Review Category : accessories

Regular readers will know we are quite concerned by the lack of support for 3G Dongles in the Microsoft Surface and by extension other Windows RT tablets. While 3G/WI-Fi dongles provide somewhat of a solution, it seems unnecessary to waste battery life on running two WIFI radios when communication could as easily happen via USB. The big issue with using existing 3G dongles is that they need drivers and management software installed, which makes all of the current crop incompatible. Now it seems, from a twitter conversation with O2 support, that O2 may be working on a Connection Manager for Windows RT, which would solve the problem and fulfil one of the major expandability promises of the Surface- the ability to overcome any issues by simply plugging in an accessory into the USB port. See the twitter conversation here. ...

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Andy Bryant posted this hands-on review of the Logitech T650 Wireless Touch pad, which brings support for Windows 8 gestures to desktops and laptops which lack multi-touch touchpads. The device appears to work very well, and is very responsive, but has a few issues, including some ergonomics issues and flaws in multi-monitor support. Andy concludes: If you’re used to using a touchpad on a laptop, and are migrating to Windows 8 on a single-screen non-touch PC, then I’d say unreservedly yes. The benefits you get from gestures under Win8 outweigh the complexity of right-click drag on the desktop. If you’re using a multiple-monitor setup, it does work, but you just won’t gain quite as much primarily because Microsoft hasn’t quite optimized the interaction between the Win8 mode,  and desktop mode across both screens. That said, it is quite usable – and I’m going to continue using mine on my home ...

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Elliptic Labs has demonstrated new technology which will bring touch screen control to laptops without the need for a touch screen, or even touching the screen. The Kinect-like system uses ultrasound and multiple microphones, and offers a wide field of view and better responsiveness than Microsoft’s system, and could be integrated into tablets and smartphones in the future. "The really big difference is you can do a lot of things with Windows 8 much more naturally," Morhan Kjolebakken, product manager for the company said. The app debuted with control gestures for Windows 8, but the company is also offering a SDK for developers and manufacturers to integrate the technology into their products. The device is expected to hit the market in 12-14 months. Via CNET.com ...

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The Guardian reports that the Microsoft Touch Cover appears to have a manufacturing defect, with splitting developing around the magnetic hinge on the cover. The issue is affecting numerous devices in both US and UK, suggesting the problem may be endemic to the keyboard. Microsoft is providing replacement covers at no cost for those what are affected, but it seems either there is a manufacturing issue, or the design is flawed in some way that will need a redesign. Are any of our readers affected? Let us know below. ...

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According to research firm IHS, Microsoft Surface 32GB costs $271 to build it and TouchCover costs just $16 to build. Microsoft Surface’s main components include a Tegra 3 processor chip from Nvidia, and a display and memory chips from Samsung. Samsung appears to be having a healthy profit from Surface by supplying display, the memory chips and the battery, pocketing about $137 (almost half of total Surface cost). As every other OEM do, Microsoft seems to be profiting more from the TouchCover keyboard accessory. TouchCover includes chips from Atmel and Freescale Semiconductor and since it’s a compelling accessory for users, Microsoft is trying to squeeze more profit margin from it. You can read more about it from All Things D here. ...

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Its probably an error, but Amazon has listed the $119.99 Microsoft Surface Touch Cover for only $19.99, which is a rather massive discount. The 3mm thick cover offers a great typing experience for the tablet, with some saying typing is even better on it than on the bulkier Type Cover. The Cover is marked as out of stock, but there is a small chance the giant retailer will honour the orders when the device does become available. See the accessory at Amazon here. Thanks Chris for the tip. ...

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  If you want to ad some Windows 8 touch screen goodness to your recently upgraded desktop PC LG has the solution for you, with their new 23 inch Touch 10 ET83 IPS monitor with 10 point multi-touch and a 1920 x 1080 resolution. While a touch screen does not make as much sense in a desktop setting where the monitor may be some distance away, I can easily see this monitor being used to make a kitchen Windows 8 PC or built into a display somewhere. The device will arrive in November, initially in Korea first. See the press release below. LG UNVEILS ADVANCED TOUCH 10 MONITOR OPTIMIZED FOR WINDOWS 8 Innovative 10-Point IPS Monitor Expands the Horizon of Touchscreen Technology SEOUL, Oct. 31, 2012 – LG Electronics (LG) introduced its Touch 10 monitor (model: ET83), optimized for use with Windows 8, which was launched by Microsoft last week. ...

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We have had a tip from a reader that their pre-order for the Microsoft Surface Touch Cover has been cancelled in Canada. Apparently others buyers have been similarly affected. Of course one possibility is that the supply may be severely over subscribed, but Microsoft has also told the angry punters that a system error may be to blame. Have any of our other readers been affected? Let us know below. Thanks Jed for the tip. ...

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Microsoft has updated the driver of their original Touch Mouse to make it more Windows 8 friendly. The update now adds the ability to use multi-touch gestures, including two fingers to manage apps and display charms. With the update the need to use keyboard shortcuts or screen edges/corners are mostly eliminated. The full list of new supported gestures include: The update is still to come to Microsoft’s new Wedge Mouse products. Find the download at Microsoft’s Mouse and Keyboard Center here. Via The Verge.com ...

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In a press release Logitech has announced a new keyboard specifically designed for Windows 8. The Logitech® Bluetooth® Illuminated Keyboard K810 is a rechargeable Bluetooth keyboard with some special Windows 8 keys, including the Windows 8 Start key which provides a quick and easy way to get back to your Start Screen, and App Switching function key which allows you to quickly switch among your open apps. The design features  real brushed aluminium and sleek lines, and auto-adjusting illumination to ensures the laser-etched key characters are always bright and easy to read. The keyboard also uses proximity detection to turn on the lighting when your hands approach it, and automatically dims or brightens, depending on the amount of light in the room. “It’s increasingly common for people to use more than one device over the course of the day, and we saw an opportunity to help ease the transition among ...

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Logitech has introduced 3 accessories specifically designed for Windows 8, and which brings the smoothness of the touch interaction with Windows 8 straight to even desktop PCs. The Zone Touch Mouse T400 is pretty close to a traditional mouse, but with a small glass track pad which helps with horizontal and vertical scrolling, and has dedicated keys for going home and flipping through apps.  The device sports an 18 month battery life and costs  $49.99. The Touch Mouse T620 has a much larger touch surface, supports 6 Windows 8 gestures which can be customized, has 180 day battery life and will set you back $69.99. The Touchpad T650 has a spacious glass touch surface, supports multiple Windows 8 gestures and has 30 days battery life, and can be used while recharging via USB. It will cost $79.99. All three will be available in the US and Europe this month. Zone ...

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