Each week, our friends at gdgt go through the latest gadgets and score them to help you decide which ones to buy. Here are some of their most recent picks. Want more? Visit gdgt anytime to catch up on the latest, and subscribe to gdgt's newsletter to get a weekly roundup in your inbox.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
The Surface Pro 2 really hasn't changed much from its predecessor. It still has the sturdy build and sharp display, but adds a better-designed kickstand (now with two angles) and Haswell internals that increase speed and battery life. Despite these changes, the 2nd-generation Surface Pro is still a hybrid device that hasn't quite succeeded as a product that works equally well as a laptop and a tablet. The Pro 2 certainly makes strides in the right direction, but its form factor makes it difficult to use as a standalone tablet, and the sold-separately keyboard covers make it expensive to use as a laptop replacement.
What's the difference between a point update and a major update for software?
With this week's release of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, we began to wonder: what distinguishes a simple point update like OS X 10.8 to 10.9 from a major update like iOS 6 to iOS 7? The latter example is certainly a major upgrade, but was iOS 5 to iOS 6 worthy of getting a completely new number? In your eyes, what are the primary things that set a point update apart from a major release? And which category does Mavericks fall into?
Though it doesn't necessarily look like a piece of modern gaming hardware, Nintendo's 2DS hits a sweet spot that will please both kids and their parents. It's surprisingly comfortable to hold (despite its odd wedge shape), but not as easy to carry in a pocket. Its battery life is on par with that of the original 3DS, even though it doesn't offer the same 3D functionality. However, unless you want to play the small handful of games that rely on the inclusion of 3D, this won't be much of an issue. Like low-priced e-readers that are designed to sell books, the 2DS is designed to sell games, and that's what it will excel at this holiday season.
What are the best closed-back, over-ear headphones for under $100?
gdgt user (and Engadget community manager) Dave is looking for a set of replacement cans for his dying Sennheisers. He needs a new set before the Sennheisers kick the metaphorical headphone bucket but, he wants to stay in the neighborhood of $100. Are there any closed-back, over-ear headphones that really get you excited? Can you recommend a pair?
Samsung Galaxy Gear
The Galaxy Gear looks surprisingly cool. Unfortunately, it also has weak battery life, limited app availability, and is only supported by a very short list of devices at the moment. Despite its good looks, it's rather bulky, making it often uncomfortable to wear, especially when typing or writing. Though it does have a pretty impressive feature set (including a camera), many of the notifications you'd you get throughout the day on your smartphone are not supported by the Gear, making it less than useful most of the time. At $299, it's best suited for those who want to be at the forefront of technology. Everyone else should wait for when device and app support grows.