It’s no coincidence that Logitech, the world’s largest computer accessories manufacturer, would release a new advertisement like the one below so soon after the announcement of “the new iPad” (which I insist on called the iPad 3, against Apple’s wishes) earlier this month.
And luckily for them, the new iPad looks just like the last one -- making their accessories work for both the iPad 2 and the 3.
Check it out below:
Now, being that this video is technically about all tablets, even going so far as to demo accessories for Android tablets as well, we know full well what Logitech are doing here -- they’ve seen the sales of the iPad push Apple over the top as the biggest company in the world and they’ve seen the enormous gap in the tablet accessories market that exists thanks to Apple’s refusal to get into it. Logitech are clearly determined to shift with the market towards accessorising these non-PC devices with everything a person could want to go with their gear.
Being that the iPad is still a relatively new category, we’ve been seeing the market flooded with a lot of accessories that you could more or less write off as ‘junk’ -- and the reason for this is that the manufacturers have been doing the same thing that they always do: dream up a bunch of different stuff, do a first production run and throw them out into the market to see what sells. At the end of the day, the crap stuff that no one wants can be flogged off for cheap to get rid of it and the good stuff that sells can keep being manufactured until people stop buying it anymore.
Obviously, gadget enthusiasts and pundits would like to think that in the two years that the iPad has been on the market now, that we should start to see some stabilisation in the marketplace of what kind of iPad accessories sell and don’t sell, right?
Judging by Logitech’s new ad, which demonstrates about a dozen of these new accessories, they’ve nailed it.
Now, that’s not to say that all of their accessories automatically make the iPad a better experience -- clearly some devices are targeted at very particular usage scenarios such as the kid watching a movie on the coffee table -- something that would be better demonstrated in a kid’s small bedroom -- and the wireless speaker, which would be useful for people eating a BBQ outside whilst wanting to leave the iPad mounted in the kitchen (to keep it away from breakage and/or theft).
But a few of the accessories demonstrated managed to strike a particular emotional connection for me in which for the first time, I could actually rationalise wanting a few of these.
The first that really stood out for me was the iPad dock that was being used on the bedside table as an alarm clock/video calling device.
The last time I saw that sort of usage of video calling in a casual setting was in the movie “The Island”, which was set in the future and made use of all sorts of sci-fi tech that didn’t exist (then) -- and it made video calling look cool (and desirable). That demonstration of the young girl lying in bed doing a video call on the mounted iPad with the built-in speakers gave me the same impression -- it made video calling look cool. There are a LOT of kids out there that would love to have a video phone next to their beds to use whilst gossiping with their school friends, and that segment of the ad demo’d that perfectly. If Logitech were smart, they’d spin that piece out into a whole ad and watch those things fly off the shelves. Hell, I want one!
The second that really impressed me was the unfolding keyboard accessory that hides behind the iPad itself and twists into a mini-laptop of sorts by propping up the iPad at a 135 degree angle and presenting the keyboard in two pieces that snap together to offer a full-sized keyboard.
The market has tried and tried to sell these bluetooth-keyboard-in-cow-leather binders for a while now and they continue to ruin the best part about the iPad -- it’s thinness. This thing does away with all the bulkiness whilst allowing the tablet to still be used in full touch-screen mode whilst folded away. Brilliant! Being heavily involved in the business sector in Australian IT, I can think of about 10 people right now who would buy one of these tomorrow after showing them this video -- the device just makes a tonne of sense in allowing the iPad to be the best of both worlds -- a touch screen device and a laptop replacement in the majority of situations. When comparing that combination to junk such as the ASUS Eee Pad Slider, there is no comparison.
Overall, pretty impressive stuff. Whilst I expected that Logitech wouldn’t be quiet in making a move into such a lucrative new market, I found myself still pretty surprised that they managed to make quite a splash in such a positive way, rather than landing with a thud. Kudos!
- From the Lab: Getting to the heat of the iPad temperature debate (macworld.com)
- No More Hunting and Pecking with the Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad2 (wellconnectedmom.com)
- Hottest Accessories for the Hottest New iPad (mizwhiz.com)
- Can an iPad Really Replace Your Laptop? (lockergnome.com)
- Is The New iPad Faster In Australia? (gizmodo.com.au)