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  • Lenovo swings out diminutive ThinkCentre M92p Tiny, bevy of all-in-ones and VoIP-ready ThinkVision display

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    05.08.2012

    Lenovo's going all-out on Ivy Bridge-based ThinkCentre pro desktop updates this evening, and the centerpiece is the smallest of the lot. The ThinkCentre M92p Tiny -- yes, it's officially nicknamed Tiny -- is about as thick as a golf ball at 1.4 inches and ready to tuck behind your display, but packs up to a third-generation Intel Core chip, vPro for IT control and your choice of spinning or solid-state hard drives. The M92p Tiny and a lower-end M72e should arrive in June, although what the respective $799 and $499 prices will get you are still mysteries. There's no shortage if you prefer your desktops slightly more upsized. The all-in-one pack is topped by the 21.5-inch ThinkCentre Edge M92z, an uncommonly thin (2.5 inches) desktop using an IPS-based LCD with optional multi-touch that's due in July for $699. The 20- and 23-inch M92z AIO models start off at $799 for their June releases and pack up to 1TB of storage and dedicated AMD Radeon HD graphics, while a more modestly equipped, 20-inch M72z AIO will appear the same month for $599. And if you've just got to have a traditional box, Lenovo will gladly sell you the budget ThinkCentre Edge 72 ($439) or slightly uprated ThinkCentre M82 ($599). Everyone has the option of the 23-inch ThinkVision LT2323z display, which touts an IPS-based LCD and a webcam with Lync VoIP-certified, noise-cancelling microphones. The screen's price hasn't been set, but it does have a locked-in June release. You can delve into the full details of Lenovo's massive ThinkCentre revamp in the releases after the break.

  • Fujifilm X-Pro1 mirrorless camera review

    by 
    Sharif Sakr
    Sharif Sakr
    04.27.2012

    More Info Fujifilm confirms X-Pro1 at CES Fujifilm X-Pro1 interchangeable lens camera preview Sony Alpha NEX-7 mirrorless camera review Hear any mention of retro-styled cameras with exorbitant price tags and it's hard not to get suspicious. That kind of talk brings to mind Leica's incessant re-branding of Panasonic Lumix models, or those unicorn limited editions out of Japan that just leave us baffled. But it's okay, you can relax with the Fujifilm X-Pro1. At $1,700 for the body only it's crazily expensive, sure, but not when you compare to an $8,000 Leica M9-P. Besides, it's a legitimate heir to a strong line of Fuji shooters that includes the much-loved X100 and the more accessible X10. That's a strong pedigree, and no matter how deeply you peer into its mirrorless aperture, the X-Pro1 should offer up enough technology to stop you being cynical. Like what, you ask? Well, a genuinely surprising bespoke 16-megapixel APS-C sensor, for starters, plus a hybrid viewfinder designed to keep everyone happy all of the time, and a Fuji X lens mount that already has a Leica M9 adapter available (plus others, like Nikon, if you scan eBay). It all adds up to something special, but before you go tweeting this article to whimsical rich uncles, there are also some complicating factors you ought to be aware of. Even in a utopian paradise where everyone could afford this sip of photographic luxury, it's far from certain whether everyone would choose it over other interchangeable lens cameras. Read on past the break and we'll explain why.

  • JVC demos GY-HM600, launches HM650 Mobile News Camera with WiFi and FTP at NAB

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    04.17.2012

    Sure, you can always roll up with a full-blown sat truck or a camera tethered to a ViaSat SurfBeam 2 Pro Portable, or you can pick up the JVC GY-HM650, which lets you beam those video bytes back to base with any ole hotspot. The company's Mobile News Camera packs a trio of 1/3-inch 1080p 12-bit sensors, a 29-667mm lens, 3.5-inch LCD, SDXC compatibility and HD-SDI outputs, but it also includes WiFi connectivity with FTP server support, letting you record then automatically transmit footage back to a newsroom for editing and broadcast. The camera itself is very compact, considering that it's primarily suited for professional news applications, and also includes all the standard audio hook-ups, like dual XLR jacks, a shotgun mic holder, headphone jack and a separate connector for a wireless mic receiver, along with GPS and Android/iOS app control. JVC also launched another model, the GY-HM600, which offers similar features, save for those wireless connectivity bits. Both cameras look nearly identical, though the company only had the less-abled 600 on display at NAB. That camera will retail for $4,695 when it hits in the fall, while the 650 will cost you $1,000 more, with a winter 2012 shipping estimate. We weren't able to peek at the WiFi model at the show, but you'll be able to get a fairly good idea of how that camera will look in the glass-enclosed HM600 shots below.

