Video review: Targus Versavu keyboard case for iPad Air

After buying the Zagg Folio keyboard for my iPad Air, Targus sent me a review unit of its Versavu — pronounced “versa-view”– keyboard case. I’m not a fan of the Shift key and the keyboard isn’t backlit, but one unique feature is appealing. Take a look.

Scroll Different — Mouse Engineering Moves Up Top

Mouse technology has advanced a lot over the past two decades. The Apple Lisa-derived mouse with its DE-9 connector and thumb screws that attached it securely to my first Mac, a 1988 Mac Plus, was a pretty crude piece of engineering, with an analog ball of course, and a noisy, long-travel, somewhat stiff single button. Everything that came after that was an improvement.

However, most engineering effort with computer mice has been directed toward I/O interface (ADB, USB) and tracking sensor (optical, laser) advances and more recently wireless technologies (RF, Bluetooth), as well as improved ergonomics. Multi-button mice with scroll wheels became the standard configuration (although not with Apple mice) in the mid-’90s, popularized by Microsoft’s IntelliMouse Explorer, but with a few exceptions like the minuscule trackball on Apple’s 2005 Mighty Mouse, scrolling hardware technology didn’t change much between 1996 and 2006 when Logitech unveiled its MicroGear Precision Scroll Wheel.
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Targus High-Speed Cable a Solution for FireWire-less File Transfer

Apple’s decision to not equip the new unibody MacBook with a FireWire port has been as popular as the proverbial skunk at a garden party, at least with seasoned Mac users. Aside from the MacBook Air, which suffers from manifold deficiencies in the I/O department, the last Apple portable that shipped without FireWire was the Revision B clamshell iBook in 2000. We’ve kinda gotten used to having it.

So, are you, like many, taken with the new MacBook (and there are plenty of reasons to be), but wondering how you could get along without FireWire? A new product from Targus could be your solution.

That is if your main concern about going FireWire-less is how to handle fast, computer-to-computer file transfers. The Targus USB 2.0 High-Speed File Transfer Cable for Mac can’t help you with connecting to your FireWire video camera or scanner, but it’s a surprisingly slick and satisfactory substitute for the file transfer aspect of FireWire Target Disk Mode, in some respects even more convenient.
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Targus 4-Port Bend-A-Hub

Targus, a company more popularly associated with its extensive line of laptop cases, also markets computer accessories. One of their newer introductions is the Targus USB 2.0 4-Port Bend-A-Hub, a modestly-priced, useful add-on and an excellent gift suggestion or stocking stuffer for computer users on your Christmas list.

This hub allows you to connect up to four USB devices through a single USB port on your computer.
“So what?,” you’re probably saying, “there are dozens of 4-port USB hubs that do that.”
However, what makes the Bend-a-Hub distinctive is its literal flexibility plus its two specialty connectors; one of which can adjust to a 90-degree angle for better accessibility — able to be oriented either horizontally or vertically, making it ideal for connecting a flash thumb drive or iPod. Moreover, another of its four USB ports folds out to reveal a mini USB connector of the sort used by many digital cameras, mobile phones, and PDAs. The Bend-a-Hub’s flexible form factor makes it easy to accommodate a variety of larger USB devices.

It may also be possible to charge devices through the mini USB port if the connecting device supports charging through a mini USB connector. The unit works with both USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 ports and supports both Mac OS X and Windows (2000, XP, Vista).
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