KeyCover™ Hard Shell Keyboard for iPad® mini with Retina display by Kensington – Review

kensington mini keyboard case

Pros…

Well-made, great battery life, very light and thin, nice scissor action of keys, can use iPad in Landscape or portrait mode, protects well when case closed

Cons..

No protection whilst using iPad, screen angle not adjustable

Summary

If you are looking for a slim, lightweight, portable keyboard case for an iPad mini, and you like to use your iPad mini without a case when you are not typing,  this case is a great choice.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The KeyCover™ Hard Shell Keyboard for iPad mini is designed to make typing on your iPad mini easier. It is compatible with both the original iPad mini and the iPad mini with Retina display. It tested it with the original iPad Mini. It can be used with the mini in either portrait or landscape mode.

This is a relatively unusual keyboard case as it is designed to be used with a “bare” iPad mini. It is a single piece- a keyboard tray, and when the keyboard is in use the mini itself is not covered. When you are using the keyboard the mini sits in a groove in the keyboard, when it is not in use the mini snaps into the keyboard tray. It has automatic sleep/ wake function when placed in or removed from the cover.

The keyboard connects with the mini via Bluetooth and has a rechargeable battery. The battery life is reported as 120 hours and it charges via the included USB cable connected to your computer or  wall charger (not included). I have used it extensively without having to recharge.

The keyboard layout is a standard QWERTY except that some of the punctuation keys are relocated to make the keyboard 1 key slimmer in places. There are extra function keys for iPad shortcuts such as copy, paste, changing keyboard, and voice recognition. The keys are nicely raised and have a smooth scissor action to them. Obviously it is more cramped than a full-size keyboard, but I found it relatively easy to type on for its size. The keys have a nice scissor action, an I appreciate that is has a CAPS lock light as it is a pet peeve of mine that not all iPad keyboards do.

The Keycover appears well made and is solidly constructed, the shell is anodized aluminum and has rubber feet to prevent slippage. When the iPad is not in use, snapping into the tray protects the front, sides and all four corners of the iPad Mini. when it is in use the tray allows it to be used in either portrait or landscape modes, but the angle of the screen is not adjustable. As the case consists only of the keyboard tray it is very slim and lightweight – approximately 1cm thick and weight approximately 6oz it adds very little bulk or weight to the mini.

This is a well-made keyboard case, the keyboard works well and has a great battery life. The case is very light and thin, it provides good protection for the iPad mini when the case is closed, but none when the mini is in use. The mini can be used in either portrait or landscape modes, but there is not an adjustable screen angle. If you are looking for a lightweight, portable keyboard case for an iPad mini, and you like to use your iPad mini without a case when you are not typing, this case is a great choice. If you prefer to keep  your iPad mini in a protective case at all times e.g. if you share use of it with children, then this may not be the best choice of case for you.

The KeyCover™ Hard Shell Keyboard for iPad® mini with Retina display is available from Kensington.com and other retailers,  RRP $69.99 currently on sale for $59.99

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Flip Wallet Leather Case for iPhone 5/5s by Toffee Cases- Review and Giveaway

flip-wallet

The Flip Wallet is a leather case for the iPhone 5/5s from Sydney, Australia based Toffee cases. The case comes in a choice of brown or black leather with a blue check lining. I tested the brown leather case with the iPhone 5.

The case has a distinctly retro feel to it that I really like. The warm brown leather with the blue check lining makes me think of old-fashioned picnic baskets, and lazy days of summer. The case has a red elastic strap that helps keep it firmly closed, and contributes to the nostalgic feel.

flip-wallet (2)

The case is designed to hold up to 5 credit/ID cards and a few bills. I have been using it as my everyday phone case without any credit cards, and then just add my drivers license, credit card and a little cash on days when I’m traveling light and want to leave my wallet at home. The case covers the screen when closed and so protects it, but if you are keeping credit cards in the wallet I’d advise adding a stick-on screen protector to make sure the cards don’t scratch the screen. If you put 5 cards in the wallet the thickness of the cards make the flap bulge away from the iPhone, but the elastic strap does keep it shut. The case has a shell that your iPhone slips into, with the leather wallet case outside it.

One of my favorite features of the case is when you flip back the leather flap that covers the screen, a magnet holds it back out of the way whilst you talk. You do need to remember not to flap it back when taking pictures, or you will obscure the camera! My one criticism is the leather beside the credit card slots is attached to the backing by glue rather than stitching, so if you miss- align it when putting in a credit card you can separate the leather from the backing.

