tablets

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Review and Giveaway – ZAGGkeys ProPlus Bluetooth Keyboard

Review and Giveaway - ZAGGkeys ProPlus Bluetooth Keyboard via BrothaTech.com

Contest Ended

Disclaimer: I received the device from ZAGG/iFrogz in exchange for my honest review – All opinions are my own…suckas

I’ve wrote several posts about the value of tablets and how to squeeze as much productivity out of them as you can. One of the ways to do that is to ditch the idea of trying to type at length on that virtual keyboard and instead, invest in a good Bluetooth keyboard.

Tablet-friendly keyboards are getting more and more sophisticated, case and point, the ZAGGkeys ProPlus Bluetooth Keyboard doubles as a hardshell case for your tablet, has a full-sized and complete set of keys, and the most impressive feature: A backlit keyboard. That’s right, with the touch of a button, not only can you adjust the brightness of your keys for low-light situations, you can choose from 7 different colors to illuminate and customize your keyboard.

Pretty dope right? This is the main reason why I agreed to do a review of the ZAGGkeys ProPlus keyboard. Another reason was to see how it stacked up against my favorite Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad 3. I decided to shoot (and terribly edit) a vlog of my review:

Once I got used to the level of sensitivity I needed to touch the screen without pushing my iPad off the stand, the ZAGGkeys ProPlus Bluetooth keyboard is a pretty solid competitor, and I guarantee that you would leave your laptop at home and carry around your tablet more if you coupled it with this keyboard. On the flip side, I can definitely understand if the slight chance that you may damage your tablet by touching too hard on the screen is too much of an objection to overcome.

The ZAGGkeys ProPlus fits the iPad 2nd through 4th generation and retails for $129.99 and while the aluminum-on-black MacBook-ish typing surface remains the same, you have a choice of four cover colors/styles total to add a little extra style when acting as a case for your tablet.

Giveaway

The nice folks at ZAGG agreed to sponsor a giveaway where one lucky winner can win a ZAGGkeys ProPlus Bluetooth keyboard by (very closely) following the rules below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

U.S. entries only – The winner will have 48 hours to respond to email with mailing address or new winner will be selected.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

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Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover Review

Recently, I’ve been leaving my MacBook at home in favor or carrying around my iPad more. So I’ve tried, used, and dismissed my fair share of Bluetooth keyboards. The latest Keyboard I’ve been using is the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover that I must say does a good job at protecting my iPad, while keeping my productivity up when typing…all while keeping a slim profile.

Specs

  • Weights .78 pounds
  • Fits the Apple iPad 2nd generation and up
  • Has a battery life of up to 6 months (based on typing an average 2 hours/day)
  • Has a Bluetooth Range of up to 32 feet (good if you’re sitting on the couch and your iPad is hooked up to a TV)

Design

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover has an aluminum outer shell that matches the rear panel of an iPad perfectly. The inner shell and physical keys comes in either black, white, or red.

At .39 inches, the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is by far one of the thinnest keyboards I’ve ever used. Even with an iPad attached, the combo can fit comfortably in any soft case, sleeve or bag.

The keyboard is attached to an iPad using the same magnetic clasp as the branded Apple Smart Case uses. So Apple fans should be familiar with how easily the Ultrathin Keyboard cover connects to an iPad.

Functionality

There is a slot that an iPad fits in at an angle to covert the cover into a keyboard. For added security, the slot is also magnetized to keep an iPad from tipping over if a user touches the screen too hard, commonly known as “Gorilla Arms”. You can actually lift the entire unit up while the iPad sits safely in the slot.

Connecting the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover to an iPad is typical of just about all the other keyboards on the market. Simply activate Bluetooth in the iPad settings, turn on the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, and press the Bluetooth button to establish a connection.

Once you’re connected, typing is also similar of other keyboards. Although I would’ve preferred separate buttons for the music/media controls, the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover does offer some functions you won’t find on other keyboards, like highlight buttons.

By pressing the “fn” key and either the 4 or 5 keys, you can highlight the word(s) you want to cut/copy. You can then press the fn+ 6,7, or 8 buttons to cut, copy, or paste. In true Mac form, users can also use the “cmd”+ X or Y buttons to copy/paste as well, giving you options on how you want to work.

