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Crux360 keyboard case for the new iPad ships May 12th, preorder now for $150

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Looking to grab a keyboard case for those heavy typing duties on your new iPad? CruxCase has revealed the latest version of its Crux360 built for the most recent Apple slate with some new features to boot. First, the clamshell now features a snap in front design that allows for quick access when the case isn’t needed. There is also a “window cover” that now fully protects the rear panel of the iPad; however, if you really want to show off that Apple logo, the cover can easily be removed to do so. Connecting should be quick and easy too, as this model’s power and Bluetooth buttons are one touch instead of the usual press-and-hold type deal. Magnets keep the folding kit shut — preventing the case from opening up and exposing that precious Retina display to potential hazards. Keep in mind: the Crux360 features a hinge that allows you to rotate your slate all the way back on the keyboard for regular ol’ tablet mode and everything in between. Need a bit more info before dropping your $150 on one? Hit the source link below, where you can preorder a unit for before the May 12th ship date.

Gallery: Crux360 for the new iPad

[Thanks, Brian]

Crux360 keyboard case for the new iPad ships May 12th, preorder now for $150 originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 21 Mar 2012 19:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Crux360 iPad 2 keyboard case review

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Yeah… we know. At this point you’re probably clutching your funds tightly, eagerly anticipating the release of the iPad 3. But for those of you who recently purchased version 2.0, or perhaps just discovered your need for a Bluetooth keyboard, allow us to shed some light on the Crux360. Sure this isn’t the first one of these we’ve seen, but the full range of motion in the hinge makes this a nice accessory for your Apple slate. We spent a couple weeks putting it through the ringer, so read on past the break to see what we discovered.

Continue reading Crux360 iPad 2 keyboard case review

Crux360 iPad 2 keyboard case review originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 02 Sep 2011 13:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple goes patent application crazy with 14 über dull filings, hinge manufacturers tremble with fear

Thursday, July 14th, 2011
Apple Patent Applications

How’s this for patent happy — this morning a grand total of 14 applications from folks at Apple were published, covering everything from “cable structure for preventing tangling” to an “adaptive audio feedback system and method.” Most of the filings are nothing terribly exciting — though the tangle-free headphones, involving a series of alternately stiffer and more flexible cores, is a welcome upgrade to the standard iPhone headset, which is usually reduced to an unmanageable ball of knots after just a few careless tosses in a bag. A number of other headphone makers have already taken similar steps to keep cords under control. Other applications include techniques for managing GPU resources, a tilting hinge design for the iMac, and a “compact input device,” which is actually just the click wheel we’ve all come to know and love. If you’re really into the minutia of patent apps, check out the source for links to all the sketches and vaguely worded claims your little nerd heart desires.

Apple goes patent application crazy with 14 über dull filings, hinge manufacturers tremble with fear originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 14 Jul 2011 15:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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HP TouchSmart 610 review

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Is it just us or do all-in-ones seem to be having a moment? Over the past two months, we’ve seen Toshiba make a belated jump into the market, while Lenovo went and added one to its family of Think-branded laptops and desktops. And that’s not even counting models by old-timers like Apple, Dell, and MSI. And then there’s HP, which has been making touchscreen all-in-ones for three years — long before they were a thing. The company’s had plenty of time to fine-tune its finger-friendly TouchSmart software, and now, its newest model, the TouchSmart 610 ($899 and up), ushers in a fresh design, highlighted by a hinge that allows the display to slide down and lie nearly flat. Although it’s been shipping since this spring, it’s only been available with Sandy Bridge for about a month now. We took one of these tricked-out beasts into our living room and got reacquainted with the comforts of not-so-mobile computing. At the risk of spoiling everything, we think this should be on your shortlist if you’re considering an all-in-one, especially one with a big ‘ol touchscreen. Read on to find out why.

Continue reading HP TouchSmart 610 review

HP TouchSmart 610 review originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 05 Jul 2011 12:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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T-Mobile G2 quietly discontinued, Z-Hinge’s future remains unclear

Sunday, June 12th, 2011
We’d had some indication that the T-Mobile G2 was nearing end of life status, and it looks like that inevitable milestone has already come to pass. According to TmoNews, the HTC-built device was officially discontinued by T-Mobile on June 6th, no doubt in an effort to make a bit a bit of room in the carrier’s QWERTY slider lineup for the likes of the MyTouch 4G Slide. Of course, existing G2 users do still have some good news to look forward to — namely, a Gingerbread upgrade that should breath a bit of new life into their crazy-hinged handset.

