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The Omnicase 2 Pro is a great docking station for frequent travelers and those who want to keep their desks tidy. The 12-in-1 docking station is robust, with various ports and storage options.
12-in-1 docking station
USB cables and adapters provided
Perfect grooves for storage
No significants cons found
Buy now from Kickstarter
If you’re a frequent traveler, you might find it troublesome to organize your cables and SD cards and carry a docking station for the ports situation. While various docking stations and organizers are available in the market, carrying both of them would add extra weight to your shoulders.
What if I said you could get a docking station and an organizer in the same product? Sounds unbelievable, right? But it’s true if you get yourself the Omnicase 2 Pro.
What does Omnicase 2 Pro do?
The Omnicase 2 Pro is a storage docking station, meaning you can store your memory cards and cables, but it also doubles as a docking station. Furthermore, don’t get deceived by its compact size; it’s more powerful and packed with features than you think.Features of Omnicase 2 Pro
The Omnicase 2 Pro is an all-in-one docking station that offers a variety of features to enhance your Steam Deck experience. Here are a few of its most notable features.
As previously mentioned, the Omnicase 2 Pro is an accessories organizer that you can use to arrange your memory cards and cables correctly. Opening the dock will reveal all the storage options to organize your cables and cards. Moreover, here’s everything you get with the Omnicase 2 Pro:
USB-C to USB-C 3.2 cable
90° female to male USB-C adapter
USB-C to USB micro-B adapter
USB-C female to USB-A male adapter
iPhone charging adapter
Ejector pin tool
They come with the package, but along with these, you can also store SIM cards, SD cards, and TF cards. Everything fits perfectly within its respective grooves, so you don’t have to worry about the fit.
I loved the quality of each accessory offered by Omincase. So, if you don’t want to buy the whole set, and just want some good-quality, basic accessories, I’d highly recommend getting the USB-A to USB-C cable and PD charger.
Now, let’s move on to the main event.
12-in-1 Docking station
The most essential part of the Omnicase 2 Pro is its 12-in-1 docking station. It comes with a wide-variety of ports to serve all your needs. Here’s a list of ports that you get in the Omnicase 2 Pro:
3.5mm audio jack
2 HDMI ports
RJ45 Ethernet port
USB-C out and USB-C in ports
TF card slot
SD card reader
USB-A 2.0 port
USB-A 3.0 port
USB-C 3.0 port
You get 12 ports that can come in handy when your work demands. The best part about the two HDMI ports and the Display port is that they deliver 4K resolution at 60Hz. Moreover, the USB-C out port offers 100W PD charging. Finding these many ports in a docking station that also doubles as an organizer isn’t easy.
With these many ports and organizing options, you may ask if it’s portable or not. The answer is it is portable, given that it has a lightweight, anodized aluminum build. Moreover, the magnets to enclose the case are pretty strong, so you need not worry about the cables or cards falling off.
Interestingly, you might not find it hard to fit into your pocket. To state the obvious, it’ll fit inside your bag, taking little to no space. The Omnicase 2 Pro weighs only 192g (6.7oz), measuring 5 x 3 x 1 inches (12.6 x 7.8 x 2.6 cm).
Omnicase 2 Pro – Build quality
Regarding the build quality, the Omnicase 2 Pro is comfortable to hold, and JSAUX’s efforts shine here. Besides, it is easy to carry with a sleek and lightweight design, and the docking station feels more on the premium side, provided they made it with anodized aluminum. If you like this already, then brace yourself for the features it has to offer, which will blow your mind.
Should you get the Omnicase 2 Pro?
Value for money
If I were in your place deciding whether to pick the Omnicase 2 Pro, I wouldn’t waste much time thinking about it; I’ll grab one for myself. The features that it offers at such a great price make it a valuable product in its class. Besides, if you have a MacBook, you won’t have to struggle with the port situation once you get this.
The best part about Omnicase 2 Pro is its pricing. If you only want the Omnicase 2 Pro, you can purchase it for $79.99. But if you get the Omnicase 2 Pro complete set, which includes a curved laptop and Steam Deck stands, you’ll have to pay $109.99, which is a much better deal.
