Glass actually made a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that much better. It captured the essence of the moment with aplomb, and simply got out of the way. Throughout the event, Glass managed to capture moments without breaking the concentration of those around. Something tells me that consumers at large are going to embrace wearables if pricing ever sinks south of the stratosphere. I witnessed around 10 folks from all walks of life -- golfers, automotive technicians, PR professionals, waitresses, etc. -- try Glass on for size. Not a single one of them reacted with anything short of wonder, amazement and pure exuberance. Which, incidentally, is exactly how I felt mashing the pedal to the floor on a vehicle that looks devilishly good with a red interior...
-- Darren Murph
iPad mini: the ultimate hotspot
What can make the internet more awesome than it already is? A constant 4G LTE connection while traversing the real world. I tried the mobile-hotspot thing for a while with my 4S, but quickly got tired of fumbling around with cables and the like. Plus, the handset gets quite hot under that kind of use. So, after considering the options on my existing provider (AT&T), I decided to use the iPad mini as a hotspot. Did I need another tablet alongside my second-gen iPad? Of course not, but then again, who wants 3G tethering? By doing this, I've come out with much more speed and functionality -- AT&T's MiFi Liberate may have a touchscreen, but the mini almost doubles its six-hour battery life. In the end, I actually purchased my data plan via Verizon at $30 per month for 2GB. For the same price, AT&T will provide a whole gigabyte more in data, but my decision with Verizon ultimately came down to the spectrum I wanted.
The biggest problem I have with regular MiFi units is their contracts. Comparing the $459 I paid outright for the mini with the $50 price tag on the Verizon Jetpack MHS291L and MiFi Liberate seems like an easy comparison, but those low prices assume two-year contracts. For month-to-month service, you're gonna pay $229 for the Jetpack -- a small block of plastic -- which is a bit less than half the price of the mini. That's a lot to consider when you're trying to come out on the winning end of a mobile connection purchase; carriers, units, amount of data, pricing and so on. Taking into account the fact that I can toggle my iPad mini data service on and off from month to month helps me justify the extra price of the iPad. Really, it depends on the person, but for me, purchasing the iPad mini as a hotspot first and tablet second has allowed me to get the most 4G bang for my buck.
-- Andy Bowen