Logitech’s Solar-Powered Keyboard Case

A case and a bluetooth keyboard are two of the must-have accessories for every iPad owner. Logitech have done the sensible things and created a new gadget that combines both these features, and does so in style.

Logitech-Solar-iPad-Case

The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio is the newest product in the company’s line of tablet accessories. It functions as a case, protecting the front and back of your iPad, and also transforms into a Bluetooth keyboard.

While most Bluetooth keyboards are battery or USB-powered, the Logitech keyboard endeavours to save both your money and the environment, with built-in solar panels providing enough charge to use the keyboard for two years. The stand is adjustable so you can angle your iPad exactly the way you want: putting your iPad in the first position allows you to use the full keyboard, while the second position gives you access to play, pause and volume keys.

Even though it houses a keyboard, the case itself is ultra-slim. It automatically wakes your iPad when you open it, and puts your iPad into sleep mode when you close it again. The solar panels are sensitive to low lighting, as well as natural and artificial light.

“Now that people are seemingly inseparable from their tablets, using them for everything from sending emails to watching videos, they want accessories powered to meet their needs,” said Alexis Richard, director of product marketing at Logitech. “The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio is a smart partner for your iPad. Its sleek built-in keyboard uses light to charge and it provides hassle-free protection for your iPad – both for the front and back. It gives you an ideal way to use and protect your tablet without adding bulk.”

The case fits all models of iPad and is available now for £119.

Enhancing the Mac Experience: Henge Docks, Clique and TwelveSouth HoverBar

In a way that pretty much no-one 15 years ago could have seen coming, Apple are reigning supreme in the tech world. Once seemingly consigned to the dustbin of history with the Mensheviks (who talks about them any more) Apple products are now becoming ubiquitous in certain industries. This has created an unprecedented demand for Apple accessories, and cunning designers and engineers are able to create all sorts of opportunities to enhance “the Mac experience”.

Clique

Henge Clique
I love my Magic TrackPad. With Lion OS in tow, I think it’s fair to say it has significantly enhanced my desktop computing experience. And that’s not something I throw around lightly either, as I’ve been playing with various user interface peripherals for many many years. Once you go Magic TrackPad, you can’t go Back(Pad).

I also love the design and feel of my Apple wireless keyboard (before you complain I have many problems with Apple as a company. But I like these two things.) and Henge Docks’ Clique enables you to marry Apple’s wireless keyboard and Magic TrackPad in one secure and sturdy compartment for use whilst away from a desk. I tried shaking and dropping the Clique but it was very robust. What Henge has put together, let no man rent asunder.

The Clique’s cleverly designed power buttons means you don’t have to remove the device to toggle the power. For the style conscious the glossy white finish and light grey accents found blend seamlessly with the wireless keyboard and TrackPad.

Henge-Dock-Air

Henge MacBook Air 11″ Dock

I love my 11″ MacBook Air too (ok this is starting to sound a little crazy), as it’s light, portable and with an SSD installed, incredibly fast. But that’s cute little screen could be a little bigger at times.

Fortunately Henge have quick and easy docking solution that lets you plug your MacBook Air into an external monitor or TV. The dock is well-built and secure, and there’s very little risk of damaging your mac. It’s a software free solution so you can simply pop your laptop directly into it and marvel at the magic of the big screen. Henge Docks’ patent-pending solution utilises a customer’s existing Apple supplied MagSafe power adapter and Mini-DisplayPort adapter and you can choose which output you need for your end.

HoverBar

TwelveSouth HoverBar

I love my iPad (Ok I hear it now. I hate my first generation Apple TV. Does that make you happy now?) and it’s an ideal second display for when I’m working on my iMac. It’s great to have various apps open and interacting with them while I write. I have Timeli open right now.

If you like the sound of this combo, you’ll love the HoverBar – a sleek flexible arm that clamps to the back of your iMac (or Apple Display) and allows you to float your iPad either above or to the side of the display. Flex the bar and tilt iPad in any direction to find your favorite viewing position. You can even extend the workstation by adding a second HoverBar.

