You might not have any inclination to buy a Surface Pro tablet if you're an iPad owner, but Microsoft may be happy to sell you the keyboard portion. WinFuture has noticed that Microsoft posted a battery document mentioning an unannounced iPad Touch Cover. The file reveals precious little about the peripheral, but its name harkens back to the Surface Touch Covers that Microsoft used to sell -- the emphasis here would be on thinness over the tactile feel of a Type Cover. The inclusion of a battery and the April timing of the document suggests that it uses Bluetooth and targets the entry-level iPad, although we're not ruling out a Smart Connector attachment for the iPad Pro crowd.
<div style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.engadget.com/2015/11/11/logitech-create-ipad-pro-keyboard-case/"><img alt="Logitech's Create keyboard case for the iPad Pro" data-credit="Logitech" data-mep="1038063" src="http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/3b75da787b34bf281d2b56f722b83a94/202946841/logitech-create-keyboard-case-ipad-pro.jpg" /></a></div>
Apple's iPad Pro is pricey even before you add in the $169 official keyboard case, but Logitech may have a way to make the whole package a little more palatable. It's now shipping its promised Create Keyboard Case for the gigantic tablet, and the add-on will sell for a slightly more frugal $150. It only works at two angles, but you'll get perks like backlit keys, automatic pairing (thanks to the Smart Connector) and a raft of iOS shortcuts. And if you don't want to turn your iPad into a makeshift laptop, there's an $80 Create Protective case that ditches the keyboard in return for a more flexible stand. Either shell is available in black, blue or red, so you're not stuck with somber colors on your giant slate. Slideshow-340125
Oh god here we go again. I’m typing on a Typo again. No, that’s not a typo—it’s the name of a keyboard. A keyboard attached to an iPad. I’m writing this whole review on an iPad keyboard case because I don’t have any damn sense. Except, uh, it’s actually not half-bad? My brain is exploding.
Follow the Apple rumor cycle and you'll notice that accessory makers play an important role in leaks -- some of them "borrow" factory blueprints to produce cases and other add-ons for iPhones and iPads that are still weeks away from launch. Well, the crew at 1 Infinite Loop is apparently fed up with these companies spoiling the surprise. Sources for 9to5Macclaim that Apple made key accessory producers sign agreements preventing them from getting design details from anyone besides Apple itself. If the firms give into the temptation and ship leak-based products, Apple warns of "penalties" that could include refusing to stock the offending goods at its stores.
Filed under: Cellphones, Peripherals, Tablets, Mobile, AppleCommentsSource:9to5Mac
We're in the midst of winter in the Northern Hemisphere right now, but that doesn't mean that you can't start making plans for summer fun in the great outdoors. Today I'm reviewing two products that will keep your gizmos going. The first is designed to let you charge up anywhere, as long as the sun's out: the RAVPower 15W Dual-Port Solar Charger (List price US$99.99, available for $56.99). The second is targeted more for day-to-day use: the RAVPower RP-PB18 Savior External Battery Pack ($99.99, available for $49.99).
RAVPower 15W Dual-Port Solar Charger
I'm a fan of photovoltaic solar energy, so much so that my house here in sunny Colorado has a 9 kilowatt array on the roof. The RAVPower 15W Dual-Port Solar Charger is a lot smaller, both in size and capacity, but you don't need all that much power to charge your devices.
The design is wonderful. You have a 24 ounce fabric folio covered with polyester canvas on the exterior that folds out revealing three separate panels. Located at four locations around the folio are metal-line eyeholes; these are used with carabiners (four are included) to attach the array to your backpack or a tent, or hang it from tree branches.
There are two USB ports available, one with a 2A output, the other with a 1A output. Both, of course, send out that current at the USB standard 5 volts. RAVPower uses what they call "iSmart Technology" to match the maximum charging current with the device so that it is charged in the least amount of time.
FiftyThree, the company that developed the wonderful Paper drawing/painting app (free with in-app purchases), also created a companion stylus that they naturally gave the name Pencil to. The stylus, which looks like a carpenter's pencil but has some amazing technology built into it, sells for US$49.95 for a graphite version and $59.95 in a beautiful walnut version. Up until now, Pencil was only available through the FiftyThree website and on Amazon, but the company has announced that the stylish and versatile Pencil is now available at the brick-and-mortar and online Apple Stores.
