Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Power to your i's

First a bit of crowing. Last week I mentioned that I'd scooped the Times men's fashion pages in its Saturday Magazine two weeks in a row. OK, so last Friday I wrote about "A Suit That Fits" in John Lewis retail stores and then a day later - you've guessed it, they wrote about it too. Of course they come out on Saturdays and I can blog when I like so I'm working with an advantage here. And deadlines mean there's literally no chance I wrote my piece before they did. Nonetheless, you saw it here first.

So, we haven't looked at gadgets here for a while and it's time to set that right. One of the biggest drawbacks of a smartphone or tablet is that they're even thirstier than a people-carrier (other CR-V drivers will know exactly what I mean by that). They don't so much use power as inhale it. One possible answer is the smart cover; I've been using a Mophie Juice Pack Air Case for my iPhone 4, it fits snugly around it and I now find I get two or three days' charge out of the phone with normal use. Obviously if I'm driving and using it as a satnav while it's Bluetoothing music to the car stereo it uses a bit more, but it tends not to run out of juice by the end of the day which has to be a good thing.

The other gadget I've been playing with is the Mophie PowerStand for iPad + iPad 2 (pictured) from the same company. It charges, it allows you to tilt your iPad for comfort and adjust it for landscape as well as portrait viewing. This is actually more useful than I'd assumed it would be at first. Being able to look at a second screen whilst working is old news to many; I could see this replacing paper notes-holders for many typists. Better yet it makes the iPad more usable in the kitchen - as long as you have WiFi you just connect, set it up and suddenly you don't have to get the iPad greasy (or oniony or sugary or whatever else you were going to do to damage it) by constantly picking it up and putting it down when you need to use it. Add a Bluetooth keyboard and many people will be able to use the stand and the keyboard as their main computer as long as they're happy storing all of their media in the cloud (at 64 gigs even the largest of the Apple tablets isn't a particularly grand computer).

It's costly for what it is but for the transformation in the way I can now work it's worth it. Others may disagree and I freely admit I wouldn't have gone for it if I didn't write about gadgets and have the need to try the latest and best - but I'd be reluctant to let mine go now I've got it.

Declaration: the links in this story go to the products listed on Amazon, through the writer's affiliate agreement - I will get a small cut from any purchases made as a result. This has not prejudiced the writing in any way.


  1. Nice stand, but how much?
    I picked up a similar, un-powered stand for $10 from Brookstone in the US and with a separate charger and Bluetooth keyboard for £40 the pair through my local retailer I've got the identical setup for a third of the price!!

  2. That's worth noting Rob, thanks for commenting. The Mophie is solid and attractive but I know nothing about yours, it could be equally good and clearly does the job for you. Thanks for taking the time to let us know about it.


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