Archive for category Hardware
I have tried to use a stylus with my iPad before and I was disappointed with the experience. My first experience was with a Pogo Sketch stylus (on left). It was very light weight and had a fabric tip. The biggest problem for me was that it felt like trying to write with a mushy Q-Tip! The fabric tip flexed back and forth as I pressed on the screen and it always felt like it was going to come off the body. Straight up…I hated it. It didn’t simulate the writing experience for me at all and as a result I gave up on it by the end of the second day of use.
This week though, the Griffin Stylus for iPad (on right) has made me a believer! This is a completely different experience from the Pogo. First, the Griffin Stylus is much heavier than the Pogo. It feels more like having a pen in your hand which helps more than I thought it would. It is a bit longer too which makes it fit my hand better. The biggest difference is the tip. Instead of a mushy fabric, the Griffin Stylus has a soft rubber tip. When you push down it flexes, but it feels firmer to me than the fabric of the Pogo. The tip doesn’t shift from side to side like the Pogo did for me so I feel like it is more precise. Now don’t misunderstand. These tools are a but like writing with a dull crayon, but the Griffin gives me a better feel and more precision.
Where I like using the stylus the most is in drawing apps, but I also like using for highlighting text in the Kindle app, drawing diagrams in Penultimate and Circus Ponies Notebook, and even selecting individual words in Logos for further study. All in all, I believe I am hooked. I see myself using this stylus more and more. If you want a usable, good feeling stylus that closely simulates the actual writing experience check out the Griffin Stylus for iPad. It is worth a close look. Now I just have to figure out how not to misplace it!
As many of you know I am an iPad user. I have a 64GB Wifi only iPad and I do like it, but there have been times where I am without WiFi as I travel around. It is frustrating to sit down in a restaurant for lunch or a coffee shop, pull out the iPad to check email or respond to something online and realize you cannot connect. Ok, yes, I am spoiled and I am internet dependent for many things. So why didn’t I just get a 3G compatible iPad? Cost mostly. The extra $130 price tag on the iPad itself and another data plan with AT&T seemed to be a bridge too far for my budget. From the beginning, I thought mifi would be the answer for me.
So what is mifi? Mifi is a small (almost thick credit card sized) mobile wifi hotspot device. Turn it on and it connects to a cellular network and provides WiFi access for up to 5 devices. While the price tag is very similar to the iPad 3G and its data plan, the ability to connect more devices (namely my Macbook Pro) for the same cost, seems to be a better deal.
Enter the Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200. The reason I chose this device is very, very simple – no contract. Its data plan is a little more expensive that AT&T’s plan for the iPad alone, but much less expensive than other device’s contract costs. The Virgin Mobile device allows you to pay as you go. You can pay $10 for a 10 day plan that allows you 100MB of data (great for a short trip) or you can pay $40 for a 30 day plan that allows you unlimited data access. You can access these options on the fly and choose whichever you like. There is also an option to charge your credit card each month automatically if your needs are more constant. The 2200 uses the Sprint 3G network, so the access areas are solid. The device itself sells for $150 from the Virgin Mobile website.
So this Christmas when we visit grandma’s house (no internet access) I will still be able to get online and so will my kids. I love this device already. Happy mobile connecting!
OK – I have been using a Macbook Pro with a touchpad for quite awhile. I will admit upfront that this may prejudice this post a bit, but after using Apple’s new Magic Trackpad for a week, I can tell you I will probably never use a mouse again. That may seem like a pretty extreme position, but it is true. Using the Magic Trackpad is effortless and intuitive. One, two, three and even four finger gestures can do everything from clicking to scrolling to zooming to rotating. It is a pleasure to use.
The Magic Trackpad connects to your machine via Bluetooth, so there are no cords or wires to worry about. It is almost identical in depth to Apple’s Wireless Keyboard and the two together make a great pair. My set-up is to connect my Macbook Pro to a 24 inch flat-panel monitor when at the office. I actually keep my Macbook Pro in the old keyboard drawer under my desk and pair a Bluetooth keyboard and now my new Magic Trackpad which is on top of my desk. This set-up is clean and easy. The Bluetooth connections for both devices are automatic when I boot up and I can easily set the keyboard and trackpad out of the way if I need more desktop space.
If you like the touchpad on your laptop, give this device a try on your desktop machine. I think you will be hooked in no time.
Flash drives are a great solution for backing up or transferring files IF you can find one when you need it. It seems like no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to keep one in my pocket all the time. They aren’t particularly bulky or heavy, I just forget to put it in my pocket all the time. That is where LaCie’s Iamakey flash drive wins hands down! The Iamakey is not much thicker than a regular key, fits on my keychain and its solid, metal case is durable enough to live in my pocket all the time with my keys. I love this solution. It is a bit more expensive that other drives, but the convenience is worth it to me. It comes in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB models that range from $22 to $55 respectively. Now, if I have my keys in my pocket, which I ALWAYS do, my flash drive is ready to go.
Check out the Iamakey – it will be the only flash drive I buy from now on.