From Alexander Wang to Zac Posen, we've watched and reviewed each amazing New York Fashion Week runway show, and now we've rounded them up in one place for you to enjoy! Click below to read the review and see each designer's Spring 2012 collection.
Who is this product designed for? As the narrowest side-by-side double stroller on the market, the Duet is perfect for parents of twins, or tots close in age, who use their stroller around town, not just for walks through the neighborhood.
Is it practical? The Duet gives double stroller-pushing parents more flexibility than ever before. It easily fits through the standard 32-inch door frame and maneuvers as smoothly as lightweight stroller down both nicely paved paths and torn up city streets. Able to accommodate two car seats (one seated slightly higher than the other) and two bassinets, the pushchair can be used from birth on up. The fully-reclining seats provide lil ones with plenty of space to stretch out and rest while the seats' independent canopies feature "flick-out sun visors" that provide extra protection once tots lay down. An adjustable handlebar provides both taller and shorter-than-average parents comfortable pushing positions.
The BlackBerry PlayBook just got a $150 price cut — you can now grab the 64GB PlayBook for $550 at Best Buy. While you may have your eye on the iPad 2 (or even waiting for the next gen Apple tablet to hit the scene), there are a few good reasons why you might want to get on the BlackBerry train (even if you're not a BlackBerry smartphone user), especially now that the price is right.
- Web browsing is amazing — You'd be surprised at how easily the BlackBerry Playbook surfs the web. It's got Adobe Flash built-in, which means you can visit any 'ole website any time you want.
- It's comfy to hold — Don't discount the PlayBook for it's small stature. The 7-inch tablet is the perfect size for holding in your hands and still being able to type with your thumbs. It's not too heavy, and it's nice to touch too, since the soft touch matte backing keeps it from slipping out of your hands. Plus, you can pack it along anywhere.
- It's great for games — For what it's worth, gaming on the PlayBook is awesome. With the built-in gyroscope and accelerometer, you can play your favorite racing games (Need For Speed!) with movement instead of a controller, and it's super responsive.
- It's packing heat under the hood — The BlackBerry Playbook comes with a 1Ghz dual core processor and 1GB of RAM, which means it can handle multitasking like a champ. I've had several apps going at once (a video game, web browser, a video), and the PlayBook handled it like it was no problem. Best part is, multitasking is all happening in real time, so if you switch from a video to the web browser, you'll still see the video playing when you minimize the player. That's crazy! There's dual cameras on board — a 5MP rear-facing, and 3MP forward-facing — so whether you're taking a picture of something that caught your eye or video conferencing, things will be crisp and clear. Plus, sound quality is excellent, too.
- There's plenty of apps to keep you satisfied — From Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, the BlackBerry App world is stocked with social and productivity apps that you'll actually use, not just buy and forget a few days later.
Do you have a BlackBerry Playbook? Tell me what you love about it in the comments!
Baby monitors have come a long way from the crackly, static-filled intercoms that filled store shelves just a few years ago. Today, they not only allow parents to hear if their lil one wakes up in the middle of the night, but they also offer video and temperature monitoring and can even be shared with family and friends. The Lorex Live Wireless Video Home Monitor ($170) offers all of this and more in a reliable, easy-to-use package. Setup couldn't be easier with the Lorex system. Simply power up both the camera and the display screen and begin viewing instantly.
The camera gives clear audio and video, and in darkness, it will automatically shift into night mode, creating illuminated imaging through infrared light sensors. Via the display screen, moms can hold the "Talk" button to speak directly to their tots. They can also turn on a comforting lullaby to soothe lil ones back to sleep.
Keep reading to find out why we are liking the Lorex Baby Monitor.
