We’ll admit it. We’re still having a hard time typing on the iPad--in particular, serious work in Pages, Bento, or other productivity apps cries out for a hardware keyboard. While we quickly adjusted to thumb-typing on the iPhone, iPad is a horse of a different color. In portrait mode, the keys are a little too spaced out to comfortably type with two fingers--and in landscape, forget it! Meanwhile, our traditional 10-finger typing is hampered by the lack of tactile feedback and having to hover over the virtual keyboard. Luckily, the iPad supports Bluetooth keyboards out of the box, so we rounded up the most interesting options to test as companions to our iPad.
I’ve resisted buying a Bluetooth headset because I’m not down with cyborg fashion. But as the Borg used to say on Star Trek: The Next Generation, resistance is futile--especially now that many states are adopting laws requiring the use of hands-free devices while driving. Sure, you could use a wired headset, but wires are cumbersome--and besides, it’s 2010. In that spirit, we called in three intriguing new Bluetooth headsets and put them through their paces.
The best thing about the iPad’s snappy, speedy, futuristic hardware is how it pretty much disappears once you start using it. The black bezel doesn’t just give you a place to grip your iPad without engaging the 9.7-inch touchscreen--it makes the apps jump right out at you. The screen is large enough that the apps become immersive, filling your field of view and almost making you forget you’re holding the iPad in the first place.
In my ongoing quest to never again leave the house without my iPhone,
I’ve tried to adopt the zealous-organizer habit of using a landing
strip inside my front door. This island of unclutteredness is supposed
to give me a place to stash my can’t-forget-’ems--I’m thinking the
modern trinity of keys, wallet, and phone, or anything essential that
regularly hitches a ride in my pocket. Once I’ve fully trained myself
to deposit those items there without fail, I’ll be more apt to remember
to take them every time I leave. And avoid running around searching for
my keys while the carpool idles outside and considers leaving my
lagging behind… well, behind.
Great-sounding headphones that don’t cost an arm and a leg are kind of
like aliens--you’re pretty sure they’re out there somewhere, but
they’re really hard to find. Yamaha’s EPH-30 earbuds should come
packaged like a flying saucer--they offer a terrific listening
experience at an affordable price.
DSLRs are nice, but sometimes--okay, a lot of the time--we just can’t
be bothered to schlep around a giant camera. Enter the compact camera.
At 4.2 ounces and 3.8 x 2.1 x 0.8 inches, the Pentax Optio P80 is a
solid choice for nights on the town or other casual situations where
it’s more important to capture the moment than the most technically
The worst part about airplane travel is, well, the plane. Besides being
cramped, crowded, and short on any decent snack foods, they’re also
noisy. So noisy that it’s difficult to make the hours zip by more
quickly by revisiting your favorite albums on an iPod or watching a
movie on your MacBook. Bose’s new Quiet Comfort 15 headphones are made
for just these moments. The active noise cancellation helps block out
background noise, and Bose’s considerable audio experience brings you a
clean-sounding set of cans--with a couple of drawbacks, however.
The faster your Mac runs, the faster you can work. The faster you can
work, the more you get done. The more you get done, the better you look
to colleagues, clients, and, of course, your boss. Even if your Mac is
strictly a home machine, used for fun stuff like Web browsing, email,
and creative projects, the faster it runs, the happier you’re likely to
be with your Mac-using experience. Catch our drift?
Amazon is positioning the Kindle DX as Newspaper 2.0. With a larger
screen, it tries its best to mimic your favorite daily read without
getting your fingers all inky. Amazon has deals with many of the big
national and international papers, but it remains to be seen if
dead-tree versions can be supplanted by expensive electronics.