  • Canon shows off prototype 30-inch 4K reference display, won't put a price tag on love

    by 
    Richard Lawler
    Richard Lawler
    04.17.2012

    With 4K cameras suddenly popping up everywhere we look at NAB 2012, it's little surprise that Canon is showing off this matching 30-inch prototype intended for the very professionals tasked with mastering video shot by its latest hardware. Like the retina display, it produces an effect where no matter how close you're standing it's still impossible to pick out the individual pixels, and easily matched what we'd seen from a prototype 20-inch 4K LCD from Panasonic at CES. The people we spoke to who handled some of the work on Canon's demo footage preferred it to their 2K projectors for the clarity and ability to get pixel accurate representations of the source material, plus it probably fits more easily into a production suite. The big question from all who see this in person is when will it be available and for how much, and while Canon says it's due to ship this year, we're on our own to speculate about the (surely astronomical) price.

  • Canon Cinema EOS C500 camera hands-on (video)

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    04.15.2012

    The familiar EOS-1D C isn't the only Canon camera to make its public debut ahead of NAB. The Cinema EOS series welcomes a third model to the collection this week, with looks that nearly match last year's C300. Unlike that model, which you can already pick up through e-tailers and at specialty shops, the C500 has a long way to go before it gets a shipping nod -- it may not even make it to market in 2012. The $30,000 price tag may pose an even greater barrier to entry than its to-be-announced availability date, however, and may in need of some tweaking before it's ready to compete with already established models, like the much less expensive RED Scarlet. Like the 1D C, the C500 can shoot 4K video -- the most apparent upgrade from the $16,000 C300. To that end, boosting its price tag may be the only way for Canon to avoid cannibalizing that less-abled flavor, since many cinematographers would otherwise pay little attention to the C300, due in part to its 1080p-limited shooting capabilities.It's been a few months since we've last seen Canon's first Cinema EOS model, but the C500 has a look and feel that seems to be only subtly different from the C300. It is noticeably heavier, likely due to the additional cooling gear on board to accommodate 4K shooting. Both flavors include dual CF card slots, which you'll only be able to use for snapping 1080p video -- 4K is fed to an external recorder through the dual 3G-SDI ports, which for obvious reasons you won't find on the C300. There's also a larger grip on board, now a permanent fixture on the C500, which should aid with bare-bones handheld shoots -- but if you're dropping 30 grand on a digital body, some sticks and a dolly shouldn't be far behind. Like its sibling, this year's model ships with either a Canon EOS or industry standard PL mount, so if you have a need for both, you'll need two cameras. Overall, you're looking at the same sleek, albeit slightly unconventional body design, with a price tag that's likely to make amateurs weep and pros run for the rental house. As always, there's a hands-on video waiting just past the break.

  • VizTools reveals HandiZoom video accessory for Canon DSLRs

    by 
    Anthony Verrecchio
    Anthony Verrecchio
    04.12.2012

    Wanna shoot really serious video of the sidewalk on your DSLR, but can't get along with those dicey standard controls? Then maybe VizTools has a solution -- or at least a working prototype it's readying for NAB. The HandiZoom can be operated with only one hand and does motorized zoom with adjustable speed settings, as well as various other primary controls. It hooks up to compatible Canon DSLRs using USB and a rail system, with the aim of making the camera feel more like a traditional news shooter. Check out the video after the break, and then maybe throw down a few more pennies to pair it with one of these.

  • Adobe outs Premiere Pro CS6: a 'massive release' with better multicam and more

    by 
    Sharif Sakr
    Sharif Sakr
    04.12.2012

    If you turned your back on FCP X even after the big update, then the latest version of Adobe Premiere Pro may be of particular interest. CS6 brings an enhanced 64-bit playback engine that can handle 5K resolutions and higher, new trimming options, compatibility with Mac touchpad gestures, a Warp Stabilizer that was previously confined to After Effects, expanded multicam editing for more than four cameras and other stuff too plentiful to list in one breath. Inhale. That's what the source links are for.

