Ultrathin gets lighter, more angles
Logitech today officially launched three new cases for the iPad Air and the iPad mini. Leading these is the Big Bang, which merges a compact folio design with shock-absorbing material; Logitech claims the case can survive drops from as high as 1.4m, or about 4.6 feet. The front and back are also covered with liquid-resistant materials. The Air version of the case costs $100, while the Mini edition is $80.
Suggests higher prices may not equal quality
When Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard Cover first came out, it caused something of a minor stir in the iPad world. It was the very first keyboard cover, solving a problem many people probably didn't realize they had: finding a Bluetooth keyboard that's more convenient than a separate unit, but less bulky than a full-on keyboard case. The one major issue -- apart from having to find your own protection for an iPad's rear shell -- was price. Even now, the Ultrathin is $100, which isn't far off from the cost of a keyboard folio. Anker's TC930 attempts to duplicate much of the Ultrathin for a cheaper price, while simultaneously putting its own spin on things.
iHome tries to compete in the world of iPad Air cases
Once a comparatively rare kind of accessory, keyboard cases have become legion in the past year -- or at least it feels that way, from a reviewer's perspective. There seems to be a pent-up demand for iPads that can also get some serious work done. iHome has been a relatively minor player in the keyboard market to date; in this review, we'll see if its new Type Slim case can break the mold.
Venture thought to be worth over $1 million
TV host Ryan Seacrest and a venture co-founder have invested over $1 million in producing a keyboard case for the iPhone, the Typo Keyboard, sources say. The pair are eventually expected to invest over $5 million in their company, since other keyboard products are already in development. Seacrest claims that inspiration for the iPhone case came from the frustration of friends and peers carrying two phones: an iPhone as their main device, and a second phone for "typing and correspondence."
Belkin aims high with early Air keyboard case
In a hands-on with the Targus Versavu Keyboard Case, I observed that buying a case around the launch of a new Apple device often entails compromise, since not every manufacturer is on board yet. Even if they are, they may only have a few options available -- designers do, after all, need to experiment to come up with something high-quality. Belkin's QODE Ultimate Keyboard Case is an early effort for the iPad Air, but we'll see in our review if that's necessarily a mark against it.
Early effort at Air keyboard support
One of the downsides to the launch of a redesigned Apple device is that invariably, the number of case options is limited. People who need some form of protection ASAP may have to make compromises. The new iPad Air version of the Targus Versavu Keyboard Case may well be one of the compromises, but our hands-on experience suggests that most people will be better off waiting.
FabricSkin Keyboard Folio, Ultrathin Keyboard Cover among upgrades
Accessory and peripheral maker Logitech has announced plans to update several of its cases for the iPad Air. Leading the pack are the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($99) and the FabricSkin Keyboard Folio ($149). The former has been a popular accessory for current-generation iPads, since it provides a minimalist option for both screen protection and carrying a keyboard.
Could cater to professional market
Apple could be preparing a keyboard cover for the fifth-generation iPad similar in style to the Touch Cover for the Microsoft Surface, says ex-Apple worker Jamie Ryan. The company has reportedly been working on "a few different styles" of keyboard covers for some time. Ryan comments that although there are a "1000 no’s [sic] for every yes" when it comes to Apple prototypes, a first-party Bluetooth cover might make the iPad more appealing to professionals. Other "cover-like" accessories are allegedly being investigated.
Allows iPads to rotate 360 degrees
Accessory maker iHome has launched the Type Pro, a new Bluetooth keyboard case for the iPad. The distinguishing feature is the ability to rotate an iPad 360 degrees while still in its holder. The case is compatible with second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPads.
New keyboard case may be more form than function
Since the fourth-generation iPad didn't evolve much over its predecessor, the market for iPad accessories has remained somewhat static, to put it mildly. Certainly some new gear had to be produced for the Lightning connector, but even now most iPad cases will still accommodate the old 30-pin format. It takes a little extra to make a case stand out, and that's what Logitech seems to have had in mind with the FabricSkin Keyboard Folio. In our review, we'll see if it's enough to justify the FabricSkin's pricetag -- a colossal $150.
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini set to ship February
Logitech has revealed its Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for the iPad mini. Although designed for the smaller iPad mini, Logitech says that it the keyboard uses full size keys. The cover keeps its weight down, but retains protective strength by utilizing an aluminum panel on its rear.
Mechanical keyswitch keyboard by accessory vendor evaluated
Input devices are critical to the computing experience. As we mentioned in our review of the Logitech G-710 gaming keyboard, they are frequently given short shrift despite this. Devices with features tailored towards a specific market typically have a higher price tag associated with them, however discounter Monoprice sells more than just inexpensive cabling -- they have an entire range of gaming keyboards. We had the opportunity to check out the Monoprice Cherry MX Red gaming keyboard from the eponymous manufacturer in both professional and gaming environments. Does the offering from the peripheral vendor stand out from the crowd on its features, or because of its price? The Electronista review tests out this new offering from an unexpected source.
