Logitech launch PowerShell Controller for iPhone

powershell-controller

As the old adage goes, the best camera is the one you have on you and the same apparently applies for handheld gaming. Whilst the negatives to be said for iPhone gaming are many and frequently stated, this doesn’t detract from the simple fact that iOS gaming is huge. 87% of iPhone and iPod touch users play games on their device. People really do want to play games on the device that the will almost always have on them. So you could write a whining forum post about sheeple who don’t know what’s best for them. Or you could try to make the iGaming experience the best possible.

Unsurprisingly Logitech have gone with the latter approach and have released the PowerShell Controller – bringing tactile gaming controls to the iPhone 5S and iPod touch (but weirdly not the 5C). This follows a similar release from PowerA – the Moga Ace Power. iOS7 was far from just a lick of fresh paint and on of Apple’s powerful under-the-hood tweaks was the addition of standardised game controller support. So expect to see a lot more of these – maybe even one from Apple, although they mostly leave peripherals to the legions of experts these days. It also means it’s a plug and play system with no drivers, apps or installation procedures.

Check out this official video of the PowerShell

The Powershell wraps around your iPhone and instantly converts the device into a familiar D-pad, shoulder trigger and face button configuration that will feel at home to button bashers across the globe (although lacking in the dual analogue controllers that are the staple of many modern classics). However, all of the buttons are pressure sensitive, which opens up a realm of possibility for more nuanced gaming. And as some who is terrified of opening WhatsApp for fear of what it will do to my battery, it’s great that the PowerShell packs at 1500 mAh battery to keep your phone usable after a bout of Double Dragon. Speaking of games, at the controller support is baked in to iOS7 the list of supported titles grows daily and feature popular hits such as Bastion , Fast & Furious 6: The Game, MetalStorm Aces, Galaxy On Fire 2 HD and Nitro.

The Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery is available online today for pre-order on Logitech.com for £89.99.

Logitech’s Ultimate Ears Boom Speaker

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Portable Bluetooth speakers line the virtual shelves of tech shops up and down the internet, each with an almost identical feature set and very little to help recommend itself over another. There are two choices to manufacturers hoping to enter such a crowded product category. One is get lazy, knock out a product with your brand on it and sit back, comfortable in the knowledge that people with probably by some, just through the sheer volume of numbers.

Fortunately Logitech have taken the road less travelled with the Ulimate Ears Boom. The UE Boom is a can-shaped 360º speaker with a lovely textured design and sounds as good as it looks.

The speaker packs dual performance drivers and dual passive radiators and is impressively loud and clear across all frequencies, albeit with some loss in the low end. For something so dinky (it reminded me of a beer can) it’s impressive how it can really fill a room – without distorting. Another cool feature that I was fully onboard with is the ability to pair with another Boom for wireless stereo sound – although this isn’t a cheap device so the idea of buying two just for this unlikely. If however you and a friend share the same device it’s nice to be able to join forces.

The Boom has a wonderful textured feel and great, clear cut design – I was a big fan of the huge volume control buttons that adorn the side. The look of a speaker isn’t normally crucial, but seeing as it’s designed to be popped in the middle of the room it really helps that it’s easy on the eye. The little hook at the top that enables you to dangle the speaker was also useful – significantly widening your placement options. You can also unscrew the hook and attach the Boom to a tripod – if you have a Gorrilla Pod you can then hook the Boom up to a beam or tree branch and have crazy overhead sound fun – especially if you’ve made a wireless stereo pair.

Again combining form with function, the colourful acoustic skin has a plasma coating that makes it water and stain resistant. And with 15 hours of battery life it’s more than ready for all but the longest of park jams. The lack of buttons, power, pair and volume makes it easy to use, especially when you’re at ease and don’t feel like fiddling.

Available now for £169 from ultimateears or Apple.