T-Mobile G2 quietly discontinued, Z-Hinge’s future remains unclear originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 12 Jun 2011 18:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony NEX-C3 hands-on (video)

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Sony announced the successor to its NEX-3 digital camera earlier this week, so we decided to take a post-E3 road trip down to the electronics maker’s US headquarters in San Diego to check out the $599 NEX-C3 for ourselves. We’ll analyze the new sensor’s image quality in a full review before the camera hits stores later this summer, but from our initial impressions, the new cam appears to offer fairly minor tweaks compared to its predecessor. It’s incredibly small for a camera with an APS-C sensor — perhaps even awkwardly so, when paired with the comparatively massive 18-55mm kit lens or Sony’s enormous 18-200mm optic — but not small enough to be any less functional than the previous iteration. Like the NEX-3, the camera was designed to be held by resting the lens on your left palm, rather than by the grip, so size isn’t likely to be an issue. Cosmetic changes include a magnesium alloy top panel, front microphone positioning, and a more efficient display hinge, which helped reduce the camera’s thickness. We’ll be posting a full review in several weeks, but jump past the break for more observations, and a hands-on video from Sony HQ.

Continue reading Sony NEX-C3 hands-on (video)

Sony NEX-C3 hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 11 Jun 2011 13:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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HP gives TouchSmart 610 a second crack, this time with Sandy Bridge CPU options

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

HP may have announced its TouchSmart 610 all-in-one just a shade too soon for it to ship with Core 2011 processors, but that doesn’t mean the company was above pushing out a refresh just a few months later. Now, this 23-inch beast is on sale with a variety of quad-core Core i5 and Core i7 Sandy Bridge CPUs. To recap, what makes the 610 special is its rigid hinge, which allows the 1080p display to slide down so that it’s face-up, and nearly flat at a 60-degree angle — a more ergonomic position for poking ’round the TouchSmart software while standing. Like pretty much every other HP computer on the market, it comes standard with Beats Audio and, depending on how much money you’re willing to shell out, you can trick it out with up to 16GB of RAM, 2TB of storage, and your choice of NVIDIA or ATI graphics with up to 2GB of video memory. Those Sandy Bridge models are available now starting at $1,100, though as always, you can get an entry-level configuration with quad-core AMD innards for $900 and up.

HP gives TouchSmart 610 a second crack, this time with Sandy Bridge CPU options originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 21 May 2011 14:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sharp Aquos Android clamshell tricks friends into thinking you can’t afford a smartphone

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Looking for a handset that harkens back to simpler, pre-smartphone era, without losing the Googley luster of Android? We’ve got the perfect phone for you, and all you’ve got to do is move to Japan and get a Softbank Mobile account. Sharp, one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in its native country, rolled out the retro-future Gingerbread-packing Aquos Phone Hybrid 007SH, an Android 2.3 flip phone with a 180-degree swiveling touchscreen above the hinge and a numeric dial pad below that all the cool kids in Shibuya crave. It’s also got some pretty solid specs, so far are clamshell phones go, including a 6MP camera and a 3D-capable display. The handset will hit Softbank in mid-June followed shortly by Sharp’s rotary Honeycomb tablet.

Continue reading Sharp Aquos Android clamshell tricks friends into thinking you can’t afford a smartphone

Sharp Aquos Android clamshell tricks friends into thinking you can’t afford a smartphone originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 20 May 2011 21:16:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dell Panerai convertible tablet leaks at FCC, could be part of Inspiron Duo family?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Since the very first day we saw the Dell Inspiron Duo’s crazy swiveling hinge in action, we knew we wanted a laptop that swung that way — but the Inspiron Duo itself turned out to be a sluggish netvertible with poor battery life. Well, it looks like Dell may be looking for a second chance, because a “Dell Panerai” just hit the FCC, which looks like might have sprung from the same minds who dreamt up the original’s sexy frame. Believe it or not, we can thank Intel for revealing this Dell P12F and Canada for pointing out its convertible nature, because of a little-known test specifically designed for transforming tablets like these — our northern neighbors require that they get checked for face-melting radioactivity if they have antennas built into the display, and that’s just what happened to the dual-band Intel 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi radio inside this machine. Oh, and judging by our calculations (based on the size of that orange label), the unit could sport a 15-inch screen.