Lastly, Omnicase 2 Pro is a Kickstarter project backed by many people and has reached its goal of making it possible. On the other hand, you’ll have to wait for the campaign to end to actually get one for yourself. The Kickstarter campaign for the Omnicase series will end on June 30th at 6:55 AM PST, with deliveries going out around August 2023.
Buy now from Kickstarter
SajidOmnicase 2 Pro review summary
Omnicase 2 Pro review summary
Sajid is an Electronics and Communications Engineering graduate who loves writing about tech. He’s primarily interested in writing about Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. You’ll find him watching Anime or Marvel when he’s not writing.
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Are you confused between choosing a docking station or a KVM switch? Let us start by answering this question.
Are you trying to access multiple computers via the same console or expanding the screens of a single laptop to increase your screen space?
Assess your need before buying a docking station or KVM switch because these two devices serve entirely different purposes.
Docking station or KVM Switch: While the docking Station provides portability to connect multiple screens to your laptop using a single hub, the KVM switch allows controlling multiple computers from a single KVM console.
A docking station will maximize a small space into a big workstation, and KVM will bring multiple workstations to a single device; hence one cannot be better than the other but are simply purpose-driven.
Care to read further if you are unsure whether to buy a docking station or KVM.What is Docking Station?
As the term suggests, the “docking station” is a hub where you dock your devices.
A docking station is a single device that allows you to connect multiple external peripherals to your laptop.
Imagine playing a shooting game that requires significant screen space by connecting multiple external monitors, but your laptop has limited display ports and only allows connecting one additional device.
The solution is to get an expansion device that attaches to your laptop and provides additional connections (ports).
To put it simply, this is what a docking station does!
Similarly, you could connect external monitors and peripherals like printers, scanners, routers, etc., to your laptop.How Does Docking Station Work?
If you are wondering, it is all enabled by multiple port types available in the docking station, including USB, USB-C, HDMI, VGA, etc.
You could make great use of it when turning a single laptop into a desktop computer without sacrificing its portability.
Attach one end of the docking station to your laptop and access every device connected to the same docking station at home or office.
Read our blog about how many monitors can you connect to a laptop.Types of Docking Stations
You would find multiple docking station types that fulfill a specific need.
Expansion dock stationsIt provides hardware expansion to your laptops, such as external GPU, storage, or monitors.
Breakout dock/multi-port adapterA port replicator expands or replicates the number of ports physically present in the laptop.
OEM proprietary dock stationIt produces multiple connections from one port by creating the dock using converters instead of internal chipsets.
Universal/Third party dock stationsIt is similar to OEM but with additional capabilities such as extending display ports, charging devices, and connecting peripherals.1. Things to Consider When Buying a Docking Station
Available Ports: Check whether it has enough ports and port types (USB, HDMI, etc.) as you have desired.
Compatibility: Some laptop manufacturers have their docking stations, while others are manufactured for a universal purpose.
Size and Style: Choose from the vertical or horizontal-shaped docking station.
Ease of Installation: Some are hot-pluggable, while others may require installing software or a driver beforehand.
Read more to discover if you can hot-plug HDMI cable.2. Docking Station Product Recommendation
Here are a few product recommendations for the docking station.
Supports up to 3 displays (5K and 4K monitors)
Supports 4K display at 60 Hz
Read more to find out if you can charge your Laptop using a docking station.What is KVM Switch?
Imagine there are multiple computers you would like to access from a single console; what would you do?
You would connect each computer and disconnect before connecting to another computer.
Sounds lengthy, right? This is where the KVM switch will come to the rescue.
The KVM switch is a single device that will allow you to access multiple computers from a single console minus extra wires, connection ports, or desk space.
KVM stands for “keyboard, video (monitor), and mouse;” hence KVM switch refers to controlling multiple devices using the same peripherals connected to the main computer.
With the KVM switch, you can connect each device to your main computer and access them from a single place.
Moreover, you can easily switch from one device to another without disconnecting from the other.How Does the KVM Switch Work?
The devices connect to the KVM switch using network cabling or cable kit.
Similarly, the keyboard, mouse, and monitor are connected to the same KVM switch, connecting all the devices. Once set up, you can switch from one device to another using a button.
Depending on the KVM switches you buy, you can connect from two to 1,000 devices, and they can be used at home, offices, network centers, server rooms, and data centers.Types of KVM Switches
You would find multiple KVM switch types that fulfill a specific need.