Mechanical-switch keyboard more high-end than usual
Input peripherals can be taken for granted by the general computing populace. As long as a slab of plastic machined into a keyboard or mouse gets the job done, it can often be disregarded as "performing as intended." Gamers have a different set of criteria on what makes a keyboard excel at its task, rather than just adequately performing. Logitech has been building gaming keyboards for some time, but the G710+ marks a first for the peripheral manufacturer -- a mechanical keyswitch gaming keyboard. Does the addition of the high-end feature add anything to the input device, and increase responsiveness as claimed? We'll see in our review.
PRO Plus adds backlighting
Accessory maker ZAGG has announced two new Bluetooth keyboards for the iPad, the ZAGGKeys PRO and PRO Plus. Both feature iOS function keys for things like the Home button, copy and paste, and media playback. The two are also similar in concept to Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, optionally attaching to the front of an iPad with magnets when not in use.
Logitech reveals its first washable keyboard
Logitech has unveiled its Washable Keyboard K310 that comes with a standard keyboard layout, F-keys and a number pad. The wired keyboard is notable for its namesake capability that allows it to be hand washed. To help with its longevity, Logitech has laser printed the key characters and UV coated them to ensure that they don't fade after repeated washing.
Win one of nine great prizes
This summer has been nothing short of sizzling, but it's about to get even hotter, because Electronista is giving away a mountain of prizes from Verbatim. We have three Easy Riser Wireless Notebook laser mice, three Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboards, and three Mini Wireless Slim Keyboard and Mouse sets to give away. Plus three lucky winners will also receive a Verbatim 4GB USB flash drive.
Deals on gaming keyboards, headphones, and more
Today's deals from DealNN include discounted keyboards, headphones, and more. Newegg.com has recently lowered the cost of the SteelSeries Shift Gaming Keyboard with eight programmable hotkeys, two USB 2.0 ports, multiple media controls, and on-the-fly macro recording. Currently featured at DealNN, the gaming keyboard is now available for the discounted price of $34.99 and offers savings of up to $55.
Logitech's hybrid iPad keyboard
One of the iPad's main weaknesses has always been productivity. It's not a question of apps; while it has taken a little time for a native iPad library to develop, there's usually been some way of getting essential tasks done. It's that even with those apps, the iPad's technical limitations can make things unnecessarily difficult. Bluetooth keyboards can simplify writing, but options have so far been limited to either separate peripherals or full-sized cases, which carry their own tradeoffs. Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard Cover attempts to bridge that gap -- in our review, we'll judge whether the gear is as convenient as its maker hopes it is.
Wants to be ready to help journalists
Apple is quietly stocking its London stores with extra and international parts (such as replacement keyboards) to help cope with the expected "onslaught" of international journalists, many of whom use Apple products, coming to cover the 2012 London Olympics. The event, scheduled for July, is expected to see over 10,000 international print journalists as part of the 325,000 daily visitors coming to London for the games, reports TUAW.
Offers a special 'tactile' version as well
Although standard Bluetooth keyboards can also be paired with an iPad or iPhone, the process can be time-consuming for users who regularly like to switch between computers and mobile devices using the same keyboard. Often, the answer was to buy two keyboards -- but accessory maker Matias is taking its classic-style, wired One Keyboards up a notch with models that feature a holder for the iPhone or iPod Touch, and can switch instantly between the computer and the iOS device at the touch of a button.
Cord-On-Board tucks USB cable alongside iPhone
Accessory makers Cirago and CaseInity have separately unveiled several new accessories for iOS devices. Cirago has produced three, chief among these being the Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Case for the iPad 2. Brushed aluminum is combined with padding at the corners to cushion an iPad; to use the keyboard, a person must pull the tablet from the case and sit it in a built-in stand either vertically or horizontally. The case costs $90.
Keyboards backwards-compatible with Bluetooth PCs
Broadcom has introduced a new chip that is claimed to enable Bluetooth keyboards to run for up to 10 years without swapping or recharging batteries. The low-power component is specifically geared for human interface devices (HIDs), such as keyboards and mice, that are used in conjunction with tablets, smartphones and computers.
Aimed at iPads, iPhones
Verbatim says it is launching a new peripheral, the Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard. Like many such keyboards the device is intended mostly for tablets, including iPads, Galaxy Tabs, Xooms, and anything else with HID keyboard compatibility. Also supported is the iPhone.
Macs, iPads, iPods see discounts
A leaked pamphlet shows the some of discounts Apple is planning to offer for this year's Black Friday sale, according to 9to5Mac. In terms of computers, the company is taking $101 off the iMac, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. iPad 2 discounts range from $41 to $61, depending on storage capacity, and a similar philosophy applies to the iPod touch, which is getting between $21 and $41 off. Both the 8 and 16GB iPod nanos are $11 chepaer.
