Amid the flurry of new devices quietly launched recently, Google released a new Nexus accessory - a folio case for the Nexus 7 (2013). Despite my varied experiences with Nexus accessories, I'm always eager to see what Google thinks will work best with their devices. I'm particularly interested in tablet accessories. Tablets are meant to be super portable and usable anywhere, so making an accessory that retains the appeal of the device's form factor while also adding some utility is an interesting challenge.
I picked up Samsung's official first-party cover for the Galaxy Note 8.0 shortly after getting the tablet itself, because Samsung's plastic body doesn't inspire confidence, because all tablets scream out for an easy freestanding solution, and (not least) because it was the only option right after release. The case hits all the high points: good protection, a built-in stand, and a magnet to activate the screen's sleep feature. The only major downside, like the tablet itself, is the price.
We've looked at a wide variety of accessories over the past couple of years: cases, cradles, headphones, speakers, etc., but I'm not quite sure we've ever seen a product like Une Bobine. In a nutshell, it's a microUSB cable. But it's not your average USB cable - it's an adjustable, bendable, flexible USB cable that can be used to hold your phone – a dock and cable in one, if you will.
While the boom in the tablet market has certainly seen a gold rush from manufacturers eager to capitalize on the new craze (whether it be with Android or Windows RT), there's an equally-eager market that's attempting to cash in: accessories. Some of them are great, some are bafflingly weird. The PadPivot probably sits somewhere in between. This little thing is designed to fold up and easily slip into a pocket or purse.
When my fellow Android Police writers and editors finally talked me into getting a Nexus 7, I set out to find a case immediately. The Nexus 7 is tough, but I've lost too many phones and tablets to cracked screens and water damage to take chances. At first I investigated Asus' official Nexus 7 case available on the Google Play Store, but a plastic build with no stand turned me off, as did a lack of magnetic sleep function.
I have a love-hate relationship with docks. On the one hand, they offer me a place to keep my devices, a home, designating where my fancy smart toy resides in an otherwise chaotic world. I may change which pocket, hand, spot on the coffee table or place in my heart that a phone belongs, but a dock is always a constant. When night comes, the dock is its resting place. On the other hand, paying $50 or more for a dock that I can only use with one phone is not something I'm a fan of.
As a tech writer, I have lots of gadgets. Smartphones, tablets, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Because of this, new accessories aren't something that I'm often super-impressed with. Every once in a while, though, a new product lands in my hands that really is more than I expected. Thus is the case with the FIXIE tablet stand from Incipio ($40).
I know what you're thinking: "wait, you were impressed with...
It's very difficult to review something like the Tablet Claw. For starters, my first instinct is to make the entire thing one big Inspector Gadget joke. Then there's the fact that I have no idea why anyone would need this. The Tablet Claw is a device that you slide your tablet into, and a little plastic piece that kind of looks like the tab you open soda cans with (called a "ringlet", apparently) folds out and gives you a way to grip your tablet.