Reviews Technology

Remix Ultratablet review

Review Score: 4 out of 5

Microsoft’s Surface has has seen a number of twists and turns in its young life, but two constants have been the presence of add-on magnetically attached keyboard covers and the unsurprising presence of Windows (and now, proper Windows in the Surface 3). Indeed, the Surface was always intended to be a showcase for Windows. But what if there was a Surface that didn’t run Windows?

That seems to be much of the idea behind the Remix Ultatablet, an Android tablet that has a strong resemblance to the Surface 2, such as an integrated multi-position kickstand (complete with microSD slot underneath) and a magnetically attaching keyboard cover. It’s missing a few niceties of the Surface 3. These include the ability for the top of the keyboard to magnetically attach to the base of the tablet, providing better stability and a kickstand that has a fluid range of angles. And while the Surface devices have a full-size USB port, the Ultratablet’s is a USB-on-the-Go connector requiring an adapter. On the other hand, Jide Tech includes the keyboard, which is a $129 add-on for the Surface. The tablet’s 11.6″ display lies between the current Surface 3 and Surface 3 Pro.

Input Reviews

Jorno keyboard review

Review Score: 4 out of 5

The Jorno folding keyboard had a colorful history even before showing up on Kickstarter in late 2012. The most promising folding keyboard since the days of the Stowaway, it had been one of the more impressive startup products at CES, but was then cancelled before being raising over $100,000. Then Jorno missed its expected shipping date by about two years as other folding options came into the market. In light of production problems along the way that required design changes, backers received a different item than the one they signed up for, but most were probably delighted to receive anything at all given the long delay in which many had given up hope.

Unlike other keyboards that fold in half with a single centered hinge, the Jorno has two hinges. The left one falls just to the left of the R, D and C keys while he right one lies just to the right of the P, ; and > keys. The keyboard tuns on automatically when opened and turns off when folded. Between the sturdy hinges and underneath the keyboard is an unsightly bulge that likely houses the battery and contains the microUSB charging connector.

Reviews Smartwatches/Bands

Pebble Time review

Backerjack is delighted to start off its hands-on reviews with a product that set the Kickstarter record for funding, the Pebble Time.

Review Score: 3 of 5

The original Pebble watch was notable for two reasons. It was one of the first smartwatches to work with both iOS in addition to Android and it was one of the few to have a grayscale e-paper display that offered long battery life and great outdoor readability. Handling smartwatch basics such as phone call notification, step counting and music playback control, the Pebble attracted thousands of watchfaces and apps. However, the watch looked plastic and chunky (a fault somewhat rectified by the Pebble Steel) and its interface often  required an extended number of button presses given its lack of a touchscreen.

The Pebble Time addresses some of the shortcomings of the original. it has a sleeker, more attractive two-tone design that drops the body extensions to accommodate the strap. Pebble has also gone with a color e-ink display, one of the first to be used in a consumer product. Pebble has also moved its power connector from the side of the device to the back and seems to have strengthened the magnets; the connection is more secure and Pebble now ships a long flat cable. And while the power connector also supports watch straps that add functionality (a promising one the subject of a recent crowdfunding campaign), they’ve not appeared in the market yet. Like its predecessor, the Pebble Time is water-resistant.