Dell Panerai convertible tablet leaks at FCC, could be part of Inspiron Duo family? originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 22:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sprint’s Kyocera Echo hands-on! [video]

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

We stopped by Kyocera’s CTIA booth to get a second tour of the dual-screen Echo from Sprint. The device, which will be available on April 17th for $199.99 with a 2-year agreement, really does have some innovative features. Applications and games that are optimized for the echo can leverage the second screen to display an enormous, thumb-friendly keyboard, provide more on-screen information, and enhance game-play. Kyocera assured us that the hinge on the device is ready for battle, and should stand up to most of the use and abuse inflicted by teens and tweens — the two main groups the phone will be marketed towards. The hinge itself was a bit finicky when we handled the device, however. Hit the break for more, including a video, and don’t forget to check out our Kyocera Echo photo gallery.

The phone is designed to be used in three positions: closed, which gives the device one usable screen, candybar layout; opened, which is what you see above; and tilted, which allows the use of both screens with one screen tilted towards you — similar to the HTC Arrive. When in the opened and tilted positions, you can shake the phone and feel a fair amount of play in the hinge. We’re not exactly sure how an OEM would make a hinge capable of doing all the things the Echo does without a little wiggle, but it is definitely something discerning customers will notice. The phone is — without a doubt — a first, and while the Echo is a Sprint exclusive, Kyocera says it is the first in a line of dual-screen phones that it plans on producing.

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Original iPad retrofitted to play nice with Smart Cover, magnets largely to thank (video)

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Although we don’t exactly know how they work, magnets are one of Earth’s many fascinations and are used in many gadgets today — perhaps most notably in Apple’s new Smart Covers. As you might have already known, the iPad 2′s first party screen concealer uses a bunch of magnets to make the magic happen; it snaps on and fits almost too well. By taking a few rare earth magnets and gluing them to the original slate’s hip, blogger Dan Provost is able to use a Smart Cover with the iPad uno. He positioned them according to how they stuck to the hinge of the cover, which explains the lack of spacing between the four magnets. As you’ll see in the video, Apple’s screen protector works well with the tablet, but it lacks the auto-unlock mechanism found in the iPad 2. Care to give your original iPad a taste of modernity? Hit the more coverage link to find the main ingredient for this DIY project.

Original iPad retrofitted to play nice with Smart Cover, magnets largely to thank (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 19:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony VAIO S arrives stateside, brings along an advanced extended battery

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Oh, you were worried Sony wasn’t going to release its new VAIO S ultraportable in the US? Okay, so it has taken the company a bit longer to prep the 13.3-inch laptop for its American debut, but it’s here and it looks like it was well worth the wait. While Sony is holding that it will not replace the VAIO Z Series, which has just recently gone out of stock on Sony’s website, there’s no denying that it fills a similar high-end ultraportable spot. Don’t be fooled by its inch-thick profile, it packs a serious amount of horsepower — like the UK version, it will be configurable with Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors, AMD Radeon HD 6630 graphics with 1GB of VRAM (sadly, there’s still a physical toggle for switching), Blu-ray, and a range of SSDs. As you can tell from the image above, the design drops the circular hinge of previous VAIOs, but the 3.9-pound machine is still made of magnesium and aluminum, has a backlit keyboard, while also sporting the option of a unique slice battery that meshes with the overall aesthetic.

However, that $150 extended cell isn’t just any old battery — it’s said to provide a total of 15 hours of battery life when latched onto the bottom of the system as it can actually charge the primary integrated battery. Additionally, it comes with its own AC adapter so it can be charged separately from the entire rig. Yep, this one is filled to the brim with the latest and greatest, and even better it doesn’t seem terribly overpriced — the $979 starting model packs a Core i5-2410 processor, those aforementioned AMD graphics, and a 320GB hard drive. It should be available for pre-order later today and we’re hoping to bring you a full review of it soon, but until then we have a few hands-on shots of the laptop back at CES below.