  • Nikon D4 field review

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    04.05.2012

    Right around 2.5 years after the introduction of Nikon's most recent game-changer (yeah, we're bragging about the D3S), its proper successor has emerged. Without qualification, the amount of hope and expectation surrounding the Nikon D4 was immense. In a way, most Nikonians were (perhaps foolishly) expecting the D4 to be to the D3S what the D3S was to the D3, and we'll confess that we were cautiously saving up precious pennies in the event that the game was changed yet again. For better or worse, the actual specifications of the D4 ended up as hardly worth writing home about, with an ISO range mirroring that already seen on the D3S, a megapixel rating lower than that of the cheaper D800 and a battery rated for fewer snaps than the outgoing D3S. All at an MSRP that's starting at $800 above where the D3S started. You'll notice a lot of comparisons throughout this article with the Best Camera of 2009, but that's intentional; yours truly has spent the last 2.5 years using the D3S for business and pleasure, and it's only logical to pit the D4 against a camera that has become molded to many palms here at Engadget HQ. Is the D4 a worthy upgrade? Or even a worthy successor? Let's find out.

  • Sony PMW-100 camcorder brings 50Mbps bitrate in an itty-bitty package

    by 
    Sharif Sakr
    Sharif Sakr
    04.03.2012

    When is full 1920 x 1080 footage not really HD? When a broadcaster rejects it for not meeting its 50Mbps bitrate criteria. There's only a few handheld cameras that can capture video with such gentle compression, and a lot of those require a third-party add-on recorder to achieve it -- but not Sony's new XDCAM shooter, the PMW-100. It has a 1/2.9-inch Exmor sensor sitting behind a 40-400mm (35mm equivalent) zoom lens and outputs 1080p, 1080i, and 720p at up to 50Mbps using MPEG HD422 compression. SxS cards are the primary media, but there's HD/SD-SDI output too should you still need it. Sound recording is equally data-heavy, letting you hear interviewees dodge questions in four channels of glorious 24-bit uncompressed 48kHz audio -- unless of course your diminutive kit fools them into thinking you're harmless. The PMW-100 should start shipping in May for an as yet undisclosed price, but in the meantime you'll find more specs in the PR after the break.

  • Sony HXR-NX30 camcorder: built-in projector, 96GB storage for $2,500 (video)

    by 
    Sharif Sakr
    Sharif Sakr
    04.02.2012

    Don't worry, lone gunslingers, today isn't just about the NEX-FS700. Sony's pro range has also been bolstered with the HXR-NX30 for videographers who need to travel light. This model sacrifices interchangeable lenses in favor of a palm-friendly form factor with a 26mm-260mm (35mm equivalent) Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T fixed lens. The camera sports Sony's 'Balanced Optical SteadyShot' technology, which means both the lens and the sensor assembly are floated as a single element to minimize camera shake. Unlike that of the larger NEX-VG20, the HXR-NX30's sensor is shrunken too: it's an Exmor R CMOS that's only slightly larger than 1/3-inch. The North American NX30U variant handles 1920 x 1080 at 60p, 30p and 24p, as well as 60i and 720/60p, stored as AVCHD on the camera's 96GB of internal memory. A detachable XLR unit takes care of pro-quality audio. Weirdly, the HXR-NX30 even houses a built-in projector that plays back 100-inch footage from a distance of 16 feet. It's an interesting feature, but will it be worth its weight? Further specs and a promo video await after the break.

  • Sony to launch NEX-FS700E 4K cinema camera for $9,000 at NAB?

