The Twelve South TimePorter is a combination travel case for Apple Watch accessories and stand. It looks and carries like an eyeglass case. It's nicely made, and the concept is good. Unfortunately, as John Martellaro found out, it requires too much fussing to be considered a great product.
When Apple introduced the new MacBook in early 2015, with USB-C, the legendary MagSafe power connector had to go. Instead of innovating a replacement magnetic connector, Apple left the job to Griffin. It's called the BreakSafe, and it restores the MagSafe-like functionality to a MacBook. John Martellaro was impressed. Almost.
The Minix Neo C USB-C "Multiport Adapter" is dock for the Apple MacBook that has two USB-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, pass through charging, two camera card slots, and either HDMI or VGA depending on the model. It has some design and feature aspects that set it apart from similar products.
X-Doria has introduced the Revel line of four colorful Apple Watch cases. They simply snap on and leave all ports accessible. The case is flexible yet durable. John's been using one with his Apple Watch for two weeks, and it has grown on him.
The owners of the 2015 12-inch MacBook have a small problem. There is only one USB-C port and no USB-A ports. The assumption has been that 3rd party hubs would solve that problem, and now, post CES, new ones are shipping. The Satechi USB-C Hub with pass through power and two USB-A ports is small, light, and does a specific job very well.
When resting an iPad Pro or MacBook/Air/Pro on a desk, having it inclined at a comfortable angle is desirable for many users. The ParcSlope from Twelve South is a beautifully made steel stand that achieves this. It's especially useful for drawing with an iPad Pro. John Martellaro takes a closer look.
SkySafari is an excellent sky simulation and charting app for iOS. With it, you can view the sky at any date and time, identify objects in the sky, read about celestial objects, learn the constellations and even control an amateur telescope. On December 15, SkySafari 5 Pro was released, with the Basic and Plus versions to follow soon. The suite of apps has impressive list of new features.
For the past two months I've been using Apple's new iPad mini 4 and recently I went back to my previous iPad mini 2. Like many iPad mini fans I skipped the iPad mini 3 because all it offered over the iPad mini 2 was Touch ID without any performance boost. The iPad mini 4 changed that, of course, bringing the iPad Air 2's guts and power to the mini form-factor. I wondered, though, does all this new speed – and RAM – matter for daily use? Turns out it does.
There is now a pretty good selection of charging docks for the Apple Watch. Some provide a place on the base plate to rest a charging iPhone, but the Belkin Charge Dock goes one step farther and provides a vertical support and Lightning connector for the iPhone in addition to a pre-installed Apple Watch charge disk. The design, while good, introduces compromises. Find out more in John Martellaro's review.
Despite the apparent simplicity of the Apple Watch charging docks, there are several factors to consider. Those include practicality, protection, stability, possible ways the charging cable can be damaged when installed and removed, adjustability of presentation angle, use for both Portrait mode and Nightstand mode, and so on. The Twelve South Forté is exceptionally beautiful, and has a good design, but it doesn't score 100 percent on all counts.
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