Archive for the ‘gadgets’ Category

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How I fixed the iPad Belkin Grip Vue Case and iPad Keyboard Dock compatibility issue with a blade

July 22, 2010

iPad with Belkin Grip Vue in the Apple Keyboard Dock

The Problem:

The problem to solve here occurs because the iPad doesn’t fit the Apple accessories like the keyboard dock when your iPad is in any type of case. Since a case like the Belkin Grip Vue fits so snugly, it is a chore to remove it each time you want to dock the iPad.

The Solution:

As a companion to the article “How I fixed the iPad Case and Dock compatibility issue with scissors“, this describes doing a similar process, but for the iPad Keyboard Dock, which has a higher backplate than the standard iPad dock, and the Belkin iPad Grip Vue Case, though it should work with any similar case as well.

I’m liking the Belkin Grip Vue case as it’s a grippy surface and covers the back and sides of the case but keeps the iPad easily accessible. The iPad is much easier to hold onto for longer periods of time in this case.  Here’s how you can make it all work:

(Like the linked article above, this hack involves breaking out a blade and cutting your case, so decide if you’re ready to commit. But since only small area at the bottom center of the case is removed, the case is still able to maintain its tight grip on the iPad and I haven’t had any issues with the new case after modification.)

Steps for the hack:

  1. Remove the case from the iPad
  2. Measure and mark off the area to cut — centered over the dock connector hole, you’ll need to make a cut 73mm wide and 46mm high (measured from the bottom). Measure twice, cut once. It’s best to use an X-ACTO Knife or other blade and a straightedge for a straight, clean cut.
  3. Test-fit the case back onto the iPad and see if any cleanup of the edges is needed to get a perfect fit into the keyboard dock.  I trimmed a little extra away on the bottom where the speaker grill is to prevent a small flap from getting in the way (see “Cutaway from underneath” photo).
  4. When the fit is perfect, remove the case from the iPad and pass a flame close to (but not touching) the the newly cut area. This will seal the edges together and smooth out the cut area for a professional look.
  5. Put the case back on the iPad and enjoy docking into the keyboard dock without removing the case.

Apple Keyboard Dock

Belkin Grip Vue iPad case with notch removed

Cutaway from underneath

Final product

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Amazon announces Kindle 2

February 9, 2009

The new Kindle 2– an update of the original Kindle from Amazon focuses on usability improvement versus a large-scale product shift. Kindlw 2 offers an improved screen (16 shades of grey, vs. 4 on Kindle 1), 20% faster page turns, and a 25% improved battery life. A big change appears to be its slim design which seems like it will have a much better feel and easily slipped into a case or jacket pocket – it’s 1/3″ thick. Another plus is that it will charge from a USB-mini port, so you can charge via a laptop and forgo the power adapter on a long trip. There’s also a text-to-speech function that will read text aloud, albeit in a computer-voice. On the demo video, the computer voice is okay, but I don’t see it as a replacement for a real audiobook read by a human.

Overall, seems like a nice upgrade, but nothing bit in terms of new functionality. The Kindle 2 ships 2/24/2009 and can be pre-ordered today. Existing owners who order by midnight on 2/10 will be placed at the top of the list.

Book Cover: There’s also a nice-looking Kindle 2 Leather Cover for the Kindle 2, and some 3rd-party covers and cases are already listed on the site.

The live feed of the Kindle 2 press conference is posted at the Engadet site.