Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Mini, $80, www.logitech.com
While the small size of the iPad Mini is its charm, it is also a liability. The challenge of typing on a glass keyboard increases as its size shrinks.
But accessory makers have come to the rescue. For the Mini, Logitech has created a diminutive keyboard with full-size features.
Liltingly called the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Mini, the keyboard is about the size and thickness of an iPad Mini. It attaches with a magnetic hinge — just like iPad covers — and has a built-in lip where the tablet stands horizontally or vertically while in use.
The keyboard talks wirelessly to the Mini via Bluetooth. Logitech claims a keyboard battery life of 180 hours.
The keys are nearly full size and move during typing, unlike keys on some accessory keyboards.
The one real problem with the keyboard is its size. It’s as if you are toting not one, but two Minis.
A quibble is that, although the keyboard does set off the magnetic lock on the iPad, the magnet is not strong enough to keep the board stuck to the pad. It tends to flop open.
Bringing big sound to the desktop
KEF X300A speakers, $800,
The British loudspeaker maker KEF, a name well known to audiophiles, has broken out both the high-tech and marketing razzle-dazzle for its desktop X300A speakers.
For starters, it talks about the “Uni-Q driver array,” which joins two speakers in one — a fancy version of a good old coaxial speaker, which puts a woofer for low tones and a tweeter for high tones in the same chassis.
Then it notes that each speaker has a class AB amplifier, a kind of dual circuit that is used in some higher-quality amplifiers and car amps as well. It pumps up to 50 watts to the low-frequency speaker and 20 watts to the high.
Neither of these is quite the breakthrough it is made to appear, but you do not often find either in a speaker built for computers.
The end result is a very solid set of speakers — 16.5 pounds of solid for each.