Consumer Reports: Forget what we said before, new iPad is the best we’ve ever seen

Consumer Reports took a beating for measuring the new iPad’s heat and charging non-issues under intense loads. However, it still overwhelmingly recommended Apple’s new device.

The high-resolution screen of the new iPad establishes a new benchmark in excellence, providing the best rendering of detail and color accuracy we’ve ever seen on a tablet display. As a result, the iPad tops our new tablet Ratings, posted today.

Performance on the new iPad ($500 to $830) was superb in virtually every other way as well. The 5-megapixel camera took very good photos. Verizon’s 4G network yielded very fast, dependable connectivity to a 4G-compatible version of the iPad in our informal tests. And despite the energy-intensive display and graphics, the iPad still has longer battery life than all other tablets.

Responding to consumer comments on the new device, and to coverage from other reviewers, we also carried out further tests that confirmed the new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2. But we didn’t find those temperatures to be cause for concern. In addition, further tests of observations we made that the new iPad was not recharging when playing a demanding, intense video game, showed that the problem was limited to times when the device was playing a demanding game with the screen fully bright. Our high overall judgment of the new iPad was not affected by the results of either battery of tests.

The biggest downfall? Read more

Netflix spins off by-mail group as Qwikster

Some interesting news from Netflix this morning: They are spinning off their by mail group, which will also include video games and giving it a new name ‘Qwikster’.

While the video below and the announcement blog post set a conciliatory tone for the way the recent changes (price hikes) happened, those changes are still in place and will continue going forward.

In fact, it sounds like Netflix is set to spin off its old mailing business in the future even though in-house Qwikster now sells game rentals as well as movies and TV shows.

The future of video and gaming is clearly streaming and it appears that Netflix doesn’t want to be associated with that entity.

Apple, for what it is worth, has been shunning optical for years, refusing to put Blu-ray optical discs in its Macs or Apple TV products and instead pushing the streaming of media.

PlayStation Vita: Low battery life, expensive memory

Sony seems to be hampering its PlayStation Vita console right out of the gate according to a report today from Ars. What may have seemed like OK battery life before Apple’s iOS devices came on the scene, now seems downright paltry. Compare the iPad’s 10+ hours of usage to the Vita’s claimed stats, with the screen at the default brightness, Bluetooth turned off, and headphones used for audio:

  • Game: Approx. 3-5 hours
  • Video: Approx. 5 hours
  • Music (in stand-by mode): Approx. 9 hours

Even the diminutive and probably better-compared iPod touch (released a year ago) pretty much destroys that with 40 hours of music playback and 7 hours of video (right).

As for memory, the Vita has none built-in like iOS devices. But Sony (just being Sony) will offer a proprietary memory card format, instead of say just using SD or speedy SDXC cards that are about a buck a Gig. Prices?
Read more

The first Atari Joystick I’ve wanted in 20 years…

Update: DVICE has a review up with the following notes:

  1. It is a 30 pin dock connector, not Bluetooth. It runs on the iPads battery and gets 8-10 hours of battery life (pretty efficient!). The downside to that: Portrait playing only.
  2. The Atari Arcade is scheduled to drop on October 2 at Target and then in November at Toys “R” Us and Walmart for $60.

Coming soon to DiscoveryBayGames, a new Atari controller that will go head to head with the popular iCade box. The appliance was discovered in the Atari’s Greatest Hits update by MacRumors.

What’s New in Version 1.3

Hello Atari fans! We’ve been paying close attention to your feedback and have made a ton of improvements:

• New and improved control schemes
• OpenFeint integration
• Optimized iPad layouts with larger playfields
• Better multiplayer connectivity
• Compatibility with the Discovery Bay Games Duo Controller
• Play with the official Atari® Arcade – Duo™ Powered joystick. http://bit.ly/atariarcade

Read more

Coleco makes a comeback on iOS

Photo of the ColecoVision video game console.
That’s right, Coleco the gaming powerhouse of my youth is back, (mostly in name) with a game for kids called 3 little pigs Pop-up adventure ($4.99, screenshots below).  My kid is testing it as soon as he wakes up tomorrow morning

In this initial book, we’ve created a new 3D engine/platform that we believe raises the bar for children’s interactivity when it comes to story books on this platform.

But can we get back to the old Coleco part of it?

Mitch Schussler, CIO of Coleco Entertainment Corporation wrote in to tell us about how they were getting the band back together and…

we’re getting close to releasing some of the classic remakes as well as a full product line to be introduced in the second quarter of next year.

I can’t even wait.  Mitch, you know where to send the redeem codes. Read more