The HoverBar is available from the Apple store and amazon from £69.95

Arcam drDock iPod/iPhone docking station

arcam-dr-Dock

Here’s the thing about Apple products, you begin collecting them and before you know it, all your music, photos, films and emails are stored on them and your whole life has become inexorably Apple dependant. Savvy manufacturers like Arcam, British Hi-Fi pioneers  and one of the world’s leading experts in digital audio and video have of course realised this and thankfully made our lives just that bit more manageable in the process.

The drDock is just one of those gadgets, a docking system compatible with the complete Apple family including IPads that will connect perfectly easily to a digital TV or any AV receiver via HDMI, to a PC or digital device via USB and all the other bases are covered too with analogue and SPDIF connectors. The even better news is the  drDock doesn’t use the inferior Apple internal audio, as the built in DAC takes care of all that, so running video or music through a home cinema system or a high end receiver will sound very impressive.

The drDock syncs all your devices and, with the exception of the IPad, charges them too, whilst the handy remote controller will give you all the control you need without getting off the couch with full support for iOS devices including power, volume, play, pause, skip/seek, repeat and shuffle functions.

The drDock won’t look out of place in your living space either encased as it is in matt black  high-quality cast aluminium with gold connectors and a solid rubber base.

This is a sensible and highly affordable addition to your digital home set up and one that will keep all the members of your Apple family very happy indeed.

Arcam drDock  £200.

www.arcam.co.uk

Logitech Keyboard Cover: Carry your iPad with confidence

Your iPad is an accident just waiting to happen. Sure, they may be extremely portable allowing you to take them with you pretty much anywhere, but you also expose the touch screen to all sorts of dangers and hazards along the way. A scratch on the screen can render it useless, so Logitech’s new Keyboard Cover is like a gift from the gods for the humble iPad owner.

Logitech-Ultrathin-Keyboard-Cover

As the name implies, along with protecting your screen, the Keyboard Cover also includes – yes, you guessed it – a wireless Bluetooth keyboard which you can use in conjunction with your iPad to make typing easier. This is a boon for those who haven’t quite got the hang of typing on the iPads touch screen and have been hankering for something more physical to use. Based upon two hours usage per day, the keyboard has a recommended battery life of an incredible six months before you need to worrying about recharging it. Now that’s a hell of a lot of typing by anyone’s standards…

The ultrathin aluminium cover will protect your screen against daily wear and tear whilst the iPad is being carried around, and clips onto the device with a magnetic clip. It also instantly switches on your iPad when you open the cover and switches it off when you close it. The cover even doubles up as a stand, allowing you to tilt your iPad to your desired angle making it easier to see whilst you work.

You can pick up the Logitech Keyboard Cover from the end of April for a recommended retail price of £89.99 from the usual stockists. Visit www.logitech.com for more information.

The New iPad (3): Review of reviews

The iPad 3/iPad HD/”iPad” (we’ll stick to the first option to avoid confusion) is out, and so are the reviews. While the aesthetic differences between the first iPad and iPad 2 were obvious, one look at Apple’s newest version of its beloved tablet will show that not much has changed. Until you activate the screen…

New-iPad

The Name

Apple’s newest iPad is called The iPad. “Didn’t they already release ‘The iPad?”, you ask. Yes, and in a bold branding move, they’ve decided to rewrite history and make this version of the iPad “The iPad”. Not that this has stopped everyone calling it the iPad 3, the iPad HD, or the new iPad. For David Phelan from TechBeta, however, Apple’s brazen rule-breaking (never give two products exactly the same name) shows that the newest iPad has permanence.

Retina Display

The new iPad’s selling point has garnered rave reviews from gadget-loving writers on some of the world’s biggest websites. T3 reviewer Luke Peters points out that the quality of the new iPad’s screen is clear when compared with that of the iPad 2: “apps in folders are just blobs of pixelated colour; on the new one you can almost make out text.”

