Upcoming gadgets worth saving your money for
Tech lovers, save your cash. If you think there are cool gadgets out now, wait to you see what's around the corner.
Dozens of amazing devices are coming shortly, and we've had the chance to test drive many of them ahead of time.
Apple's iPad (apple.ca/ipad), for example, due out in Canada by late April, is an amazing piece of technology. As you likely know, you'll be able to use your fingertips on this 9.7-inch wireless tablet to surf the web, read email, play games, watch videos and read electronic books and newspapers.
Perhaps more impressive is the fact that it will work with your existing iTunes library — simply connect the tablet to your PC or Mac via its USB cable and all of your music, podcasts, audiobooks, photos, videos and applications ("apps") are immediately copied over to the device. Unplug, then go.
The Wi-Fi-enabled 16GB version is out in April (for about $500), while the 32GB and 64GB versions, with 3G connectivity, will hit this summer.
After playing around with the iPad after the official unveiling in January, I can tell you the device is very thin and lightweight; it's incredibly intuitive to use (anyone with iPhone or iPod touch experience will find it a breeze); and even older apps not designed specifically for the iPad look great on it.
Speaking of portable tech, Nintendo is about to launch a new version of its Nintendo DSi portable game system.
As you'd expect from a name like the Nintendo DSi XL ($199.95; nintendo.ca), this supersized system features two screens that are each about 93 per cent larger than those on the Nintendo DS Lite. A larger stylus pen will also ship with your unit for better interaction with the many Nintendo DS games and downloads from the digital DSi Shop.
And it appears Nintendo is jumping onboard the electronic book bandwagon, too, because in June it's releasing 100 Classic Books, a $20 cartridge that transforms the Nintendo DSi XL into an e-book reader.
I recently tried out the Nintendo DSi XL at a media event in San Francisco. The larger screens give you a noticeably bigger view of gaming worlds and other content (including the web browser, which is included in this Wi-Fi device, too).
One of the quirkiest upcoming games for the spring is called Photo Dojo, a download-only title that takes advantage of the portable systems' digital camera (and microphone) to create a fun — and funny — fighting game. After you have a friend pose for 13 pictures (performing various acts such as kicking, punching and keeling over) and record 10 sound effects, taunts and surrenders, your friend-modelled player can take on waves of competitors in both solo and multiplayer modes.
Finally, in case you missed the news, Samsung will be the first to launch a 3-D TV in Canada this spring.
Five models will be available as of March 26, says the company, ranging in siz from 40- to 55-inches (from $2,499 to $3,999; samsung.ca).
Special "active shutter" 3D glasses (included) are required to see three-dimensional content. Problem is, there isn’t much content available just yet, save for a couple of Blu-ray Discs with 3-D technology — which require a 3-D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player, of course.
Sony and Panasonic should begin selling their 3DTV models by the summer.
— Marc Saltzman, MSN Tech & Gadgets