Archive | April, 2013

The DRACO iPhone 5 bumper case – give your iPhone a distinctive look

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DRACO iPhone 5 Bumper Case

It would be great to be able to do without a case on the iPhone. No extra cost and no extra weight or size. Plus the iPhone looks pretty damn great just as it is. That is not our reality. The devices cost so much we have to protect them in some shape or form. Personally I have never been a fan of the cases that cover the device surfaces completely. I want to leave something of the iPhone visible. For that reason I have generally gone for a bumper case with screen protector. I was looking for something a little more that the standard bumper and I found the DRACO.

There are a few videos available on how to assemble with detailed close ups on fitting it to your phone so I am not going to get into that level of detail and pics here. Video of DRACO assembly and review by Milkerz5. What I will say is that it is superbly made, you continue to have access to all ports and buttons while the device is wrapped in a superb piece of aircraft grade aluminium. It adds a very unique look to your device while providing excellent protection for a bumper case. So far it has attracted quite a lot of attention and I like the distinctiveness of it. Not too bad on the price either for this high grade product. Really like it.

DRACO iPhone 5 Case - rear

DRACO iPhone 5 Case – rear

DRACO iPhone 5 case - bottom

DRACO iPhone 5 case – bottom

The Logitech iPad Bluetooth Keyboard – well worth the investment!

 Logitech iPad Keyboard


Logitech iPad Keyboard

I have tried a few keyboards over the last couple of years for the iPad.  Most of them in some type of iPad case\cover incorporating a keyboard but a couple that were stand alone type fold up versions.  The case type primarily bulked out the iPad size and did not provide a good enough typing experience to justify the extra size or were completely separate devices so there was the feeling of carrying 2 items around.  I also somewhat felt that if I wanted to use a proper keyboard I should just grab my laptop.  However, after trying out the Logitech keyboard it has changed my point of view. The feedback and general feel on the keyboard is excellent. It’s slick design, look and feel make it seem that it was always part of the iPad. This aesthetics and fitting in with the look and feel is generally very important but especially so when it is an Apple product.  Yes it does bulk out the size a little and it adds some weight but in my opinion the screen real estate you get back by no longer having the keyboard on the screen and improved usability of the iPad more than compensates for this.

  • Excellent keyboard with an Apple look and feel.  Keys are a hard plastic(resin?) and good enough to touch type versus some of those softer rubber or silicon types.
  • Smart connects\hinges to the iPad just like the smart covers
  • When the iPad is sitting in the slot, the viewing angle is excellent and the device feels very secure even though it is not ‘fixed’ (see pic below)
  • Very easy to connect and set up
  • Excellent battery life in the keyboard (6 months at 2 hours per day before recharge – I usually leave it on all day every day and try to recharge it 1 a week)
  • Analogue on/off switch which I really approve of especially when flying.  Quick and easy off! I am tired of gimmicky digital switches on so many products these days.
  • When closed it fully protects screen as with any cover
  • And finally it looks excellent!

While I definitely recommend it as a tool to enhance the iPad there are just a couple of things that frustrated me.  The charger is micro USB – which means carrying yet another cable around. Instead of a charger\cable in the pack I would have preferred a convertor from iPad 30 pin to micro USB so I could carry just one cable\charger (OK yes for latest iPad you would need a lightening convertor).  I was also a little frustrated that you have to sit it directly on the very nicely finished Logitech base when using it.  There are no silicone feet to raise the keyboard flat base up off a table or other flat surface (even a tiny bit would help hugely) which leaves it prone to scratching and marks and you notice every little spec of dust under the keyboard base when you start typing.  So make sure that surface is clean and Logitech please include those little self adhesive feet that come with many other products and I can chose if and where to stick them!  Other than that an excellent little product.

Logitech iPad Keyboard – side profile

Logitech iPad Keboard

Logitech iPad Keyboard – open

Logitech iPad Keyboard – closed

The Moleskine Reporter Bag – The perfect travel companion

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Many of us carry some form of a bag to work. Over the years I have tried many a different type and packed them with everything I needed to get through a day. Newspaper, books, magazines, laptop, charger, notepad, pens, passport, wallet, documents and the list goes on. Even with only carrying the essentials one can see that the bag might weigh you down. However, as tech has improved and as more content is available online and electronically that list of items has shrunk year on year to enable me to move to a bag with what I believe is the perfect size, at least for now (and of course for me)!

From the above pic you can see some of what I carry on a daily basis:

  • iPad and Logitech keyboard (which replace my laptop, newspaper, book, magazine)
  • Evernote Moleskine Notebook and pens
  • Battery to charge my iPad and iPhone if I run short on power (prefer a battery compared with carrying chargers and needing to look for sockets!)
  • Passport
  • Other items often thrown in include wallet, iPhone and sometimes lunch or the odd book that is not available on Kindle.

I normally spend about 3 hours travelling daily. That entails a mix of transport types – car, train, bus and finally a little walk on foot. A few days a month depending on where I am working those travel times may be 8-10 hours. There are many like me and many that travel more. Thus the smaller and lighter the bag the easier the journey, if only a little. The Moleskine bag firstly is water repellant which is very important considering the value of the electronic, water sensitive, items inside. It is very light. It has a rigid base that both protects contents and allows it to stand even when empty which facilitates very easy loading of items into it. It has a zipped pocket inside. The strap is long enough to go across the body. The bag is small enough to fit comfortably at your feet on train or plane which I prefer to overhead. Also while small and neat, if I really need to, it comfortably fits a laptop (granted of the smaller types and up to 13″). The middle pic below is of a 13″ MacBook Air that fits snuggly with lots of room for charger, notebook, etc.

So while the bag is not exactly a tech item it does help facilitate my tech life! For what it offers and the quality of the product I think its excellent value for money. Anyone out there considering reducing the weight and size of what they drag around daily should take a look at this bag (and the tech ;-) I highly recommend it!

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