Continue reading Sony VAIO S arrives stateside, brings along an advanced extended battery

Sony VAIO S arrives stateside, brings along an advanced extended battery originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 07 Mar 2011 08:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Visualized: the HTC keyboard slider family

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Clockwise from the top left, that’s the the Sprint Arrive, the likely-for-Verizon Merge, the Sprint Evo Shift 4G, and the T-Mobile G2. If we had to rate them, we’d say the Arrive has the best key feel, followed by the Merge, the Evo Shift, and finally the cramped G2 — although the super cheap-feeling hinge on the Evo Shift knocks off several points. We’d also say the physical keys on the G2 feel better than the mushy keys on the Merge, but the G2′s cramped layout doesn’t do it any favors. In any event, picking one of these is a pretty great problem to have, don’t you think?

Visualized: the HTC keyboard slider family originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 25 Feb 2011 20:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Xperia Play MWC 2011 hands-on! (update)

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

We’ve spent extensive time with our prototype of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, but how’s it feel to use the real, near-finished model? Quite a bit better, actually. The phone looks identical, to be sure, but the hinge is much sturdier. The speaker quality has gone up, too, although in the crowded room it was much too noisy to really make a solid judgment call there. The screen attracts fingerprints like no other, but it’s basically on par with other Xperia models. Its skinned Android Gingerbread UI was snappier, to be sure, and the customizations obviously a lot more complete, but really our biggest concern here was the games. (Check out our Pro, Neo, and Arc previews for more thoughts on the interface.)

We were able to play three titles: Star Battalion, FIFA, and Asphalt. All were found via the applications pane amongst all the other software, but they were also highlighted by the eponymous Xperia Play app. (There was additionally the infamous PlayStation Pocket app, but more on that later.) The former title, very much a StarFox ripoff, had tight controlling via both the gamepad and optional accelerometer option. The trackpads wasn’t supported, however, but when we swapped over to FIFA, we found the left “pad” could be used for moving the player. Though definitely usable, it felt rough under our thumbs and we couldn’t smoothly slide about as we would with an analog nub. It is large enough to do varying degrees of a direction like an analog stick, but you won’t really be fine-tuning your shot so much. The indents work really well to help gauge your thumbs’ position without having to look down. Both titles took quite a while to load, crashing a few times in the process; we were told multiple times this was largely due to early software. Multiplayer was not an option at the show, but we did make it through Asphalt far enough to notice it was being run still by Gameloft and not via Sony servers. As for Xperia Play (the app), we couldn’t help but notice the Get More Games section, no matter how simple, does a much better job at highlighting individual games than the Android Market currently does.

The PlayStation Pocket app on most demo units was as barren as our own model, but we found at least one running Crash Bandicoot for PS One (the “legendary pre-installed title,” as referenced in the press conference) at a smooth 60 frames per second. To compensate for only two L and R triggers, the settings menu offers six different button layouts where you can use the trackpads as secondary shoulder buttons (which prevents their use as analog nub replacements) or have L2 / R2 on screen virtually. Thankfully, jumping out of the app saves the game’s state, and you can return by clicking on the app. An additional confirmation screen confirms you’re really ready to play, which though we can see being a nuisance to some, will be welcome to others who often mis-click. The rep told us no multiplayer, but still you can toggle between the game pad being seen as controller one or two. We also heard that the PS One library will likely be rolled out on a weekly basis and not be available all at once.

What we needed to convince us of the Xperia Play’s viability as a game platform was the games itself, and we will say that Sony and SE are doing well to assuage our concerns there. The form factor is still sleek despite the slide-out gamepad, which feels great to use. The initial PlayStation Suite launch line up is… promising, but we hesitate to give it higher marks without more flagship original titles. What it’ll take to attract more developers is a larger reach for the platform, which ironically will take more PlayStation Certified devices — and as for when that’ll happen, no one’s saying yet. We’ll have hands-on video of the Xperia Play later tonight; meanwhile, find hands-on pictures of the phone (and dock!) in the gallery below!

Update: Fleshed out impressions — looks like Crash Bandicoot will come pre-loaded!

Xperia Play MWC 2011 hands-on! (update) originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 13 Feb 2011 15:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sprint Kyocera Echo hands-on!

Monday, February 7th, 2011

We had a chance to spend time with Sprint, Kyocera, and the Echo earlier in the day, and while there were mumblings about what to expect, we have to say we were completely shocked — literally speechless with all smiles. The Kyocera Echo is unlike any other device we have ever seen, and it’s truly innovative. Let’s first recap the specifications of the handset:

  • Dual 3.5-inch LCD WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) capacitive touchscreens (4.7 inches diagonally and 800 x 960 pixels when opened)
  • Android 2.2 — Froyo
  • 1GHz Snapdragon QSD 8650
  • 5 megapixel camera with flash
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Wi-Fi
  • EVDO Rev. A
  • 115.0 x 56.5 x 17.2mm
  • 193 grams (6.8 oz.)