Processing Power

Reviews across the board have commented on how the iPad 3’s faster processing power has not diminished its battery life. As John Gruber remarks on his blog, Daring Fireball, the battery life of an iPad far exceeds that of even the Macbook Air – even with the extra processing power needed for the improved graphics display. He also makes the interesting observation that Apple’s priorities lie with screen quality and user experience, and that they are willing to make the iPad 3 slightly heavier and bulkier to include a battery that will power the retina display and a 4G connection.

4G

Along with its stunningly detailed, crystal-clear screen, a lot of review chatter focuses on the iPad’s 4G capabilities. “Put simply: it’s fast. Really fast. Faster-than-my-WiFi fast” says MG Siegler from TechCrunch. Due to revolutionise the UK before the end of 2012, 4G is the next step beyond 3G. It’s not available yet, but you can still use the new iPad with a 3G connection and wait for our mobile networks to roll out 4G further down the line.

5MP iSight Camera

Previous incarnations of iPad cameras have been laughable, producing a picture quality that made us wonder why Apple bothered including a rear camera at all. The new iPad changes this, with a rear camera that matches the latest iPhone offering. The front of the device still carries a VGA, which offers poorer quality, but is still good for FaceTime. Joshua Topolsky from The Verge goes into more camera-related detail:

The auto-focus and face detection work excellently here (though tapping to focus is sometimes impossible due to the size of the thing). Thanks to that improved sensor, pictures you take on the iPad now look relatively respectable, with a depth of field shallow enough to pull off rather artistic looking images.

So what’s the verdict? Unanimously, the new iPad has wowed critics, who are hailing it as a success. To sum up with the words of MG Siegler: “This is the best tablet out there right now that we’re talking about.”

Five top speaker docks for the iPad

Almost simultaneously with the launch of the Apple iPod, masses of speaker docks arrived leaving a confused consumers dizzyingly deliberating over which one to buy. Whilst the spawning of the iPod’s tablet sibling, the iPad’s speaker docks have been much slower to emerge and only now is beginning to gather up speed. From just over £50 to almost a grand, check out our top five speaker docking systems for the iPad that cater for every iPad owner’s budget.

Octiv-Stage

Scorche BassDOCK iPad Speaker Dock

You can tilt it, rotate it and cart the 2.1 sound system with 40mm stereo speakers around with you, meaning you can enjoy practically any viewing angle accompanied by smooth, crystal clear sound practically anywhere. Compatible with both the first and second generations of iPad, we assume Scosche’s latest innovatory delight derives its name from its 3 inch subwoofer, which delivers a rich and powerful bass.

Asides from transforming your iPad into a powerful and flexible complete entertainment system, the bassDOCK delivers 10 watts for a super-fast charge.

Pretty impressive for just $149.99.

iLuv iMM747

For those of us on a tighter monetarist leash, the iLuv iMM474 could be the answer. Looking fairly elegant all in black, this iPad speaker dock boasts a tweeter, mid-range driver a subwoofer to really blast out some noise. Another notable touch is that the iLuv features an adjustable docking wall providing the iPad with some valuable support.

At just £49.99 it’s not much of a gamble!

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8

Calling all posers, if you’ve got a spare £900 to blow on an iPad speaker dock then take a look at the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 8. The Danish designer sure knows how to pull out all the stops in designing shockingly expensive gadgets and if you’re after impressing with mega-materialistic appliances scattered about the home then you’re definitely on to a winner the uniquely designed BeoSound 8. Audio-wise we’re not as instantly bowled over, although with a clog that consists of three adjustment switches that modify the bass boom according to its position in the room, we’re beginning to warm up to the audio capabilities of this top of the range iPad speaker dock.

