Thursday, January 28, 2010

iPad vs Kindle

Let’s walk through a Kindle vs iPad review that looks at which is the better eReader – the iPad or the Kindle.

This specifically compares the $259 Kindle 2 against the Apple iPad ($499 WiFi, $629 3G). There’ll be a separate Kindle DX vs iPad post later.
Please note that -
  1. If you want a multi-purpose device then iPad is the right choice for you. No need to read the rest of the post.
  2. If you will be reading less than a book a month then the iPad is definitely the better choice.
  3. If you want a dedicated eReader than the Kindle is better – read the post and see the pros and cons.
  4. If price is an issue then the $259 Kindle is the clear choice.
Let’s look at Kindle vs iPad in detail.
Kindle vs iPad Review – iPad advantages
The best way to think of the iPad is as a larger iPhone – one with a 9.7″ screen. The iPad’s advantages are -
  1. It does a lot of things – movies (including HD), TV, color screen web browsing, playing games (games look really good), .   
  2. Very good looks.
  3. Larger screen size – the screen is a 9.7 inch IPS display. IPS is really good screen technology.
  4. Full capacitive touch screen.
  5. 1 GHz Apple A4 processor.
  6. 16, 32, and 64 GB of flash storage – That’s much more storage than the Kindle.
  7. 802.11n, WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 in the 3G model and WiFi and Bluetooth in the WiFi model. Kindle doesn’t have WiFi or Bluetooth.
  8. Accelerometer and Compass. Kindle doesn’t have either.
  9. Good battery life of 10 hours. Standby of over a month. This is still much less than the Kindle.
  10. iPhone Apps – iPad gets all iPhone Apps. The new SDK includes an iPad simulator.
  11. Excellent for newspapers – you get color photos and inline videos and more.
The iPad is optimized for movies and games and doing everything. It also happens to let you read – quite well.
The iPad models are priced at -
  1. WiFi  models at $499, $599, and $699. Available around March 27th, 2010.
  2. WiFi+3G models at $629, $729, and $829.
iBooks Store for iPad - iPad as an eReader
The key features of iPad’s iBooks Store -
  1. Menus look like bookshelves with titles on the shelves. 
  2. Partnered with Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, MacMillan, and Hachette. 
  3. You can look at reviews and download samples – very similar to the Kindle.
  4. Publishers can choose B&W or color content. They can embed video too.
  5. You can turn pages by tapping the screen or by dragging your finger.
  6. You can change the font and the font sizes.
  7. It’ll offer fiction and textbooks.
  8. It uses ePub format.
It’s quite good.

Kindle vs iPad – Kindle advantages
  1. Price – At $259 the Kindle is much cheaper than the iPad.
  2. Focused on reading. Means few distractions and the whole device is built with reading in mind.
  3. More compact and lighter. iPad weighs 1.5 pounds and is 0.5″ inch thin – the Kindle is thinner and lighter (0.36″ and 10.2 ounces).
  4. Screen is better for reading. 
  5. Free Internet.
  6. Free Wikipedia in 100+ countries around the world.
  7. Amazing battery life of 2 weeks with wireless off and 1 week with wireless on.
  8. [To Be Confirmed] It seems the iPad will not have Text to Speech which would give the Kindle an advantage.
  9. [To be confirmed] Cheaper Prices as ebooks are at $9.99 and on the iPad they are rumored to be $12.99 and $14.99.
  10. [To be confirmed] Wider range of titles. Kindle for iPad app might negate this advantage.
We don’t know what sort of apps we’ll get in the Kindle Store - However, they might make the Kindle better.

