Today at an event in New York, Barnes & Noble's CEO showed off the company's new tablet: the Nook Tablet. The name signals a change--this isn't an ebook reader with a color screen, but a full-on tablet. Yes, it's very much like the Kindle Fire, but then, the Kindle Fire is very much like the Nook Tablet's predecessor, the Nook Color. Updated with impressions.
Predicting the future of technology is often a shot in the dark. But every once in awhile, the complex evolution of tech gives us something that actually fulfills the starry-eyed dreams of years or decades before. And as we look back at the incredible achievements of Steve Jobs, you quickly see that, more than any other single innovator, he was responsible for so many of today's real-life consummations of past predictions.
Today at an event in New York City (which we live-tweeted--check out @PopSci for more), Amazon announced its new family of Kindles, and it's probably the biggest, or at least most visible, update in the line's history. The three new "traditional" Kindles continue Amazon's trend of "cheaper and smaller," including two touch-based Kindles (one Wi-Fi-only and one 3G-enabled) and one ridiculously cheap non-touch version.
Hey everyone! We're here live in some part of the semi-abandoned west coast of Manhattan, where Amazon is set to announce a new tablet of some sort. Early hands-ons have pegged it as a 7-inch tablet, likely similar in form to the BlackBerry PlayBook, which will be focused on reading in the same way as the Barnes & Noble Nook Color. We'll be live-tweeting the announcement (follow us at @PopSci), and we'll have all the details as they come in.
The Seagate GoFlex Satellite is a simple idea: take a big hard drive with you, wherever you want to go, that doesn't need any advanced setup, that doesn't need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network, and can beam your music, videos, photos, and documents to whatever device you happen to have with you--iPad, smartphone, laptop, whatever. And it does exactly that. Congratulations, iPad/smartphone/etc owner: You now have 500GB of extra storage, no matter which device you're using.
It's an entirely different kind of gadget lust felt when you know that the thing you're drooling over is dogged by the horrid words "Europe Only," or "U.S. release details pending." Here at PopSci, we get that a lot, but never is it more palpable than the one time a year we cross the pond for the annual IFA electronics smorgasbord in Berlin.
This year's IFA is just wrapping up, which means it's time to look back on the whirlwind of the last few days: what looked great, what didn't, what got us excited, and which technologies we're most excited about. The big themes this year were convergence, new ideas about 3-D, and thin everything--two of those three are represented in the Samsung Galaxy Note pictured above. Stay 'til the end for a couple show-floor sights that turned more than a couple heads.
Taking a unique approach to device convergence, Samsung has chosen not to incorporate a phone into a tablet, or even a phone that clips into a computer. The Korean electronics company today announced a device that guides the smartphone and tablet together, meeting in the middle. The 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note may at first glance appear to be a bloated Galaxy smartphone, but with the inclusion of a stylus and a totally new type of screen, Samsung claims the Note will take its place as the only device you'll ever need.
Wacom is well-known for their artist's tablets, smallish touch-sensitive squares that graphic designers use as digital sketchpads. But a different kind of tablet has recently taken hold, and Wacom doesn't want to miss the boat on the iPad or the various other tablets hitting the market these days. Hence the Bamboo Stylus and Bamboo Paper app for the iPad, which I can safely say is the best stylus and the best stylus-using tablet app I've ever used. But does that make them good?
Alaska Airlines's recent adoption of iPads into plane cockpits has sparked a debate among pilots as to whether replacing paper manuals with the tablet is really a good idea. In one of the most demanding spaces in any job, the digital vs. paper argument takes on a whole new level of importance.