March Reviews // Tech

iPad Mini

Apple, Inc.

ec’s grade: A+

When CEO Tim Cook announced the newest member of the Apple family, the iPad Mini, a few months ago, it was met with mixed reactions. However, since it’s release, the new smaller iPad has proved to be another winner for the company. No, it doesn’t do anything different than a standard iPad or iPod Touch, but the size is about 40 percent smaller than an iPad, making it a perfect travel companion but a tad smallish for an E-reader. Typing is faster on the smaller keyboard and the retina display is still the best looking screen among tablets. Like other iOS products, everything feels familiar, fast, and glitch-free and with Apple’s vast selection of native and third party Apps, there’s not much this little guy can’t do.

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 Tap Tap Tap Camera+
Camera+

FEATURES: Vast array of photo-editing, deep integration with social media outlets
PROS: After-the-fact image stabilization and flash simulation
CONS: iOS only, maybe too many features?
The iPhone camera is one of the devices best features, but the native camera app leaves much to be desired. Tap Tap Tap Camera+ takes advantage of  iPhone’s processing power to create professional quality photos that compete with high-end image editing software.
ec’s GRADE: A

Dropbox
by Dropbox

FEATURES: Subscription-based cloud storage for mobile devices.
PROS: Free download, easily syncs between multiple devices,
CONS: poor data reception can temporarily make files inaccessible, pricey ($120/yr for 50GB storage)
Problem: You own a tablet, an E-reader, a laptop, and a smartphone but you want to be able access the same files from each of them yet not all of them have document storage. Solution: Dropbox puts file storage within the app making your docs show up on every device.
ec’s GRADE: A

Rocksmith
Ubisoft

FEATURES: multiple levels, growing number of song/style choices, available on XBOX and Playstation
PROS: “Play” is controlled by an electric guitar (not included), teaches how to actually play the instrument
CONS: Does not include instruction on music theory or technique, tracking can be  glitchy
Rocksmith is a Guitar Hero-inspired video game that is more accurately a visual guitar instructor. Players score points by hitting correct notes and can advance from single note levels to multi-note complexity.
ec’s GRADE: B+

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