Review: Sonos Play:5 speaker is a rumbling, room-shaking rabble-rouser

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The new Play:5 speaker is a great update to Sonos' top-of-the-line box.
The new Play:5 speaker is a great update to Sonos' top-of-the-line box.
Photo: Traci Dauphin/Cult of Mac

The flagship speaker from Sonos has been revamped, redesigned and relaunched. The result is awesome.

The new Play:5 is a big, beefy speaker that sounds absolutely wonderful. It’s available in stores today, and although it’s not cheap, I’d recommend you go out and get one. Or two. Stereo is even better.

iPad Pro Diary: The iOS ecosystem is much deeper than I knew

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If you've got one of these, you'll want to upgrade to the bigger power brick.
If you've got one of these, you'll want to upgrade to the bigger power brick.
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

iPad Pro Diary, Day 2: I have a shameful confession to make. Even though I’ve been using an iPad and iPhone for years, I haven’t really been using them.

I do a few things that haven’t changed for donkeys. I read on the iPad all the time and send the odd email. I play songs on Sonos. I played Kingdom Rush a few times. I watched a Netflix video. That’s about it.

My iPhone I use more, but nothing heavy duty. Messaging, email, photos and maps. The odd phone call.

But now that I’m forcing myself to use the iPad Pro for work — to see if it really is a PC replacement — I’m discovering something unesxpected: That the iOS ecosytem is far deeper, more productive, and better integrated than I knew.

Not only is work easier on the iPad these days, it’s a lot more fun.

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

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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?

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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

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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.