Best iPad Mini Keyboard case: Belkin FastFit vs Logitech Ultrathin

iPad-Mini-Keyboard

Retina display quibbles aside, the iPad mini is maybe the best iPad Apple have made to date and for certain tasks it has been one of our most pleasurable mobile computing experiences in a long, long time. But as with all iPads from time to time a physical keyboard would be nice (although time has shown it’s far from essential). Two peripheral heavyweights announced new iPad mini keyboard cases this week so we thought we’d do a little face off. Full disclosure – the Logitech iPad Folding keyboard case is maybe the best portable iPad keyboard we’ve ever used so going in it was Logitech’s game to lose.

FastFit-Stand

Belkin FastFit Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard Case

In the red corner, weighing in at just 7 mm thick, the FastFit keyboard case is thinner than the iPad mini itself. And we know you don’t weigh thickness. Unlike netbooks of yesteryear the TruType keys are well-spaced for fast, cramp-free typing. Each key has a spring mechanism that provides tactile feedback when struck.

The case is also durable, crafted from anodised aircraft-grade aluminium and is held in place with magnets (how *do* they work?). The case’s low-powered Bluetooth 3.0 connection and 200mAh battery ensure comfortable wireless typing with optimal battery life The FastFit Keyboard can last for 155 hours of active use without needing a charge. FastFit Keyboard’s “auto-wake” feature activates the iPad mini when the case is opened, and vice versa – a now standard feature that seemed almost magical when Apple introduced the Smart Cover.

The FastFit Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard Case for iPad mini has an MSRP of £59.99 and will be available in June.

Ultrathin-Keyboard-Cover-Belkin

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini has the same instant On/Off function and generally has feature parity with the FastFit. Also utilising the power of integrated magnets to fasten, the slim aluminium cover is durable whilst adding very little weight to your iPad. The built-in Bluetooth EasyType keyboard, offers traditional typing plus iPad mini function shortcut keys for frequently used commands, such as copy and paste. The keyboard has a three-month battery life (based on usage of two hours per day), which works out to 180 hours over the FastFit’s 155.

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini has a launch date of February 2013, for a suggested retail price of £69.99.

The Verdict

There’s obviously not much in it when two seasoned keyboard pros bring similar products to the market. Belkin have the slightly cheaper offering, but Logitech have superior battery life. The deciding factor for us was availability and the ability to get your hands on the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini 3 months earlier gave it the edge.

Logitech Bluetooth Mac Keyboard and Trackpad: Peripheral visionaries

I’m not sure what Logitech’s company slogan is but I’m pretty sure it should be “peripheral visionaries”. They’ve been churning out useful computing add-ons since 1981 and are still hard at it with the newly released Bluetooth Easy Switch Keyboard and Rechargeable Trackpad.

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The Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard reflects the changing face of modern computing in that it is designed for both OS X and iOS devices. The name reflects its ability to flip between typing on a Mac or an iPad at the touch of a button – handy if you’re at your laptop and then want to reply to a text on your phone (one that isn’t synced up to the iMessage cloud). allowing you to switch between typing on your Mac to your iPad or iPhone at the touch of a button. The keyboard is fitted with back lighting that automatically adjusts to the brightness of the room and the proximity of your hands.

The real-aluminium designed is very mac friendly, not only aesthetically but also with all the OSX keys you rely on including Command, Brightness and Mission Control.There’s also a USB recharge cable, so you can use your keyboard while building a full charge, which will give you 10 days of power.
RRP: £89.99

Logitech-Rechargeable-Trackpad

All computing OSes have great things about them, but one of my favourite things about recent additions to OSX is the commitment to multitouch gestures. Touchscreen phones and tablets brought lots of pinching, swiping and sweeping gestures into my computing life and OSX brings them to real computing. I have a Magic Mouse and a Magic Trackpad but the mouse rarely gets used as the trackpad is such a fun way to interact with software.