That should all change next week when LeapFrog starts shipping out its new LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet ($100). A tablet engineered just for kids, the LeapPad takes all of the technology introduced on last year's Leapster Explorer (including an ereader that adjusts to tots' learning levels, letter and number writing skills, and a high-resolution touchscreen) and adds exciting new functions like a tilt-sensor (just like the iPad), an enhanced ereader with a visual dictionary and games embedded within the books, a larger (five-inch) screen, and a built-in camera. The company sent us a tablet to try out, see what we thought below.
Who is this product designed for? The manufacturer suggests that the tablet is for tots ages 4 to 9 years old (and it can be customized for up to three kids), but a preschooler could navigate his way around it, too.
What sets it apart? With a five-inch 480-x-272 pixel (16 x 9) touchscreen, the LeapPad offers kids plenty of space to read, draw, write, or view their activities. Given the educational basis behind all of LeapFrog's products, the learning apps included with the system are brought to life on it. The new Ultra eBooks not only reads stories to kids, but should tykes select individual words, the system sounds them out. Portions of books are animated and games are built into them as well. A built-in camera and video recorder can be used on their own or in conjunction with other apps to create storybooks and videos that can be shared once the tablet is connected to a computer. And the accelerometer transforms the tablet into a gaming console, allowing for motion-based activities. Like other LeapFrog products, the Explorer connects to the online Learning Path, allowing parents to track their tots' progress and identify areas requiring additional support. When connected to the computer, artwork, photos, and videos created by kids can also be shared with family and friends through Facebook and email.
What could be better? Kids used to tooling around with their parents' gadgets will have to get used to a slower unit. The 400MHz processor doesn't allow apps to load as quickly as they may be used to. Also, with no WiFi, tots will have to forgo playing Angry Birds and the like, in favor of the more educational apps created by LeapFrog (which could be a very good thing!). The cost may set some families off as well. While the tablet costs $100 and comes with four free apps — Art Studio, Story Studio, Pet Pad, and one of your choice — the 100 additional apps that will be available later this year will cost between $5 to $20, making it a pricey investment. On the plus side, all games and cartridges parents bought for the Explorer are compatible with the LeapPad.
If you are looking for a sleek headphone set with versatile sound, check out the Fanny Wang On Ear Wang's ($170) edition. These headphones offer a simple sophisticated design and excellent instrumental differentiation. The On Ear Wang's come in white, red, and black hues to suit your tastes and feature a glossy, wave design. You can effortlessly share music with the Integrated Duo Jack (in-line cable splitter), and remove the cord and fold the headset into itself for quick storage.
I found the the sound to be crisp and clear, whether I was listening to acoustic tunes, dance, rock, or hip-hop. With a hefty bass, the headphones are intended for hip-hop fans, but the good new is the bass never overpowers or muffles the other instruments no matter what genre you're listening to.
Find out what I thought about comfort and fit (which is especially important for music geeks who wear glasses) after the break.
I love to travel, so if there's ever a way for me to take a last-minute jaunt away from home, I'm in. Thankfully there's a new app in town that can make booking a last-minute hotel room a breeze. Called HotelTonight (Free) this app offers up stylish hotel rooms at low prices. Booking right through the app, you won't have to call, email, or bust out any other gadgets to reserve your room. HotelTonight gifted me with $200 in credits to check out the app myself, and below, you'll learn more about how it works along with how my staycation went last weekend.
How It Works
The budget-minded staff at HotelTonight partner up with hip, classy, and affordable hotels in each available city to offer great rates for last-minute bookings. The app gives you three hotel options per night starting at 12 p.m., and you have until the offers close at 2 a.m. to book the room and secure the deal.
Reserving a Room
Grabbing a room couldn't be easier. Just fire up the app, take a tour of the three available hotels (hotel pages include parking, room service, and amenity info, along with a map and photos), and once you've made your decision just click the "Book a Room" button on your hotel of choice. If it's your first time, you'll be asked to put in your credit card information, and HotelTonight will automatically factor in any credits you've accumulated (you get $25 in credits just for signing up, and more if you refer a friend), and charge your card accordingly. I used it myself over the past weekend and found it super easy to book a room and I got two confirmations sent to me — one via email, and one stored inside the app.
