Review: Logitech’s $99 MX Sound 2.0 Speakers Offer Great Audio for the Money

Logitech's MX Sound 2.0 Bluetooth speakers are the audio offering in its latest desktop accessory range, which includes the MX ERGO mouse and CRAFT keyboard. Like most stereo speakers around the $99 price point, they're positioned as a decent upgrade over typically lifeless-sounding integrated monitor and laptop speakers.


The company says it focused on design quality and audio performance when developing these spherical units, so I was intrigued to see how they compared to the likes of Creative's acclaimed GigaWorks T20 Series II speakers, which have garnered an impressive fan base over the last decade.
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Review: Logitech’s Circle 2 Brings HomeKit Compatibility and a New Design

Logitech's Circle 2, introduced in June, is the second-generation version of its Circle home security camera. This new version features a redesigned body, wired and wire-free versions, accessories that let it be positioned anywhere, and, through a recent update, HomeKit support.

Circle 2 is meant to be used as a home security device and it's ideal for keeping an eye on your house while you're away from home. It's also great for keeping an eye on pets and children, and even communicating with the two-way microphone. Circle 2 connects to a home WiFi network and offers cloud functionality that lets you view video anywhere.


I've been using a Logitech Circle camera for two years now sans HomeKit functionality, so I was eager to check out the HomeKit version. This is only the second HomeKit-compatible camera available on the market, and with the new design, the Logi Circle app, and cloud upload ability, the Circle 2 easily beats out the D-Link Omna as the best HomeKit camera you can buy at the moment.

Though Logitech offers both wired and wire-free versions of the Circle 2, HomeKit only works with the wired version because Apple requires an always-on camera connection, and that's not how the wire-free Circle 2 works.

Design and Features


The wired version of the Circle 2 consists of a small palm-sized camera module that attaches to a base with a pivoting neck, allowing the camera to be positioned and rotated into an ideal angle to work with any room setup. The base can be attached to a wall with a wall mount, and the camera module itself is detachable from the base because it can connect to other accessories like a plug or window mount.


Circle 2 has a white shell around it, and the camera base is also white. It's a simple, attractive design that melds into the decor around it. There's no mistaking this is a camera, though. It has a wide camera lens and an LED light that comes on when it's activated, but that can be turned off for a slightly more discreet look. At the back, there's a 10-ft power cord that needs to be plugged into the wall.
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Logitech Circle 2 Wired Home Security Camera Updated With HomeKit Support

Logitech's recently released Circle 2 Wired home security camera is today gaining support for HomeKit, which will allow the device to interface with other HomeKit apps, send notifications, work with Siri voice commands, and be controlled through the dedicated Home app on iOS devices.

"HomeKit truly complements the simplicity of setting up and using Circle 2," said Vincent Borel, director of new ventures at Logitech. "We're focused on building experiences that let you easily and securely control your Circle 2 camera, while expanding its capabilities. Whether you're checking on the kids from another room with your iPad or looking for extra peace of mind while you're away, HomeKit makes Circle 2 work even smarter for you and your family."
The new Circle 2 Wired camera was introduced in June and began shipping out to customers in July, but Logitech had not yet implemented HomeKit support. The camera is designed to let you keep an eye on what's going on in your house while you're not there with features like high quality 180-degree video, cloud uploads, night vision, an adjustable ball joint, and various mounting solutions.

With HomeKit, the Circle 2's motion detection features can be used in scenes to do things like turn on HomeKit-connected lights in the house, and the camera stream itself can be viewed directly in the Home app. With an Apple TV or iPad set up as a Home hub, HomeKit connectivity is also available when you're away from home.

Logitech also offers a wire-free version of the Circle 2, but that product is not compatible with HomeKit because HomeKit requires always-on connectivity to work with camera accessories. HomeKit works with the Circle 2 Wired camera by itself and when the camera is attached to either the Plug Mount or Window Mount.

HomeKit connectivity is available starting today. Existing Circle 2 users will need to follow the instructions on the Logitech website to enable HomeKit support.

The Logitech Circle 2 is available from the Logitech website for $179.99. It will also be coming to Apple Stores and the Apple online store in October.


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Logitech Resurrects the Trackball Device With the Wireless MX ERGO

Logitech resurrected the trackball device today with its announcement of the MX ERGO, which the company is calling its "first new innovative trackball in nearly a decade".

