Dual iPad Bluetooth Keyboard Review: Belkin QODE Thin Type and QODE Ultimate

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Belkin was kind enough to send over two of their QODE (pronounced “code”) Bluetooth keyboards for review: the QODE Ultimate and QODE Thin Type. To be honest, the Thin Type is the keyboard I was initially looking forward to, but the QODE Ultimate turned out to be a pleasant surprise, with its clever use of magnets and all-in-one design.

The keyboards on each product are almost identical, with the exception of the combined function and number keys on the QODE Ultimate. The action on the keys is shallow, but there’s a satisfying thud that accompanies each keystroke that preserves the connection to the typing experience. The keys aren’t too clicky or noisy either, so you won’t be annoying any neighbours at Starbucks. The only thing I really don’t like is how the colon key was moved to the right of the spacebar. It’s something I can get used to, but even two weeks in, it still feels awkward.

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Review: TwelveSouth’s Compass 2 iPad Stand

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I’ve been using the Compass 2 in lieu of a Smart Cover for a few weeks now, and I’m impressed with how versatile this metal stand has turned out to be. TwelveSouth’s take on an iPad stand offers the usual bag of tricks — portrait and landscape viewing, and a flatter angle for typing — but the difference is how this little stand stays so compact.

I imagine the term easel was likely thrown around during the marketing phase of this product. When the iPad sits back in this stand with the Paper app loaded up, it’s reminiscent of canvas on an easel. However, “Compass” is still a great name for this product, given the way it folds out like the mathematical instruments I used in high school: two legs swing out horizontally, and an extra leg folds backwards to help form a stable platform. Each leg on the Compass has a sort of foot, which folds out to help hold the iPad up.

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Apex Rechargeable Stylus: The Missing Link for iPad?

IMG_20140521_192447You know you are pretty geeky when you get excited about receiving a stylus in the post. However, this is a fairly regular occurrence for me and I’m not quite, but almost a stylus junkie. One of the main reasons I love the iPad is that, used with apps which suit your style of working, you can do some amazing things to streamline your workflow. For me though, the thing that is missing from the iPad is a good stylus for handwritten input. I’ve always been slightly jealous of the Samsung S-pen and thought that this is one of the areas where the iPad is lacking. The iPad has some amazing note taking apps (Notability is my favourite), but without decent hardware input, the writing experience is truly awful. However, Lynktec look to be about to change this with their new rechargeable Apex active stylus. [click to continue reading…]

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Review: Adonit Jot Script Evernote Edition for iPad

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The Jot Script is the joint effort between Adonit and Evernote to create the ultimate pen for Penultimate. The Script offers two major advantages over most other styli: the PixelPoint tip and Bluetooth connectivity.

The PixelPoint tip makes it much easier to see where your strokes will end up on the iPad’s screen. Other styli make this a bit of a guessing game with large foam or rubber tips that require varying amounts of pressure, but the Script is a stylus that anyone can use right off the bat, without any major learning curve.

The Bluetooth connection allows Script-compatible apps (e.g. Penultimate or Noteshelf) to more accurately track where the stylus tip is, as well as help to ignore any other contact points on the screen (a.k.a. palm rejection). The Script is powered by a single AAA battery, and the stylus won’t even be registered by the iPad unless you turn it on.

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Look Ma, No Hands – AirTurn BT-105 Bluetooth Controller for iPad

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On the face of it, a hands-free accessory sounds superfluous for a chic device designed for hands-on use. Not only is the iPad screen meant to be touched, along with the OS, almost all well-designed Apps have been perfected to have an intuitive UI that requires minimal sequence of gestures to get a task done. With your fingers.

As it is plainly obvious however, these short years have seen the boundaries of function of the iPad repeatedly redrawn, or quite frankly completely erased. Along with the living room, bedroom and playroom, the iPad has now found its way to the classroom, boardroom and, err, apparently cat room! For all the love we have for its beautiful screen, there are specific moments that we could do with stepping away from it, whilst still in some control of it. Like when you need to flip a page with hands full of that cat. Enter AirTurn, the wireless page turner (and more), especially for those very moments.

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Review: iSlider iPad Stand

I’m a big (big!) fan of iPad stands – and when I first saw the  iSlider iPad Stand I thought it looked quite promising. Rain Design, the makers of the stand, were kind enough to provide me with a review unit, and I’ve been using it for several weeks now. Notes Here’s the brief initial […]

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