Philips Fidelio DS8550

£250 now that’s a bit more ‘realistic’! It may not possess the aesthetical ‘wow’ factor of its Bang & Olufsen counterpart but the ‘SoundCurve’ concaved device will certainly hold its own in impressing the mates stakes. The Fidelio DS8550 promises to impress when switched on as well as Philips insist it has been design to deliver distortion free sound.

Altec Lansing Octiv Stage

At just £60 how can the Altec Lansing Octiv Stage really compare with its more expensive rivals? Well it doesn’t really, but if your after docking your iPad and filling the room with distortion-free sound at a volume without breaking the bank, then the Octive Stage’s cheap and cheerful dual full-range speakers may be just the job!

myTV 2GO: Hauppauge’s iOS TV streaming gadget

Ever held your sleek futuristic tablet and had a sudden longing to watch the Tv the old-fashioned way? If you’ve ever wanted to unwind with a little bit of Freeview but haven’t been anywhere near a traditional TV then you need a clever little gadget called the myTV 2go from Hauppauge.

myTV-2go

The my TV 2GO is a portable, removable-battery powered DVB-T, that brings a world of Freeview and Freeview recording to your iPad. Magic no?

We were sent a test unit to play with for a couple of days. Out of the box the MyTv 2go is remarkable simple to set up. Simply download the free app and follow the onscreen set-up guide. You basically connect to the MyTv 2go as a wireless network, and the app does the rest. All the regular Freeview channels are there, so if you’ve been missing your fill of bid-drop TV then you can fill your boots. It also works as a DVR so you can record as much TV as your iPad will hold.

The unit charges over micro USB and has a run time of about 3.5 hours. You can also use it to add the wonder of broadcast to your iPhone, iPod touch, laptop or PC. There’s a CD included if you’ve not yet joined the post-PC era.

I’ve used other, remarkably similar DVB-T units before but none have had quite as good an interface as the myTV go. It’s like they’ve put a decent amount of thought into how touchscreen devices are used proceeded accordingly. You can swipe in either direction to change channel, swipe up for a list of all the channels and swipe down to see a program guide. It’s really slick and a joy to use.

It’s a shame there’s nothing on.

Gun Stylus Assault Rifle Limited Edition

I have personally never been an advocator of toy rifles, or war gaming for that matter that requires the use of virtual guns, due to the simple reason that they encourage violence. When therefore I read a press release from the creative interactive software developers, Plow Games, about the arrival of the Gun Stylus Assault Rifle Limited Edition, a gun that you point at an iPhone, iPad or other touch devices to control gaming heroics with greater precision and depth, my immediate reaction was “Is Plow Games having a laugh?”

Gun-Stylus

With an ‘attention-grabbing’ headline, “Zombies fear it – Other Stylus want to be it; The Gun Stylus Assault Rifle Edition makes you cool without trying”, introducing the press release, you can understand what why I felt compelled to laugh!

Although I am sure not everyone will share my mockery, as for any war gaming enthusiasts out there, the ‘killer stylus’, that enables you to ‘shoot, navigate, signature, paint and draw’ at your touch device, would be, as Plow Game’s puts it, “A prized addition to every war gamer’s mobile collection.”

The black toy gun made from a durable plastic features several ‘unique’ features that apparently gives it the ‘edge’ over other gaming accessories. One such feature is the Stylus touch chamber, which apparently improves experiences with applications for navigating, gaming/playing and sketching. The limited edition gaming rifle even includes a Lanyard slot, which means wannabie soldiers can keep their weapon at the ready to draw when needed. Although it has to be said, perhaps the Gun Stylus Assault Rifle’s greatest asset is that it will keep your iPhone, iPad, Android or whatever touch device you may have, screen clean of fingerprints!

In priding itself on developing ‘oh-my-gosh-have-you-seen-that’ products, Plow Games certainly have excelled themselves in creating the admittedly highly creative Gun Stylus Assault Rifle Limited Edition.

For more information about the Gun Stylus visit http://www.weaponstylus.com