My first two posts on my experiences with Apple’s AirPods (here and here) were very positive. In fact, the more I’ve used them, the more I enjoy them. However, some issues started appearing a couple of weeks ago and they have grown progressively worse since. I think I am at the point of having to go to the Apple Store to start the process to get a replacement set.
Considering that there are few keyboard cases out there right now for the new 10.5″ iPad Pro, this new crowdfunded keyboard case that I came across today looks all the more interesting. The Touchtype Pro doesn’t come with its own built-in keyboard, but rather works with Apple’s Bluetooth-enabled Magic Keyboard. However, while there have been other, more simple products that paired an Apple Bluetooth keyboard with a stand and/or case for an iPad, this one has some features that set it apart.
Keyboard cases have long been a favorite accessory of mine. I used to review just about every one that hit the market for the iPad at a couple of my previous writing jobs, and still try most of the good ones out, whether I write about them or not. One thing I have noticed is that all of the keyboard cases for first two iPad Pro models that I have tried have some kind of major trade-off that holds them back.
I’ve been using my Apple AirPods for around two weeks now, so I have gotten a pretty good feel for how they work at this point, and have figured out more of their strengths and weaknesses. All things considered, the experience has still been very good overall.
I was finally able to get my hands on a pair of Apple’s latest hard to find hit. If you are still looking for a set of AirPods without the three to four week wait, keep an eye on AT&T, website. When they get them in stock, they process the orders quickly and have free shipping in the US. I got mine two business days after ordering, so I was happy with the experience, and was glad to not have to pay a premium or wait a month to get them.
There is something to be said for finely crafted wood products. I grew up appreciating quality woodwork, as my father is an avid gun collector, and has always preferred classic firearms. He had several over the years that had beautifully stained stocks, with hand-carved engraving. As for me, I have been a percussionist for 30 years and have owned many finely crafted drums over that time. My current drum set has a beautiful black to blue fade stain and I have a hand-made custom snare drum with a dark maple stain against gold hardware and natural finished wood rims that looks really striking, as well. In the case of both the classic firearms and my drums, the objects perfectly combine form and function. They serve a purpose, but their craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal set them apart from everyday items.
If you are a working professional who requires a laptop on a day-to-day basis, you know that a good bag or backpack that fits your work environment is absolutely essential. Somewhere between 90-95% of my job is performed between my laptop, iPhone, and iPad Pro, so having a reliable bag that can hold all my gear and stand up to some wear and gear is absolutely essential. I have been through many such bags over the years, and have built up a solid collection that meet various needs. However, when it comes time to take your show on the road, the requirements change, and for those who travel often, they may be different enough to require a completely different approach.
Several years ago, before I ever got my first iPad-specific keyboard case (the Logitech Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard by ZAGG for the iPad 2), I purchased an Apple Wireless Keyboard to see what it would be like not having to type on the screen of my original iPad. Even though it was a little awkward to carry around with what was supposed to be a mobile device, I still absolutely loved this keyboard. The layout and key spacing were perfect. The action felt good and the keys were responsive. The battery life was great, even if it ran off of actual batteries. It worked very well for me at the time.
Like so many smartphone and tablet accessory categories, stands have become exceedingly commoditized. If you don’t know what I mean, I dare you to search for “iPad Stand” on eBay or Amazon and see how long you can stand browsing the never ending list. Half of what you will find there probably comes out of no more than 5 factories in East Asia.
For all the difficulty in finding a good device stand that is versatile and stands out from the crowd, it’s an accessory we all find ourselves in need of at one time or another. I’ve had several over the years, but they all had flaws. They didn’t last. They would only work for certain devices, or in certain use conditions. Frankly, I had never owned one that I was really all that happy with. That changed when I got Lynktec’s 360 Gripstand.
The BookBook case for the 9.7″ iPad Pro is not only a very functional iPad case, but it’s also one of the best looking I have had the opportunity to review. If you’re unfamiliar with the BookBook brand, it is the brainchild of the great folks at Twelve South, and it is available for the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The BookBook is a hardback leader case that wears like an old book. I have always enjoyed the worn, weathered look that comes with regular usage of leather. The natural patina that develops on each BookBook gives it a unique character typically reserved for higher-end quality made products.
The HiRise 2 is a simple, elegant and sturdy lightning powered charging stand for the iPad and iPhone. It’s made by the excellent folks at Twelve South, so you know going in that it will be a quality product. From my experience, the list of iPad stands that are functional and also something that you would be proud to have on display at your workplace is short. So when I went looking for a stand that would work for my iPad and iPhone, I was encouraged to see that the HiRise 2 had just been released. Although I liked the original HiRise Deluxe, the improvements made to the HiRise 2 solidified it as my preferred stand, and here’s why.