TUAW will be reviewing Pencil by FiftyThree in the near future; in the meanwhile you can check out the details of the cool piece of hardware here. What I want to try the most is the adaptive palm rejection, which allows your palm or other bits of your hand to be resting on the screen while drawing or writing. Other stylus manufacturers have tried -- and most have failed -- to produce workable palm rejection, so we'll be sure to put it to the test.
Last April, TUAW reviews a very unique iPad Air case - the Booq Booqpad - that melded a magnetically-attached agenda case with a paper notepad. At the time it garnered a 4-star rating thanks to its flexibility and that paper notepad. Today I'm looking at the BooqPad for iPad Air 2 (US$60.00) and we'll see if that changed.
Exterior dimensions: 7 x 9.5 x 0.9 inches (178 x 242 x 24 mm)
Weight: 0.88 lbs (0.4 kg)
Compatible with: iPad Air 2 only
Color: Gray only
Comes with removable/replaceable 50-sheet paper notepad
Like the previous iteration of the Booqpad, the new version consists of a slim folio that, when opened, features a paper notepad on the left side and a magnetically-attached tray for the iPad on the right side. A slender magnetic catch keeps the cover closed while you're in transit. Around the outside of the paper notepad side are slots for business cards, and you can get refills for your notepad in blank, lined, or graph paper formats ($10 for 3 pads).
With the arrival of the iPad Air 2 last fall, many case manufacturers went back to the drawing board to produce new products that would accommodate the slightly thinner tablet. One of the favorite keyboard cases for those of us here at TUAW has always been the ClamCase Pro (US$169.00), and that case has recently been updated for the latest member of the iPad family.
Dimensions: 9.74 x 7.30 x 0.74 inches (247.4 x 185.4 x 18.8 mm)
Weight: 1.2 lbs (.544 kg)
Battery life: 100 hours uninterrupted use time, 6 months standby time, recharges in 120 minutes
One new product that will certainly be making a fun splash at CES this week is from Ten One Design, the same company that brought Apple fans such fun things as the Magnus Air and Magnus mini iPad stands, the Pogo and Pogo Connect styluses. Next month they'll be shipping a new item that you can pre-order now, the US$24.95 Mountie.
What's the idea behind Mountie? It uses a strong rubberized grip and swappable inserts that provide a way for you to attach any iPhone after the iPhone 4, the iPad Air 1/2 or the iPad mini to any MacBook or post-2012 iMac. It comes in two colors, neither of which you'll actually see while using the device - blue and green.
You can then use your "second screen" to do a lot of different things. Use Mountie to take a break from work by watching a movie or your favorite show on an attached iPad, have your iPhone cranking out music while you're blogging, or even use an app like Duet Display to turn your iPhone or iPad into a second Mac display.
Mountie looks like a useful product and the price is right on the money. Rather than taking up valuable desk space with a traditional stand for your iPhone or iPad, you can just stick it to the side of your MacBook or iMac in seconds. We will be reviewing Mountie within the next week or two, so stay tuned to TUAW. Oh, and if you happen to be in Las Vegas for the CES craziness, visit the Ten One Design folks at North Hall 6523.
Another day, another great product from Limefuel. Yesterday we took a look at the company's big-capacity Blast L240X Pro external battery pack, and today we're looking at something that's quite a bit smaller, yet still packs a lot of power - the Dual Port USB 4.8A Wall Charger (US$16.99).
The idea behind this little powerhouse is to give you not one, but two 2.4A USB ports in one easily transportable little box. Instead of filling up your house or hotel room with multiple single port Apple power cubes, all with their nasty pointy prongs sticking out, you can hook two of your favorite Apple toys up per wall outlet. When you're done, the prongs fold away to avoid scratching your other electronic gear.
With 24W of power and 2.4A of current per port, your devices will charge quickly. You can use your existing charging cables with the device, which measures just 2 x 2 x 1.1 inches (50.8 x 50.8 x 27.9 mm) and weighs a featherweight 2.7 ounces (76.
The transformation of the iPad Air into the iPad Air 2 forced case manufacturers to go back to the drawing board, but that's not always a bad thing. With each iteration of case, the product usually gets better. That's the situation with Belkin's Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 (US$149.99), which has emerged from a redesign truly deserving of the name "Ultimate Pro". Let's take a look, then enter for an opportunity to win a Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for your iPad Air 2.