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    03.30.2012

    What would you pay for the ability to capture cinema quality 4K video? $36,000? $18,000? Try $9,000. That's the expected price of Sony's rumored NEX-FS700E, which could launch at NAB next month with a June ship date. EOSHD reports that the camera will pipe 4K video to a dedicated external recorder over 3G HD-SDI. It will reportedly use the same NEX E-mount as its predecessor, the FS100, and may include a trio of neutral density filters to increase versatility. We haven't been able to track down an image of the rumored cinema cam (the model in that image above looks identical to the FS100), but we wouldn't be surprised to see another detail or two leak out before the broadcast community's annual Vegas gathering kicks off in a little over two weeks. For its part, Canon is also expected to announce a 4K EOS-format DSLR at NAB, as a less-expensive alternative to the $16,000 C300, while RED's Scarlet already has 4K capabilities, and a $9,000 price tag.[Thanks, Andrew]

  • Nikon D800 studio samples posted at DPReview (update: 5D Mark III studio sample added)

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    03.20.2012

    Nikon faced some backlash following the announcement of its D800 DSLR, due both to the camera's potentially excessive 36.3-megapixel resolution and its relatively limited top sensitivity of ISO 25,600. Then, less than one month later, Canon revealed its own mid-range full-frame cam -- the 5D Mark III -- with a 22.3-megapixel sensor, and an option to shoot at ISO 102,400. Both models appeal to the same market of professional photographers, but with vastly different specs, which is the better pick? Low-light shooters will likely base part of that decision on high-ISO capabilities, and after reviewing samples from both cameras, there appears to be a winner.DPReview spent some time with the D800, and we took the Canon for a spin last week. We scaled the D800 sample down to 22.3 megapixels to match the 5D, then pasted a 300-by-400 1:1 pixel section from each camera side-by-side in the image above. The D800 JPEG (on the left) appears to be the noisier of the two, which seems logical, considering that Nikon opted to boost the camera's resolution instead of its sensitivity. Still, the cam's top-ISO is quite usable, and if you plan to shoot in a studio setting or can live without a six-digit sensitivity, the D800 will likely suit you just fine. Hit up our source link for samples shot at the full ISO range, including full-res downloads, to make that call for yourself.Update: We've replaced the Canon sample with a studio shot from DPReview, which provides a more accurate comparison. You can find images from both cameras at our source links below.

  • Windows 8 registry shows nine separate flavors to choose from

    by 
    Tim Stevens
    Tim Stevens
    03.02.2012

    With each subsequent release of Windows we're left bracing for what will surely be another overwhelming assortment of retail packaging options. With Windows 7 there was a dizzying 6 SKUs to choose from and we're sorry to say that, at least for now, there are even more coming with Windows 8. As noted by windows 8 beta the registry contains the keys for all current versions of the OS and, with a quick trip to Regedit we were able to verify with the screenshot above. That boils down to the following list: Windows 8 Starter Windows 8 Home Basic Windows 8 Home Premium Windows 8 Professional Windows 8 Professional Plus Windows 8 Enterprise Windows 8 Enterprise Eval Windows 8 Ultimate Windows 8 ARM editionWe will of course point out that this is from the Consumer Preview, so not necessarily a final tally, and the Enterprise Eval version is of course just for trials, but it's interesting to note the addition of Professional Plus. Office 2010 Pro Plus adds in extra integration with Sharepoint and Office Communications Server, leaving us to wonder if this flavor of Windows 8 won't offer some similar collaborative tools. And then there's just that one, lonely ARM edition, which could leave non-x86 hardware buyers out of the cross-shopping fun altogether.Update: As Jack Schofield points out, you couldn't actually choose from all those Windows 7 SKUs, there were only three boxed products available in the US. It remains to be seen how many of these Windows 8 variants will appear at retail here.[Thanks, Sagar]

  • Hi, Doris from HR, I write about dragons on the internet

    by 
    Josh Myers
    Josh Myers
    02.24.2012

    A little over a week ago, Anne Stickney wrote a post about her experiences trying to explain her life in World of Warcraft to her father, a nearly 83-year-old veteran who has had more real-life adventures than we have had fake ones. Striking a balance between that life we live in the online World of Warcraft and our real lives in the non-virtual world is something that every WoW player has to do, but the degree of our involvement in the game often dictates how hard it is to find that balance. In the gay community, we very commonly describe coming out as a process that you don't only do once. During my day-to-day life, I might meet a new person, have someone from work ask if I'm dating anyone, friend someone from high school on Facebook, or write an article about coming out as a gamer for WoW Insider. Regardless of which situation fits you best, all of these are fairly regular situations that result in needing to come out again. Being gay and being a gamer -- not as different as you'd think I think the experiences of coming out as a gamer and coming out as gay have a few very important similarities. In both cases, they're secrets we tend to guard that aren't outwardly visual. Despite stereotypes, you can't actually know whether someone is gay unless they tell you. Likewise, you can't tell that the woman you just bumped into on the side of the road is actually a three-time Gladiator warrior unless you get into a conversation about it.

