The electronics revolution is not slowing down and the latest trends in iToys for not so little girls and boys are getting very close to handheld PCs. It can be hard to see the difference... but there are plenty.
Tablets and readers
This year, tablets and readers continue to be the hottest back to school items. Light weight with a small footprint and a big screen, these are the perfect dorm or classroom companions.
Readers allow e-books to be loaded and read. With retinal displays and anti glare features, summer reading lists are as easy as a sea breeze!
Many university and public libraries have classics and popular best sellers available in e-book format to borrow and return when the book is finished. No fuss, no muss, no overdue charges! Tablets offer access to TV, movies, video chat, texting, apps, graphics, reading, gaming and more on a screen big enough to enjoy. Cnet does a decent comparison of the pros and cons in the article, "Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet: How to choose."
Not just a cell phone anymore
Cell phones have morphed into smart phones that take pictures, videos and study notes in the classroom. The same device can phone, text and track the daily class schedule with reminders when projects and assignments are due. GPS is included on most and if it isn't... there's an app for that.
There is an app
...for just about any function that you can imagine an electronic device handling. Weather forecasts? There's an app. Tracking stocks? There's an app.
Social connections are provided with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Skype and other networking apps. Need to keep track of calories or find recipes and a menu for your picky appetite? You guessed it... there's an app.
You may wonder why anyone would even look at just a camera
when all the multitasking gadgets have serviceable still and video cameras already built in. You may not need more than a decent, "snap a picture of the cutie in bio class" digital camera that posts to twitter of Facebook.
But... if you want a good zoom that doesn't blur, a camera that takes excellent indoor shots and can handle the bright lights on a sunny day or a stroll on Broadway... you need a real camera. Top of the line brands are becoming stronger, smaller and easier to use. Underwater models compete with mount on your skateboard videocams for the most talked about pics. A serious amateur photographer can get away with a point and click that allows for manual setting if the setting calls for it.
A trip to the zoo or a museum can be caught on your tablet or cell phone -- you may even get a couple of really nice pictures, but if you want memories that show off your talent as a photographer... get a camera.
will appreciate performance enhancements including near-instantaneous start-up, longer battery life, faster writing to memory cards, quicker exporting speed with USB 2.0, and reduced shot to shutter lag.