Pitched to consumers looking for alternatives to mice and touchpads, the Bluetooth-based MX ERGO features an adjustable metal hinge with angle options at either zero or 20 degrees for personalizing the comfort level, which improves wrist posture and pronation, according to Logitech.

"We are so excited by this new trackball. It is back, better than ever and the idea for this trackball innovation was inspired by our users, who invented creative ways to achieve their desired level of comfort, sometimes adding additional wedges under their trackball for elevated angles," said Anatoliy Polyanker, global portfolio and brand director at Logitech. "The MX ERGO is our first adjustable trackball that delivers on the need for elevated comfort in a beautiful design."
The sculpted shape is designed to offer full palm and finger support, with a soft rubber on top for a comfortable grip over many hours of work. An LED light indicates when "precision mode" is activated using the dedicated button on the side of the MX ERGO. This special mode is said to allow the user to instantly change cursor speed and accuracy.

The device also supports multi-device connectivity through Logitech's Easy-Switch and Logitech Flow software, which allows users to seamlessly switch between two computers with one mouse, as well as copy and paste content, images and documents between them.


The rechargeable battery lasts up to four months on a full charge, depending on usage, and Logitech reckons the MX ERGO can give a complete day of work with just one minute of charge if the device is low on power.

The Logitech MX ERGO is priced at $99.99 and should be available to buy on the Logitech website and select retail stores throughout the U.S. in September.

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Logitech’s CRAFT Keyboard for Mac and PC Features a ‘Smart Dial’ for Creatives

Logitech today announced CRAFT, the company's latest $200 "advanced keyboard" for Mac and PC that features a creative input dial for more easily accessing context-specific controls while working.

Called the Crown, the "smart aluminum dial" sits on the top-left of the new full-size keyboard and is touch sensitive, enabling creative users to tap or turn it to adjust settings like brush size, brightness, chart type, font size, and so on.

"Our new flagship Logitech CRAFT keyboard is for all creators who spend a lot of time designing and creating - who want to work with greater precision and feel connected to their work," said Art O'Gnimh, global head of keyboards at Logitech. "The creative input dial gives you instant access to the functions you need, the moment you need them, allowing you to increase your productivity by simply touching the dial. CRAFT puts you in your creative element – every time you sit at the desk."
Users can customize the Crown's functionality using custom profiles in the Logitech Options software utility, which is compatible with Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe InDesign CC and Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel and Word, although Microsoft functionalities work on PC only at this time, according to Logitech.


The dial can also be set up to access global Mac controls - giving users the ability to change desktops, navigate between apps, or adjust volume, as well as assign one additional Crown function in each of their favorite apps.

In addition to the creative dial, the CRAFT Advanced Keyboard features smart illumination with backlighting that detects hands and adjusts lighting automatically depending on the room conditions. Meanwhile, a proprietary button on the keyboard allows users to dynamically switch between – and type on – any three connected devices, whether they are using a Windows PC, Mac, or tablet.

The Logitech CRAFT Advanced Keyboard is expected to become available in October 2017, but can be pre-ordered now from the company's website for the price of $199.99.

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Lack of iPad Pro Smart Connector Accessories Blamed on Long Wait Times for Components

Fast Company published a report this week exploring why third-party accessories that make use of Apple's Smart Connector remain few and far between, almost two years after the connector first debuted on the iPad Pro. The magnetic Smart Connector allows the iPad Pro to communicate with and power compatible accessories, like the company's own Smart Keyboard, without the hassle of wires.

The first supporting third-party accessory, Logitech's Create Smart Connector keyboard, launched the same day as the iPad Pro in late 2015, shortly followed by the Logitech charging base, and more recently a Logitech keyboard for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. However, this close partnership between Apple and Logitech is one of the reasons for the dearth of Smart Connector accessories from competing vendors, according to the report.

"With an iPad Pro keyboard on the market already, we are evaluating the market's appetite for another iPad Pro keyboard and identifying if there are any gaps that we can fill," a spokeswoman for Incipio told Fast Company. "So we are developing with having a point of difference in mind rather than developing to be quick to market."
Other issues are said to relate to procuring Smart Connector components, with manufacturers reporting longer lead times compared to other accessories, making them time- and cost-prohibitive. "For a business like us, we've got a very rapid product development cycle," said one vendor source, who asked to remain anonymous. "When you've got a long lead time component that's close to six months, that's just not tenable."