  • Nikon confirms 36.3-megapixel D800, we go hands-on

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    02.06.2012

    Thirty-six megapixels. That's the native resolution of Nikon's long-awaited FX-format digital SLR. The D800 was designed with all professional photographers in mind, but with 36.3-megapixel captures (yes, that also means 36.3 megapixels in RAW, or 15.4 in DX format), the Japanese camera maker's latest DSLR output is likely to far exceed the needs of many. It also limits low-light shooting capabilities -- the D800 is a full-frame camera, but even so, with a standard sensor capturing 36.3 megapixels, its high-ISO performance is unlikely to match the likes of the D4, or Canon's new 1D X. It's for this reason that Nikon limited the camera's top native sensitivity to ISO 6400, or 25,600 in Hi2 extended mode. Want to see more? Thumb through the gallery below and jump past the break for a closer look at the latest full-frame DSLR to hit the market.

  • Nikon D4 hands-on and manufacturer sample images (video)

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    01.06.2012

    With the onslaught of CES launches still several days away, the big news today is the D4, Nikon's brand new full-frame digital SLR camera. The 16.2 megapixel DSLR offers 1080/30p video capture, an extended ISO range of 100 to 204,800, a 91,000-pixel 3D color matrix meter and a top high-speed shooting option of 11 frames-per-second. And with the D3 first hitting stores nearly five years ago, this FX-mount successor was long overdue. Earlier today, Nikon held its D4 launch event in Asia, previewing the camera before a group of journalists in Hong Kong. We were on hand for a first look at the massive $6,000 pro body, and were quite pleased with what we saw. Jump past the break for our impressions.

  • Nikon announces D4 DSLR camera: full-frame 16.2 MP sensor, 204,000 extended ISO, $6,000 price tag

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    01.05.2012

    More than two years after the D3S began shipping and roughly a half-decade after we first got a peek at the D3, Nikon has finally announced the full-frame DSLR's long-awaited successor. As expected, the Nikon D4 boosts both megapixel rating (to 16.2) and extended ISO (204,800 at Hi-4), and includes a brand new full-frame FX-format sensor. Video capture also jumped from 720/24p to 1080/30p, but so did the camera's somewhat-out-of-reach price tag -- you'll be dropping $5,999.95 when the D4 hits stores in late February. You're clearly not spending all that hard-earned photo dough for nothing, though. There's also a 91k-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Meter III, compared to a 1,005-pixel meter in the D3S, enabling the camera to evaluate the color and brightness of a scene with much greater precision, yielding much more accurate results. And since the D4 reportedly offers phenomenal low-light performance, you'll probably be using it quite often in the dark -- letting you get good use out of the new back-lit controls. Photographers can preview images using the 921k-dot 3.2-inch LCD, which offers a 170-degree viewing angle and ambient light sensor. HD video can be previewed on the display as well, or directly through the HDMI port, which also supports uncompressed 8-bit preview video output with optional overlay. Naturally, the D4 is fast. It can power on and be ready to shoot in approximately 0.012 seconds, and can capture 10 fps stills at full resolution with full auto focus and exposure. Willing to lock both AF and AE? The D4 goes to 11. A new 51-point AF system offers full cross-type focusing that's compatible with all Nikon lenses, even when paired with a teleconverter. The D4 includes two card slots with support for both UDMA-7 CF and the recently-announced XQD format, which brings write speeds of up to 125 MB/s -- enough to capture 105 consecutive RAW images at 10 fps. You'll find full details and specs on the D4 just past the break, along with an overview of Nikon's new AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G FX-format lens, which is set to ship in March for $499.95.

