Kickstarter continues to impress as a go-to resource for gadget accessories that tread somewhat off the beaten path. Two recent discoveries fit that description, and offer smart solutions for folks looking to shore up commonly cited iPad and MacBook Pro deficiencies.
A MacBook Pro cooling stand that doesn’t compromise style
Cooling stands that prop your MacBook Pro and provide a little more room for air circulation than you get from the thin elevation of the rubber pads are generally just frames without much attention paid to aesthetics. A cooler laptop theoretically means longer device life, since you can run it for longer while keeping the internal temperature down, and, as most dedicated computer users know, heat is the enemy of fragile internal components.
The TILT is designed to be a cooling stand you’d be proud to put on your MacBook Pro, and even leave on. It clips directly to the bottom of your Apple notebook, and uses polycarbonate ABS made to look like your MacBook’s aluminum casing to blend in with Apple’s beautiful industrial design. Unlike most notebook stands, it features a closed bottom, which makes it easier to use on your lap, and it only adds less than an inch of height to the Mac as well as a light 8 ounces of weight.
It also features a built-in fan system that’s powered via USB if you think you need even more heat-saving power than the added elevation provides. But the best part actually might be the tripod mount built in to the TILT. I can think of plenty of situations where having a MacBook Pro mounted on a tripod would come in handy, especially at photo or video shoots, or for an impromptu small group video or slide show viewing party.
TILT has already met its Kickstarter funding goal, so it’ll become a reality. For now, only the model designed for the 15-inch MacBook Pro is going into production, but a 13-inch model is in the work. A pledge of $45 or more nabs you a pre-order.
Touch typing, via a sleek featherweight device on the iPad
I like my iPad, but I’ve never really been able to use it as a laptop replacement, at least not when it comes to writing. The touchscreen keyboard is fine for banging out a quick Twitter update, but for longer posts, it’s downright unpleasant, especially for someone as used to touch typing as I am. The TouchFire is a project that aims to bring touch typing to the iPad, in the least obtrusive way possible.
The TouchFire is a thin, flexible keyboard overlay that can actually live within the iPad’s smart cover, so you can roll it up and away when not in use. Despite its thickness, it offers real force resistance when typing, so that you actually feel like you’re hitting keys, thanks to a series of micro-structures within each key designed by project co-founder Brad Melmon, a product designer and engineer with a strong resume.
I can’t wait to get my hands on a TouchFire, because it looks like the perfect way to make creating written content on the iPad as easy as possible, without the need for Bluetooth accessories or elaborate add-ons. Like the TILT, it has already met its funding goal, so your pledge of $45 (the level at which you start qualifying for preorders) will definitely bear fruit.
Got an exciting Kickstarter project? Send it to us for consideration in our regular roundup of promising accessories.