Dimensions: 9.72 x 7.09 x .71 inches(24.7 x 18 x 1.8 cm)
Weight: 17.28 ounces (490 grams)
Bluetooth Pairing: Bluetooth Smart pairing with up to 2 devices
Battery Life: Up to one year
The Qode Ultimate Pro looks like a pretty standard iPad keyboard case until you examine it closely. The iPad Air 2 is encased in a polycarbonate shell (white or black) for protection, and that shell can be removed from the keyboard by simply pulling the iPad away - magnets hold the two together. Bring the iPad Air 2 back in the vicinity of the "hinge" and they stick together, either in landscape or portrait orientation. The magnets that are built into the iPad Air 2 are used to keep the tablet in one of several positions.
The keyboard/screen protector is made of aluminum, and there are rubber "feet" that keep the keys from touching the iPad screen. Inside the case is a battery that's designed to give you almost a year between charges in normal usage.
One thing that I was happy to see is that there is no power switch on the keyboard as it's designed to turn on and off automatically. This seems to be a feature that is becoming common with the better keyboard cases on the market.
The keyboard has all of the keys in the traditional locations, but does not use a separate row for the iPad function keys - instead, those keys share space with the number key row. The caps lock and tab keys are rather small and may be an issue for some users. The keyboard is backlit, with three possible brightness settings.
I found the feel of the keyboard to be acceptable, but a bit more "springy" than other keyboards with less of a positive feedback. As with all keyboards, you may wish to try out the Qode Ultimate Pro for yourself prior to purchase since everyone has their own take on what the "perfect" keyboard feels like.
Unfortunately, I don't have an iPad Air 2 nor is my employer going to purchase one for me, so I had to do all of my testing with an ancient, fat and heavy iPad Air. The Qode Ultimate Pro Case can be used as a standalone Bluetooth keyboard simply by removing the device, then folding the "hinge" flap under the keyboard. That made it quite easy to try out the keyboard with my original iPad Air.
One thing I find interesting is that if you decide you don't need to use the keyboard and you happen to have an Apple Smart Cover, you can pull the keyboard off and replace it with the Smart Cover.
I like the fact that the case can be used in either portrait or landscape orientation. I've often thought that writing in apps like Pages or Microsoft Word for iPad in portrait mode would be much more "natural looking".
The Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case is a bit heavier than other keyboard cases for the iPad Air, so if carrying a few more ounces is an issue for you, it might be a good idea to look into some of our other keyboard case reviews to find a lighter model.
The dual pairing feature is definitely a nifty idea - I found it fun to switch between iPad Air and iPhone 6 Plus with the push of the function key and one of two Bluetooth keys.
The Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 provides amazing battery life, dual device Bluetooth pairing, the ability to type in either landscape or portrait orientation, and backlit keys. It's a bit heavy, though, so those who are concerned about carrying extra ounces might want to peruse other keyboard cases before buying. Small caps lock and tab keys may also be an issue for some users.
Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible
Have a nice new iPad Air 2 that you'd like to pair up with a Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case? TUAW and Belkin want you to have one. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before December 12, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case valued at $149.99
A little over a year ago I did a review of the XVIDA Boomerang, an iPad stand/mount project that graduated from Kickstarter and went into full production. Now the company that spawned the Boomerang has an entire family of accessories, all of which use strong magnets to mount your iPhone, iPad or just about anything else in your life wherever you need them. Today I'm looking at three of the XVIDA accessories: the iPad Air/iPad Air 2 version of the Boomerang (US$79.99, currently on sale for $59.99), the iPhone 5/5s version of the StickyCase ($24.99), and the accessory Air Vent Mount ($19.99).
Boomerang for iPad Air/iPad Air 2
While the Boomerang kit I tested for this review was designed for the iPad Air, XVIDA now includes a small converter that makes it fully compatible with the iPad Air 2. Note that the converter is not included in our giveaway prize kit.
Like the original Boomerang, the new model is an X-shaped device that can be used to prop your iPad up at a 22°, 45° or 66° inclination. Lay that X-shape out flat and snap the two free ends around the corners of your iPad Air, and you'll notice a metal plate in the center - right over the Apple logo on the back of your device.
That metal plate attaches magnetically to the included Multi-Mount. The Multi-Mount itself can be mounted on metallic surfaces via magnetism, things like refrigerators and many whiteboards. It can also be attached to walls, glass, or ceramic with the included 3M VHB adhesive sticker. Or if you're looking for a more permanent installation, just use a screw to attach the Multi-Mount to a wall stud or furniture.