The Logitech Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac is a smooth glass-touch surface trackpad that allows you to click, scroll, swipe, zoom and more, even while it’s charging. The ability to recharge is a boon as I’m constantly replacing my Magic Trackpad’s batteries and this can last a month when fully charged.
RRP: £59.99

Logitech’s Wi-Fi Webcam for Mac: Unleash your Inner Director

Logitech have announced they are launching a new Wi-Fi webcam for Mac users, the Logitech® Broadcaster Wi-Fi® Webcam. Aimed at bloggers and video professionals, as well as the general public, this new cam is packed with features that expand your video-making horizons.

Logitech-Mac-Wifi-Webcam

It’s designed to increase the number of ways in which you can stream and record videos, and offers versatility and quality in one little package. As well as providing the standard webcam features you can expect to find in most models today, Logitech’s new device comes with a few handy extras, making it the perfect gift for anyone who uses video on a regular basis.

The webcam is wireless, so you can record and stream videos from any angle you want. Its features and capabilities include live streaming, video chat and integration with Ustream. Compatible with iDevices, you can use a Mac, iPhone or iPad to control and preview the video. The webcam also works with QuickTime, Photo Booth and iMovie.

Thanks to its compatibility with a variety of video editing software, you can use the webcam as a second camera to produce a multi-angle video. Once you’re done recording, simply upload the two videos to software like Final Cut Pro, and splice the two together.

Even when you’re not creating the next big online viral sensation, you can still use the webcam with applications like Skype, FaceTime and iChat.

“The Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam lets you stream and record like a pro,” said Mike Culver, vice president of brand development for consumer computer platforms at Logitech. “It helps you make the most out of your existing Mac OS and iOS video setup for more dynamic live streaming, recording and video chatting. It goes where a built-in webcam can’t, and with one press of a button, it’s easy to switch between your built-in webcam and the Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam, so your friends and audience can enjoy a standard view or move around the room with you.”

More and more people are getting in front of the camera to make YouTube videos, online tutorials and marketing videos. The new Logitech webcam makes it easier than ever to create high-quality film at a low cost.

The Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam costs £159.99 and is available now from www.logitech.com.

The nuts and bolts of Logitech’s new mechanical keyboard

Before we go any further, I would like to say that the keyboard I am typing this on has seen better days. Every keystroke emits a clunky noise, and it rattles along trying its hardest to deafen me as I write this very sentence. If only I had the new mechanical keyboard from Logitech, my world would be so much quieter.

Logitech-G710

The G710+ mechanical gaming keyboard is, by all accounts, the Lamborghini of computer peripherals. With a host of features, the G710+ is really the answer to your typing woes. The low-noise mechanical keys offer high speed performance, making it ideal for both everyday use and intense gaming sessions. The backlight keys also help aid you when playing or typing long into the night. The white backlit LED light is adjustable between four intensity settings, meaning you can make it as bright as you wish, or even turn it off if your eyes prefer it.

As a gaming keyboard, there are 18 separate individual programmable functions you can utilise that will save you precious time, offering complex combinations of keys at a touch of a button. The mechanical keys are built to last too, and come with a life cycle of 50 million keystrokes. The near silent keystrokes are achieved with dampening rings under each key, and they all feature advanced 26-key rollover anti-ghosting technology meaning your computer will never miss a key press ever again.

You can also control audio settings on your PC from the keyboard, and disable the Windows Start shortcut so you are never in any danger of being distracted whilst gaming.

A worthy keyboard that would grace any serious enthusiasts desktop, the Logitech G710+ is priced at a competitive RRP of £149.99. For more information, visit www.logitech.com.

Logitech Washable Keyboard K310: Cleaning addicts of the world rejoice!