Kindle vs iPad – Which is the better eReader?
Let’s consider the reading experience on both devices and the major factors that go into making a great eReader.
Please note that we’re considering books – if you’re buying an eReader primarily for newspapers and textbooks you should stick to the iPad.
  1. Getting Books - A tie. It’s easy to get books on both.
  2. Cheap Books – Kindle wins because it will have lower prices (to be confirmed).  
  3. Reading Books – The Kindle’s eInk screen is better for reading.  
  4. Price – Kindle easily wins.
  5. Screen Quality - iPad has an excellent quality screen and is bigger at 9.7″.  eInk is better for reading. iPad wins.
  6. Color – iPad has color. Kindle doesn’t.
  7. Portability – More compact size and better battery life make the Kindle the winner.
  8. Reference and surfing the web for information – iPad wins as it has a better browser and you can see a page at a time.
  9. iBooks Store and Software – The eBook App and Store for the iPad is called iBooks and it’s really good. Apple wins.
  10. Ease of Use – This is a tie as both are very easy to use.
  11. Content Portability – With ePub it seems iPad will be more open. Unconfirmed but Apple probably wins.
  12. Free Internet Access – Only on the Kindle and also includes free whispernet in 100+ countries.
  13. Text to Speech feature – Kindle wins (have to confirm that iPad’s iBooks does not have Text to Speech).
  14. Adding notes etc. – iPad wins.
Based on the arguably 14 most important reading related features we have the Kindle and the iPad in a tie - They each win 6 areas and tie in 2 areas.
The Kindle wins overall because it wins in some of the most important areas – price, cheap books, readability of the screen, and portability.
Please weigh the factors according to what you value and consider essential to reading.
There are also a few factors that might be important to you (although they aren’t strictly to do with reading) -
  1. Looks – The iPad wins.
  2. Doing things other than reading – iPad wins.
 Kindle vs iPad – Recommendation
This Kindle vs iPad Review arrives at quite a straightforward conclusion -
  1. If you want a device optimized for reading or price is a priority then the clear choice is the Kindle.
  2. If you want a device that does a lot of things well, including reading, then the iPad is the clear choice.
The $499 WiFi iPad makes it very accessible (although you’ll have to factor in the price of data plans).
Kindle vs iPad is an easy decision because these are very different devices built for two distinct sets of customers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Silicon Power Announces World’s First 400X 128GB Compact Flash Memory Card

January 2010: Worldclass flash memory manufacturer Silicon Power today announces the world’s first 400X Compact Flash (CF) card with 128GB of storage capacity. Announcing their 600X CF card not long ago for the ultimate performance, the 400X CF card is designed to offer the ultimate storage capacity while not compromising on performance, featuring a write speed of up to 90MB/sec. It is the largest storage capacity CF card to date!
Silicon Power’s 400X 128GB CF card supports PIO Mode-6 and Multi-Word DMA 4 transfer mode in quad-channel configuration.

It is faster and more table for professional photography applications to capture data in fractions of a second. The 128GB of storage space allows photographer to snap away high definition photos at will and not have to worry about running out of storage space or swapping in an additional card. It also comes with Error Correction Code (ECC) functionality for data accuracy and it utilizes Wear Leveling technology to prolong the product lifespan. In turn, it ensures maximum performance and lifespan potential of the CF card and your product. 100% green, it is in compliance with European RoHS directive and comes with a Lifetime warranty.

In addition to the 400X and 600X CF cards, Silicon Power also offers 200X CF cards suited for devices that use (DSLR, DV, PDA, etc) using CF cards. Silicon Power’s wide range of CF cards is the complete portable digital device CF storage solution!
Product specification
  • Dimension: 36.4mm x 42.8mm x 3.3mm
  • Weight: 10g-12g
  • In compliance with CF Association specifications
  • Operating voltage: 3.3V/5V
  • Operating temperature: 0℃~70℃
  • Storage temperature: -40℃~85℃
  • Capacity: 128GB / 64GB / 32GB / 16GB / 8GB
  • Humidity: 8% to 95%
  • Durability: At least plug and unplug 10,000 times
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Superslim Skiff Reader features LG's 'metal foil' e-paper tech

With plenty of e-readers expected to be trotted out at this year's CES, Hearst Corp.-backed Skiff and Sprint are hoping to attract attention with a reader that's thinner and larger than anything currently out there. In Las Vegas, the companies will be previewing the Skiff Reader, which features an 11.5-inch touch-screen display (1200x1600 pixels) that's just over a quarter of an inch thick and is designed for reading newspaper and magazine content along with e-books and personal documents.

Company reps say the Skiff Reader is the first consumer product to feature LG's "metal foil" technology, a next-generation e-paper display that's based on a thin, flexible sheet of stainless-steel foil. The new technology is less vulnerable to breakage than "the fragile glass that is the foundation of almost every electronic screen," the press release notes.

Other than dimensions and the fact that the e-reader will have built-in wireless 3G capabilities, as well Wi-Fi, details about the Skiff Reader are scant at the moment. While there was no word on availability or pricing, there was some talk about how the device's large screen would showcase print media in "compelling new ways."

"This is consistent with Skiff's focus on delivering enhanced reading experiences that engage consumers, publishers, and advertisers," said Gilbert Fuchsberg, president of Skiff, which has offices in New York and Palo Alto, Calif.