That same plate also works with the other available mounting accessories, including the Air Vent Mount, a Suction Cup Mount, a Headrest Mount, and even the iMac-like Desk Stand.
Installing the Boomerang is fast and easy. The iPad Air slides into a set of clips that is marked with a "1" sticker. To use the Boomerang with the magnetic mounts, you put the other corners of the iPad AIr into the two other clips marked "2". To use the Boomerang as a standalone stand, you pop the "2" corners out and then flip the free legs out to the pre-set angles.
Use the Boomerang with the Air Vent or Suction Cup mounts, and you have a way of using an iPad Air as a really big navigation aid. I'm not sure I'd recommend putting a full-sized iPad into the windshield area of a car, though - that's an awfully large space to block in your field of view.
The Boomerang for iPad Air/iPad Air 2 looks good, is incredibly thin, very lightweight, and installs/removes quickly. It's easily adjustable, works with a number of mounts, and has a fairly decent price point (especially when on sale). On the negative side, the Boomerang doesn't offer any protection for your iPad.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s
The StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s ($24.99) is what brings your iPhone into the XVIDA ecosystem.
Before I go any further, please note that you can pre-order this case for the iPhone 6 for delivery next month. However, there's no word about one for the iPhone 6 Plus. That's really not an issue, since if you already have a case for your Plus, all you need to do is buy a $17.99 StickyPad for Smartphones and you're ready to rock and roll.
This case really isn't all that special in terms of looks. It's a matte black (or white) case with one very special feature - a covered metal plate in the back that serves to stick it to any of the magnetic mounts. If you have a Multi-Mount, the windshield-mounted Suction Mount for Smartphones ($19.99), or that ever-popular Air Vent mount I'll review next, you just slap the encased iPhone 5 or 5s up against the magnet and it sticks.
The StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s gets bonus points for mounting flexibility, but it's really kind of drab. If you already have a more colorful or more protective case that you've installed on your iPhone, just get one of those StickyPads and stick it to the back of the case. That way you get the best of both worlds.
Rating: 2-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
Air Vent Mount
I've talked about this accessory several times already. For $20, you're getting a mount that installs into an air vent in your car, has a pivoting head, and features the XVIDA magnetic mount. Take any of the cases or stands - the StickyCase, the Boomerang, or even a regular case with a StickyPad on the back - and you have a way of mounting your iPhone or iPad so that it's clearly visible from the front seat of the car (don't look at it while driving!).
The Air Vent Mount features a spring-loaded arm that goes through one of the vents and has a metal hook that grabs the back of the vent slat. On the front is a rounded piece that fits into a slot on the back of a piece that includes the mount, a lockable ball joint, and a few stabilizer arms. It's quite easy to install and feels sturdy.
Of course, when you want to use either a StickyCase or a Boomerang with it, you just take their built-in metal plate and bring it near the mag mount, and magnetism takes care of the rest.
The Air Vent Mount holds even a full-sized iPad Air in place with very little movement, and it works really well with an iPhone.
For mounting an iOS device in your car, the Air Vent Mount is an adjustable and versatile piece of equipment. The price is right, and it feels like it will last.
Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible
We at TUAW love our giveaways, which give our readers a chance to get some really great gear at no cost. Here are the rules for the giveaway: Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older. To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button. The entry must be made before November 24, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time. You may enter only once. One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a kit containing a Boomerang for iPad Air, a StickyCase for iPhone 5/5s, and an Air Vent Mount, valued altogether at $124.97 Click Here for complete Official Rules.
Logitech continues to outpace most accessory manufacturers in coming out with a variety of very useful products for the iPad. Today's announcement is for a very adjustable iPad case for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini called the AnyAngle (US$59.99).
As you can see in the video below, AnyAngle uses a unique hinge mechanism to adjust to, well, just about any angle.
I can see the AnyAngle being a good companion to Logitech's recently-released Keys-To-Go Bluetooth Keyboard, a standalone keyboard equipped with Logitech's splashproof FabricSkin. It's the perfect combo for people who want to use a keyboard with their iPads, but don't necessarily want that keyboard to be attached to the tablet.
AnyAngle comes in a variety of colors - Black, Red/Blue, Violet, Grey, Teal, and Yellow. We hope to have a review item in hand soon.
So, you've got to bake a few dozen Christmas cookies for your little girl's robotics club, but you have absolutely no idea how to cook ... or even how to measure ingredients. Never fear -- the Drop Kitchen Connected Scale (US$99.99) and its associated free recipe app are going to turn you into a baking pro.