Desktop KVM SwitchesA small-scale KVM switch is designed for small offices and provides up to eight ports.
Rack Console KVM SwitchesHigh-end KVM switch with built-in KVM peripheral to access a rack of servers and includes up to 16 ports.
Rack Console (No KVM Switch)It is similar to the Rack Console KVM switch, just without KVM switch functionality.
Rackmount KVM SwitchesIt is designed to manage up to 64-servers from a single KVM peripheral. Daisy-chaining allows control over 1,000 servers.
IP Remote Access KVM SwitchesIt allows remote accessing of connected servers over LAN/WAN or internet from any part of the world.
NIAP KVM SwitchesIt is designed for desktop use in network environments and exceptionally secure data centers.
Cat5 KVM SwitchesIt allows connecting the computer with a server located 100 feet away using a single switch.
However, here is the catch!
This is where KVM switch software offers remote access via a single software or application installed on all the computers or servers.1. Things to Consider When Buying a KVM Switch
Compatibility: The KVM switch ports must be compatible with the ones attached to the display (VGA, HDMI, DVI, etc.).
Screen Resolution: Some KVM switches may only support up to 1080p resolution, while others will support from 2K to 4K resolutions,
Number of Devices: Examine how many devices it can support simultaneously. Some may only support from 2 to 64 computers, while others allow cascading thousands of computers.
Distance: A KVM switch type will determine its range. Some work within 25 feet; others can go over 100 feet. Remote KVM software will allow access from any part of the world.2. KVM Switch Product Recommendation
Here are a few product recommendations for the KVM switches.
Compatible with both Windows and Linux
Compatible with Windows, Linux, and MacDocking Station Vs. KVM Switch
As previously mentioned, KVM switches and Docking stations share a few similarities but are used for different purposes.
Here are a few distinct differences between the two.
KVM SwitchDocking Station
It is a switch panelIt is a docking station
It offers multi-level support; connecting and switching between multiple devicesIt connects multiple devices to a single laptop through a single station
It comes in varying types and offers different configurationsIt is portable and more or less offers similar configurations
It allows multiple PC/Server AccessIt allows multiple monitor or peripheral access
It can connect to thousands of similar devicesIt has a limit to how many devices you can expand
KVM software allows remote access; connecting devices without using a peripheralThe docking station does not have any software that allows remote access
It works great for enterprises with server and data managementIt works great for office and home useCan KVM Switch Replace Docking Station?
Although the KVM switch and docking station share some similarities, one cannot replace the other.
Both devices are made for slightly different purposes and use.
A user trying to expand their workstation at home by connecting multiple monitors and peripherals to their laptop should choose a docking station.
On the other hand, the KVM switch will be more appropriate to connect and switch between multiple devices from a single console, such as for many daisy-chaining computers or managing various servers.
However, you can use your docking station as a KVM switch, but you must manually plug into one device, plug out and plugin into another, which may be unproductive.
Hence, the KVM switch would not replace the docking station, especially when your plan to multiply your laptop to multiple screens or devices.
Assess your need and resources before choosing between the two.Can You Use Docking Station in Conjunction with a KVM Switch?
While KVM switches and docking stations are different devices, they could work together.
Let us assume you own a laptop and a PC and need to keep toggling between the two simultaneously while multiple monitors are still attached. You would need both a docking station and a KVM switch.
While the docking station will allow connecting monitors, KVM will enable switching between laptops and computers.
If it sounds tricky, here is a demonstration to help you understand better.Conclusion
Both docking stations and KVM switches are essential and equally in-handy tools for various scenarios.
While one cannot replace the other, each will play a vital role in making your work easier and increasing productivity.
However, keep in mind your purpose and range before choosing either a KVM or docking station to prevent limitations in the future.
Apple announced AirPods Pro 2 during its “Far Out” event. While everyone keeps talking about the new Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro series, there’s one product the Cupertino company outdid itself with – and it’s AirPods Pro 2. AirPods Pro 2 have everything you need – and more – but Apple has yet to announce one more feature this product could offer.
AirPods Pro 2 might look the same at first glance, but Apple rebuilt these wireless earbuds. While we yet have to see how it improved in real life, the company’s promises are impressive.
