The Unwired has taken a quick look at the Innergie Magic Cable Trio (~$20) and concludes that it’s ”a little bit pricy but definitely a recommended accessory for travelers.” And, from the description, I might have to concur… as these days the bulk my mobile syncing and power cable needs would be covered by Innergie’s USB-to- Apple Dock and microUSB connectors – that third miniUSB is bonus. In addition to offering three connection options, the “tips” don’t actually come off so there’s no possibility of leaving one on a table or losing it in a bag. Instead, they pull forward and flip back for access. Clever. Unfortunately, and probably a deal breaker for me, is the minimal length of the cable which clocks in at under 8″. Perhaps v2 could feature a longer retractable cable and spindle?
Archives For Accessories
While saddling a touch-optimized tablet with a physical keyboard may seem like sacrilege, there are those who prefer the speed and tactile feedback of true touch typing as slates displace netbooks in the market. I’m not quite sold on tablets, but to maximize performance on my wife’s iPad during short weekend getaways I picked up Logitech’s Bluetooth keyboard (~$60). It’s not as compact as some and not nearly as sturdy or elegant as Apple’s aluminum offering, but it strikes the right balance between appearance and performance. In fact, industry analyst Ross Rubin came to a similar conclusion. Unlike the Apple keyboard, Logitech’s features an on/off slide — meaning it won’t accidentally trip in your saddle bag and kill the battery (of the keyboard or the tablet). The Logitech keyboard also ships with a semi-rigid pastic sleeve/case that doubles as a stand… which ended up on our junk drawer (and I highly recommend the convertible Incase Magazine Jacket to more effectively protect and prop up one’s iPad).
Logitech offers two version of this keyboard – the iPad edition that I purchased (with a half off coupon) and an Android-centric variant featuring their OS-specific function keys. Indeed, Logitech mistakenly shipped the Android one and their phone rep attempted to convince me the keys and functions were the same. Fortunately, I knew better given my hands on experience with the incorrect model and insisted on what turned out to be a tedious exchange. Amazon for the win?
Overall, I’ve been pleased with the Logitech keyboard which pairs nicely with various other devices in our household. So while the hot Asus Transformer Prime sets the bar high for tablet/keyboard integration, most tablet owners interested in occasional keyboard use would be well served by this wireless accessory.
Apple accessory maker Twelve South is out today with the PlugBug. As with their other gear, it offers a clever and effective solution to a problem you may not have realized you had. Assuming you’re into all things Apple. In this case, the $35 PlugBug retrofits your existing two-piece Macbook (original, Air, Pro) power adapter to also provide 10w of USB power — sufficient for iPad or iPhone recharging. Nifty, yes? And there’s no reason you couldn’t charge non-Apple USB devices like that corporate Blackberry. While Twelve South holds that most favored position of retail Apple Store product availability, I wonder if their latest initiative will run afoul of Apple… who previously took issue with vendors riffing off their (patented) MagSafe power adapters. Regardless, as a guy with too many gadgets, I think I’m in.
The organization that controls the HDMI spec appears to be cracking down on unlicensed products. And its first significant victim is Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI cables, as the specification only permits HDMI connectors. In fact, Macrumors reports that Monoprice has already pulled their inventory… offering instead an adaptor/dongle.
As a Macbook Air owner intending to turn this 23″ television into an external display, I’m somewhat bummed that I hadn’t previously made a purchase. However, I expect cables to remain available via a variety of online storefronts - including ebay.
Of course, it’s worth reiterating that HDMI licensing and related specifications (including HDCP) are the factors preventing devices like the Slingbox from utilizing the more compact and lossless technology to capture video (along with audio). It’s not a technical limitation, it’s the terms. And why we spotlighted both the Gefen HD PVR and HDFury which had seemingly bypassed those requirements to enable recording over HDMI. Yet, unlike possibly misguided DRM attempts to limit piracy, attempting to remove the relatively harmless but oh-so-practical Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable from the marketplace emphasizes an overly restrictive and antiquated industry thought process. C’est la vie.
Here’s a weird one… Should your 3rd generation Amazon Kindle begin spontaneously shutting down, fail to reliably power up, sprinkled with a dash of page sync issues, the culprit is most likely your official Amazon Kindle Leather Cover. Apparently, Amazon has been aware of this issue since at least late last year… and the cover is no longer available for purchase. Yet, for obvious reasons, they haven’t wanted to draw attention to it with any sort of support note or user outreach that I’m aware of.
Unfortunately, Mom found out the hard way while away on travel. I suggested she contact Amazon, upon returning home, to troubleshoot the unidentified weirdness and/or replace the unit. Her rep stated that what she’s been experiencing is not unusual, but wouldn’t elaborate on the cause, other than to finger that official Leather Kindle Cover. He guided her through removing the offending model and provided a $60 credit to purchase the fully functional upgraded cover with light.
Based on what appears to be symptoms of electrical flakiness and what I gather from the commentary, it seems like the cover’s integrated metal clasps could be getting bent or paint may wear off, resulting in some sort of short. However, regardless of cause, the course forward is clear. Remove Amazon’s leather cover… and call in for your free replacement.