As you can see from the snappy video above, the idea behind Drop is to turn anyone -- with an iPad running iOS 8.0 or later and some common kitchen tools -- into an expert baker. Drop can weigh anything from 6 kg down to less than a single gram, and uses interactive recipes to help you have success in the kitchen. You just pour ingredients into a bowl on the scale until you reach the correct amount, stir or blend, pour into a cake or loaf pan, then let the app tell you when to take the masterpiece out of the oven.
What if you don't have enough flour or you've run out of milk? Not a problem, as the app can help you find substitutions that will work and can also scale the other ingredients so that you can still make at least part of a batch of cookies out of that remaining flour. The recipes are designed to be mixed in a single bowl for less cleanup, and there's even a social sharing aspect to the app for bragging about your latest kitchen success.
Drop uses Bluetooth LE to talk to your iPad or iPad mini, and the battery should last up to a year of normal use. Drop is available for ordering online today, but the device will be available soon at Apple Stores in the US, Canada, and the UK. You can also purchase Drop online from Apple.com, Brit+Co, Food52, and Harvey Norman stores in Ireland.
Back in late 2013, one of our former UK bloggers (Richard Gaywood) wrote a review of an iPhone case from The Nodus Collection. At that time, the Access Case was part of a Kickstarter campaign; now the company is selling the cases through its website. Recently I received both an iPhone 6 Plus Access Case (pre-order for £49.99, price includes international shipping) and an iPad Air Access Case (£99.99, price includes international shipping) for review, so I thought it was a perfect time to take a look at these thin, light and stylish cases again. Check out the review, and then take a chance at winning one of these cases for yourself.
As Richard pointed out in his earlier review, the Access Case uses micro-suction technology to both attach the device to the case and to keep the cover closed. The material used holds onto your iPhone or iPad tightly, but releases with a sharp pull if you need to take the case off.
Both cases are made of a nicely-finished leather in either ebony (black) or chestnut (brown). The two samples we received were both chestnut and really looked good with very fine stitching around the edges. As with most folio/wallet cases of this type, the Access Case can be used as a stand to hold your device in landscape orientation, as a wallet (it has a full-length pocket for cards or bills), and of course as a protective cover for your device.
The top, bottom, and right side of the iPhone and iPad are left open, making it easy to plug the devices in for recharging. There's also the requisite opening for the iPhone camera and flash on the iPhone case, and the smaller hole for the iPad camera on that case.
The cases look great, but do they do their job? From my limited testing, the answer is an unqualified "yes". Both cases hold their respective devices in place firmly with the micro-suction material. Both protect the screen and back of the iPhone or iPad. Both work well as wallets. All in all, they do what they're supposed to do.
Removing the devices from the micro-suction material was easy, and the material is easily cleanable if it collects dust or other debris.
The Access Cases for iPad Air and iPhone 6 Plus look good, although they're rather plain. If you want a nice leather case without frills, this is probably going to make you happy. However, both cases come with a price tag that seems unreasonably high considering that there are similar micro-suction leather cases for much less that the £49.99 (US$79.35 at current exchange rates) price for the iPhone 6 Plus case or the £99.99 ($158.71) iPad Air case. A good example is the recently-reviewed Twelve South SurfacePad, which sells for $49.99 for the iPhone 6 Plus version and $79.99 for the iPad Air edition.
Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible
If the price tag on the Nodus Access Cases depresses you, cheer up -- you might win one in our giveaway. Here are the rules for the giveaway: Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older. To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button. The entry must be made before November 11, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time. You may enter only once. Two winners will be selected in a random drawing. One will receive a Nodus Access Case for iPad Air valued at US$158.71, while another winner will take home a Nodus Access Case for iPhone 6 Plus valued at US$79.35. Click Here for complete Official Rules.
Logitech quickly updated its Type+ and Ultrathin Bluetooth keyboards for the new iPad Air 2, and has also announced a new standalone keyboard for any and all iOS devices — the US$69.99 Keys-To-Go (see image above).
The Keys-To-Go uses Logitech’s spill-resistant FabricSkin keyboard in a rechargeable unit that can be used with your iPad, iPhone, or even your Apple TV. Keys-To-Go weighs just 6.35 ounces (180 grams) and is less than a quarter-inch (6 mm) thick, making it an easy-to-carry accessory that can always be with you. It comes in black, red and electric blue.
