Engadget catches iPad 2 case at CES

iPad 2 case.

The first iPad 2 case has peeked its head above ground at CES. The case is even sporting a mockup iPad 2 model, giving us a chance to see what the next piece of hardware might look like.

As you’ve no doubt guessed, there are dual cameras, supporting the FaceTime platform of course. It’s also interesting that the current generation iPad wouldn’t fit inside the new case because the new model will actually be a bit slimmer. The case Engadget found also had a fairly large speaker cutout. The home button has also moved a bit closer to the bottom edge, which could mean a slighter slimmer bezel.

You can read all about the original find and see more pictures at Engadget.

  

Bullz-Eye’s Holiday Gift Guide is out

Holiday gift guide.

If you’re having trouble coming up with the perfect holiday gift this year, we have something that could help you out. Our annual Bullz-Eye Holiday Gift Guide is out, including a section (written by yours truly) specifically devoted to gadgets.

Of course, you can also check out the rest of the guide, which includes games, movies, and virtually any other category of gift you might need help with. Happy shopping!

  

The power behind Microsoft’s Kinect

Microsoft’s Kinect has some undoubtably cool technology, but cooler than its game applications could be the power behind the camera. This video shows what Kinect is capable of once it has been hacked to allow a little input. The results are astonishing.

  

Review: Castiv Guitar Sidekick

Guitar Sidekick - Hand Shot

I’ve spent my Thursday nights over the past couple weeks enjoying the mild North Carolina autumn on a friend’s porch. A group of us get together, drink whiskey, and play guitar. It’s a good time, and though our musical tastes span a wide variety of genres, we can usually keep up with one another. There are those rare instances, though, where I’m glad to have an iPhone. I can dig up lyrics and tabs on the go. There’s just one problem: where do I put the phone? With the well-documented fragility of the iPhone’s glass, I don’t want to accidentally drop it on a cement porch.

Enter Castiv’s Guitar Sidekick. It’s a slick little gadget designed with this very problem in mind. The Guitar Sidekick consists of a rubber lined clip that grips your strings between the nut and the tuners and provides a cradle for your phone. The cradle is basically a spring-loaded claw with rubberized grips to keep your phone in place. It sounds tenuous, and trust me, it looks tenuous. That’s why I tested it over my bed before taking it for a porch session. I was shocked that it held so well, though if you’re really nervous about stability, just use a case along with the Castiv. The Apple Bumper, for instance, made the grip a rubber to rubber connection. My phone wasn’t going anywhere.

My only real complaint about the Guitar Sidekick is that it can be difficult to get the angle just right. It can be tough to secure a tight lock for the claw part of the device and adjust it to the right angle. It’s not impossible, just a nuisance. The good news is that you can secure a tight lock, which is probably of greater concern.

All in all, I think the Castiv Guitar Sidekick will be great for anyone looking to pick up songs quickly at an impromptu jam session. It’s application will be a little limited elsewhere, at least until there is a wide offering of apps across several mobile platforms.

  

Zibra Open It looks like a fantastic tool for nerds

Open It!I get piles of emails every day from various PR folks and promoters, hawking this new toy and that new gadget. A lot of the stuff is very niche, but the Zibra Open It is something everyone can use.

If you’ve ever tried opening a pair of headphones or a console controller or anything in that infuriating plastic packaging, you know you need something more substantial than scissors to get the job. My own solution has been a Gerber knife, which is undeniably dangerous.

I think the thing I liked best about the Open It is that the jaws are offset from the handle, so your hands are clear of the plastic spikes of doom you’re about to create. The Open It also has a mini screwdriver built in (great for opening battery packs on kids toys) and a bottle opener (not sure that drinking and opening electronics always mix but hey, everyone loves a multi-tool). You can get the Open It at nationwide retailers, but it’s probably easier to just head to the company website.