Logitech Create Smart Keyboard

Meanwhile, some accessory makers simply preferred Bluetooth as a better fit, especially for iPad keyboards, with more room for maneuver in terms of accessory design. For instance, the Smart Connector only works with keyboards in landscape mode, whereas some users prefer to type in portrait orientation. The issue of Bluetooth battery life has also been minimized, with smaller batteries now lasting for months rather than weeks.

There are only four Smart Connector accessories currently on the market – three offered by Logitech, one by Apple. Fast Company was told by Apple that multiple companies are now developing Smart Connector accessories, but going on this report, iPad Pro owners looking to further exploit the potential of Apple's proprietary connector could be in for some wait yet.


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Logitech Announces ‘Circle 2’ Home Security Camera With HomeKit Compatibility

Logitech today announced a follow-up to its popular Circle home camera, debuting the Circle 2. The Circle 2 builds on the features built into the original Circle camera, with Logitech introducing HomeKit support and two separate models, both wired and wire-free for different uses around the house.

For those unfamiliar with the Logitech Circle, it is an in-home camera designed to let you keep an eye on what's going on in your house when you're not there. It's great for keeping an eye on pets and kids, with cloud storage, two-way communication, and more. In our review of the Circle, we questioned its usefulness compared to other home security solutions on the market, and that's a specific area Logitech addressed in the Circle 2.

Wire-Free Circle 2

Logitech found that many people who purchased the original Circle camera were interested in it for home security, and the company has doubled down on those features in the second-generation version. Along with wired and wire-free models that offer more options for in-home placement, Logitech is also shipping the Circle 2 with a variety of mounting accessories. There's also more granular control over things like motion zones and person detection in the revamped app that will be offered alongside Circle 2, so you can choose what your camera records and doesn't record, and when and how it alerts you.

Wired Circle 2

The wired Circle 2 model is meant to be plugged in all the time and offers continuous recording, while the wire-free model runs on a battery and records video when motion is detected, allowing the battery to last for weeks or months at a time. Both models feature the same camera hardware, offering high-quality 180-degree video, night vision support, and a ball joint so it can be adjusted to any angle. Both models are weatherproof and can be placed outside for outdoor use.

Multiple accessories, priced from $29.99 to $49.99, expand the range of places where the Circle 2 can be placed. Accessory options are outlined below:

- Circle 2 Window Mount - The window mount allows the Circle 2 to be attached directly to a window pane with an adhesive ring.

- Circle 2 Plug Mount - With the Plug Mount, the Circle 2 can be plugged directly into and powered by any home wall outlet, which is ideal for kitchen or garage placement.

- Circle 2 Weatherproof Extension - The Weatherproof Extension is designed for the Circle 2 Wired Camera and protects cables from outside weather conditions.

- Circle 2 Rechargeable Battery - Designed for the Circle 2 Wire-Free Camera, the backup battery allows you to swap out batteries and keep one charged at all times.

Plug Mount left, Window Mount right

With HomeKit support, the Circle 2 video feed will be available in the Home app, and it will also be able to integrate and work with other HomeKit-connected products. Logitech plans to enable HomeKit compatibility to the Wired version through a software update following the launch of the Circle 2. Circle 2 also works with Amazon Alexa and the Logitech POP Smart Button.

"People want the peace of mind that comes with a simple security solution," said Vincent Borel, director of new ventures at Logitech. "Circle 2 gives people just that - you can place the camera wherever you need it, inside or out, and rest assured that you'll be alerted of any changes in your home while you're away."
Like the original Circle, Circle 2 will offer 24 hours of free encrypted cloud storage. Logitech also offers Circle Safe plans for a fee, which offer 14 to 31 days of storage.

Circle 2 is available for pre-order from the Logitech website starting today. The wired version of the Circle 2 is available for $179.99, while the wire-free version is available for $199.99. A range of mounts and accessories can also be purchased for $29.99 to $49.99.

Logitech plans to begin shipping Circle 2 orders to customers in July.


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Logitech Debuts Slim Combo Case for 10.5-Inch and 12.9-Inch iPad Pro With Detachable Backlit Keyboard

Logitech has revealed an all-new "Slim Combo" case for the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads, which Apple announced during yesterday's WWDC keynote. Logitech said it worked with Apple to ensure the new case will be in Apple retail stores the same day as the new iPads, and users interested can begin purchasing the case from Logitech and Apple's websites today.