The Type+ for iPad Air 2 ($99.99, image below) has been made even more slender to accommodate the newest iPad Air and will come in a variety of colors: black, dark blue, bright green, violet, black synthetic and electric blue synthetic.
Fans of the Logitech Ultrathin will find the new Ultrathin Bluetooth keyboard for iPad Air 2 ($89.99) to be just what they want for the new iPad Air. It comes in silver and space gray, and uses the same magnetic clip-on design as the previous versions.
All of the keyboards are available for pre-order today.
Are you still chasing the "paperless" dream? If you are anything like the millions of us who dream of a clear inbox with simplified capture and filing system, today is your lucky day. Today Fujitsu introduces the ScanSnap iX100, the 2nd generation of its world-renowned mobile scanning solutions.
The dream of going paperless has been sold to us neat freaks and organization nuts for decades now. The idea has always been very enticing; however, the practical execution of getting all the paper we collect throughout the day into your computer has always felt somehow daunting and incomplete. This is never more evident than a bag-dump post trade-show, business trip or networking mixer. Fujitsu and its award-winning ScanSnap line have been making strides in the paperless movement for years now and aim to slingshot that movement with the brand-new ScanSnap iX100.
Key Features of the iX100
Compact Portable Lightweight at 14.1 oz.
Battery operated via Integrated Lithium Battery
Scan Anywhere via 2 Wireless Scanning Modes
Simple Home/Office WiFi Setup with WPS configuration
Direct Connect Access mode when WiFi access not available
Fast 5.2 Seconds Per Letter Page
Scan to Mac, PC, iOS, Android or Kindle Fire
Dual Scan Mode
Automatic Image Stitching
Custom GI Processor
Upon receiving the ScanSnap iX100 I immediately tore into the box and was pleasantly surprised by the extremely compact size of the device. Measuring in at a svelte 10.74 x 1.87 x 1.42 inches and weighing just a hair over 14 ounces, this scanner is small. Construction seemed pretty sturdy and up to par with previous Fujitsu ScanSnap products. In the box was the scanner, a USB cable, Setup DVD and documentation.
Setup for Mobile Scanning
I wanted the test the "no PC needed" mode of the iX100 and decided to do a mobile only setup first. Getting the scanner to work with my iPhone and iPad were amazingly easy. Initially I installed the ScanSnap Connect Application and launched it.
To power on the iX100, the paper feed door is opened; to activate the Direct Connect mode there is a small WiFi toggle switch on the back of the scanner. Within a few seconds the scanner was ready to go and was emitting a private WiFi SSID that my iPhone and iPad were able to connect to via the standard iOS WiFi settings menu. Login information for this private WiFi network is found on the bottom of the scanner.
Returning to the ScanSnap Connect Application, I saw that the scanner was discovered, connected and ready to scan. Having recently returned from a business training trip, I had a pretty nice stack of business cards, flyers and receipts I wanted to capture. With a quick press of the scan button on the app, the scanner woke up and started to purr.
Dual Scan Mode
The Dual Scan mode of the iX100 meant I was able to feed business cards into the scanner one after another without pause and from any position on the paper feed -- even without waiting for the previous card to completely exit the flat path. The continuous document feed (CDF} saves time by allowing the user to keep feeding documents to the scanner, letting the Auto Deskew, Auto Orientation, Auto Color and Auto Paper Size Detection features do the work.
The Secret Sauce
Fujitsu's custom GI Processor is amazingly fast at intelligently making all the adjustments and corrections that have plagued scanners up until now. Gone are the days of trash and rescans and manual image manipulation after scanning a pile of documents.
The small footprint of the iX100 means it is a simplex scanner, but don't let that sway you if you're used to duplex scanners. This scanner is so fast with its continuous document feed mode that you can scan a page, flip it over, scan the second side and auto-process the documents faster than most competing duplex scanners. Another amazing feature of the iX100 is the Automatic Image Stitching. If some sales person hands you a letter sized folded brochure with an image that crosses the centerfold, simply fold the pages backwards and scan both sides -- the iX100 automatically stitches the pages back together.