Available in either white or black
Verbatim has re-worked its Bluetooth Wireless Mobile Keyboard to add features specific media control and function keys suited to iOS devices while keeping the keyboard compatible with other tablets and compatible smartphones. In addition, the Bluetooth capability of the device has been upgraded to allow pairing with up to six devices. The compact, foldable keyboard also includes an iPhone stand to put the smaller device at a comfortable angle while typing.
Three tablet stands, two Bluetooth keyboards
USRobotics, well known for its line of modems and other internet accessories, has started offering accessories for tablets, smartphones and e-readers and netbooks, including two that are specifically for iOS devices -- though most are aimed at general tablet-sized devices to make them compatible with the widest variety of devices. The company offers three models of stands and two Bluetooth keyboards, and plan for other accessories in the future.
Speck ships ruggedized iPhone 4 case
Zagg has announced a new keyboard for iPads and other mobile devices, the ZAGGkeys SOLO. The keyboard connects wirelessly via Bluetooth, and provides a base with a slot to display an iPad in a notebook-style configuration. It feeds on a 510mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery, and include function keys for commands like Cut, Copy, Paste, Slideshow, Search and Home. It should start shipping August 15th in black, silver or white for $70. The company is now taking pre-orders.
Jobs, Ive get credit for Apple keyboard design
Apple has won 10 new patents through the US Patent and Trademark Office, information shows. One notable example is the design of the current Apple keyboard with a numeric keypad. While the peripheral is relatively mundane outside of its thinness and aluminum chassis, two of the 16 people credited with the invention are Apple CEO Steve Jobs and VP of industrial design Jonathan Ive, signifying how important the shape of the product is.
Supports re-introduction of cameras to Nanos
Two newly-published Apple patent applications hint at possible product plans for the company. Most significant is one appearing to depict a sixth-generation touchscreen iPod nano, but with additional sensors such as ones for audio, motion or even temperature. Among these is a camera, something that was included on the fifth-generation Nano but conspicuously omitted in the shift to a smaller design.
Product may have missed intended ship date
Some aspects of the 2011 iMac hint that Apple is or was working on a backlit wireless keyboard, according to reports. Under Keyboard preferences in Mac OS X, for instance, new iMac owners can toggle an automatic illumination option. While standard on MacBook Pros, the option is normally missing on Macs which don't have a backlit keyboard built in.
Includes separate battery, swiveling holder
Originally announced in May, Clamcase has finally begun selling its self-titled accessory for the iPad. When attached, the case effectively transforms an iPad into a netbook through the inclusion of a folding lid with a built-in keyboard. To allow the tablet to be used more conventionally, the display holder can be swiveled and folded back over the keyboard.
Quality offset by cost problems
MacNN has reviewed the Tactile Pro 3 keyboard, made by Matias. Unlike some other recent models, the TP3 uses a very traditional design, with a conventional Mac layout, and a particular emphasis on old-style mechanical switches that provide an audible "click" whenever a key is pressed. One nod to modernity is the presence of a three-port USB hub.
Logitech tries for infinite battery life
Logitech's K750 attempts to solve one the most basic frustrations with wireless keyboards: having to buy and charge batteries. The unit has two solar strips built in, which Logitech claims are sensitive enough to keep the keyboard running off of artificial light, and not just the sun. In our review, we'll see whether this claim holds up, and whether the K750 works as a keyboard in general.
Lifts keyboards, uses rollerbar for mouse action
Contour Design have unveiled their latest version of the RollerMouse keyboard, the RollerMouse Pro2, which features new keyboard lifters to slope keyboards into one of three different settings for maximum comfort and reduced arm and wrist strain. The new version also features leatherette wrist supports and new buttons to make operations such as copy/paste and double-clicks easier and close to the user's natural hand positioning.
Allows netbook-style use
Accessory maker Sena has unveiled the Keyboard Folio, a new iPad case. While similar to some other leather folio-style cases, the Sena model includes a built-in Bluetooth keyboard, effectively transforming an iPad into a netbook. To that end, a stand on the back of the case can prop up an iPad for better viewing while typing.
OtterBox intros new Defender model
OtterBox has announced three iPhone 4 cases, at the same time as WaterField has released new Apple Wireless Keyboard cases. The OtterBox Defender is a multi-layer ruggedized case, with a polycarbonate shell made of shatter-resistant material, and a clear screen cover built in. A swiveling belt clip is included, and a silicone skin wraps around and locks into the shell. In light of Apple's recent iPhone 4 reception issues, OtterBox is marketing the Defender as NAC tested for preventing signal problems.
No prices, dates
Accompanying Apple's announcement of the iPad is news of five first-party accessories. The first is a case, which uses a folio-like design with a flap to protect the screen. Access remains open to all ports, and the cover can be folded back to prop up the device for easier typing.
