The best Mac and iPad keyboards

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Keyboards are important — so important that many people won’t “work” on their iPads without real keys to type on. No one complained when desktop mice gave way to laptop trackpads, or when trackpads evolved into tablet touchscreens, but the switch from physical to virtual keyboards has been met with plenty of resistance… specifically because virtual keyboards offer no resistance. There’s something about the responsive, up and down movement of actual keys, known as “travel,” that people clearly prefer over tapping on completely flat glass.

I’ve tested a lot of keyboards, and since I rely upon them professionally every day, I have some strong opinions as to the best options for different types of Mac and iPad users. You might be surprised by my advice, as it bucks a couple of Apple’s trends (“smaller!” “thinner!”), but if you’re like me, you’ll be a much happier typist if you “think different” on this topic than the folks in Cupertino…

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Review: Ultimate Ears’ larger Megaboom 360-degree Bluetooth speaker goes to 11

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At CES today, Logitech subsidiary Ultimate Ears (UE) announced its Megaboom Bluetooth speaker.  Yes, it is a bigger, louder version of the popular UE Booms. That means it comes with apps that do things like equalize, set alarms and pair to stereo, with new features added all the time. The Megaboom also shares the 100-foot Bluetooth range and ability to pair with up to 8 devices with its smaller sibling.

But the bigger and louder sound of the Megaboom also comes with some nice extras not found in the other models. Megabooms are waterproof like crazy (IPX7). Bring it into the shower. Knock it in the pool (the shallow end, anyway). NBD. The MegaBoom also has a whopping 20-hour battery life but still charges via MicroUSB. Smart.

The cost: $299 is a significant $100 premium over the Booms and $200 premium over the Mini Booms and you’ll lose some portability with the bigger size. These are big and heavy and they don’t fit in a cupholder.

But if you want the banging-est sound you can find from a portable Bluetooth speaker, your search is over. I’ve secretly been reviewing a unit since last year and it is all true. The sound fills up a room, day at the beach, picnic, bikeride or destroys a car. It even works as a nice desk speaker. As I hinted in my Best Bluetooth Speaker o the year list, the Megaboom is as good, if not better than the other best $300 Bluetooth speakers we’ve reviewed: Bose Soundlink 3, Beats Pill XL and Jawbone’s Big Jambox have met their match!

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Review: Logitech m320 wireless mouse, an ergonomic and affordable solution

Logitech m320Logitech introduced its m320 wireless mouse last month and I’ve been trying it out for the past few weeks. The Logitech m320 is a wireless mouse (included wireless receiver required) with an ergonomic design for your hand to comfortably rest upon during use. Aside from fitting to your hand with ease, the Logitech m320’s super lightweight build allows it to smoothly glide across a surface without friction. Check out my hands-on with Logitech’s affordable desktop mouse… Read more

Logitech introduces new Type+ Bluetooth keyboard/case for iPad Air

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Logitech today announced its latest case/Bluetooth keyboard combo with the new Type+ for iPad Air. Like many of its past products that we’ve reviewed, Logitech’s new keyboard puts a Bluetooth keyboard inside of a light protective case that provides protection on both sides of an iPad. It also said it’s made some big improvements to the keyboard over previous generations: Read more

Review: Is Logitech’s iPhone Case+ system really ‘the only case you’ll ever need’?

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We were eager to get our hands on Logitech’s iPhone transforming Case+ system immediately following its announcement. The idea is that this system is so versatile that it’s up to nearly any task you could ask of an iPhone case. It allows you to switch between rugged protection, wallet functionality, a windshield/dashboard mount, and a battery pack without having to remove anything.

Without the Case+, you would need to buy at least five different iPhone accessories to perform all of the same core functions that the Case+ offers: rugged protection, multi-angle stand, ID/credit card carrier, car dashboard/windshield mount, extended battery. It’s certainly a novel idea and an ambitious product from Logitech so head below to find out if we think the Case+ is worth investing in…
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Review: JBL Pulse portable Bluetooth speaker with LED light show

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We’ve taken a look at a vast array of portable Bluetooth speakers and have found that most include similar features but sound quality and reliability can vary greatly. That’s why we eagerly awaited the arrival of our JBL Pulse, because it dares to be unique in a sea of familiarity. A dazzling display of LEDs encompasses the entire unit, bringing your music to life by dancing along with the beat. We put this new speaker to the test to see if this LED-studded speaker is just a novelty or if it has a lasting impact on the way we enjoy our music…

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Logitech’s Harmony Smart Keyboard for Apple TV & your entire living room

Logitech just announced a new Harmony Smart Keyboard that it says is specifically designed for controlling Apple TV and similar living room devices. The idea is that the Harmony Smart Keyboard, with support for “225,000 home-entertainment devices and over 5,000 brands,” will become your ultimate living room controller. The keyboard packs in a touchpad on the right hand side, a ton of quick launch functions for changing channels, browsing menus, and controlling media, and a number of interesting new features powered by the included Harmony WiFi hub and companion app. It’s essentially the best of both worlds from Logitech’s keyboard and Harmony remote products.  Read more

Inside Apple’s MFi game controller program: Why the current crop of controllers aren’t up to snuff

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Apple’s new MFi game controller program offers a lot of promise for gaming on iOS— the top mobile gaming platform around could also soon be a serious platform for hardcore gamers. But the first crop of controllers have been met with much criticism from developers, reviewers and consumers alike. The consensus so far: flimsy buttons and joysticks, lack of support from developers, and a $99 price tag make them far overpriced compared to your standard Bluetooth game controller.

The launch for the first few controllers to hit the market was rushed, developers are disappointed and still trying to catch up, and manufacturers are limited in pricing, features, and quality due to Apple’s MFi program requirements. What does Apple have to do to overcome a rocky start to its game controller program which is supposed to control quality? And how are manufacturers limited by Apple in building better controllers at a fair price? We’ve dug into Apple’s MFi program and talked to developers and companies building the controllers to find out… Read more

Bluetooth portable conference speakerphone smackdown: Philips WeCall vs. Logitech P710e

Update: Check out the Harman Kardon Esquire which we reviewed in December 2014

As we begin to rely on our mobile devices for more and more of our business needs, I found myself needing a “portable Polycom” which would allow me to make quality speakerphone calls from my Mac or iPhone. Sure, the built-in speaker and mic are top notch on Apple products for their size, but I’d often have a hard time hearing what was on the other end of the line. Even more importantly, people couldn’t understand what I was saying, especially as I moved around.

I’ve decided to take a look at two similar solutions:  Philips WeCall ($150) vs. Logitech P710e ($140) pictured above… Read more

Signal announces first full-size MFi Bluetooth games controller

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iOS gamers are not going to be short of options when it comes to choosing a games controller for their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. After earlier dock-based controllers from Logitech and Moga, and Monday’s announcement by SteelSeries of the first Bluetooth controller, Signal has just announced the first full-size Bluetooth controller in the shape of the RP One …  Read more

Review: Logitech PowerShell iPhone controller has game if developers embrace it

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Following the introduction of Apple’s new MFi game controller frameworks at WWDC in June, well-known accessory makers this month have released some of the first Apple-certified, Made for iPhone gaming controllers. Today I’m taking a look at one of those controllers with the new Logitech PowerShell, followed by some details on exactly how it differs from the new MOGA controller and exactly what to expect from Apple’s new controller experience as we wait for developers to update games with support.  Read more