As for our thoughts on the phone… hit the jump and we’ll give you all the details.

The device is a bit thick, and it’s a bit square for our tastes. Additionally, the individual screens are a little small, but that’s just us being nit-picky —  as you have a 4.7″ surface area when the phone is fully opened. We were very impressed with the build quality after our limited time with the handset, and while the unique LiquidMetal hinge mechanism scared us at first, it actually seemed to be incredibly solid and well designed (Kyocera told us there were 6 patents alone on this hinge). Not only does the device open up to reveal another display, but you can flip the top display up a little bit to sit on an angle, just like a Nintendo DS.

Using the Echo blew our minds. Having two screens next to each other is something that we never expected to see on a mobile device just because we never gave it much thought, and could never really justify it in our heads. Seeing and using it in person actually made the concept make sense in a weird, super-nerdy way, however. The ability to run full apps simultaneous in Simul-task mode, changes the way you multitask. Having the web browser open on the top display while you’re watching a video or browsing photos on the lower display is such a natural action for those of us that are on the move and multitask in our everyday lives (for better or worse). Being able to compose an email while having Google Maps open or even having two browser windows open at the same time can literally change the way you work. That’s not all two displays are good for, though. In apps like email for instance, you can use one display to navigate and select a specific email message and the other display to read it, much like a tablet email app — it’s really useful.

Additionally, Sprint told us that there will be a third-party API that developers can utilize to support both displays on the Echo — they demoed The Sims 3 from EA for us, and it was pretty cool. You could touch navigate the top part while action buttons and items were displayed below — if developers really start to support this device, we wouldn’t be surprised to see games really take off on here.

The overall design identity of the phone doesn’t mesh too well with us, though; that’s obviously subjective. We found it to be a little uninspiring, even bland, and you wouldn’t expect that on such an innovative and boundary-pushing device. Sprint said that the Kyocera Echo will come with not only an extra battery but an external battery charger in the box for free, and while this raised a red flag for us, Sprint was quick to assure us that even though the Echo is still not final, its battery life is on par with other smartphones currently in the market.

We thought we knew what to expect going into this thing, and we came out with mixed feelings. On one hand, it’s a truly impressive handset and Sprint and Kyocera have completely pushed the boundary again this time in the smartphone world. It changes the way we think about a smartphone in a lot of areas, and even from our limited time with the phone, we can totally see it changing the direction of a mobile device’s utility. On the other hand, Android isn’t known as the easiest OS to use, and we’re getting much more fragmented day by day, so the Kyocera Echo doesn’t help. We’re not completely sure who the Echo is aimed at and will be marketed towards, so we’ll just have to see who ends up stepping up to the plate. One thing is for sure, though… we can’t wait until we get one in our hands to review because we kind of miss it already. It should be available this Spring for $199.

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Altec Lansing Octiv Stage (450) review

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

No matter how much you love your iPad, there will always come a time when you feel the need to prop up this hefty tablet while simultaneously giving its audio and battery a little boost. Well, Altec Lansing thinks you do, anyway. Like the $99 SMK-Link PadDock 10 we reviewed not long ago, Altec’s Octiv Stage (or Octiv 450 outside the US) also provides a combo of swivel hinge and speakers for the iPad, but is this $149.95 dock worth the extra money? Read on to find out.

Continue reading Altec Lansing Octiv Stage (450) review

Altec Lansing Octiv Stage (450) review originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 03 Dec 2010 18:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Alienware M11x hinge issues? Yeah, Dell knows

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Alienware M11x owners, have you noticed any problems with your hinge? Yeah, that thing that keeps the monitor and the keyboard conne — no, not that. Not that either. No, that’s a mousepad. You know what? Let’s just move on. Notebook Reviews has been covering the tales of woe from customers who’ve noticed their laptop joints have suffered from dislocating, cracking, snapping, and other maladies. Good news, however, Alienware’s given an official statement. The company acknowledges the issue and is “engaged the relevant internal teams here at Dell.” Take heart, true believers, and consider not m

Alienware M11x hinge issues? Yeah, Dell knows originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 05 Nov 2010 18:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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