I have been using this as my everyday phone case for several weeks and I really like it. I love the retro look of this case, and the way the flap stays out of the way when talking. The case is well made and is standing up well to wear. It is available online from Toffeecases.com RRP $49.95

recommended-by-the-imums

Giveaway

Thanks to Toffee Cases we have 5 cases to giveaway – the winners can choose the iPhone5/5s (black) or Samsung Galaxy S4 (Black or Tan) version. open to USA and Australia only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


4-in-1 iPhone Lens and Quick-Flip Case by Olloclip – Review- A Great Package for iPhoneographers!




olloclip 4 in 1

Bottom line…

The Olloclip 4-in-1 is an incredibly small, convenient, high quality, portable, easy to use, lens system that gives added versatility to the iPhone’s photographic capabilities. It is a good deal at $70 and is highly recommended.

The Quick-Flip Case is a useful extra accessory for those who, like myself, prefer to have their iPhone in a case whilst in use. I would love to see it offer more protection, and I did feel it was a bit pricey at $50.

The Olloclip 4-in-1 is a quick-connect lens solution for the budding iPhoneographer. It is a simple, slip-on solution that allows you to take iPhone photographs using a Fisheye, Wide-Angle and 2 Macro lenses.

To use the Olloclip 4-in-1, the upper right corner of your iPhone needs to be uncovered. The Quick-Flip Case makes it easy to expose that corner whilst protecting the rest of the phone, and also adds additional functionality. I tested the 4-in-1 and Quick Flip Case with an iPhone 5, on a recent trip to Hawaii, and I will share some of the photos I took with it. The version I tested can be used with the iPhone5/5s/5c or iPod Touch 5th generation, an iPhone 4/4s version is also available.

The lens system is incredibly small and comes in a microfiber drawstring bag, which is easy to keep in a handbag or pocket. It slips easily onto the corner of your iPhone, over the iPhone camera lens. There are 2 sides to the system- one side contains the Fisheye 180 lens, the other has a Wide-Angle lens, you can rapidly switch between them by sliding off the lens system, flipping it and sliding back on. Unscrewing the Wide-Angle lens reveals a 10x Macro lens, and underneath the Fish-Eye lens is a 15x Macro. When using the Macro lenses I recommended unscrewing both Wide-Angle and Fisheye and keeping them in the drawstring bag, then you can easily flip between the 2 Macros to get the image you want. Cleverly the Fisheye and Wide-Angle lenses have slightly different threads, so you can’t accidentally put them back in the wrong place.

iPhone_4-in-1_lens-3b

 

The 10x Macro has a 18mm focus distance and the 15x has a 12mm focus distance, so they are designed for very close up photography – such as details of a leaf,  pictures of tiny flowers, or details of a surface. You need to be very close for the 15x Macro, so camera shake can be an issue here, especially for plant pictures outdoors, where the plant may also be moving in the wind. Using a tripod with the Quick-Flip case can be useful to overcome this issue.

This series of 3 pictures show the same plant taken with the regular iPhone lens, the 10x Macro and the 15x Macro lens.  With regular lensWith 10x MacroWith 15x Macro

These pictures show close ups of lava taken with the Macro lenses.

Larva with Macro lenslarva 2

These pictures show close ups of flowers taken with the Macro lenses:

Lantana Macroflower Macro

The Fisheye lens creates some very fun effects. Here is a picture I took of Hawaiian Petroglyphs using the Fisheye:

petroglyphs fisheye

 

The Wide-angle lens is the one I’ve used the least, as the iPhone lens has a pretty wide angle to start with. However, there are some situations where it is very useful such as taking a photo of a large group of people, or getting in the full height of a tall building. It roughly doubles the field of view of the iPhone. The lenses are made from high quality precision ground coated glass and the barrels are aircraft-grade anodized aluminum. They look well-made, and the photographs come out clear and sharp.

The Quick-Flip Case is made of hard plastic and covers the back, sides and corners of the iPhone, with cutouts over all buttons and ports. When you are using it with your Olloclip lens the top of the case flips over, leaving the right hand corner of the iPhone free so you can easily slip on the lens system. The edge of the flipped case also acts as a trigger so you can use this to depresses the + volume button which will take the photo. The case comes with a “Pro-Photo Adapter” which has a tripod mount and a cold-shoe mount for a light or microphone, and with an adapter to allow it to be used with a 5th generation iPod Touch.

olloclip caseThe Quick-Flip Case is less protective than my usual everyday case, but for days when I was planning to do some iPhoneography it was a great compromise in allowing easy access to put on the lens system, yet still giving the protection of being in a case. I did occasionally have difficulty getting the trigger to deploy. The case doesn’t have a screen protector so I used a Cloak by Tylt  stick-on screen protector. It is a pretty thick screen protector  and I found the lens system did not slip easily over it (which it did with a bare screen), so I needed to cut a window in the screen protector where the lens went on.