The only issue I have with the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is that it’s just a cover. If you want to use an iPad as a traditional tablet, your stuck with pushing the keyboard off to the side until you need to get some hardcore typing done. On the flip-side, when you want to use an iPad traditionally, you are not dealing with all the extra bulk that comes with using a Folio Keyboard that’s made to stay with the iPad more often than not.

And let’s face it, you want people to see you’re using an iPad, versus wrapping it up in a plain, bulky case.

…Maybe the folks as Logitech will send me their Keyboard Folio for iPad, so I can “test” just how light, thin, and sexy the Folio Bluetooth Keyboard can be?

Until then, At $99 bucks, I can definitely suggest the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad – It’s functional enough to get the job done when you need to bang out a serious email or blog post on the go; but it’s sleek enough to make you want to carry your iPad around more often.

Logitech even offers an iPad mini version, for all you tablet users who think “Size Matters”

It seems to matter in every other conversation…

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Keep It Short – Mobile Blogging Tips & Tricks

iPad and bluetooth keyboard

Probably the number one reason why I don’t blog more than I already do is that I’m lazy long-winded – I feel the need to tell you everything you need to know instead of presenting the basics to get you started.

One of the ways I plan to combat that is by using other blog formats and blogging more from a tablet and smartphone. In order to do that, there have to be some changes in my thought process and methodology, as well as adding gadgets, and apps/services into the mix. So here just a few ways I plan to write more by writing less.

Keep It [Short] Stupid

As long as it relates to your subject-matter or niche and it’s engaging, shorter than normal blog posts more than work for your blog. If you must have guidelines, I would say 200 words and up is decent for a short blog post. That amount is just enough for search engines to take your content seriously.

What I am playing around with now are the new post formats for WordPress. Instead of a “standard” format, I am using the “aside” format to link to other posts I write for other sites; “status” for more of an news update to a story I think my readers would want to know about; “Image” to upload a photo as a blog post an follow up with a question.

Those different formats force me to keep it short, but keep it relevant.

Go-Go Gadget…Gadgets

With the right Bluetooth Keyboard, you can convert any tablet into a mobile computer that can get you up an running, banging out more content.

Even a smart phone can help you add content to your site that your readers want to check out. You can do things like snap a picture to pose a question to your audience that will get them talking.

The idea is to get those thoughts out of your head now using a mobile device. I can safely speak for most of you when I say you probably have your tablet or smartphone on you at all times, so why not get your “money’s worth” and start creating content wherever you are.

App Game Is Mean

Mobile blogging apps have come a long way. If you’re looking for a feature-rich experience on your mobile device, mobile apps give you more control over your site if you need to do more than just publish your thoughts. You can create drafts, manage multiple blogs, add links, edit media, and change basic blog settings.

Believe it or not, email is still a powerful communication tool. We all know how to compose an email with a mobile device right? Some of y’all can bang out a pretty lengthy email with your thumbs. Many blog platforms will have features that will let you submit emails as blog drafts or posts.

I hear what you’re thinking “Why don’t I just put shorter content on my social media sites?” I’m not saying that you ditch engagement via social media. Here are a couple of reasons why you should also add short content on your site:

Content Ownership: You give sites permission to do whatever to your photos that you agreed to in their Terms Of Service. Also, if that site disappears, all your content is gone with it.

Mo’ Money: You can’t sell ads, publish sponsored posts, or have affiliate marketing on your social media sites like you can on your blog.

Content is king right? The more content on your site, the more opportunities to gain more readers, drive up your stats, and get paid. Again, just don’t go all willey-nilley for the sake of traffic – Your content, no matter how short, has to be relevant and engaging. But if you have something say, use that tablet or smartphone to get it off your chest now versus completely forgetting what you wanted to say when you are back in front of your computer.

…I’ll start with the shorter posts after this one

This post is brought to you by Tesco, as always all opinions are mine and not swayed by outside sources

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BrothaTech Dishes the Tech Dirt At Chocolate Chat Meetup in Atlanta

Chocolate Chat Atlanta Tech Meetup Flyer

Technology should make your business run more efficiently, not be a hindrance to your operations. There are some go-to services, websites, apps, and gadgets I use to run my blog and my business (and that I just think are dope), and on Saturday, January 26th, I will be dishing out some tech tips for your business at the Chocolate Chat meetup on Saturday, January 26th from 5-7pm in Atlanta hosted by my girl Erica AKA, SwarthyDaisy.

