Review: Logitech’s Create keyboard case turns iPad Pro into a bona fide laptop

By

11132015_Logitech_Create_iPad_Case_IMG_0618

The iPad Pro is being hailed as “a new kind of computer,” but as some have noted, it’s really the top half of a new kind of computer. Missing is the bottom half — the keyboard.

Apple has a solution for that — the $169 Smart Keyboard, which turns the iPad Pro into a laptop lookalike. But there’s a fantastic alternative: Logitech’s Create keyboard and case.

Logitech’s Create has several advantages over Apple’s Smart Keyboard. First, it’s a keyboard and a case that turns the Pro into a proper faux laptop (Apple’s keyboard is half a case that covers only the iPad’s screen). Logitech’s keyboard has fantastic chicklet keys, versus Apple’s hated low-travel flat keys; and it’s backlit, an essential requirement for any keyboard.

All in all, Logitech’s $150 backlit keyboard turns the iPad Pro into a MacBook — but a MacBook with cool extra features like Touch ID and a touch-sensitive screen.

iPad Pro Diary: Will this really replace my PC?

By

Is the iPad Pro a true replacement for a computer?
Is the iPad Pro a true replacement for a computer?
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

iPad Pro Diray, Day One: Instead of writing a long and boring product review, I’m going to try something new with the iPad Pro. I’m pulling a Tim Cook: I’m using it as my main and only machine for a while. I’ll be keeping a diary of how it goes.

In fact, I’m typing this on it.

The question everyone is asking — and it’s Apple’s pitch for the Pro — is that this a bone fide computer. It’s not a silly tablet any more. It’s a heavy duty tool for Pros — a jackhammer for creatives.

I’m going to find out…

First impressions with the big and beautiful iPad Pro

By

Big and hot: the iPad Pro is the BBW of tablets.
Big and hot: the iPad Pro is the BBW of tablets.
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

I ordered the iPad Pro online at first light this morning and picked it up at the Apple Store in Stonestown, San Francisco, just as the store opened. Aside from the sticker shock — more than $1,326.49 for the iPad, Pencil and Smart Keyboard — I was surprised at how readily it is available. Seems like there’s plenty in stock, despite reports of short supply.

The iPad Pro is getting lukewarm reviews, but isn’t that what we always get from the professional reviewers? The same-old measured response that’s neither wildly enthusiastic nor harshly critical? It was the same with the iPhone 6s-es, the new MacBook, and the 6 Plus before that. “They’re not for everyone!” the reviews tended to say.

Well, bollocks! I’m excited about the iPad Pro. I’m as excited as I was about the first big-screen iPhone a couple of years ago. I think size does matter, and the bigger screen on these devices makes a huge difference.

But we’ll see. I just got my hands on it. Check out the video to see what’s in the box and my initial impressions.

Apple TV review: The good, the bad and the ugly

By

The next big app might be yours.
The new Apple TV brings powerful new features.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The new Apple TV looks like the old one, but it’s a complete overhaul of the little black puck. It now comes with a full-blown App Store, a touch-sensitive remote and voice controls via Siri.

You can preorder it now, and it’ll ship Friday.

We got our hands on a developer model and have been playing around with it. We like it a lot. Setup is fun, the interface looks stunning, and the touch remote works beautifully. If the Music app is any indication, apps on this thing are going to be great. There’s just one little thing wrong. And it’s not little, actually. It’s big.

Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly about the 4th-generation Apple TV.

Remembering Gary Allen, Apple stores’ most devoted overnight camper

By

Gary Allen at Apple's store in Tysons Corner, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.
Gary Allen at Apple's store in Tysons Corner, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.
Photo: Gary Allen

It’s with great sadness that I heard about the passing of Gary Allen this morning. I met Gary several times over the years and called and corresponded with him many times. He ran IFOAppleStore.com, by far the best website about Apple’s incredible chain of retail stores, a topic that proved a rich hunting ground, given its size, influence and global reach. Gary had an encyclopedic knowledge of Apple’s stores and his site — now sadly offline — was an incredible resource.

Gary was also known for traveling all over the word to attend store openings, often camping out the night before. He visited London, Paris, Tokyo, Istanbul, Beijing and many, many other cities. Some saw this as eccentric, but the point was not the store opening itself, but the chance to socialize with a bunch of like-minded people. To get some idea of his devotion to his hobby, check out his Twitter and Flickr feeds, still online and full of pictures from his travels.

I wrote a profile of Gary a few years ago that is now also offline, so I’m resurrecting it below.