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TUAW 2006


Motorola SLVR Verdict: It's no "i"Phone

Motorola recently launched the SLVR, the iTunes-compatible successor to last fall's failed ROKR. Like its predecessor, the ROKR is a great idea in theory, but it ends up as a disappointment.

On the plus side, the design is much more sleek than the ROKR -- think of it as a RAZR without the flip (and who doesn't love the RAZR? Best. Phone. Ever.). Even better, it has 512 MB of built-in memory, so you can store music with ease.

However, we still hate the proprietary headphone jack, the 2-year Cingular lock-in and the 100-song iTunes limit. We really don't see people spending $200 for a phone that they have to use with Cingular, with a proprietary headphone jack and with no ability to buy songs directly from the phone. Come on Apple/Motorola, that's just weak!

Here's hoping that a "real" iTunes phone appears from Apple sometime in the future.

Is Paying the "Black Tax" worth it?

The new MacBooks are here and they come in two tasty colors: classic iBook white and dark and sultry black. We polled our readers to see if the Black Tax was worthwhile, and while the comments seem to suggest that no one is really going to spend $150 more for a black MacBook, we're sure there will still be plenty of buyers out there.

So is paying a premium for a color really worth it? I'll go out on a limb and say, "yes, yes it is." The resale value will likely be higher (which will come in handy if those rumored Core 2 Duo chips arrive before Christmas) and come on, the economy is booming! Spend a little on yourself!

Will Vista beat Leopard?

All the excitement over Boot Camp's introduction has plenty of Mac users doing the unthinkable: installing Windows on their precious Intel beauties. Although it's pretty neat to run Windows XP on your Mac,Vista is the future. Reports of users running preview versions of Vista via Boot Camp are starting to pile in, and while it might not be as speedy as XP, remember this isn't the final release of either Vista or Boot Camp.

Microsot's long-delayed next-gen OS should be shipping later this year, with a decidedly more OS X look. The next version of Apple's Mac OS X, Leopard, should be out later this year (early 2007 at the latest) too, but will it be able to compete?

Many business users use XP at work, but as we said, that's yesteryear's technology, Once PC users everywhere upgrade to Vista en masse, will Mac users need to dual-boot to keep up? I guess there is always the possibility that Vista could be a colossal failure and the PC world would remain in the 32-bit XP sphere for several more years, but come on, that's about as likely as a Microsoft-branded iPod competitor.

We'll just have to see if Leopard has the goods to compete with Vista.

Apple Stock: How high can it go?

Apple's stock (AAPL) is ON FIRE!! Closing in at nearly $90 a share, we have to ask, how high can it go? Is there any possible way Apple can end 2006 ABOVE $100 a share? The market in general is pretty good right now and tech stocks are on a tear, but $100 a share? Apple??!

My, how times have changed.


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