It was a thankfully slow summer week here, and this issue’s articles revolve around a variety of electronic devices, anchored by Charles Maurer’s illuminating discussion of how not to buy a digital camera. Glenn Fleishman compares the costs of Virgin Mobile’s new contract-free MiFi with the approaches of Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, and with AT&T’s iPhone tethering and iPad plans. Doug McLean examines the results of a Princeton University study testing the usability of the Kindle in academia. And Adam reviews the iPad Recliner, an adjustable stand for the iPad. Notable software releases this week include BusyCal 1.3.2 and PDFpen/PDFpenPro 4.7.
Virgin Mobile now offers the portable MiFi mobile hotspot that takes a cellular network and distributes it over Wi-Fi to nearby devices. There's no contract nor service plan required; rather, you pay as you need it.
If you're looking for an iPad stand that holds your iPad at various different angles, the iPad Recliner from LapWorks offers a solid and flexible solution, though it's not as attractive as other iPad stands.
Princeton University recently investigated the effect of replacing traditional course printouts with individual student Kindles. The study results indicate widespread adoption of e-readers among students could significantly lower printing costs and waste for the university, though the iPad might be a better candidate for the job.
Many publications review digital cameras but they don't tell you as much as they seem to. Charles Maurer explains the problems with these reviews and suggests a different approach to buying cameras.
Notable software releases this week include BusyCal 1.3.2 and PDFpen/PDFpenPro 4.7.
It was a blessedly slow week for serious news, but a few items jumped out at us. Consumer Reports dinged the iPhone 4 on its antenna design, Apple finally acknowledged problems with certain Time Capsules, AT&T explained why iPhone 4 users in some cities were seeing slow upload speeds, Apple started a beta for a new version of MobileMe Calendar, Sony dropped prices on its ebook readers, and the New York Times warned that rising labor and currency costs may result in higher electronics prices.