  • App developers unite! Or at least organize yourselves a bit better

    by 
    Sharif Sakr
    Sharif Sakr
    01.04.2012

    It's only right that the creative individuals behind a multi-billion dollar industry should have access to their own professional body, but for some reason the idea has yet to take hold. That could change at CES, when Jon Potter -- formerly of the Digital Media Association -- will start selling membership to a new outfit called the Application Developers Alliance. His pitch will open with the concept that "there's an interesting space in the application developer community that isn't really organized" and then move on to offer services like an online collaborative network, shared product-testing facilities, discount training schemes and cloud services, and even government lobbying over issues like privacy and IP. Who knows? That sort of thinking could ultimately lead to a fully-fledged union movement to stand up to fat-cat platform owners and let them know who's boss, but first things first eh?

  • Red's Scarlet-X 4K camera gets video review: you've never needed $11,700 so badly

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    01.02.2012

    Native 4K recording? Check. A built-for-war body? You bet. Backordered despite a downright shocking $11,700 price tag? Most certainly. As with Red's prior products, the Scarlet-X seems to be wowing just about every shooter lucky enough to come into contact with one. Luck for you, the folks over at Cinema5D have spent an inordinate of amount of time with this beast in order to deliver the full skinny on whether it's worth the price (and wait). We won't bother spoiling any conclusions for you, but if you've been toying with the idea of blowing your (and your SO's) bonus on one of these in a bid to start your own movie house, there's a vid just after the break that deserves your attention.

