Things they sent me to review

OK, this has been a crazy summer filled with construction dust and contractors while we remodeled our kitchen.  normally each of these products would have their own post, but I am buried under review units and need to catch up, so we will do quick hits on everything.

Atari Arcade Duo

The Atari Arcade for iPad

The Atari Arcade is very cool if you love classic gaming and still have an iPad 2/3 laying around.  It is powered by the 30-pin connector on your iPad, so no batteries are wasted.  Would have been better if they had added a USB or 30-pin port to the back to charge through though.  In all it works nicely and gives you that satisfying arcade joystick feel to bring games like Pac-Man back to their visceral glory.  Can be found cheap online.


HP X2 Windows 8 Convertable Tablet/Laptop
The HP X2 windows 8 Tablet with Laptop Dock

The X2 is the first Windows laptop/tablet I have liked in a long time.  Light weight and sturdy, the X2 is decently powered and makes great use of the Windows 8 Modern UI with it's responsive touchscreen and above average spec sheet.  I love that the keyboard dock doubles battery life (up to 16 hours of moderate use) without adding too much weight.  If I wanted to go back to windows, this would get me there.

Rymdkapsel - iOS Game

Rymdkapsel, an interesting new iOS RTS game

Rymdkapsel is short on graphics, but long on re-play ability and challenging.  You need to manage resources and workers to defend your outpost while trying to complete various missions and defending yourself against waves of attacking enemies.  This game has me turning my back on casual games for hours at a time.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8" Tablet

The Samsung Galaxy Note has done the is an Android device I could see myself using every day.  I haven't had a lot of love for Android in the past, but this combination of form factor and the pressure-sensitive stylus has me warming to the idea.  The Galaxy Tab 8.0 has 1.5GB RAM, 16GB Storage, and a SnapDragon 800 1.5Ghz processor, giving it plenty of power to run any application.  When combined with the ChromeCast it becomes an easy home entertainment center as well.  The thing that I love the most is the stylus and how easily it adapts to drawing and note taking.  If you miss the days of your Palm Pilot and decent handwriting recognition, but want a display large enough to comfortably read book and watch video, this is the tablet to get for now.

Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Center

The Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Player

A handheld that knows what it is and does itself proud, I love having 80 Genesis classics at my finger tips for some retro gaming on demand.  It's downfall is that it doesn't save game progress, so RPG mainstays like Phantasy Star would be pointless. If you are looking to re-gain some of your youth and are OK with only having the platform and arcade titles to draw from, you can do a lot worse than this $59 wonder.

Sega Genesis Arcade Nano - Virtua Fighter Edition

The Sega Genesis Arcade Nano

This little wonder serves to illustrate just how far computing and video games have come in my lifetime.  This little keychain has as much computing power as the Sega Genesis console, and includes the contents of 10 game cartidges besides.  Easily hooks up to any TV and provides quick easy gaming fun for you or your kids.  For $19.99 you can't go wrong.  Also available in a puzzle games version with Columns and 9 other titles.

Credit Card Lightbulb

The Credit Card Light Bulb

Not much surprise here.  Flip up the bulb and it turns on.  Fairly bright and super reliable.  Would be great for emergency kits and cars, or to carry in your gear bag just in case.


Impossible Instant Lab

The Impossible Instant Lab

 This was one of the first really big KickStarter campaigns to draw wide-spread attention, and there is good reason.  With photo applications like Instagram and Hipstamatic taking over the camera phone market with their oddly retro photo effects, bringing back physical old school poloroids isn't a huge jump.  Being able to attach your iPhone to the device and transfer your instagram greatness in physical form is pretty cool, but can get expensive due to hard-to-find film cartidges.  Impossible thought this through though, and they have supplies available to keep you in instamatic film for as long as you would like.  The film is still a bit pricey (a 10 shot cartridge still runs about $25), but the novelty makes it a huge hit.  Available from Impossible for $299.00