a step further and tap into our emotions as video game controllers, didn't you?
Sony can now add a feather to their cap; their new e-reader, the Touch Edition (PRS-600), does something Amazon’s Kindle can’t. The Touch’s 6-inch screen can capture handwritten notes, which are exportable and saveable.
After Microsoft's announcement at the E3 conference of Project Natal, Sony unveiled its own version of motion-capture gaming, both playing catch-up to Nintendo's Wii. Using the Playstation Eye camera and a colorfully globe-tipped controller, the new hardware claims to allow true 1:1 motion response.
Party in your pants! Given excitement levels surrounding set-top systems like the Wii and Xbox 360, enthusiasts often forget several of today's most advanced gaming platforms actually fit in your pocket. With spring here, it's worth reiterating a few ways vacationers can enjoy a little fun on the run, even while braving the horror of direct sunlight.
No matter how good your technique, ultimately it's size that matters. I'm talking about cameras, of course.
Regardless of how sophisticated the camera or the photographer is, truly beautiful photos—with fine detail and rich exposure—rarely come from a point-and-shoot with an image sensor the size of the fingernail on your pinky. That's usually too little silicon to soak up enough light for a good picture. For quality, you need the giant slab found in an SLR, which is from about 15 to 30 times larger.
Purple is the new black, Sony is telling us, by introducing the “eggplant” color for its new Webbie HD line of pocket-sized camcorders. You can also get them in orange or silver, but I have to admit, eggplant is pretty cool-looking (and according to many of my women friends, indeed the hot new color).