  • Holiday Gift Guide: iPad apps & accessories for business

    by 
    Michael Rose
    Michael Rose
    12.17.2011

    From one-person shops to giant enterprises, if businesses agree on anything right now it's "iPad Yay." The Apple tablet hasn't even reached the terrible twos yet, but it's clearly making its presence felt across countless verticals and different industries. For at least a couple of mobile professional writers (who might have been termed "ink-stained wretches" in times gone by), the iPad's capability as a writing tool has led it to largely replace their laptops for day-to-day work. While consumers may be the drivers behind most iPad sales, chances are that the iPad-toting professional on your gift list is using his or her iPad for a combination of personal enjoyment and work tasks, so why not find a gift that supports and extends the biz savvy of everyone's favorite quasi-computer? Here's our brief list of gift ideas that you could conceivably write off on your taxes. Cloudy Days If your business iPad user is a sole proprietor or running a small business, they don't have to compromise about getting big-biz-level enterprise tools anymore. The same Google Apps or Box.com infrastructure that supports huge corporations can be theirs for a modest investment. Consider gifting a pro Dropbox account (50 GB is quite a bit of room to maneuver), or going with Box or Egnyte for more sophisticated file services & sharing. (Dropbox's Teams product is great, too, but requires more coordination with other colleagues.) Maybe a Pogoplug account, or a subscription to one of 37 Signals' highly-regarded services? If your businessperson is already a user of 37 Signals' Backpack business collaboration tool, the $9.99 Pouch app makes their iPad a fully-featured Backpack client. Another collaboration platform, Pagico, just released its official iPad app last week. Then again, what we want from the cloud, often as not, is access to the files we have sitting right there on our computer at the office or at home. With the free Polkast service and iPad app, business users can quickly get to their PC or Mac storage over local networks or remotely as long as the computer is on. It's not the sort of thing that BigCorp IT departments find particularly appealing, but for a lean and mean solo operation or small team it might just do the trick. Speaking of big IT, the pricey ($29.99) but indispensable LogMeIn Ignition client makes it easy to remotely control one or hundreds of remote computers from the iPad's screen. If your gift recipient has to keep tabs on a lot of PCs, Ignition is a wonderful gift. Hardware Given that the iPad is mostly self-contained, unless your recipient is asking for specific accessories or gear there's not much to add to the list that is business-specific. The two notable exceptions come under the "input" and "output" departments. For text-heavy users, a wireless physical keyboard may make the difference between frustration and joy. The Zagg and Logitech keyboard cases get a thumbs-up from Technologizer; our fearless leader Victor votes for the AmazonBasics Bluetooth keyboard, which at $44.90 is $25 cheaper than Apple's wireless compact keyboard. While the folding Jorno keyboard remains vaporgear, Logitech is now shipping its $129.99 fold-up keyboard for the iPad 2, and I have to say it looks awfully tempting. Almost any Bluetooth keyboard will work reasonably well with the iPad, so if your giftee has a preference it should be honored. As for output, it's all about presentation. Give your road warrior the $29 VGA and/or $39 Digital AV Adapter HDMI adapter cables and they'll be ready to hook up in the office or at a client, wherever there's a projector. Both adapters support mirroring with the iPad 2, so the full interface of the iPad can be shown on the screen. Of course, anyone who's going to be tossing their iPad into a backpack or laptop bag will need a cover. Apple's Smart Cover does a fine job on the front, and there's a fair assortment of matching shells for the back. The choice may come down to personal (or professional) style. Presentation & Meeting Apps Speaking of presentation output, what busy professional doesn't have to throw down a few slides now and then? The unquestioned king of the hill when it comes to iPad-driven presentations is Apple's sleek and straightforward $9.99 Keynote -- in fact, you can't really go too far wrong by bundling all three iWork apps for the new iPad user. Still, Keynote is less effective if your giftee isn't Mac-based on the desktop side; the fidelity of PowerPoint file conversions is what I'd call 'adequate.' The QuickOffice Pro HD suite does a slightly better job of keeping PPT files (not PPTX, so be sure to save down) looking the way they should, although neither product supports all the fonts, animations and transitions you'd get from your laptop when presenting. Of course, with QuickOffice you get all three productivity functions in one app. (If you really truly need the full fidelity of PowerPoint 2010, keep reading.) You can't always present in person, so don't forget the remote meeting apps. Fuze Meeting HD and WebEx for iPad both made Apple's Rewind list this year, and both are effective for video conferencing alongside content-centric presentations; Fuze even lets you upload presentation content from your iPad to the service on the fly, and run the meeting completely PC-free. Your iPad owner may already have a business account with a distance meeting service, so keep an eye out for the official app that matches their platform. Note that WebEx's tool does not support Training Center or Event Center programs, so if those features are important to you be sure to let them know. If your decks are already in the cloud with SlideRocket, the company's iPad viewer app is a must-have (and free). The way things are headed, it's not out of the realm of possibility that your iPad owner might show up for a meeting where there's no projector, but where every other attendee has his or her own iPad. In that case, the tool to use is Condé Nast's Idea Flight. This "follow along" presenting tool works just as if you had handed out copies of your deck to 14 people -- but they can't flip ahead without permission, so they won't spoil your big reveal. Idea Flight ties into LinkedIn for contact sharing, meaning you'll never have to suffer the shame of not remembering the name of the next person at the conference table. For unforgettable and unusual presentations, step away from the slide metaphor and go flying away with Prezi. While you need to author your 'cosmic zoom' presentations using the company's Flash-based web tool, the iPad viewer app works great for downloading and showing these wild and head-turning media experiences. Not every bit of dynamic content will play on the iPad, though, so be sure to leave time for experimentation. If