Personally, the original AirPods Pro fit just fine in my ears. Active Noise Cancellation is amazing, and these are my favorite wireless earbuds when I’m riding on the subway, taking the bus, or needing to disconnect from the world. Apple has claimed the new H2 chip can cancel noise up to two times better; this feature is something I’m looking forward to testing.
If ANC has improved, then Transparency Mode also has. Apple is now calling it Adaptive Transparency, which the company said can “reduce loud environmental noise – like a passing vehicle siren, construction tools, or even loud speakers at a concert.”
In addition, AirPods Pro 2 has another long-awaited feature: touch control. Users can finally lower or increase the volume by sliding their fingers on the stems of their AirPods.
While Apple had tweaked the first AirPods Pro case to work with the Find My app, the company has finally added the U1 chip in its MagSafe Charging Case, making it easier than ever to locate the wireless earbuds – and also make it play a sound, thanks to its built-in speakers.
Last but not least, the company is adding extra small ear tips so AirPods Pro 2 can fit more ears. With all that in mind, there’s one last thing that Apple didn’t mention during the keynote but could mean that this product could be even better than we expected.AirPods Pro 2 offers Bluetooth 5.3 support, could bring new codec support, and “lossless” playback
A couple of months ago, Bluetooth SIG announced that it had finalized the LE Audio Spec, meaning companies could make use of this technology.
The Low Complexity Communication Codec – LC3 for short – can transmit at much lower bitrates without dropping the audio quality we currently see with Bluetooth’s standard – and the good part is that Apple is already testing it with AirPods Max.
A developer was able to activate this codec with the latest AirPods beta firmware, saying it’s improved the audio quality on calls. But something was missing on AirPods’ hardware: Bluetooth 5.2 support.
Thankfully, AirPods Pro 2 and iPhone 14 offer it, meaning Apple can not only support a higher bitrate with these products but also offer some kind of lossless streaming with Apple Music.
This new codec could let you listen to songs, watch movies, and more, with several wireless earbuds connected at the same time. Currently, you can only connect up to two AirPods from the same source.
While Apple seems to yet test this feature, the company could announce a revolution in audio streaming thanks to this new codec and this new hardware.Wrap up
While I’m looking forward to Apple expanding AirPods Pro 2 capabilities, I’d also say you should not expect the company to officially announce support for this new codec. For example, the new Apple TV 4K could offer 120Hz refresh rate thanks to HDMI 2.1 support, but after a year, the company hasn’t updated the set-top box to offer this technology to users.
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Cryptocurrencies are a promising opportunity every serious buyer should at least have a look into. Ever sincePugglit Inu (PUGT) Is Joining The Canine-Themed Coins Pugglit Inu Network DAO
The Pugglit Inu Network is a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) with an established reserved currency protocol that is based on the platform’s utility token. The Pugglit Inu project’s goal is to bring governance to the community members of the platform and empower its holders of this coin.Bitcoin (BTC) – The Top Dog
Bitcoin is the first, most popular, and most valuable cryptocurrency created in 2009 on the heels of the economic recession. Bitcoin has made thousands of Millionaires and has the potential to make even more. Bitcoins are flexible, meaning they can be exchanged for both goods and services, and can be kept for the future. This is because, unlike traditional currencies which depend on Fiat money issued by central banks, Bitcoin has no government supervision and control. Bitcoin has existed for almost 13 years, has made world-changing feats, and is still going strong. Bitcoin has a market cap of $406 billion, making Bitcoin, not only top the list but also, over double the next cryptocurrency on the list, Ethereum (ETH), whose market cap stands at $191 billion at the time of writing.Final Thoughts
Bitcoin has always been famous for its high return potential. The crypto giant has helped users make fortunes from buying and selling at the right time. Although it is currently in decline, sources suggest that it could rise in the future.
