Welcome to Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, The column that's emerging from the shadows of this mind-crushingly terrible election season to pore over the latest gadget announcements.On our ballot this time around are a microphone that can plug into an iPhone or iPad, a smartphone case with an E-ink display, and a flexible keyboard that houses an entire computer.As ever, the ratings reflect only how much I'd like to try out each item with my hands, ideally before the world descends into post-election chaos. These are not reviews.
It's a gorgeous, portable little thing, which you can connect to a PC or Mac using a USB cable. However, it is also bundled with a Mini USB to Lightning cable to make it easy for you to capture quality audio using an iPhone or iPad.
There's an included stand with shock-absorber feet, so that should help cut down on unwanted vibrations and rumblings. When taking the mic elsewhere, the stand folds over it for better portability. If you prefer, you can attach Raspberry to a standard tripod or mic stand instead.The mic also has a headphone jack, headphone volume dial, and a level/gain control that doubles as a mute switch.It's a bit pricey at US$199 but a better option for recording clear audio.
A smartphone case with an an e-ink screen in the rear.Features include a 4.3-inch screen, support for EPUB and TXT formats and notification display. It connects to your phone over Bluetooth. You can use it to display images, but you'll need to make do with monochrome versions of your favorite photos, of course.
Vensmile K8 is a flexible rubber keyboard that also happens to include a computer capable of running Windows 10.The base, which attaches to the side, houses a touchpad, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and an Intel Atom Cherry Trail processor. There are HDMI and VGA ports for connecting to that all-important display, along with two USB ports, a headphone jack and a microSD slot.