It wasn't just phones on show at last night's Xperia Party in London. Sony Ericsson was also keen to show off the latest accessory for its 2011 Xperia smartphones -- the Live Dock. This is a brand new smartphone dock which serves not only as a charging station, but allows you to connect USB peripherals like keyboards and mice, and control your phone using good old-fashioned button-based devices.
And if you've got a HDMI-enabled Xperia, like the Arc or Arc S? Well, that's where things start to get really cool -- in that case, you can browse the web and play Angry Birds on your TV, using any standard USB wireless keyboard and mouse. Proof of this, in video form, is after the jump.
New phone needs a new case. It has been this way since the dawn of the smartphone era, and so it shall be until its end. Your HTC EVO 3D is no exception, and for those interested in maximum protection while still maintaining a relatively slim profile, there's nothing like the Otterbox Commuter for HTC EVO 3D.
In typical Commuter fashion, you're looking at two pieces: the flexible, rubbery skin and the hard plastic shell. The rubberized skin fits nice and snug, and the hard shell keeps everything from sliding around.
As far as ports go, the top and bottom bezels on the phone have openings for the microphone and 3.5mm headphone jack, but the left and right bezels are covered up with the rubber skin. The micro-USB port has a removable flap (as it should), but the volume rocker and power button are totally dominated by the rubber skin. The camera shutter button is also protected but the 2D/3D slider is left bare.
As is typical with all EVO 3D cases, the camera lenses are now recessed inside the thickness of the case, so you can lay your phone on its back all you want without worrying about damaging your precious gimmick hardware.
With Labor day now behind us, it means back to work and back to school for sooo many folks out there. To ease the transition of getting back into routine, we're holding a ShopAndroid.com sale! Whether you bought a new Android Smartphone over the holidays or just want to get some new Back to Work/School clothes for your old device, all accessories at ShopAndroid.com this week.
Save 10% on All Accessories @ ShopAndroid.com: To save your 10%, simply use coupon code AC11 at checkout when completing your purchase at ShopAndroid.com. The sale ends this Friday at midnight PST, so follow the link below to start browsing and save!
When the weather permits I'm the kind of fella who likes to sit outside and enjoy a bit of fresh air. That doesn't mean I like to sit quietly and enjoy nature though -- I need to take my toys out with me. That means a laptop to do a little work with, and now my Galaxy Tab 10.1 with the multimedia dock and a set of desktop speakers from my local big box store.
For watching video, listening to music, or kicking back in the Android Central Turntable.fm room listening to the jams, this setup rocks. It lets me keep my laptop free for working, no pausing video and switching tabs and windows every five minutes, and the viewing angle is just perfect while my Tab is in the dock. Plus you can plug the dock in to AC power to keep things charged, or use the 30 pin passthrough connector with the Samsung dongle for HDMI access. The built in speakers on the Tab work while it's docked, but there's also a 3.5mm audio jack on the multimedia dock to connect a set of speakers to if you need a bit more volume -- handy to drown out the chorus of mockingbirds that seems to start right around dusk here at the homestead.
The best part? Everything is portable. When it's raining or cold, and I'm forced to stay indoors the dock and speakers can sit right on my desk or coffee table and still let me enjoy a little video or audio from my Tab, and the whole set-up makes for a hell of a bedside clock if you set it up on your nightstand. If you like to use your Galaxy Tab as a media consumption device, you ought to check one of these out. I've tossed a couple pictures of the dock itself after the break.
I'm a firm supporter of the opinion that most electronic devices are better naked than protected by a case. Yes, I've heard all the advice otherwise, and yes, I know that nothing is completely scratch proof. Heck, just last week I shattered my Thunderbolt when I absentmindedly perched it on my sink, turning it into a poster child for the dangers of case-less smartphones. That said, few things can change my mind. I'd rather commit to being more careful than hiding my expensive new device under a cheap looking cover.
Let's not be bashful here: This desktop docking station is what the HTC ThunderBolt has needed from the very beginning. The beloved phone and its 4G LTE data suck through a battery like nobody's business, and having a quick and easy way to charge is a must.
The desktop docking station is a breeze. You seat the phone in it -- it connects via the microUSB port -- and charge away. You can charge it with the standard battery installed, or with an extended battery and its fat extended battery cover. Works fine with either one.
And it gets better. Chances are if you have a ThunderBolt, you have a spare battery. There's a slot behind the phone charger to simultaneously charge a spare battery. And it works for a standard or extended battery.
Let's break down the options:
Charge the phone with a standard battery by itself.
Charge the phone with an extended battery by itself.
Charge the phone with a standard battery by itself, and with a standard battery in reserve.
Charge the phone with a standard battery by itself, and with an extended battery in reserve.
Charge the phone with an extended battery by itself, and with a standard battery in reserve.
Charge the phone with an extended battery by itself, and with another extended battery in reserve.
Or just charge an extra battery on its own, without the phone in the dock.
That's a pretty perfect set of options. There's also a cutout for the 3.5mm headphone jack, and it comes with the standard HTC USB charger and microUSB cable. About our only complaint is that the ThunderBolt's desktop clock is pretty plain, but it's not a deal-breaker by any means.
Since we're talking about keeping your phones charged today, let's give away a pretty cool charging pad. Energizer's wireless inductive charging pad (read our full review here) lets you charge your phone without actually plugging in the phone. OK, you still have to plug in the charging pad, but you gotta get the juice from somewhere, right?
To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post. Need to keep this one to the U.S. only (sorry!), and your phone will need to have an inductive charging cover to get it to work. Lots of rules, we know. But leave a comment, and we'll close up shop at 6 p.m. EST. Good luck!
With tablets being all the rage these days, Bluetooth keyboards are rising in popularity. It's not that the on-screen keyboards are bad (well, some are), but having physicals key adds a whole level of familiarity, plus you don't have to try and balance a tablet on your lap or something.
The Logitech Bluetooth keyboard for Android 3.0 tablets seems specifically targeted at the Android crowd, and it works really well.
Pairing is a cinch, using the connect button located on the back of the keyboard, and once you're paired up, you're good to go. Typing is a breeze on the keyboard and works without a hitch. Hit some keys, letters pop up on the screen. Everything Most of it works as it should.
The only problem with Logitech's Android-centric keyboard are the Android function keys. Logitech was wise enough to include search, home, menu, and back keys, but their intended functions are murky, at best.
I'm not sure if the unit I got is defective or if the keys just aren't mapped correctly, but while most of the keys did something, it was usually not what you wanted. Back acted like home, search acted like menu, so on and so forth. It was an irritating little niggle that was the only smudge on an otherwise great keyboard experience.
Another cool feature is the keyboard carrying case that protects the keys. For transport, it folds up and becomes a carrying case for the keyboard, but once you're ready to get typing, the case folds into a triangular stand (with a ridge!) to hold your tablet in position on a table or desk. It should also be noted that the Logitech keyboard doesn't come with rechargeable batteries and runs on four AAA's.
More pictures of the keyboard and stand can be found after the break.
The HTC ThunderBolt Desktop Docking Station has made its way into the Android Central Store. This is a slick little number that in addition to presenting and charging your ThunderBolt in a style also has a rear slot for charging a spare battery at the same time. It's got a cutout for 3.5mm headphone jack as well, so you can listen to music while you charge. The desktop docking station comes with a travel-size wall charger and USB cord.