you need to be able to show PDFs and other documents in a pinch, the most flexible (and one of the oldest) apps in this category is GoodReader. While its interface has been variously described as "idiosyncratic," "quirky" and "unique but not in the good way," the power and flexibility it offers are unmatched. It's worth having on any business-use iPad just for all the various use cases it covers and the number of other apps you won't have to buy. The latest version adds AFP filesharing support and auto-sync, so Mac users with shared folders can automatically have a set of files copy over to GoodReader without intervention for reading/review on the road. GoodReader also supports nearly every cloud storage service imaginable, from Box to Dropbox to Google Docs to WebDAV. This app would be a bargain at $15, but at $4.99 it's a steal. Travel & Expense There's no way your iPad owner is going to shine at that big pitch meeting if they don't get there on time and on budget. Fortunately the iPad makes a killer travel assistant (and not just because you can play Madden or watch movies on it). For booking air travel, the indispensable Hipmunk app makes finding the least-agonizing itinerary as simple as tap and go (Kayak is also great for complex searches). Once you're booked, Tripit for iPad gives clarity and coherence to your travel plans, allowing you to keep flight schedules in-line with hotel, car and other bookings. There are scores of expense-centric apps on the App Store, and I wish I could recommend a task-specific tool, but sad (or glad) to say I don't have to go any further than my Swiss Army app for all things remembery, the free Evernote app and cloud service (premium subscription optional). Forget the fact that all your notes and tidbits are handily synced to the cloud for easy access no matter where you roam; that's just the start. Evernote's astonishing OCR abilities on your sync'ed image-based notes mean that handwritten comments on receipts, boarding passes or hotel bills actually get recognized and indexed alongside the printed text. Once you've had the experience of jotting a client name or a project code onto a restaurant bill, snapping a picture of it with the iPad 2's camera for Evernote to digest, and then searching back at the office for that client name only to have your scrawl-adorned note pop right up... well, I'll tell you, it's magical. This capability to do IRL tagging on the fly with nothing more than a ballpoint pen is one of many features that keep me perfectly happy with Evernote. For $55, you can gift a year of Evernote's premium service (though the free version is nothing to sneeze at), and get a snazzy t-shirt in the bargain. Evernote can even help you maintain your gift list and plan your holiday celebrations. Notes & Text Having mentioned Evernote enthusiastically, there are plenty more options all over the store for text-centric tasks. The multitalented Notability gives equal time to those who prefer writing by hand, while also supporting keyboard input, PDF annotation, audio recording and cloud synchronization; it's on sale for $0.99 this week (usually $4.99). If you prefer a more minimal notes app that includes the sound-to-text timeline, check out SoundNote. Meteor Notes also adds some interesting features to the party. The free or $1.99 (lite vs. pro) app delivers a familiar folder paradigm, easy search and organization plus Dropbox sync. Of course, the iPad's onboard Notes app is capable of syncing with iCloud, Google mail or Exchange, and there's always Apple's Pages app. But then again, Evernote. Remote Access & Virtualization Aside from the aforementioned LogMeIn Ignition, there's no shortage of solid remote access clients all over the App Store. Wyse's $14.99 Pocket Cloud Pro/free Pocket Cloud gets my personal thumbs-up after Ignition, but really they all work quite well (Mel is a fan of Edovia's Screens app, for $19.99). If you're trying to do a presentation in a PC-specific app (such as PowerPoint 2010) and you haven't been able to get it quite right in SlideRocket or Keynote, using a remote access tool is a great way to deliver a high-fidelity experience. When it comes to remote access to virtual machines, Parallels & VMware have slightly different approaches. For your own personal VMware Fusion setup, VMware recommends using any capable VNC or RDP app to access a running VM. For the company's big-iron infrastructure setups of virtualized desktops, however, you can use the free VMware View app with VMware's new PCoIP connection protocol to easily and securely get a full desktop experience, including 1080p output and a 'Presentation Mode' option that turns a display-connected iPad into a sleek trackpad/keyboard combination -- but that depends on corporate support of a View server. (Wyse's Pro version of Pocket Cloud also supports connections to VMware View, and VMware is also doing View clients for Android, Windows and Mac.) Parallels is happy to offer you a $4.99 (soon to be raised) iPad app that supports remote control of the company's virtualization app on the Mac; this is a solid way to get quick remote access to your virtual machine, assuming your Mac is online and accessible (it should also work with the PC versions of Parallels Desktop, although I haven't tested that). There is a twist, however; you can use the Parallels app to 'pop the stack' and actually control the host Mac system in addition to the virtualized system. This could get confusing! Above and Beyond There are obviously thousands of business-centric apps and millions of ways the iPad can be employed where you're employed; if we went through all of them, that would be enough material to write a book. Or two. Since there's no time for that, here's a few more biz-friendly app finds. The Marketcircle suite of apps (Billings, Daylite) play extraordinarily nicely between the Mac apps that help run the business CRM and other functions and the mobile pros who need that data in a hurry. The Canadian company has gained a reputation for strong service and customer dedication, and if the businessperson on your gift list is looking for a Mac-friendly CRM solution with a good iPad story then they should be running for Daylite. If your scheduling and meeting-invite needs are more you against the world, the tough-to-search-for, great-to-find cloud calendaring service Doodle has an app that's currently iPhone-optimized; we hope it makes it to the iPad soon, but in the meantime the company has just added an iCal connector that allows users on Intel Macs to sync their iCal schedules up to Doodle quickly and easily. Project management? Merlin. Business intelligence & visualization? Roambi. Mind mapping? iThoughts HD or MindJet. So many gifts, so little time! If you've given or gotten a great app for business on the iPad, share it with us all below in the comments. Happy holidays!