We’ve all been there… A nervous twitch when the company director comes to introduce himself – or perhaps even more nerve-racking herself – to you for the first time, causing a cup of boiling hot coffee to get nervously tipped over, irretrievably damage the computer keyboard. Or the kids drinking orange juice precariously close to your laptop and by the time you go to move it, it’s too late, sticky, gooey juice churning its way into every orifice your keyboard cares to have.

k310-washable-keyboard

These “nightmarish” potentialities of eternally damaging a keyboard could be eradicated forever with the Logitech Washable Keyboard K310.

Whether it’s a light dusting so that your keyboard’s in keeping with your shiny and dust-free computer room, or, for real cleaning addicts, a full dousing under the tap in the kitchen sink, the Washable Keyboard K310, with its barrage of drainage holes, laser printed and UV coated keys, is able to withstand up to an eleven inch submerge in water.

Asides from being washable, easy to dry and ultra-durable, Logitech’s latest keyboarding marvel is designed with comfortable typing in mind. How can a keyboard be ‘comfortable’ you may ask? Well the K310’s familiar layout means that users don’t spend precious minutes perplexedly searching for the ‘@’ key or blindly stumbling around to find the backspace. Being a full-sized keyboard that includes a number pad, K310 users don’t have to fumble about typing on inadequately sized keys and having ultra resilient keys that can withstand, Logitech informs, up to five million keystrokes, you can pound away at your keyboard without the fear of keys becoming loose and flying off.

Hot keys are a convenient component of modern keyboards, which, so long as you’re aware of them, can save you a significant amount of time. With twelve hot keys providing users with instant access to necessities such as volume, email and the internet, the K310 means you can access your most heavily frequented applications with a single keystroke.

So is a washable keyboard that is equipped with hordes of drainage holes and ultra hard-wearing keys stylish and aesthetically pleasing to the eye? Well Logitech assure us that with its thin profile and contemporary design, its newest keyboarding venture is sleek and good-looking, and so who are we to argue?

The Logitech Washable Keyboard K310 is expected to be available from October 2012 costing £34.99.

Logitech TV Cam HD: Make your very own video wall

Whether you’re a fan of Skype or you’ve always dreamed of taking your telephone calls over a live-vision video wall, the new Logitech TV Cam HD could be just the ticket. We’ve seen TVs with Skype capabilities starting to creep into the market, but this standalone high-definition TV camera promises even more.

Logitech-Skype-Camera

It has built-in Skype and Wi-Fi connectivity and works with any HDTV with HDMI input to beam your callers onto the big-screen – ideal for making group calls, whether you’re a home-worker or have family far away.

These capabilities for “lounge conferencing” mean you can phone anyone you know with a Skype account – on their smartphone, laptop, TV or tablet – and they’ll see everything the wide-angle camera sees. So you’ll have to tidy up and change out of your jarmies if you’re due a business call with your international head office! But the beauty of this is that you don’t have to squeeze up to fit in front of the camera on your computer or mobile. You can move around comfortably – just don’t forget they’re watching!!

Everything you need to get going is built in to the device. Place the Logitech TV Cam HD on top of your telly and link to your Wi-Fi. Or for a wired connection use the Ethernet and plug in to the HDMI port. Then switch on and prepare to welcome callers into your lounge. Just log in to Skype as you would on a computer or mobile and use the remote control to navigate the interface. A built-in telephone ringer on the camera alerts you to incoming calls even if your telly is turned off!

The camera itself delivers HD 720p resolution and uses Logitech Fluid Crystal Technology and Carl Zeiss optics for a sharp, rich picture in all light levels rather than a grainy webcam profile of Skype calls gone by. Four integral noise-cancelling mics let you talk normally from wherever you are without interference from ambient sound.

Because it all comes through your regular HDTV, you won’t have to wrench the kids away from the telly to speak to far-flung relatives.  So next Christmas when you’re opening up presents, family and friends far and wide could be right there in your lounge as the action unwraps! And because it will capture the live reactions, you can save money on stamps sending thank you cards!

Logitech TV Cam HD is available across Europe from September. SRP £179

www.logitech.com