The week in gadgets

18 Jun 2012

The iPad Smart Case

A look at gadget happenings, as the iPad gets an even smarter cover, Italian company LiquidTV brings us a dongle that can turn any TV into a smart TV, and Dell’s business computers get a consumer upgrade.

Apple’s Smart Case evolves into Smart Cover

One of the soft launches from Apple’s WWDC 2012 was the new iPad Smart Case, an upgrade on last year’s Smart Cover that now provides a cover for both sides. As with the Smart Cover, the front cover folds up in different orientations, to serve as a display stand or give you a better angle for typing on the keypad. Your iPad will also automatically sleep on closing and wake on opening using the Smart Cover.

The €49 polyurethane case is built to fit both second and third-generation iPads and comes in six colours: blue, red, light grey, dark grey, green and pink. A portion of the proceeds from every red Smart Case sold will go to the global fund to fight AIDS in Africa.

Multi-screen viewing under control

Following research by Opinion Matters showing that one in five Europeans will be taking a multi-screen approach to sports viewing this summer, Logitech has released the Harmony One+ Universal remote control, a universal remote that can control up to 15 other devices. With a built-in touchscreen, the remote gives you one-touch access to all your favourite programmes and entertainment for €149 from Logitech’s website.

Logitech Harmony remote

Make any TV smarter with SmartKey

The SmartKey HDMI key from Italian company LiquidTV claims to turn any TV with a HDMI port into a smart TV. The small device contains a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, Mali 400MP GPU, 513MB RAM and 4GB flash storage and, when connected through your TV’s HDMI port, makes your set one giant tablet powered by Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich. This means you can access and download apps from Google Play via your TV, and LiquidTV also plans to launch a video-on-demand service with about 1,000 titles this July.

The SmartKey is available for €99, or €119 with a motion-sensor remote control. Watch the video below for a demonstration – but don’t expect to understand it unless you’re fluent in Italian!


Dell’s business hardware gets consumer-inspired design

Dell’s Latitude laptops and OptiPlex desktops have been refreshed with a durable, consumer-inspired design to better suit today’s mobile workforce. The business-level computers range from entry-level to premium models and include a third-generation Intel Core processor, 128GB SSD memory, USB 3.0 ports, LTE and Bluetooth capability, integrated graphics and enhanced data protection.

For long-lasting durability, StrikeZone shock absorber and a fast-response free-fall sensor have been included, as well as rubber hard-drive isolation to protect data from drops and vibration. An extra-long battery life of up to 32.7 hours also comes with ExpressCharge that can give you an 80pc recharge in an hour using select configurations.

Availability information and pricing for Latitude and OptiPlex systems will be released in the coming weeks.

Dell OptiPlex

Dell OptiPlex 9010 AIO

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.