Mobile apps, social media tricks, best gadgets for your business…we will be talking about it all. So make sure to bring your smartphone, tablet, or laptop…and be ready to share your tech tips and tricks as well – It will be an informal learning/networking event.

…Which reminds me – I need to order some business cards.

So if you’re in the Atlanta area, be sure to get your tickets and come on through to hang with a [Tech] Brotha!

Chocolate Chat Atlanta on Eventbrite

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myCharge Peak 6000 – All The Power Your Mobile Devices Need

myCharge Peak 6000 extended batteryI don’t leave the house with some sort of backup battery for my mobile devices. Now that I have an LTE device, it seems like the battery is at 30% before I leave the driveway. Out of all of the backup batteries I have, none lasts as long on a single charge, charges as many devices, or is as cool as the myCharge Peak 6000 extended battery.

The folks behind the Powerbag that keeps your mobile devices charged while they sit snug in the custom bag, has a line extended batteries to keep your mobile devices charged while they sit in your pocket or on your desk. The myCharge Peak 6000 extended battery is on the beefier side of extended batteries as far as size, but you’re guaranteed to get more than enough power, plus a little audible surprise.

Specs

The Peak 6000 gets its name from the 6000mAh Lithium Polymer battery. That equates to approximately 670 standy hours, 27 hours of 3G talk-time, 134 hours of music and 34 hours of video. To give you some comparison, the Droid Razr Maxx smartphone currently has the largest smartphone battery on the market with a 3,300mAh battery. So the Peak 6000 has almost double the power of the most powerful smartphone.

The 6000 also boasts a proprietary iOS output for your Apple devices, and a USB & microUSB inputs to charge your Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry devices, and any other device that has an USB port (like the new-fangled iPhone 5 lightning cable). It also has a traditional 5-Volt wall outlet and USB input to charge the 6000. In other words, you can charge up to three mobile devices at one time, in addition to two options for keeping your 6000 charged up.

mycharge peak 6000_Nexus

Design

The Peak 6000 isn’t the most sleek, sexy, or sophisticated extended battery out there when compared to devices like the Mophie Juice pack powerstation. You definitely won’t get away with tucking this beast in your back pocket or purse. On the flip-side, it has more ports than you know what to do with. In my opinion, the 6000 is designed for those folks who have more than a little bit of gadgets to keep charged up on a long day away from home, and a large bag to keep it all in.

Extras

I tried to charge several mobile gadgets using the myCharge Peak 6000 including bluetooth earbuds, two tablets “at the same damn time” a MiFi router, a [non DSLR] high-end camera…they all charged up with no problem.

Probably the one thing that sets the myCharge Peak 6000 apart from any of its competitors are the voice alerts you get when you charge it up or attach devices to it. Additionally, the 6000 will tell you exactly how much battery you have left: “Battery is Full” or “Battery is at 50%”. In other words, you don’t have to guess what devices are plugged up to what ports or how much power you have left – the 6000 has no problem announcing it’s capabilities.

Overall, the myCharge Peak 6000 isn’t the sexiest or most portable, but it will handle just about any mobile device you throw at it. So if you’re a multiple gadget-toting geek, or don’t plan on being anywhere near a wall outlet anytime soon, the bulky but reliable myCharge Peak 6000 at $99 will get the job done and then some.

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Microsoft Windows RT vs. Windows 8: What’s The Difference?

A DigitalTrends Joint

Microsoft Surface RT back

Microsoft Surface RT tablets are set to hit shelves this week. The tablet is beautifully designed and competitively priced to go head-to-head with the iPad, Kindle Fire HD, and the legions of Android tablets currently on the market. But buyer beware: Microsoft and other Windows partners also plan to release Windows 8 Pro tablets that run the full version of Windows 8. To the untrained eye of a consumer looking to buy a new tablet, the differences between the two types of devices may be a bit confusing.

Since I’m almost certain some people are standing in line at a Microsoft Pop-up Store in their local mall to buy a Windows RT tablet (thinking it has the real Windows 8) as I type this, I attempt to break down the difference between a RT tablet with its “tablet OS” and a Pro tablet that runs full-blown Windows 8 to help you avoid buyer’s remorse.

Check out my Windows RT/Pro tablet breakdown and how to choose which one you should buy over on DigitalTrends

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