The dedicated e-reader market, hurt by the rise of the tablet and large-screen smartphones, is widely regarded as being on the downswing. But that hasn't stopped Kobo from announcing the limited-edition $169.99 Kobo Aura HD, a "premium" e-reader with a 6.8-inch screen that the company says is the highest-resolution display available in an e-reader today.
The specs list the resolution for the Pearl E Ink display at 1,440x1,080 pixels, 265dpi, and Kobo says the larger 6.8-inch screen size offers "30 percent more reading surface and the closest experience to print-on-paper -- showcasing text and high-resolution images beautifully."
Kobo also claims that with its 1GHz processor is the fastest e-reader by 25 percent. It will come in three colors -- Ivory, Espresso, and Onyx -- and has 4GB of storage, plus an expansion slot that accepts up to 32GB microSD cards. Battery life is rated at up to two months. … Read more
It's generally easy to upgrade your computer to a standard solid-state drive (SSD) as long as your computer supports the standard 2.5-inch hard-drive design. The MacBook Air, however, doesn't, so most people are stuck with the machine's relatively limited stock storage.
OWC announced today the OWC Mercury Aura Pro SSD, which is designed specifically for 2012 MacBook Airs. Instead of the standard design, the new SSD comes in the same design as those used inside the supported Air; it's shaped more like a stick of system memory than a hard drive.
OWC says the Mercury … Read more
In case you missed it, I wrote about iSkin's Year of the Dragon Aura iPhone case a couple of weeks ago. While it didn't quite make the official arrival of the Year of the Dragon, which kicked off on January 23, it came close, and is now shipping.
The case isn't exactly a bargain at $44.95, but it is pretty sweet (the dragon is etched into the metal back) and iSkin's offering up a promotion code to CNET readers for use on its site.
Just type in CNET-15 in the promo code box at check out to get 15 percent discount. That will basically get you free shipping and save you a few bucks. I know, not a bargain, but hey, it's something. … Read more
Researchers think they've found a low-cost machine for producing materials that can convert waste heat into electricity: the microwave oven.
A team from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute last week published a paper in Nature Materials that describes an improved method for making thermoelectric materials. Members of the team have also created a startup company to commercialize the technology.
Thermoelectric devices are already in use today in portable coolers or to heat car seats, either by making electricity from heat or using electric power for cooling. Many scientists and engineers are trying to improve the efficiency of these devices and … Read more
It doesn't look like iSkin will quite make the arrival of the Year of the Dragon, which kicks off on January 23, but it's trying to get close with its new "dragon-themed" iPhone 4/4S Aura cases, which were spotted at CES in Las Vegas.
iSkin was also showing another new line of cases for iPhones and iPads that will be released "by Spring" with a kind of ruggedly smooth leathery look that got a lot of good feedback at the show. That line will be called Vintage.
The Canadian accessories company has also … Read more
OWC announced today the Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G solid-state drive (SSD), which it claims to be the first on the market that fits inside the new MacBook Air (version 2011) and offers the latest SATA 3 (6Gbps) standard.
Just in case you don't know, the new MacBook Air is known to support the latest SATA 3 (6Gbps), which offers a top data rate of around 500MBps. However, the laptop's stock SSD supports only the slower SATA 2 (3Gbps) standard. This means, despite how quickly the machine currently boots and performs, the drive could be the bottleneck that … Read more
One of the first and biggest hurdles any third-party navigation app will need to clear on Google's Android platform is Google itself. While this may not be the case with other mobile OSes, Android (or at least devices running version 1.6 or better) comes more or less bundled with Google's free Google Maps with Navigation app. So, why would a user go out of their way to check out another navigation app? So, of course, this is the first question I asked when evaluating the Sygic Aura GPS navigation app. … Read more
We last heard of Spracht with the Spracht Aura BluNote Bluetooth speaker a few months ago, but it looks like the company has ventured into the headset category with the Spracht Aura EQ.
The Aura EQ has a distinct design with angles and lines that remind us of the Egyptian pyramids. It has quite a number of features as well--dual microphones that can be switched and focused, the ability to pair with up to eight devices, a built-in six-band equalizer, and an array of ways to cancel out pesky background noise.
It also has a capacitive touch volume control (you … Read more
Aura Free Video Converter offers to crisscross video formats in a matter of seconds. We were able to easily change the file type of our videos with this impressive program.
Its interface was welcoming, even though we had limited experience with videos and file conversion. Its helpfully labeled commands practically walked us through the entire process and never left us feeling as if we needed the Help file's instructions. Once we'd picked the videos we wanted to convert, we were able to choose from nearly 20 file formats to convert them into. The file types are broken down … Read more