Samsung has not only been explosive in the smartphone market, but the South Korean-based company also continues to succeed in an area where it has long dominated: the television set. Samsung has broken ground before in several areas, but now it is putting a new television out on the market that embodies all the newest technologies in the HDTV space. Priced at hefty $9,500 and up, the Samsung UN75ES9000 is a 75-inch HDTV with all the bells and whistles: 240Hz, 3D, Wi-Fi, pop-out web cam, and more to combine top-specs with huge-screen real estate. Usually large-screened sets like this one tend to compromise specs for size, so this is definitely an interesting approach for those for whom money isn’t much of an object.
Now you see it, now you don’t
Announced in July and with initial availability in August, the Samsung UN75ES9000 features a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, 35000000:1 dynamic contrast, three HDMI ports and USB ports, and various other connections like wireless and Ethernet (not to mention full 2D and 3D). It is wall mountable and ships with the stand, just for your living room.
Beyond the massive hardware, the ES9000 features Samsung’s Smart TV software that includes various apps and an easy-to-browse user interface for customers. On the Smart Hub, Samsung made available apps that allow customers to get access to content through services like Hulu Plus, YouTube, vudu, Netflix, and other digital content providers. Additionally, Samsung added a social layer via Twitter and Facebook to enable online discussion “all on one screen.” To benefit applications like Skype, Samsung included a built-in camera that Samsung claims to be “hidden” when not in use. For the audiophiles in the crowd, Samsung also included its DNSe (Digital Natural Sound engine) that enhances sound to cater to user’s presets. Not enough? Samsung throws in a gesture controlled Angry Birds game with more gesture controlled features to come.
Note Samsung’s pride in this TV in the video below.
The price is obviously a little steep. But, for the television geeks out there, this television seems to be nothing short of amazing. While larger 4K televisions are beginning to hit the market priced at $20,000 and beyond, you can find the Samsung ES9000 reasonably priced well south of the $10,000 retail price.
ContactMonkey is a new service that intuitively allows users to create an online version of their contact and social media information. The purpose of the website is to replace the traditional paper card with a URL you can hand out to people. For example, if someone wants my contact information, I can give them my http://www.contactmonkey.com/username instead. Having your contact card online, versus a paper card, has many benefits. These include direct clickable access to forms of connection – from the person you gave your link to – and the ability for the person to quickly download and add your information to their address book.
As you can see above, ContactMonkey makes it very easy to download someone’s contact information – typically through the vCard format – into many services. With services like iCloud and Outlook, contact information is spread to all of your devices upon download, making ContactMonkey all the more handy over paper business cards. ContactMonkey allows users to add all sorts of information including the basic contact card information, social networks, emails, messaging client, and a note, just like on paper cards. You can also add a profile photo to your card and even create a QR code that people can scan to access your digital address book information.
Users can even track card visitor statistics and information, and users can even see who follows changes to their cards. These are some of the many benefits of having your card digitally, rather than on paper. ContactMonkey comes in two flavors: a free version with all of the aforementioned features (and more), and what the company calls a “white label” version for businesses. This white label version allows users to place their company logo on their accounts, similar to what companies have for the paper business cards they would usually deploy. This white label version costs $3 per month. The service works with companies (depending on their amount of staff) for special price plans. Individuals and businesses can sign up here. Companies who sign up with our link get their first month free, individuals are always free.
Tru Protection, smartphone accessory maker, has a brand new line of iPhone cases called the “Heather Brown Collection.” The case company describes Heather Brown’s inspiration for the case designs as being “her love of the sea, surf and the beauty of the island (Hawaii). We are lucky enough to have gotten one of the Ku’uipos Air Jackets to take for a test drive on our iPhone4S. Well take a look at the functionality and design this case offers.
Functionality: The heather Brown Air Jacket collection cases are extremely similar to the design of the PowerSupport Air Jackets we reviewed last month. First off, one big difference here is that the Tru Protection case has a larger cutout for the volume / mute buttons, which allows it to fit the iPhone4S and Verizon iPhone4. The case fits super tight to your iPhone and does not move when you squeeze it like some lower quality cases might. I love how Tru Protection left ample room for the cutouts at the top and bottom of the case, all dock connector and audio jack accessories should fit without any issue. This case maintains the beauty of the iPhone while offering ample everyday protection. The side railings of the case protrude above the screen just enough to offer “off the table” protection. This means if you lay the phone screen down on a surface it will not lay on the screen but instead on the railings of the case. Sometimes tight fitting cases are tough to get on and off but this Tru Protection case fits perfectly and I had no problem with this.
Design: if you are looking for a unique case to make your iPhone stand out from the crowd, look no further. You can really feel Heather Brown’s love for the island while using these cases. You really will not find another case like this. The surfer guy/gal and birds sitting in a branch design looks almost hand painted on the back. The colors are super vibrant and really bring the case design to life. While this case is perfect for anyone trying to bring a bit of sunshine and beach to their everyday life, I really see beach bums and surfers falling in love with the designs. Not only are these cases beautiful, but you can feel good when you buy one because 15% of the purchase will benefit the Surfrider Foundation or the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. I absolutely love this case and will be rocking it on my iPhone4S for the foreseeable future. Check below for info on how to check out this case and others from Tru Protection.
One of our favorite iDevice accessory brands, Power Support, has introduced several new high quality collections of iPhone 4 cases. You are probably familiar with Power Support because they are the screen protector of choice carried on Apple.com and in Apple retail stores but they also make several other noteworthy iDevice accessories. Today, we are going to be reviewing one iPhone 4 case from the “Designer” collection and one from the “Private Reserve” collection.
Both cases are considered “Air jackets,” and are physically the same. We will review the quality, functionality and protective nature of the cases at one time because they are identical. We will then take a closer look at the individual designs of each case.
Quality: These cases are made from high quality plastic which resists scratches and breaks. Power Support says each case less than 1mm thin, which is really incredible. We all know the iPhone 4 design is a work of art and feels absolutely incredible in the user’s hand. These Air jacket style cases truly feel like you are holding a naked iPhone, they are impossibly thin. The other great part is that these are not cheap cases, you can tell Power Support took their time engineering these case designs because they really do “hug” the iPhone. While the cases may seem a big flimsy, this is only so because they are so thin.
Functionality: The functionality aspect of an iPhone case is one of the most important factors of a great case. These Air Jacket cases fit the physical layout of the iPhone 4 perfectly. Every button, switch, and port are easily accessible. It is important to note that these cases are designed for the iPhone 4 and will not fit the iPhone 4S due to its unique positioning of the mute switch / volume buttons. It’s great to see that Power Support cut the camera hole pretty large so that it does not impede the flash. Some cases cause the flash to reflect which results in distorted photos, these cases will not do that. Both the top and bottom cutouts are a bit larger than necessary which leaves quite a bit of the iPhones aluminum open to the elements. I wouldn’t worry too much about this because that antenna band is very strong and scratch resistant. This is also a great feature because it leaves ample room for the user to plug in any accessory into the headphone jack or dock connector.
Protection: One of the major benefits to the Air Jacket cases is their thinness so do not expect them to be the most protective cases in the world. These cases are meant to protect your iPhone from everyday bumps / scratches, and they do a great job at it. If you are expecting these cases to stop several high falls on pavement, being run over, or worse than you should look elsewhere for a new case. Also, these cases do not provide “lay on the table” protection. This means that the lip of the case does not protrude past the screen, protecting it from scratches if it were to be laid on a table. I think they did a great job balancing the protective nature of the case while maintain the aesthetics of the iPhone.
Design: “tibi Air Jacket“
This case is targeted towards a female audience so for this one I had my girlfriend help me out. The first word she used to describe it was “chic.” She says it looks ultra hip and seems like a great way to stamp your individual style on your iPhone. My girlfriend said she’s never seen anything like the design of this case and almost reminds her of a shirt she would see in the window of a hip NY boutique. The case we reviewed had a lady on the back drawn in a modern style, wearing a chic outfit. Power Support offers dozens of other designs, so you can find one that matches your style.
The “Jack” has a black, plaid design. I absolutely loved the design of this case because it is done so tastefully. So often case makers create new iPhone cases from a designer point of view that simply miss the style boat. The design of “Jack” is done so well that I could imagine it being and extension of my everyday outfits. It reminds me of something a high-end clothing designer would create to complete a businessman’s look. The plaid lines on the case are some sort of special paint that seems to be pretty durable. The case adds a ton of style in a simple way to your iPhone 4.
Summary If you have used Power Support’s screen protectors in the past you can expect the same quality and care to be taken in their cases. Air Jacket iDevice accessories are impossibly thin and cut with precision. While they are not the most protective case in the world, they will protect your iPhone 4 from everyday bumps and bruises. The new collections of designs are well done and truly add style to your iPhone. These cases are perfect for the person who wants to add a bit of protection to their iPhone and a dash of style that will make their iPhone stand out in the crowd.