Category Archives: Cool Things

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is an Interesting Diversion

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

I’m a sucker for unique and interesting tech devices, and not just those from Apple, either. I can’t afford to own them all, but I do try as many as I can and keep the ones that really stand out. This is how I ended up with a Surface Go a couple of years ago (it seemed like a good idea at the time). I ultimately decided to keep it, but recently returned the follow up Surface Go 2 because it didn’t stand out enough to justify the higher price.

Sometimes these experiments are a hit and other times not so much. So far, my current test drive of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is trending toward the hit column.

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Surface Go 2 with Type Cover

Microsoft’s Surface Go 2 is Going Back Where it Came From

Surface Go 2 with Type Cover

Two years ago, I was really interested to see how Microsoft’s Surface design would translate to a smaller device that was more clearly aimed at taking on Apple’s lower tier iPads. I bought one and I still have it today. While my initial impressions of it, especially the hardware, were positive, they definitely diminished over time. At the end of the day, the poor touch user experience of Windows 10, lack of apps that are geared toward tablet use, and lackluster performance ultimately killed my interest in the Go.

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Microsoft Takes Another Direct Shot at the iPad with the Surface Go 2

Surface Go 2

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Microsoft is taking the old saying to heart as they make another go with the Surface Go. The least expensive member of the Surface family was originally released two years ago and was clearly positioned against Apple’s entry-level iPad. While it certainly wasn’t a disaster, when measured against the sales of Apple’s tablets, there’s no way it could be considered a major success, either.

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Cool Things: Paperlike 2 Screen Protector for the iPad

Two years ago, I covered an interesting Kickstarter product for the iPad Pro called the Paperlike. It was a screen protector that made the iPad’s screen feel more textured like a piece of paper. I backed the Kickstarter and reviewed the product after it arrived a few months later. It made a big difference for me using my Apple Pencil, as the added texture made writing and controlling the Pencil easier. I liked it enough that I kept it on my 2017 iPad Pro until I sold it last Summer.

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The Yin and Yang of the Apple Store

I have seen a lot of complaint articles and negative Twitter pile-ons about the current design and operation of Apple Stores over the past few months. Some of this was likely stirred up by the departure of Angela Ahrendts from the company. She had spent a lot of her time at Apple giving Apple Retail a new makeover, getting rid of some iconic features like the Genius Bar in favor of a more open and communal space setup.

There have been more recent comments made since the departure of Jony Ive from the company a few weeks ago. While Ahrendts was the driver behind the changes to the Apple Stores, Ive was the lead designer. As with Apple Park, his commitment to open spaces and environments is taken just about as far as it can go. Anything at the extremes like that tends to be polarizing, so most will either love it or hate it.

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HyperDrive USB-C Hub for the iPad Pro

It’s been a while since a crowdfunding project got my attention enough to make me part with some cash. However, I came across the HyperDrive last week and figured it was worth a go. This is the best looking expansion solution I’ve seen that is specifically geared toward the iPad Pro so far, so I decided to give it a shot.

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Review: UAG Metropolis Series Case for the Microsoft Surface Go

I know what some of you are thinking. Why am I reviewing an accessory for the Surface Go on an Apple and iPad-centric site? Well, in case you haven’t seen, I have already written about the fact that I own a Surface Go on a couple of occasions. I picked one up right after the new device launched, and I liked it enough that I held onto it, and I still use it today. In fact, since I sold my iPad Pro in preparation for the coming new model over a month ago, I use my Go pretty often these days.

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A Month with the Surface Go: Hardware Design and Build Quality

As I mentioned in a previous post, I picked up the higher end of the two Surface Go models right after release, along with a Type Cover and a Surface Pen. I’ve taken my time with the device, and used it in different situations to try to get a feel for it. Being that I am already a Windows user at work who’s had a Lenovo Yoga (original), Yoga 2, and Yoga 720 spanning the last five years, the experience certainly isn’t unfamiliar. The Yoga has been a very good touchscreen ultrabook line since the original, and I have no complaints with it as a laptop.

The Yogas can also be used as tablets, although that experience certainly leaves something to be desired. Frankly, a LOT to be desired. Ultimately, my ambivalence toward touch on Windows based on my experience with what is a good, high-end touchscreen convertible device kept my interest in Microsoft’s Surface products low over the years.

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Spending Time with the Surface Go

I may be the editor for a site that got its start exclusively covering the iPad, but I am also a lifelong Windows user. It is the only platform I can use for work, because all of the software in my field of expertise is Windows-based. The only path I have to using a Mac at work is via virtual machines, and that just isn’t attractive to me. That isn’t the only reason, though. I have always used Microsoft Windows, going back to my student days. That familiarity is hard to shake, especially when I’ve never been faced with a convincing reason to leave the platform for unfamiliar waters.

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Pad and Quill Linen Journal Notebooks- An Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age

I am almost completely digital in my day-to-day life at this point. I keep all files and notes on my devices and use as little paper as possible. I deal with bills and money online. I store my photos online. I file documents using cloud services. I stream music and movies online. When I use ink, it is usually digital ink, thank to my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. At this point, I rarely pick up a pen and paper for anything. As you can imagine, my handwriting has suffered a bit in all of this.

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Noah Leon’s Love Notes to Newton is a Film all Apple Fans Should See

Last May, I had the pleasure of interviewing Noah Leon about a documentary project he was seeking crowdfunding for on Indiegogo. The film, set to be called Love Notes to Newton, would cover both the history of Apple’s ill-fated first mobile device, as well as the still-loyal community of fans who continue to love and use Newton and eMate.

While I own a MessagePad 130 and an eMate today (along with a few other “classic” mobile electronic devices), I missed out on the initial buzz over the Newton. I started using my first PDA, a term that John Scully coined at the launch of the original MessagePad, the year that the Newton was cancelled. As such, I was happy to help fund this project in hopes of learning more about this largely forgotten piece of Apple history and the people who keep its memory alive.

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