My Two Must Have iPad Accessories

Accessories are a key part of any platforms ecosystem. I was at the Apple store in a mall in San Jose recently and I couldn’t believe the amount of accessories for iPad now on the market. I was especially surprised about the amount of iPad mounts for all around your house or yard—more on that later. Right now there are two accessories that are getting used quite a bit in combination with my iPad. The first is the recently announced BIG JAMBOX by Jawbone.


I have been reviewing the BIG JAMBOX from Jawbone for a little over a week. My conclusion is that it is one of the best wireless speakers available. Particularly however for my use cases it fits like a glove. If you have used the initial JAMBOX by Jawbone you got a taste of what big sound from a little portable speaker could sound like. But the use cases for the JAMBOX are more for travel. And although decently loud it is not quite loud enough for places like the beach, pool, backyard, park, etc.

The recently announced BIG JAMBOX is built specially for big portable sound perfect for outdoor use particularly. This is where the BIG JAMBOX was ideal for my needs.

I have an above average sized yard for California. I spend a lot of time outside in my pool, yard, garden and micro farm. While outside in all those areas I like to have music playing. And unfortunately running wires is just not an option. So from the beginning I have tried to solve my outdoor audio needs using wireless technology. This usually works as long as you are in close proximity to the speakers. In the pool area this works but not during parties or while working the fields. Enter BIG JAMBOX to solve my outdoor speaker problems.

Where the JAMBOX failed for me in long range, high volume sound the BIG JAMBOX did the trick and with a quality sound experience without distorted audio. When I was briefed by the folks at Jawbone on this product they promoted the speakers capabilities outdoors. The BIG JAMBOX lived up to the hype and performed admirably outdoors.

My backyard has outdoor audio challenges many for a range of reasons. The primary one, leading to my largest issue with sound, is that I have no solid fences. So sound has nothing to bounce off and can get drowned out quickly. To truly test the BIG JAMBOX’s audio capabilities I turned it all the way up and walked as far as I could and still hear the music clearly and cleanly. Below is a picture from the point of view of the BIG JAMBOX to where I was standing to still hear the sound clearly and cleanly.

The BIG JAMBOX’s ability to fill such a large open area with sound was what impressed me most and primarily why it is a must have iPad accessory for me and my go to wireless speaker.

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad

I have been trying nearly every new iPad keyboard case that hits the market. Many are very good and nicely pair a keyboard with the iPad in an elegant case. Yet the new Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad by Logitech is the best one I have tried yet.

There are several reasons why this is the case. My prior favorite case was the Zagg Folio case. I used this case and found it very nice. The only real problem was how the iPad slipped into the keyboard case made it difficult to quickly get the iPad out to use without the keyboard attached. The new Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad pairs with the iPad like a smart cover via a magnet allowing it to easily detach for usage in tablet mode.

The other element that is very nice is that the groove to “dock” the iPad in to hold it up in landscape or portrait also has a magnet in it allowing it to snap in nicely and securely for use while typing. Due to this implementation it was also easy to dock the iPad in portrait mode while the Zagg Folio case could only be used in landscape mode due to its design. I actually prefer to use the iPad in portrait mode most of the time, especially when writing.

The Ultrathin Keyboard cover is also extremely thin when secured and shut with the iPad making it very nice for travel and mobility. The Ultrathin Keyboard Cover’s smart use of magnets both for using as a cover for the iPad as well as for docking while typing are two great features setting this iPad keyboard apart from the rest.

Runner Up – Seagate GoFlex Satellite Drive

Also making it very close to my top two iPad accessories is the Seagate GoFlex Satellite drive. When take the iPad with me when I travel as my only mobile computer, I need to make sure all my files are accessible. I use the cloud for storage of certain files but some files like our presentations, research material, and even my HD movies are more quickly accessible via a portable drive. The GoFlex Satellite’s wireless features allow me to keep all my key files and data quickly accessible with the iPad.

These are the things that are adding even more value to my iPad experience. Feel free to share any accessories that making your iPad experience that much more enjoyable.

Best HP TouchPad Reviews Roundup

As I stated in my review of the HP TouchPad, I intended to focus more on the experience and my opinion on what features differentiated the TouchPad from the pack.

All the reviewers points emphasize my observation that WebOS is solid but the tablet needs more apps. Most reviews were for the most part positive. Many made the point that the TouchPad is still not ready but neither was Android for quite some time.

I must emphasize the point that the game is not over for tablet or smart phone market share. We still have a long way to go and HP’s first tablet attempt is a solid one.

In my opinion, below is my list of the best in depth product reviews from the gadget reviewers and bloggers. I’ve also selected a few lines from several of their more pertinent observations.

Joshua Topolsky – This Is My Next
The TouchPad is far from perfect — really, not even close right now. Still, there is DNA here that is amazing, and deserves to be given a second look. What HP has done in just a year with webOS is commendable, and if the fixes for some of these big, ugly bugs come as fast as the company is promising, the TouchPad could be the contender everyone over there thinks it is.

Harry McCracken – Technologizer,8599,2080635-3,00.html
This tablet bears the burden of great potential; it’ll be a real shame if it turns out to be nothing more than yet another unsatisfying, unfinished iPad alternative.

Tim Stevens – Engadget

Walt Mossberg – Wall Street Journal

Ed Baig – USA Today
Even as a fan of the iPad, it’s good to see robust competition among tablets. And there’s a lot to like about the first webOS tablet. But before HP can hope to challenge Apple, it needs to supply more apps and exterminate a few bugs.

Vincent Nguyen – SlashGear
The recent confirmation that talks to license the platform are ongoing could well do more for it, if HP can get a sufficiently big name onboard. We hope it can, since the biggest shame of all is that, thanks to webOS 3.0, the HP TouchPad offers one of the best tablet experiences around, and we can see many would-be tablet buyers missing out on that while the platform keeps its marginal status. Uninspiring hardware, perhaps, but we’ll happily look past that based on webOS’ charms.

Mark Spoonauer – Laptop Magazine
The interface is more elegant and intuitive than what you’ll find on Android Honeycomb tablets, and we appreciate the time-saving features such as Just Type. The TouchPad also produces louder audio than any other slate we’ve tested. Last but not least, HP deserves credit for spicing up the app shopping experience and for leveraging webOS-powered phones to tell a better-together story.

Jason Snell – Macworld
So what I’m saying is, I’m glad that HP finally shipped the TouchPad. If it can get developers engaged in its platform and iron out all the bugs while also growing webOS as a smartphone operating system, it might really have something here. But that’s a story about the future, and about potential.

Zach Epstein – Boy Genius Report
At $499.99 for the 16GB model and $599.99 for the 32GB model, the TouchPad is a solid buy for those with patience. If you’re looking for a tablet that provides a finished, polished, comprehensive experience from start to finish, you might want to wait or look elsewhere. For the life of me, however, I can’t think of a single tablet that fits the bill. The market is in its infancy and so are the products that occupy it, and tablets must crawl before they can walk. The TouchPad is indeed crawling in its current state, but so is its competition.