Cryptocurrencies are a promising opportunity every serious buyer should at least have a look into. Ever since Bitcoin (BTC) started to skyrocket, the crypto market space has gradually grown in popularity and financial opportunities too. Unfortunately, this growth brought about the birth of altcoins, thousands of which have no real value and will fade away in a couple of years. It is for this reason that buying the right coins has become difficult. The crypto market is a daunting sea for even the most experienced traders to navigate through. It is difficult to sort out the tokens that will succeed from those that won’t without in-depth analysis. Before we go through the tokens that have millionaire-maker potential, you must remember to use only money you can afford to lose. The digital currencies include Pugglit Inu (PUGT) and, just as you might have guessed, Bitcoin. Pugglit Inu is a new meme-coin named after the puggle dog breed and piglets because of their admirable characteristics: loyalty, strength, bravery, and intelligence. The coin is set to revolutionise cryptocurrency exchange through its incentive plan which is to offer virtual asset owners the meme token. It is to encourage its widespread use in a decentralised, secure, and sustainable platform. Pugglit Inu offers a safe wallet known as the Pugglit basket which embeds both cryptographic security and a user-friendly interface with which users can track their transactions, rewards, token balance, and token market valuations. An example of the rewards is the 20% bonus you get for buying PUGT tokens with Ethereum (ETH) and the 18% bonus you get for buying with chúng tôi Pugglit Inu Network is a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) with an established reserved currency protocol that is based on the platform’s utility token. The Pugglit Inu project’s goal is to bring governance to the community members of the platform and empower its holders of this coin. A crucial feature of the Pugglit Inu network DAO project is to build a currency system governed by its community policy, where the DAO itself controls the behaviour of its token. The project aspired to establish itself as a decentralized cooperative that employs both liquidity and existing token models.Bitcoin is the first, most popular, and most valuable cryptocurrency created in 2009 on the heels of the economic recession. Bitcoin has made thousands of Millionaires and has the potential to make even more. Bitcoins are flexible, meaning they can be exchanged for both goods and services, and can be kept for the future. This is because, unlike traditional currencies which depend on Fiat money issued by central banks, Bitcoin has no government supervision and control. Bitcoin has existed for almost 13 years, has made world-changing feats, and is still going strong. Bitcoin has a market cap of $406 billion, making Bitcoin, not only top the list but also, over double the next cryptocurrency on the list, Ethereum (ETH), whose market cap stands at $191 billion at the time of writing. The importance of Bitcoin in charting a new financial realm cannot be overemphasised. If however, you plan on buying Bitcoin, you must be aware that Bitcoin is a very volatile currency with a low of $17,708.62 and an all-time high of $68,789.63 over the past year (2024). Bitcoin can also be easily converted to cash or assets such as gold meaning that you can always steer clear of Bitcoin’s dip which is a result of its volatility.Bitcoin has always been famous for its high return potential. The crypto giant has helped users make fortunes from buying and selling at the right time. Although it is currently in decline, sources suggest that it could rise in the future. However, if you want a breath of fresh air among the doom and gloom of the crypto market, Pugglit Inu can provide that. The new innovative cryptocurrency has garnered attention from numerous crypto enthusiasts as it could rival the popularity of Dogecoin (DOGE).
Earlier this month I reviewed the Belkin Charge Dock, a stylish dock for your iPhone and Apple Watch. I praised it for its classy, minimalistic design and embedded chargers, but knew that its steep $130 price tag would be a turnoff for many potential buyers.
This time around I want to tell you about a more affordable option—the Griffin WatchStand Charging Station. It too offers space for your iPhone and Apple Watch to rest and recharge, at less than half the price, but that savings does come with a few tradeoffs.
First, there’s design. I don’t think the WatchStand looks bad—in fact, Sebastien called its identical smaller sibling “sleek”—but I also don’t think it looks anywhere near as good as the Belkin. Second, there are no cables included, meaning you have to supply your own.
So does the WatchStand’s price and functionality offset these shortcomings? Let’s find out.
At 18 oz., the WatchStand feels solid, like it’s not going to bounce around your desk or nightstand. The base measures 3.15″ x 7.87″ and is made mostly of polycarbonate plastic. It features a felt-covered platform, where you can lay your iPhone down without worrying about scratches, and a 5″ tall podium for charging and displaying your Apple Watch (yes, it supports the new Nightstand Mode in watchOS 2).
Underneath the base you’ll find two USB ports: a 2.5W (for Apple Watch) and a 10W (or 5V @ 2.1 A), and a port for the 100–240V AC power supply.
Griffin attempts to make up for not having embedded chargers with smart cable management. Beneath the stand, across from the USB ports, is a place for you to wrap up your USB cable, leaving just enough slack to plug the Lightning connector into your iPhone on the platform. The Apple Watch podium features a removable, ribbed center piece and a hollow body, so you can wrap up your cable and pull it through to the bottom ports. The result here is pretty clean, with little to no cables showing.