Continue reading about my experience with HotelTonight (including a few hiccups I experienced along the way) after the break.
Lace up your running shoes and prepare to sprint! With Summer's warm weather and plush outdoor surroundings, it's time to move Mama's exercise routine outdoors, and there's no better way to do it than with a jogging stroller. When Baby Jogger told us the company was preparing to introduce a new stroller that can convert from a jogger to a four-wheel stroller to a bike trailer, we couldn't wait to get our hands on it. The eye-catching Baby Jogger Pod chasis ($500) is equipped to handle three separate kits to make the transitions: a jogging kit ($60), a stroller kit ($80), and a trailer kit ($40). The company sent us all three kits to try on a beautiful Summer weekend, and while biking wasn't in the plans, the other two kits were put to the test. Here's how they fared.
When you become a parent, the phrase "poppin' bottles" takes on a whole new meaning. It can take a dishwasher full of models to get the fit just right so we've tested baby bottles, sippy cups, and straw sippy cups for you. Reach for our best bets first with these reviews and share your favorite bottles in comments.
- 5 Best Baby Bottles — Some companies cater to tots moving from breast to bottle, while others boast to be made of more pure components. Like children, the feeding contraptions come in all shapes and sizes. Some infants reject one brand and latch right on to another, so we've tested numerous lines and rounded up five of the very best bottles on the market.
- Battle of the Sippy Cups — When my son's pediatrician reminded me to get him started on a sippy cup, I found myself running to the store in search of the perfect first cup. Walking down the weaning aisle, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of drinking vessels on the market. I quickly grabbed the now-BPA-free version of the same cup my older son had used, washed and sterilized it, and gave my lil tyke the go-ahead. It hit the floor in the blink of an eye. After a week of him simply chewing on the nozzle, I went back and gathered up a few different brands to see which he would like. After a month, we had some clear favorites.
- Battle of the Straw Sippy Cups — As a second child, my lil one is constantly on the go and we needed a cup that was easily transported. I reached out to a number of companies and put seven brands to the test. Check out the results!
I just started playing L.A. Noire, and if you haven't already picked it up for yourself, you're missing out. This stylish game puts you in control of an investigator that is hunting down a possible serial killer set in 1947 LA. So far it's pretty amazing — the sounds, style, and incredible likeness to real TV stars make this game totally addictive. Since I can't yet give you a full review, I asked members of our Facebook and Twitter communities, who have already finished the game, to weigh in on their favorite parts of the thriller; see their reactions below!
- The characters — Not only does this game star some of your favorites from Mad Men, and Fringe, it also has some seriously complex characters. Bradley B. says, "[Cole] is one of the most fleshed out characters in recent releases."
- The open environment — I love a sprawling environment to explore, and L.A. Noire delivers. You can drive around the city and visit landmarks, search for clues, or find hidden gems out on the streets.
- CSI-style detective work — Just like in some of your favorite crime-solving shows, you get to investigate scenes, put together pieces of the puzzle, and attempt to find the real killers. Which leads to . . .
- The interrogation — Since you'll be gathering information at the scene, you'll want to put together the most accurate information in order to bring in the right suspects. But there's a definite sense of cat-and-mouse in the interrogation room. You could ask the wrong questions and put away the wrong suspect at any moment, or be forced to start your case over completely. And that's never good for your relationship with the chief!
- The investigation/action one-two punch — Investigating a scene or following a lead one moment, then chasing down a potential suspect and covering your behind in a shootout the next — it's all part of solving crime in 1940's LA!
- The story — Danielle W. says, "It's interesting that a case can turn out a number of different ways. This game has very mature story telling" and Spacekatgal agrees. She says her favorite thing about L.A. Noire is "the mature narrative. I've never seen nudity in a videogame in a way that tells a better story."
To learn about one way L.A. Noire will want to make you scream, just read more.