The Slim Combo case can be used in four different modes: Typing, Viewing, FaceTime, and Reading. The company said that users will be able to comfortably type, remove the keyboard to sketch with Apple Pencil, switch to portrait mode for FaceTime, and more.


“In the past, you were bound to a workspace with a PC, and used your tablet for quick messages or entertainment when you weren’t in the office; that’s not the case anymore,” said Michele Hermann, vice president of mobility at Logitech. “To be a pro today, you need the power of the PC, but more easily available whether you're on a train, at the park, in a meeting or wherever you need to be. The Slim Combo unleashes the power of iPad Pro to bring you the future of personal computing; a future that’s easier, faster and more fun.”
The keyboard connects using Apple's Smart Connector and features full-size backlit keys (with three levels of brightness) as well as a dedicated row of iOS shortcut keys. Shortcuts include Home, screen brightness, search, switch keyboard language, keyboard brightness, media controls, volume controls, and a lock screen toggle.


When done typing, the keyboard acts as a front-facing protective cover for the iPad's screen. Multiple viewing angles are supported thanks to two micro hinges that let the case recline within a 50-degree range, and Logitech has also added in an Apple Pencil holder. For the larger 12.9-inch version, users can fold half of the cover under the keyboard to reduce its footprint.


The Slim Combo for 10.5-inch iPad Pro is available to purchase today from Logitech at $129.99, while the Slim Combo for 12.9-inch iPad Pro is listed at $149.99, and both are available in black and classical blue. Apple is also selling the cases on its online store.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
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Logitech’s HomeKit-Compatible POP Smart Button Now Available in Apple Stores

Starting today, Logitech's HomeKit-compatible programmable POP Smart Button can be purchased exclusively from Apple retail locations in the United States.

The Logitech POP Smart Button is designed to allow any smart device in the home to be controlled through the push of a button, allowing things like lights to be activated without the need for a smartphone.


Connected to a user's HomeKit setup via a bridge, the POP Smart Button supports three customizable gestures, with each bridge able to support multiple buttons. Buttons can be used to activate full HomeKit scenes or simply turn a smart accessory on and off. Each button supports three preset commands, activated with a press, a double press, or a press and hold gesture.


While the POP Smart Button works with HomeKit, it can also be used with other non-HomeKit devices like Sonos wireless speakers or Logitech Harmony hub-based remote controls.

The Logitech POP Smart Button Kit, which includes one bridge and one pre-paired smart button in White or Alloy, is priced at $59.95 and will be available from Apple.com and Apple retail stores today. Additional Add-on Smart Buttons can be purchased for $39.95.

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Logitech Debuts New Slim Folio Keyboard and Case for Apple’s Latest iPad

Logitech today announced the debut of the Logitech Slim Folio, a Bluetooth keyboard and case that's designed for the fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad that Apple debuted earlier this year.

The Slim Folio has been designed with what Logitech says are "large, well-spaced keys" that are "stretched from edge-to-edge" and a comfortable layout to make typing quicker and easier. It also features dedicated function and iOS shortcut keys to do things like switch between apps, bring up the search function, access the Home screen, and control volume without needing to touch the iPad's display.


A folio-style stand locks into place at an ideal typing and viewing angle, allowing the iPad to be used equally well on a flat surface like a desk or a lap. Designed to be slim and light, the folio protects the iPad from scratches and bumps with stain resistant fabric that was originally developed for the luggage industry.
"The fifth-generation iPad is Apple's most affordable iPad to date, but there's still a learning curve typing on the new device if you're used to a laptop or desktop keyboard," said Michele Hermann, vice president of mobility at Logitech. "With four years of battery life, a lightweight design, and overall great typing experience, the Logitech SLIM FOLIO can help take your mobile computing to a new level, allowing you to enjoy laptop-like typing anywhere."
The new iPad connects to the Slim Folio over Bluetooth LE, with the keyboard automatically activating whenever the iPad is put into a typing position. Replaceable coin cell batteries that last up to four years mean there's no need for charging.

Logitech is offering pre-orders for the Slim Folio starting today from the Logitech website. The Slim Folio is priced at $99.99 and will be available globally in May.

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