Kensington launches productivity peripherals for smartphones and tablets

By Patrick Avenell

Kensington today launched its range of smartphone and tablet peripherals, with a focus on improving productivity and organisation among users.

"Organising is the most interesting subject in the world," said Sarah Cottman, VP of the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers and keynote speaker at the launch.

"I have ADHD and I'm married to a man with ADHD and we have three kids with ADHD, so you're in safe hands," she said, highlighting her credentials in being able to organise a family that presumably is both short on attention and high on hyperactivity.

"Executives lose about six weeks per year looking for stuff, which raises the question of how professional executives could be. A disorganised person doesn't know where to start," she said.

So how can a Kensington peripheral make someone more organised and productive? To show that one of these products, such as the new KeyFolio Pro 2 Universal Bluetooth Keyboard for smartphones and tablets, is an advantage in business or not, this reporter is writing this story on that keyboard on his iPhone 4S live and the launch.

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Without doubt, my productivity is being improved because I'm achieving my central goal as a journalist – to write stories – much faster than I would be had I either had to tap thjs out on the phone's touchscreen keyboard or was waiting to get back to the office to write it on my PC.

As far as convenience goes, rather than having a notebook PC on the table while listening to Cotter's presentation and eating lunch, I need only space for my iPhone and the keyboard, which is smaller than the plate that was previously occupying this space.

This model keyboard can connect to any Apple iOS product or Android phone or tablet via Bluetooth. There is no power lead, with recharging of the keyboard only available via MicroUSB. The keyboard has all 26 letters, 10 integers and the 12 Function keys, as well as Tab, Caps Lock, Shift, the cursor keys, Enter, Backspace, Delete – essentially all the major keys we use on a traditional keyboard. Strangely, although the Shift + 3 key is labeled as being the hash, it actually produces the pound sterling symbol (£), which makes Tweeting with the keyboard virtually impossible.

"You can type much faster on a keyboard than you can a phone or tablet," said Kensington manger – marketing and business development, Sam Goldstein.

"There are three words on all our packaging: 'smart, safe, simple'. Kensington has been around for 30 years; there aren't many peripheral companies that have been around that long.

"We want to really press that smart, safe, simple message right through the channel.

"Not everything is the same for every person: not everyone likes typing on a keyboard, some people like typing on a touchscreen, so we have different products for diffeent people on different platforms.

"People like different platforms, so we have products for smartphones and tablets from different manufacturers."

The Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 Universal, which the reporter used with an iPhone 4S to file this story.

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