Of course, all of this is easier said than done. While I was able to wind my iPhone cable and tuck it underneath the stand fairly quickly, hiding the Apple Watch cable was a much more tedious process. There’s not much room for error inside the podium, so if you don’t wind your cable extremely tight around the center piece, you’re going to have a hard time getting it to fit. I took a few shots at it, and I still wound up having to forcibly shove the center piece into the podium, and honestly I’m kind of worried I won’t be able to get it out. Nevertheless, once it’s done, it’s done, and I don’t imagine most folks will be moving cables back and forth with this thing.
Overall, I think Griffin has created a useful accessory for iPhone and Apple Watch owners here, but as for whether or not you should get one, I’m torn. I think I’d still recommend the aforementioned Belkin over this. It looks better and is much easier to setup, and the fact that it has built-in cables almost makes up the difference in price ($130 vs $60 + $30 for AW charger + $20 for iPhone USB cable). That being said, if you don’t mind using your own cables and are looking for a two-in-one charging station for your Apple Watch and iPhone, no one would blame you for picking this up.
If you’re interested, you can find the WatchStand Powered Charging Station on Amazon for $59.99. The box includes the WatchStand; power supply; interchangeable power adapters for the US, UK, EU and AUS; the user manual; and Griffin does offer a 1-year warranty.
Also be sure to check out these other Apple Watch dock/stand reviews:
Brydge Pro+ Review: The best iPad Pro keyboard doesn’t have an Apple logo
Happy harmony is the new iPad Pro and Brydge’s Pro+ keyboard, arguably the purest and best accessory out there for Apple’s laptop-replacing tablet. If you want the simplest form of a keyboard attachment for the iPad Pro, I recommend skipping the review and heading straight to chúng tôi to purchase the Magic Keyboard. If, however, you’re looking for the best typing experience available that happens to have an integrated trackpad and looks damn sleek, then keep reading my review of the Brydge Pro+. I promise it’ll be worth your time.
If you’re truly using the iPad Pro for everything from consuming media content to processing images and massively-sized videos, then your best option is to go with nothing less than 512GB or 1TB. Among the main reasons I’d opt for the iPad Pro over a MacBook Pro or Air right now is the integrated LTE capability. I’d go so far as to say it’s crucial for anyone that travels a lot for work, and needs the convenience of an always-connected device.
My 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2023 review unit from Apple came with both 1TB storage and LTE, which – with tax – comes in at a whopping $1,790.81. There’s no doubt that that’s a lot of money for a tablet. Then again, if you’ve read my review of the new iPad Pro, you’ll already know it’s more than just a tablet or a laptop replacement. Nonetheless, every additional dollar you consider spending on accessories, whether it’s the second generation Apple Pencil or a keyboard, might seem like an undue burden on your bank account.
The Brydge Pro+ is priced at $199.99 and $229.99 for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, respectively. That makes it great bang for your buck compared to everything else out there; Apple’s Magic Keyboard, for example, is significantly higher at $299 and $349 for the 11-inch and 12-inch iPad Pro.
Brydge retained much of its core design principles from previous keyboards for the iPad and iPad Pro lines, while the Magic Keyboard does the same by retaining similar design elements as the Folio Keyboard. However, both of these keyboards are worlds apart in how they attach to each other.
Before I continue, it’s worth noting that the best solution is up to your preference and if money was no object, owning both is still the best option.
The iPad Pro physically attaches to the Pro+ keyboard by way of sliding it into the left and right hinges hanging out of the top of the keyboard. It’s not as elegant as Apple’s magnetic solution, nor is it as easy and efficient. You do need to use both hands when attaching and detaching the iPad.
One immediate drawback I’ve experienced with previous Brydge Pro and Pro+ keyboards comes down to using screen protectors. The slots into which you slide the iPad are a fixed width, meaning that any screen protectors with a thickness of over 0.03mm will have issues fitting, and can even cause the rubber attachments to peel off. I shared my concern with the team and was offered Brydge’s own screen protector to test for myself; I’m happy to report that the fit is near-perfect, but you’ll need to budget another $29.99.
