Snugg iPad Keyboard Case Review

A prominent, and valid complaint about the Apple iPad is the on-screen keyboard. It’s not that it’s bad for an on-screen keyboard. It’s just not a great solution for typing long term. This is why I’ve been wanting a iPad case with a Bluetooth keyboard since I bought my iPad. This week, I reviewed the wireless Bluetooth keyboard and case seen below from Sungg.

Features


– Bluetooth connectivity
– Included charging cable
– 55 hours per charge
– Apple keyboard shortcuts
– Doubles as a stand
$49.99

Pros and Cons


The first thing I noticed about this case was it’s silver finish. It looks pretty cool when on the iPad as a case, but a little less cool as a keyboard. The case is great, but the keys on the keyboard look and feel like they don’t measure up to the case, itself. Together they seem like an uneven pairing. While I’m knocking out what I don’t like, this snaps on as a case fine, but is pretty difficult to get back off. The first time, I thought I’d break it, but it’s sturdier than it looks at a glance. Finally – and this is the part that made this a part time solution for my own iPad – when I want to use the ipad upright without propping it up and not on a table top, I have to set the case aside. This was a big drawback after seeing so many solutions that keep the keyboard attached to the iPad in some way.

Although I found a few gripes, I found more to like about this keyboard/case solution than I disliked. For starters, The case and keyboard are much more slim than other solutions I’ve seen. I also like the slot to prop up the iPad but I feel like that’s a bare minimum for this kind of product. What impressed me the most was the integrated Apple function keys. With a single key press, I could search, lock the iPad, toggle the on screen keyboard, adjust the brightness, and manage music controls and volume levels.

Below is a video showing the case and some of its features.

Conclusion


For the price, it’s about on par with other keyboard cases. Where it can fall short as a case, it makes up for in style and form factor. Not bad for fifty bucks, especially if you’ll use the keyboard more than the touch screen.

bCODA CODA One Hands Free Bluetooth Speaker Review

I hate when I’m driving in the car with my phone in my pocket and it starts ringing. Not only am I going to miss the call, but I also have to wait until I reach my destination before I can find out who was trying to call me. Yet, for some reason, I never bought a hands free kit for my car. Then this showed up in the mail. It’s the bCODA CODA One, and when I saw it at CES earlier this month, I was intrigued.

CODA One

Hands Free For The Car

Some people can barely drive safely, much less operate a cell phone while driving. I can answer calls safely, but I wait to make calls until I’m no longer driving or stopped at a light. CODA One connects seamlessly via bluetooth to your phone and its one-touch operation for phone calls makes it safe and simple to answer or even initiate calls while driving. One press of the multi-function button in the middle of the device made my phone prompt me for a number to call. I blurted out “Call Wife” and he phone was ringing a few seconds later as seen in the demo video below. Before, I would have to pull out my phone, unlock it with my four-digit pass code, go to favorites and tap on my wife’s entry. This hands-free approach is so much easier.

I’m sure you’ve seen a hands-free device before, and so have I. What caught my attention at CES was how this portable speaker quickly transforms into a handset for your phone. With your phone still in your pocket, that call you took while driving can easily become private by hitting the Mode button on the device and holding it to your head like a phone. It’s such a simple, yet smart feature that really makes the device worthwhile.

A total of six magnets in the handset and the detachable clip hold the clip firmly in place while making it easy to remove with one hand while driving. The two magnets in the handset also make it easy to attach to any metal surface.

A Secondary Speaker For Your Devices

More than just a handset, the CODA One is also a wireless speaker system for any bluetooth enabled device. I paired it to my iPad and ran a number of tests, including some FPS game play shown in the review video below. The sound came through clear and was a lot louder than my iPad’s built in speaker. With the visor clip doubling as a stand, I propped it up next to me while I played games on the iPad for a much improved audio experience.

CODA One Review Video

This device is best experienced in your own hands, but the next best thing is a video demonstrating its uses and functionality, so here you go.

Conclusions

Priced at $99 (unverified), the CODA One is on the expensive side but well worth it. It has a relaxed design to match any setup and feels natural in your hand when used as a handset. Simplicity and actually useful features set it apart from any hands-free device or bluetooth speaker I’ve seen. With 20 hours of talk time, it will barely need charging. The only reason you shouldn’t buy one is if you win it here.

Win a CODA One

Not only do the makers of CODA One make a killer product, but they’ve sent another CODA One for me to give away. How awesome is that. Like always, all you have to do to earn contest entries is be social with the contest tool below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nokia Speakerphone HF-510 Frees Your Hands For Driving

Many states have laws about using your cell phone while driving. Even where the law permits it, using your phone while driving can be dangerous. I have to admit, I talk on the phone while driving a lot. Although I can still drive safely, it’s inconvenient and ties up my free hand. Nokia sent me something that makes it all easier.

Nokia Speakerphone HF-510

About the HF-510

The Nokia Speakerphone HF-510 is a hands free kit for your car that connects via Blue Tooth to your phone. Simple enough, but what makes this different from other hands free kits out there? I’ve seen a ton of them and decent kits start around $50 last time I checked and the HF-510 comes in a little over that mark. The first difference this device has over others is easily noticed the first time you look at it. The large, easily mountable speaker allows for nice clear audio and can be pretty loud if you want, too. Because I didn’t want to mount the speaker for my review, I found myself throwing it in the cup holder in my car. The speaker size is just about a perfect fit for the cup holder, so if you want to share it between cars, you could try that.

The next stand-out feature I found on this device was the OLED display for caller ID. The whole point of a hands free kit is to not be messing with your phone while driving, so it’s nice to have the incoming caller’s number displayed. This is a great feature and shows up nicely. I hate getting stuck on the phone in my car with someone I don’t want to talk to or someone trying to sell me something. If you don’t mount the speaker or use the included visor clip, though, this feature is not as easy to notice without taking your eyes way off the road. So if you need the caller ID, mount the speaker or use the visor clip.

Other Features, Likes, Dislikes

Additionally, the Nokia HF-510 has a ring around the outside that is used to control the volume and sift through the phone book. While it’s kind of cool and probably works fine if you mount it very stable, it otherwise makes the phone book navigation and volume control harder to accomplish with one hand. While I didn’t really use it long enough to notice any battery issues, it boasts up to 30 hours of operation time and 180 hours of stand by time on the included battery. That’s pretty decent, but they provide a car charger for those really long trips.

Nokia Speakerphone HF-510 Nokia Speakerphone HF-510 Nokia Speakerphone HF-510

Conclusions

This hands free kit just worked well. I might have liked it a little smaller for my visor, but it has a nice design and was generally easy to operate. Call quality was as good as being on my phone, itself and it paired up really really easily. For the extra extra mile the HF-510 goes, I expected a slightly higher price than what I’ve seen and that doesn’t hurt one bit. The Nokia HF-510 looks and works great at a good price, leaving little to ask for.