The iX100 battery lasts surprisingly long when you consider the speed, power and compact footprint of the scanner. I was able to tote the scanner around in my bag for about a week on a single charge doing causal scanning of business cards and handouts at meetings (watching jaws drop on clients was secretly pleasurable). According to Fujitsu, the iX100 can continuously scan about 260 sheets on a single charge and about 140-160 per charge for normal casual operation. My favorite part about this mobile scanner is that it can be charged by a standard USB to 6micro-USB cable. No special adaptors or power supplies are needed. This is very convenient, as most users already carry such a cable in their go bags.
Back at the Desk
This superstar mobile scanner, believe it or not, is full of even more surprises once it meets the home or office WiFi network. Once back at my desk, I installed the ScanSnap Manager software on my Mac and fired off the ScanSnap Wireless Setup Tool which made setup a piece of cake via the WPS button on the scanner.
Typical of Fujitsu, the ScanSnap iX100 comes with some pretty powerful yet easy to use bundled software.
The iX100 ships with:
ScanSnap Organizer - search, view, edit, organize scans
CardMinder - captures and OCR business cards, merges duplex cards
ScanSnap Receipt - scans and extracts pertinent information off of receipts
Abby FineReader for ScanSnap - OCR package that allows direct scanning and conversion to Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint
ScanSnap Manager - Profile manager that allows one button scanning to folder(s), email, PDF, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Docs, Salesforce and more
Continuing to process the expense reports from my trip, I fed the iX100 about 15 receipts. ScanSnap Receipt quickly processed all the stubs and through some wicked voodoo plucked data off of the receipt and filled a ledger with information including Vendor, Amounts, Payment Type, Card suffix and more. Thanks to the iX100, tax season this year may be tolerable.
Scanning items directly to my favorite cloud apps was a huge time saver from the old AppleScript processing I have doing for years. Again, the iX100 GI processor made the process fast and seamless.
I found ScanSnap Organizer very powerful and easy to use; however, in the end it was not for me as my workflow is to scan directly to Evernote. In the frenzy of overzealous button pressing, I inadvertently scanned a few receipts into the organizer while testing. Just before I expunged the mistakes ready to start all over, I tried to drag and drop the mistakes from ScanSnap Organizer to ScanSnap Receipts. Amazingly this action worked -- the misfiled items were imported into the appropriate place and were auto-processed as if they had been scanned correctly.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100 does exactly what it says, delivering high quality scans quickly regardless of whether you are at the office or on the road. Up until now, CIS Scanners (contact image scanners) were mostly low quality, cheap scanners designed as a stopgap for road warriors wanting to capture data on the move. The iX100 seems to have ironed out all of the kinks in mobile scanning. It is light, easy to carry, fun to use and is feature packed. I can honestly say that I don't know how I managed to work thus far without an iX100.
There are a lot of ways to prop your iPad up without holding it in your hands. For example, just the other day we looked at the Ten One Design Magnus Air. Our iPad stand du jour is the Desktop Chair v2 (US$59.99), a design that was funded through Japan's Campfire crowdfunding site. It's now available for sale in the US from BiteMyApple.co, and they sent one along to TUAW for review and a giveaway.
While the Magnus Air was tiny and unobtrusive, the Desktop Chair is designed to be a gorgeous piece of furniture. It's crafted of thin wood sheets that are bonded together perpendicularly for strength with a hydraulic press, then hand-sanded to a silky finish. The Desktop Chair can sit in one of two positions, each holding your iPad in either landscape or portrait orientation. The BiteMyApple.co web store even shows the Desktop Chair being used as a vertical prop for a MacBook Pro, so there are many uses for this accessory.
I found that the Desktop Chair worked well with either a full-sized iPad or iPad mini, and it would probably make a good investment regardless of what type of tablet you may use in the future. It's rock-solid on a desk or table, surprisingly so considering that it weighs only 4.3 ounces (122 grams). Design-wise, the Desktop Chair looks like a piece of modern sculpture, which says a lot for the designers at Moku Woodware in Japan.
It may be a bit too early to start thinking about holiday gifts for friends and family, but the Desktop Chair is such a unique and beautiful iPad stand that you may want to consider it for a gift.
Organic in form and materials, the Desktop Chair v2 is a useful and attractive addition to any desktop. In a market filled with many mass-produced product that just don't work that well, the Desktop Chair brings a touch of class to iPad stands.
Rating: 4 stars out of 4 stars possible.
