iPad Air Keyboard Smackdown: Latest cases from Logitech, Belkin, and ZAGG

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With its wide-range of applications, touchscreen capabilities, portability, and fast processing, the iPad Air has been regarded by many users as a tablet capable of content creation. Coming from a dedicated laptop, however, the Multi-Touch keyboard is a weakness. Not because it is incapable, but because it is sometimes slower to type with, less accurate, and less comfortable.

This is why several iPad accessory makers have created solutions: keyboard attachments in the form of cases. For the past few weeks, I have been testing the latest keyboard case offerings for the iPad Air from Logitech, Belkin, and ZAGG. Below, I have put together a review and comparison of the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio, Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio, Belkin Slim Style Keyboard Case, Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case, and the ZAGG Folio Keyboard:

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Apple publishes “Life on iPad” web page highlighting stories of iPad usage across industries

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Apple has published a new page on its website titled “Life on iPad.” The page highlights stories of iPad usage in a variety of capacities from Broadway to the operating room. The page also features the video from the iPad Air keynote showing the iPad in many of these same uses.

There are six total stories on the page, each with an entirely different take on how businesses and individuals are using the iPad to to improve their jobs. For example, a page on Siemens Energy’s wind power division details how iPads have replaced countless pages of manuals and repair plans for workers working 250 feet in the air.

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Retina iPad mini reviews notice stagnant color gamut compared to iPad Air, Nexus 7, and others

(via Apple.com)

(via Apple.com)

Although initial reviews of Apple’s new Retina iPad mini bemoaned its cost but praised its display, a slew of more hands-on reviews have realized a notably narrower color gamut (same as the non-Retina iPad mini) compared to other popular tablets including the iPad Air and Nexus 7.

While it may not be immediately noticeable to many consumers, it’s certainly a fine, in-depth critique when investing in what you expect to be the best tablet on the market.

Is the Retina iPad mini sharper? Obviously. But don’t expect to see its colors pop in the same way that the iPhone 5 display delivered after the iPhone 4S. Check out the detailed comments below:

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Review: Studio Credence leather & felt book-style iPad case (and iPhone sleeve)

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While I may be known for my addiction to all things anodised aluminum, I also have a love of natural materials, wood and leather especially. My MacBook Pro and MacBook Air both travel in BookBook leather cases (reviewed here by Jordan), so when Studio Credence announced a book-style case for the iPad, I decided to take a look.

First impressions

Studio Credence is clearly going for a bit of a rustic look. The packaging is undyed cardboard, with the case itself in a muslin-type drawstring bag. Open this, and what you have inside is a very similar approach to the BookBook range …  Read more

The Retina iPad Mini teardown reveals cross between iPad Air & iPhone 5s

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Following close behind its teardown of the iPad Air, iFixit has now taken its toolkit to the Retina iPad Mini. While the company understandably focuses on repairability – that’s how it makes it’s money – we’re betting most people just want to have a peek inside.

Unsurprisingly, the new iPad Mini is essentially a cross between the iPad Air and the iPhone 5s …  Read more

Retina iPad Mini supplies expected to remain tight through the holidays

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If you’re planning to give anyone a Retina iPad Mini as a holiday gift, it might be advisable to buy it sooner rather than later. Retina iPad Mini supplies are expected to remain constrained for the rest of the year, with two analysts both estimating production at around two million units. This is a very small number in what is likely to be a quarter with high demand.

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KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo and IHS iSuppli’s Rhoda Alexander had both previously said they expected supply to be very tight, but this is the first time we’ve had sight of KGI’s estimates of the numbers.

We maintain our iPad mini R shipments forecast of around 2.2mn units for 4Q13. Considering production yield improvement at the supply chain, we forecast shipments will grow 102% QoQ in 1Q14 to 4.5mn units.

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Initial Retina iPad mini Apple Store rollout to be exclusive to Personal Pickup, Apple issues press release

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Due to “limited supply” and “high demand,” the new iPad mini with Retina display will be available at Apple Stores exclusively through the Personal Pickup service for the time-being. Personal Pickup allows a customer to purchase a Retina iPad mini via the Apple Online Store, then pick it up at an Apple Retail location of their choosing. This also means that a customer who wants a Retina iPad mini cannot simply walk-in to an Apple Store and buy one (yet). It’s likely that Apple will allow walk-in purchases when demand meets supply. Apple notified its retail employees of the current sales exclusivity to Personal Pickup customers, and Apple’s own retail website seems to imply similar…

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Best Buy & Walmart Black Friday ads bring the year’s best Apple deals

From 9to5Toys.com:

Yesterday it was Target. Today the Best Buy and Walmart Black Friday / Thanksgiving deal advertisements are now official. Both ads feature heavy discounting on iPads, iTunes cards, iPods, Macs, and more. The most impressive deals at Walmart include an iPad mini for $299 with a free $100 gift card, and free gift card offers with the purchase of an iPhone 5c/5c. Best Buy offers up to $200 off a new Mac laptop, 15% off iTunes cards, and an Apple TV for $85.

While we haven’t seen Apple’s Black Friday deals for this year, it’s pretty safe to assume they won’t stray too far from the ‘education pricing for all’ strategy implemented at preceding Black Friday promotions.

Head over to 9to5toys for complete coverage of these ads and all others that have leaked thus far as well as best deals as they happen. Read more

Report: GlobalFoundries Apple tie-in not as big a deal as it sounds, might be overflow supply line

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Suggestions that Apple is looking to chipmaker GlobalFoundries to reduce its reliance on Samsung chips are rather wide of the mark, according to sources cited by AllThingsD. The rumors followed a story in the Albany Times Union that Apple might be looking to the Malta, New York, chipmaker to make iPhone and iPad chips.

In the most likely scenario, Samsung will still be the primary manufacturer of Apple’s chips for the iPhone and iPad, they said, continuing the role it has played since the earliest days of the iPhone: Building the chips that Apple designs under contract [...]

Samsung will use GlobalFoundries for what is known as “flex capacity.” This is a long-standing industry practice under which a chip manufacturer pays to occasionally use another company’s factories when demand on their own factory is running higher than they would like, and they need a little help …  Read more

A week with the iPad Air in three words: Believe. The. Hype.

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All tech companies love to hype their shiny new gadgets. Nothing is ever a slightly better version of the last model, everything is a ‘breakthrough’, changes are always ‘dramatic’, performance is always ‘ground-breaking’.

Apple is of course the acknowledged master of the marketing arts, so if I’m honest I mentally toned-down all the claims in the keynote about it being “dramatically thinner and lighter,” and I responded to Phil Schiller’s claim that “once you hold one in your hand you will understand what a tremendous advancement this is” with a wry smile.

But having owned and used one extensively for a week now, I actually think Apple’s hype didn’t go far enough. This is not just a bit thinner and lighter, it’s virtually a third category of iPad …  Read more