I found the lens system very easy to use and it produced high quality images. The drawstring back was very useful for storing the lenses and also doubled as a lens cloth when I accidentally got fingerprints on the lenses! I would caution to be careful using a thick screen protector on the iPhone with the 4-in-1 as you may need to cut a hole in the screen protector. Without a screen protector the lens slides on easily, and stays in place well. The lens does cover the sleep/wake button but you can just lift the corner slightly to access this if you wish to leave the lens on between photography sessions. It also partly covers the flash, but this isn’t a big issue for me as I’m not usually using the flash and the 4-in-1 at the same time.

Overall, the Olloclip 4-in-1 is an incredibly small, convenient, high quality, portable, easy to use, lens system that gives added versatility to the iPhone’s photographic capabilities. It is a good deal at $70 and is highly recommended. The Quick-Flip Case is a useful extra accessory for those who, like myself, prefer to have their iPhone in a case whilst in use. I really like having a case that works with the Olloclip lenses, but I would love to see it offer more protection, and I did feel it was a bit pricey at $50.

The 4-in-1 retails for $69.99 and the Quick-Flip Case retails for $49.99 both are available online from olloclip.com and Amazon.

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Olloclip also has a free to download photo app to use with their lenses: olloclip – olloclip

olloclip
olloclip
by olloclip

Category: Photo & Video, Utilities
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 22.77 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

LINKASE PRØ Signal Enhancing Case For iPhone5/5S by Absolute Technology – Review


622712351385093781

Pros…

Simple, relatively inexpensive solution to poor internet reception.

Cons…

Won’t turn a really weak signal into a really strong one- a 1 bar improvement is typical

Summary

If you struggle with poor internet connection on your iPhone 5/5s I would recommend checking out the LINKASE PRØ – it will typically increase signal strength by 1 bar which can be enough to significantly improve performance

recommended-by-the-imums

Do you ever struggle with getting a decent WiFi, or 3G/ 4G signal on your iPhone ? I know I do. Absolute Technology have a simple solution to help with this frustrating problem – a case that improves your signal. The LINKASE PRØ  is available for the iPhone 5/5s, I tested it with the iPhone 5.

At first glance the LINKASE PRØ  looks like a regular simple Polycarbonate case. It comes in a variety of colors- black, white, midnight blue and pink, I reviewed the pink version. The iPhone slips easily into the case and the back and all 4 corners are protected against knocks. There are cutouts over the camera and all buttons and ports. There is no screen protection, so I used it with a stick-on screen protector to avoid scratches.

linkcase pro2

The real secret to the case is in two hidden 2 EMW elements. The EMW stands for Electro Magnetic Waveguide and they are like a flat antennae that is normally stored within the case, but when you want to use it you just pull on the tab to extend it. The upper one is for WiFi, the lower one is for 3G (4G in some areas).

The way that it works is that cellular phones use low level radiation for signal reception, but a lot of this energy is wasted. The EMW steers some the the radiation away from the body and into the open air this has 2 effects : 1. It improves the signal and 2. It decreases the person’s exposure to this low level radiation.

linkcasepro3

How well does it work ?

I frequently stay in a cabin that has very poor 3G/4G reception to the point that I can’t connect at all in some rooms and have very weak connection elsewhere, so I tested out the LINKASE PRØ there. I found that it did improve my signal by 1 bar (which is the level of improvement the manufacturers say to expect). Now this isn’t spectacular- it doesn’t turn a weak signal into a really strong one but it can be enough to make a real difference. Without the LINKASE PRØ I could check my email, but couldn’t use my iPhone as a hotspot for my computer and couldn’t watch Youtube or similar streaming videos. Using the LINKASE PRØ I was able to use my iPhone as a hotspot (thought it was still a slow connection at least it was a connection) and watch videos online. This was enough to make a real difference for me. An added benefit is that as the phone is having to work as hard to get a signal, it also improves battery life, the manufacturer quotes the battery life as increasing by 20%. This will only happen when you have the EMW elements extended so if, like me, you only extend them when you are actively using the phone the effect may not be so noticeable.

If you spend time in places with poor 3G/4G or WiFi signal I would definitely recommend checking out the LINKASE PRØ case. Don’t expect it to turn a really weak signal into a really strong one, but it will typically increases signal strength by 1 bar, which can be enough to make a real difference in performance. The LINKASE PRØ case is a simple, relatively cheap solution to the problem of poor internet reception on your iPhone.

Available online from AbsoluteTechnology RRP $39.95

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will get a LINKASE PRO case for iPhone 5/ 5s. This giveaway is open to USA and Canada only. Winner will be announced here and emailed, must contact the The iMums (info at theimums.com) within 48hours to claim their prize. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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