The New iPad

As expected, Tim Cook, yesterday unveiled “The New iPad.” I won’t go too much into all the little details, but basically it has upgraded specs, which include: faster processor, quad core graphics, better camera, 4G LTE on the cellular data model, and voice dictation. However, the biggest visual improvement is the new “Retina Display”. The iPad now has a resolution of 2048×1536 with 264 pixels crammed in every inch as opposed to 1024×768 with 132 pixels per inch like the iPad 1 and 2.

Like with the iPhone, they are using the term “Retina Display” which by their definition, means that a user should not be able to discern the individual pixels in the screen from normal reading distance. This should make the screen easier to read and photos appear sharper. Also, the new display can playback 1080p HD video at full resolution which the previous iPad could not do. In my opinion this display is the “killer feature” of the new iPad and is certainly the area that competitors will need to catch up with if they want to compete.

The other major new feature, which I mentioned above. is the inclusion of 4G LTE in the cellular model. This is the first true 4G device that Apple has released and I think this is a good indication that it means the next iPhone will have it too. Verizon right now has the larger 4G coverage, but based on tests, AT&T appears to be faster. I’m an AT&T user, so I’m curious to see how quickly they can expand their 4G network this year. I believe right now they are in about 25 cities with the service and right now Utah isn’t included in any of those.

The last new announcement on the software side, was a version of iPhoto now available for the iPhone and iPad. The demo of this looked great and it is available now for $4.99. I will most likely be buying it soon. Basically, you can make all kinds of photo adjustments with simple gestures and swipes. There’s been photo apps that do these things before, but I would say this appears to be the easiest and most intuitive one I’ve ever seen to date.

The last question is, am I going to get one? 🙂 More so over the 2, I feel that it is well worth the upgrade just for the display alone. I managed to sell my 2 model last week for a decent price and am getting the new one. After a few hours in wrestling with Apple’s website, I was able to get my preorder in.

I did decide to make a little change in my model choice though. For the past two models, I’ve gone with the cellular version. I love being able to use the iPad wherever I am even if wifi isn’t available. I’ve used the AT&T 200mb plan which was $15 a month and that has been adequate for basic web browsing when out and about. However, with AT&T recently announcing that they cap unlimited iPhone users at 3GB and me never having gone over that anyway, I decided to look into their tethering plans. I found out that for $20 more than what I was currently paying, I get 5GB of data and the ability to tether. I figured that getting 5gb of data to share between my iPhone and iPad was worth giving up the “unlimited data,” which I do realize is what AT&T wants too. 🙂 When I’m out and about, I will have to do the extra step of enabling the hot spot feature on my iPhone, but I think it will work out okay.

 

Two More Lukes

Here’s two new Luke additions that I was fortunate to add recently. The first, has been on my want list for awhile which is a Australian Toltoys Luke Jedi with blue lightsaber. It features the offer for the Nien Nunb mail in offer and one interesting thing of note is that it still mentioned Revenge of the Jedi on the offer even though the top of the card and back say Return. These were later covered up with a sticker fixing the name change and then ever further on were printed with the correct title.

toltoysfront_0toltoysback_0

The next addition is a 65C Blue Saber Luke. The 65C card has 65 figures on the back and the Emperor mail in offer on the lower corner. It is the last U.S. card that you can find the blue lightsaber Luke, before the next batch of figures were released and the back of the card was updated to 77 figures.

65cbluefront65cblueback

For those that aren’t collectors, but familiar with the movies, you might be wondering why they even made Luke’s lightsaber blue in the first place as it was green in the movie. Here is my theory that makes sense to me. In the early trailers with the Revenge of the Jedi title, some scenes actually show Luke with a blue lightsaber. Here’s a still from one of those early trailers.

It has been said that Industrial Light and Magic was having trouble with the blue for the scenes out in broad daylight, so the decision was made to switch the lightsaber to green. I think this was done very late into postproduction, so Kenner, who was working to get the toys ready in time for the movie release, actually had the blue sabers made up for the toys. Once the decision was made for green, they then moved production over to the new correct color. However, having already made up a bunch of the blue ones and possibly having them packaged at this time already. they just released them in both colors for a short while.

 

 

Rebelscum Virtual Toy Comic-Con

Starting tomorrow at noon is the first Rebelscum Virtual Toy Comic-Con. This is the first time that I’ve seen a concept like this done, but it seems like a fun idea. I originally was going to just participate as a buyer, but earlier this week I picked up a nice group of vintage Star Wars items locally, so now I’m attending as a dealer. Tonight the dealers are setting up their sales and I pretty much have mine all ready.

Anyone that cares to take a look can view it here on the rebelscum forums.

Here’s the flyer advertising the event as well.

OS X Mountain Lion

OS 10.7 Lion was released just 7 months ago and in a shocking move, Apple announced OS 10.8 Mountain Lion today. When I first heard about this from the tech sites this morning I actually thought it might be a joke or parody. However, when I got to work. sure enough Apple had a web page dedicated to the forthcoming OS. It has been awhile since Apple announced anything that didn’t have some kind of a leak, so in that regard it was nice to be surprised by Apple again. The update appears to be incremental just like the one from Leopard to Snow Leopard. In my opinion, the main focus seems to be more about adding some of those missing links of getting data between your iOS devices onto your computer with iCloud. They’ve added messages, reminders, notes, game center, sheets, and twitter integration. All of these were on iOS devices first, but they are a welcomed addition.

I’m looking forward to all of these. but the ones that I’m most excited about are the new messages app that replaces iChat, and airplay for the mac. The main change with the messages app is that you can now send and receives iMessages on your computer. An iMessage is basically a free text between your iOS devices. Before iOS 5, I used google voice for my main texting. It had a nice web interface on the computer that you could use for this same type of functionality. However, I always preferred the text messaging app built into the iPhone, so when iMessage came along I switched over to using that among the people that I knew that had iPhones. However, I missed that when I heard my phone buzz, I couldn’t just see my message on my computer and reply from there. Instead I had to reply on my iPhone or iPad. Now, I have the ability to reply to iMessages right on my Mac. The great thing is that this program is available today in Beta form, which can be installed on Lion, so I’m using it right now.

The other feature I’m excited about, is Airplay. With the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, airplay allowed you to send the entire screen of those devices to an Apple TV. Now, they are adding that ability to the Mac as well. So basically you can send a game, movie, presentation, etc over to your T.V. Gone are the days of having to hook up cables, figuring out resolutions, etc to get your computer to display properly on a T.V.

Apple has stated that Mountain Lion will be available this Summer, so roughly a year after Lion was released. There is some speculation that they might even make it free, but even if it stays at the $29 price of Lion, I don’t see a reason not to upgrade.

Here’s the link again to see some more screenshots and some of the other details as to what is new.

Revenge of the Jedi Proof Sheet

On of my more recent additions is this proof sheet for The Force lightsaber store display. This was printed up before the movie’s title was renamed to Return of the Jedi from Revenge of the Jedi. The proof sheet shows the color bars at the top and also has the crop marks for the area that was used for the actual store display. I hope to get this framed up sometime over the next year. This came directly from a former Kenner employee that has had some great items that he saved back in the day.