The release says a full touch screen enables users to intuitively navigate and engage with newspapers, magazines, books, and other digital content they purchase through the Skiff Store, as well as personal and work documents. According to Skiff, the device weighs just over 1 pound and offers more than a week of average use between charges.

After we test-drive the device at the show, we'll let you know our thoughts. We're most curious to learn how responsive the touch screen is, how sharp it looks, and whether the Skiff platform (yes, the company appears to selling its service as a platform) is more compelling than what Amazon or Barnes & Noble has to offer. (See Skiff's Web site for more info).

YoGen acts like a yo-yo to generate power for phones

There are all sorts of devices that provide a quick charge for a cell phone or other gadget when you can't get to an electrical outlet. Most, like the Energizer Energi To Go products, require you to insert AA batteries that transfer energy from the AA battery to the device's internal battery. But Easy Energy has a battery-free solution.

Spokeswoman Allison Morrison talked about the company's YoGen product, which is like a yo-yo that generates power. It's a handheld device with a cord. Pull the cord a few times and it generates enough power to use your phone for a few minutes. It's probably not something you would ever use for a full charge, but it could be a lifesaver if you have to make an emergency call while your phone's battery is dead. The device costs $39.99 and is available online.

There is an iPhone adapters as well as adapters for most phones, including the BlackBerry. The company also makes YoGen Max, a foot-powered device that provides emergency power for laptop computers.


You've gotta love Ion. Year after year, no company better embodies the CES spirit of throwing offbeat products at the wall and seeing what sticks. Some of the products catch on and some don't, but it's always fun to flip through its new releases and see what might be the Skymall superstar of the new year.

For 2010, the most notable new addition is the iType, a full-size keyboard that docks with an iPhone or iPod Touch.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

RCA Airnergy Charger Harvests Electricity From WiFi Signals

Forget PowerMats and wireless charging and the like, because the Airnergy wi-fi signal harvester is the new front runner for the future of gadget charging. It's not exactly new technology , but it's the first application that's of any real use to consumers.

The Airnergy Charger is amazing. This little box has, inside it, some kind of circuitry that harvests WiFi energy out of the air and converts it into electricity. This has been done before, but the Airnergy is able to harvest electricity with a high enough efficiency to make it practically useful: on the CES floor, they were able to charge a BlackBerry from 30% to full in about 90 minutes, using nothing but ambient WiFi signals as a power source.

The Airnergy has a battery inside it, so you can just carry it around and as long as you’re near some WiFi, it charges itself. Unlike a solar charger, it works at night and you can keep it in your pocket. Of course, proximity to the WiFi source and the number of WiFi sources is important, but at the rate it charges, if you have a home wireless network you could probably just leave anywhere in your house overnight and it would be pretty close to full in the morning.

Here is the really, really unbelievable part: RCA says that the USB charger will be available this summer for $40, and a battery with the WiFi harvesting technology will be available soon after. I mean, all kinds of people are pushing wireless charging, but this would hands down take the cake… It doesn’t need a pad and it’s charging all the time, for free, in just about any urban environment.

See the video here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ray Flash

The RAY FLASH Adapter is a very affordable way to achieve typical ringflash lighting quality normally only available to studio flash equipment users!

The unique RAY FLASH Adapter was developed by a professional photographer from the Czech Republic. It was designed to be as light and as portable as possible. There are no electronics, no flashtubes and no cumbersome cables! It uses a clever system of acrylic light channels and reflectors to distribute the light emitted from the flash unit evenly around the large diameter of the ringflash adapter. This creates the same lighting effect normally only available from ringflash units made by studio flash equipment manufacturers, which are expensive, heavy and tethered (they have a cable from ringflash to power pack).

The RAY FLASH Adapter creates a very special lighting effect: a "3-d shadow-wrapped look". Because all light originates from the front, i.e. from around the lens, it produces a virtually shadow-less look on the front of your subject, while a soft even shadow appears around the edges. It is ideally suited for fashion, portrait, beauty, wedding & macro photography as a main or fill-in light. 

The RAY FLASH Adapter does not change the colour temperature of the flash that powers it and the additional weight can easily be accommodated by the on-camera flash unit.

The RAY FLASH Adapter is made to fit the Canon 580EX , Canon 580EXII and Nikon SB-800 , Nikon SB-900 flash units and due to the its large inner diameter the ringflash adapter will accept almost all lenses from Nikon & Canon. For model range see chart below.

More reviews are found here.