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Best Technology of 2011

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

2011 was a pretty good year for technology.  Many new gadgets were introduced, including the Kindle Fire, and there were also some notable upgrades like the iPad 2. 

Scientific American has created a gadget guide for 2011 that includes some of the coolest technology of the year.  These may not be the best-selling gadgets, but they are definitely the most innovative.

At the top of the list is the Lytro Light-Field Camera, which is equipped with a special sensor that the color and intensity of the entire light field and not just a single plane of light.  Since the camera captures all of the color, direction and intensity of the light associated with an image, you can focus and re-focus any portion of the digital image. 

One of our favorite devices on the list is Wacom’s Inkling, a digital ballpoint pen that captures a digital version of a drawing as you sketch on a regular piece of paper.

See a slideshow of the entire list on the Scientific American website.

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iPad vs. Kindle Fire

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Now that Amazon has announced the Kindle Fire, the inevitable questions about how it stacks up against the iPad are being raised. The Fire costs about $300 less, but has these disadvantages compared to the iPad:

• Smaller screen (7 inches compared to the iPad’s 10 inches)
• No camera or microphone
• No creative or business apps
• Limited onboard memory

The bottom line is that you want a tablet to watch movies or read books and find the iPad to be too expensive and too large to be truly portable, the Kindle Fire could be you’re best bet. If you want to edit photos, manage a spreadsheet or perform some other functional task, the iPad is probably the better choice.

Read more analysis of the iPad vs. Kindle Fire question on the MSNBC GadgetBox blog.

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