Our review Desktop Chair can be yours, but only if you enter our giveaway and happen to win. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before August 23, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Desktop Chair valued at $59.99
When an accessory PR rep says she's going to send me an iPad Air stand, I usually expect to receive a heavy package in the mail a few days later. That's why the new Ten One Design Magnus Air (US$39.95) surprised me so much when it showed up in a small padded envelope. Ten One Design touts the Magnus Air as a low-profile designer stand, but how does something with this little weight prop up an iPad Air? Read on to find out the secret to the Magnus Air.
DImensions: Approximately 5.75" wide x 2.75" deep x 1" tall (146 x 69.85 x 35.4 mm)
Viewing angle: 22 degrees
Weight: 1.8 ounces (51 grams)
OK, the secret to the Magnus Air is magnets. Really powerful magnets. You just place the Magnus Air near the left side of the iPad Air and it sticks to it like glue. Now you can flop the iPad Air onto its side and it is held in landscape orientation at a very comfortable viewing angle.
By building those powerful magnets into the Magnus Air, sticking the stand onto an iPad Air is like gluing a leg onto it. The stand isn't going to move, and if you need something to prop up your iPad Air that adds just a hint of weight, the Magnus Air is for you. The bottom of the stand is covered with a non-slip material, so the iPad Air and stand are going to stay put on a table, too.
Ten One Design's Magnus Air is designed to do one thing -- hold an iPad Air at a comfortable viewing angle in landscape orientation -- and it does that task perfectly. The Magnus Air is minimalism at its finest, adding functionality without being ostentatious or weighting down your backpack or briefcase.
I found the stand to be extremely useful in the kitchen. The 22° angle is perfect for viewing recipes while cooking, and the non-slip base ensured that I was going to be able to tap and swipe the iPad Air without having to chase it around my countertops.
One added touch to the Magnus Air over earlier versions of the Magnus stand is that you can also easily flip your iPad Air over to have it propped up in a very comfortable typing position. This horizontal option is great for people who like to use the virtual keyboard of the iPad Air.
Any gripes about the Magnus Air? Sure, I wish it was less expensive so more people would be tempted to pick one up. You can order 'em on the Ten One Design website, and they'll be in your local Apple Store soon.
Ten One Design's Magnus Air is a handy little accessory for anyone who owns an iPad Air and would like to be able to use it hands-free. It adds a ton of functionality to your favorite tablet without weighing you down.
Rating: 4 stars out of 4 stars possible
With literally hundreds of iPhone/iPad battery packs available, it takes something special to get this reviewer excited. Moshi's IonBank 5K with Lightning Connector (US$88.95) has enough power stored up to give your iPhone 5 a few full charges, and it does it all without you having to lug around a tangle of cables. Let's take a look.
Dimensions: 4.76 x 2.68 x 0.83 inches (12.1 x 6.8 x 2.1 cm)
Weight: 7.19 ounces (204 grams)
Cables: Integrated Lightning cable, integrated USB charging cable, plus one open USB port
Capacity: 5,000 mAh
Although there are the oddball external battery packs that are shaped like cylinders, most of them follow the tried-and-true design meme of "rectangular box with curved corners." That's what the IonBank 5K looks like. It has an anodized aluminum top and bottom, while the rest of the pack is made of white polycarbonate.
The big thing that's different about the IonBank 5K is that the two frequently-used cables -- one for charging your iPhone and the other for recharging the IonBank -- are integrated into the case. Slide the top of the case (with the Moshi logo) to one side to reveal the USB charging cable. When the IonBank 5K is fully charged and you want to top off your iPhone, slide the bottom of the case to one side to reveal the Lightning charging cable.
There are four white LEDs on one side to provide an indication of how much charge is left, and a single button is used to both reveal the battery level and start charging your iPhone. If you have another non-LIghtning device you wish to charge, there's an open USB port ready to accept a cable.
Although the IonBank 5K is a bit "chunkier" than other 5,000 mAh external battery packs I've tested, the Moshi product's integrated connectors get the thumbs-up from me. The IonBank is MFi-certified, and worked flawlessly recharging a pair of iPhones in our home. The IonBank also comes in a 10,000 mAh version ($109.95) that would be more useful with an iPad. While that version doesn't come with an integrated Lightning cable, it does have a travel case into which you can slip both the battery pack and a separate cable. It also comes with two open USB ports.
My only concern about the IonBank 5K with Lightning Connector is that it is rather expensive. There are a number of battery packs available on the market with three times the capacity at half the price. But if you're looking for a convenient external battery pack that can solve the usual "where are my cables" quandary, the Moshi IonBank 5K is going to be your best bet.
Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible