GOAL ZERO has made a name for itself with a lineup of flexible, solar-based charging equipment tailored to outdoorsy users, but the company's latest products, including the portable Switch 8 system, represent a direct play for the attention of mainstream consumers.
When Apple switched to the proprietary Lightning protocol with its latest salvo of iOS device launches, many users were pushed toward Bluetooth solutions in lieu of true Lightning-capable speakers, but compromises in sound quality provided for less-than-stellar performance. Definitive Technology looks to change that with its new Sound Cylinder, a high-end Bluetooth-enabled speaker that delivers true 2.1 channel audio.
Apple's new iPad mini is likely to become its most popular iPad, due to a light, thin design that delivers tablet optimized apps in a more portable package at a reduced price.
Arguably the biggest surprise product debut from Apple in 2012 is the new fourth-generation iPad, a tablet that replaces its predecessor and doubles its performance after less than a year on the market.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display brings Apple's much-heralded high-resolution screen to its most popular notebook model. It's a beautiful, powerful machine, but does it justify its $500 premium over the price of the legacy 13-inch MacBook Pro?
Apple's new fifth generation iPod touch takes the model upscale, with a higher entry price that supports better components and features while making room for the newly redesigned iPod nano (and last year's iPod touch) below it.
Apple's new seventh generation iPod nano changes the model's direction from being a square, wearable, audio-only faux-iOS device to being a sort of mini iPod touch, but lacking any cameras, mic, WiFi or apps beyond the typical iPod features bundled with it.
iPhone 5 adds a larger screen to a much lighter, thinner case, boasts dramatically faster 4G LTE mobile service, improves its cameras and is much faster in both graphics and core performance.
The new Apple TV delivers 1080p video along with the features and revamped user interface of "Software Update 5," a free update to existing second generation Apple TV users.
Amazon's new Kindle Fire represents the company's first device to move beyond black and white ebook readers and into the realm of apps, music, videos and magazines, delivered using a color touchscreen.
Apple's iPhone 4S, at first glance, seems largely to be a refreshed iPhone 4. It is, but it also is not, thanks to three powerful new features that transform what has been the world's most popular smartphone into a vastly improved new version of itself.
Last year at its "Back to the Mac" event, Apple launched a revamped pair of 11 and 13 inch MacBook Air models that borrowed hardware details from the iPad. This year, the company's duo of light and thin notebooks get some notable hardware enhancements but also benefit significantly from Mac OS X Lion, which incorporates a variety of iPad software features.
Apple's new iPad 2 is currently so popular that it's difficult to buy. Along with its impressive hardware however, there are a few weak spots and a couple rough edges in its current software release.
Apple's revised 13, 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pros deliver Intel's blazing fast new Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 CPUs, new AMD Radeon HD (formerly ATI) dedicated graphics performance on the high end and a new high speed Thunderbolt port, resulting in the fastest notebooks currently available while inheriting the long battery life, the strong, minimalist unibody construction, and the environmentally friendly design of previous year's models.
At its "Back to the Mac" event, Apple launched a revamped 13-inch MacBook Air and an entirely new 11-inch MacBook Air as products combining the company's MacBook line with lessons learned in iPad development.
The new, improved, $99 Apple TV is a step in the right direction for the set-top box famously referred to as Apple's "hobby," but the incremental upgrades it offers are, for now, just a tease of bigger and better things to come for the platform.