Only helps 2007 keyboards
Apple has posted Aluminum Keyboard Firmware Update 1.1, a new support download for Mac owners. The patch is meant exclusively for wired and wireless Apple keyboards from 2007, and in the latter case fixes bad battery performance, associated with using other Bluetooth devices like the Magic Mouse. Some complaints have mentioned keyboard battery life shrinking to as little as a week.
Shaped for lap use
Microsoft's hardware division has announced a new keyboard, the Arc. The model is intended mainly for couch surfers, as its curve is designed to conform to a person's lap. For the same reason it has been built to be lightweight, sacrificing features like a numeric pad in order to weigh less than a pound.
Could be applied to forthcoming tablet
Apple has filed for a patent on a touch-surface keyboard with tactile feedback, US Patent and Trademark Office documents show. A problem with typing on touchscreens is that users must typically look at the keys to know what is being pressed; by contrast, most physical keyboards allow people to gauge where their fingers are through bumps and ridges. Apple's solution would pop up an "articulating frame" whenever typing is engaged, and move it out of the way when it is not.
19 different shortcuts in total
Gboard.com has released the Gboard, a shortcut keyboard designed specifically for Gmail users. The device provides 19 different Gmail shortcuts, for tasks such as marking spam or trash, forwarding or replying to e-mails, and adding or removing stars. The unit requires no initial software in order to work, and is color-coded to separate different task categories.
Batteries running dry at unusually fast rates
The Magic Mouse may be behind rapid battery drain on Apple's wireless keyboards, support forum complaints suggest. The keyboards are typically said to last several months on a single set of batteries, but after installing a Magic Mouse, battery life may shrink down to a span of two to three weeks or less. In extreme cases, users may have to replace batteries every week.
New controllers arrive with 25, 49 or 61 keys
Avid has revamped its M-Audio Oxygen collection of USB-attached MIDI controllers. Each keyboard features DirectLink technology, which maps controls to production suites including Pro Tools, Cubase, Reason, Logic and GarageBand. Models are divided into 25-, 49- and 61-key versions.
ProTouch keyboard guards
iSkin has launched new ProTouch keyboard protectors for the MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. The skins come in three different forms: the Classic, FX and Vibes. Each is made of silicone and designed to prevent dust, food, liquids and hairs from affecting a keyboard, along with general wear. They can also be used to diminish typing noise, and make cleaning easier through handwashing.
ClearSkin keyboard cover
KB Covers has launched the ClearSkin Ultra-Clear Keyboard Cover for the Mac. The new keyboard cover is made of 0.1mm clear plastic and is designed to protect the user’s keyboard from dust, dirt and spills. ClearSkin fits tightly against the laptop and still allows the lighting from backlit-keys to come through. As the cover gets dirty users can simply peel the plastic off their Mac and wash it with soap and water before placing it back on.
KB Keyboard series
KB Covers has introduced its KB Keyboards, a new line of application keyboards based on Apple’s aluminum designs. The series displays shortcut keys for Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Pro Tools and Media Composer. A special Midnight Keyboard utilizes black keys, and is meant to resemble the new MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards. With the exception of the Midnight model, each keyboard combines icons and colors to help users find shortcuts.
New Apple wired keyboard
Complementing Apple's new desktops is a new wired keyboard option. Simply called the Apple Keyboard, the device is a cheaper alternative to the existing wired model; gone is the numeric keypad, which does however provide the benefit of a smaller size. The design is modeled after Apple's aluminum wireless keyboard, which has always omitted the keypad.
Mac OS X 10.5.6 crashes
Some users attempting to download and install the Mac OS X 10.5.6 update are are running into critical errors, discussions on Apple's support forums reveal. The most common problem consists of crashing or hanging, whether in the middle of an install or immediately thereafter. The crashes may be accompanied by kernel panics, though the contents of these panics can vary.
iKey rugged keyboard
iKey has unveiled its latest rugged keyboard, the BT-87-TP, which offers wireless connection using Bluetooth. The keyboard is fully sealed and meets NEMA 4X specifications that require resistance from water, dirt, dust, ice, and corrosives. Designed for industrial use, the silicone covering allows the device to be submerged and disinfected. A touchpad has been integrated into the ABS polycarbonate case to offer an alternative to a standard mouse.
Corallo Software has updated VirtualKeyboard to version 3.5, adding numerous upgrades, including Spaces compatibility, a Universal Access zoom button and support for non-Roman alphabets such as Cyrillic. The software's main aim is to provide a point-and-click keyboard interface for users with disabilities; it can also be used as a teaching tool, however, and for kiosks. With VirtualKeyboard running, mouse-clicking on keys will send the keystroke to the active application. It handles Shift, Command and other modifier keys as well.