There’s no denying that the Pro+ and iPad Pro combo look amazing. To my eyes, it’s as if Apple were to make a MacBook touch laptop, this would be what it would look like. The overall dimensions and finish match the tablet perfectly, right down to the Space Gray.
The Brydge Pro+ for the iPad Pro 12.9-inch measures in at 11.04 X 8.46 x 0.27 inches compared to the tablet itself at 11.04 X 8.46 X 0.23 inches. The thickness of the Pro+ is ever so slightly greater, then, by 0.03 inches; it’s also slightly heavier, at 1.51 lb (690g), compared to the while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular’s 1.42 lb (643g). Together, they total up to 2.93 lb, which lines up with what you’d expect from a MacBook Pro or Air.
If you’re thinking, man, that’s heavy, I might as well buy a laptop, then this is where the iPad is the best of all worlds. After all, you can’t detach the screen from your MacBook and carry that around by itself.
In real-world usage, I’ve had zero issues of the iPad Pro unintentionally sliding out of the hinges. I can carry it around from room to room, or run through an airport, with little worry of an accident. That’s not the case with the Magic Keyboard: its magnets are more convenient if you frequently attach and detach, but not as reassuring in their grip.
Using the Pro+ on my lap is just as you’d expect from using a laptop. The biggest benefit here? Due to the design of the hinges, the viewing angle can go from 0 (closed) to 180-degrees. It’s hard to beat this design, hands down. I’m still waiting on my review unit of the Magic Keyboard to test it for myself, but early reviews are in and everything I’m reading is that the viewing angle is still limited, particularly in how far you can tilt the screen back.
So does the iPad Pro topple over if it’s tilted more than 150-degrees back? Nope, not at all. If like me you’re used to being able to quickly get work done – whether you’re in a car, on an airplane, or back at your desk – having that flexibility helps a lot. It’s also a godsend when you’re trying to cut down on glare from the sun, or indeed angle the screen to keep prying eyes from seeing what you’re working on.
Why Apple didn’t include the row of function keys on its official keyboards is a mystery to me; it’s not like there isn’t enough space above the number row. Here’s another +1 for the Pro+, then. It finds space for home, lock, keyboard backlit, brightness up and down for the iPad, the virtual keyboard on/off, emoji keyboard, multimedia switches, volume up/down, Bluetooth and power buttons for the keyboard.
So why’s this important? For me, reaching up with my left pinky finger to go back to the Home screen is much faster and more convenient than swiping down twice on the trackpad. It’s the same as having direct access to pausing and skipping music or video I’m listening to or watching.
What’s mercifully the same as you’d expect is the main keyboard layout. That’s basically standard, with the exception of a new key on the far left of the bottom row for Siri. Each key feels solid and the travel is 1.5cm compared to 1cm on the Magic Keyboard. The typing experience is nothing short of great – which says a lot for a third-party keyboard accessory.
While the backlit keys are useful at night, there’s definitely some light bleeding out from underneath. It’s not a major issue but worth pointing out if this is something that bothers you.
Two pieces of rubber on the far edges, off the side of the trackpad, prevent the display of the iPad from touching the keyboard. There’s nothing worse than smudges or key prints on the display, this is something that drives me absolutely bonkers on laptops.
It means no three-finger swipe up to switch apps, go home, or switch back and forth between apps. There’s a minor workaround under Assistive Touch where you can create a custom three-finger tap to bring up the list of apps opened. That would be fine, were it not for a bug with iPadOS which constantly brings up the virtual keyboard even when there’s a physical keyboard attached. I just ended up flipping Assistive Touch off. Without the finger gesture, it takes a whole three swipes down just to bring up the app switcher. If you’re inside another app, the first swipe brings up the row of apps at the bottom, the second swipe takes you home and, finally, the third brings up the list of open apps.
Happily, it doesn’t matter if you’re using Apple’s own keyboard or a third-party ‘board: holding down the Command key will allow for certain shortcuts depend on the app and where you are within iPadOS. Similar to the Home button, for instance, you can press Command + h to jump back to the homescreen. The most often used key combo for me is Command + Spacebar, which allows me to perform a universal search on the iPad.
Finally, other iPadOS gestures work as expected. Swiping straight up towards the middle of the display and over to the left drops down notifications, while swiping up towards the right and then pushing further pulls down the shortcut panel.
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