Black Wallet for iPad

On February 17, 2011, in Cases, First Look, iPad, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Black Wallet for iPad Case
Company: Happy Owl Studio
Price: $79.99 USD

The iPad has cases coming in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and materials since its introduction. Happy Owl Studio has produced a new case for the iPad that encompasses providing a stylish case that still provides protection, flexibility to adjust the case to view or type and the additional functionality of enabling the user to store other items within the confines of the case without going too far overboard.

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iPad sales are phenomenal so it should come as no surprise that everywhere you look there’s another iPad accessory. Apple reported that in the quarter that ended on Christmas Day 2010, it sold 7.3 million iPads. That’s just one quarter. Sales of that magnitude have spawned a fertile and highly competitive accessories industry. I recently dipped one toe into the accessories pond and found that quality and usefulness ran the gamut from good to downright chintzy. Here are a few examples of both:

Company: Moshi
Price: $55

The Moshi Concerti is one of the nicest of the accessories. It’s a stylish iPad case that is made from a hybrid silicone/microfiber fabric, but it looks and feels like suede. I handed it to my wife as she was about to leave on a two week trip. She found it functional in most respects but with limitations.

The Concerti opens like a book. The right side has a rubber frame that accommodates the iPad with a snug and secure fit. The frame holding the iPad has openings for all cable interfaces and buttons. When open, the left side of the case has two ridges that allow the user to easily prop up the iPad in its horizontal position. The ridges are stiff enough to make the iPad feel secure if it’s sitting on a desk or the seatback table on an airplane, but it’s far less stable if it’s sitting on your lap.

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Two Unusual iPad Case/Stands Reviewed by Jackie Richards, Guest Writer

PowerBack Battery Case with Kickstand and Dock
$90 to $130 online

PowerBack is a combo iPad case, stand, and battery pack. A metal kick stand supports PowerBack in four different easel positions: two each portrait and landscape. The hard plastic shell case of robust construction has precise grid edges for aligning and sliding your iPad in and out.

A Micro-USB port on the bottom rear connects PowerBack to a computer or other USB charging source via an included cable. You may need an inexpensive Kensington or third party USB wall or car charger if you discharge all iPad and PowerBack juice while away from a computer. Blue lights flash to indicate incremental charging capacity: 20 – 40 – 60 – 80 battery fuel gauge, as Kensington calls it. The company claims up to five extra hours of power and our tests confirm that approximate range, depending on iPad activity.

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Brenthaven 5-in-1 for iPad – Review

On January 13, 2011, in Cases, Features, First Look, iPad, Review, by Russ Walkowich

5-in-1 for iPad
Company: Brenthaven
Price: $59.95 USD

With the iPad, things changed, at least case-wise they did. Getting a case for your iPhone is relatively simple; you want something to protect the iPhone. With the iPad, things got a little bit more complicated. Do you want to just carry the iPad in the case, protect the back of the case, protect the front and back, or are there other things that you want the iPad to be able to do when you want to use it? Can you use the case to angle the iPad so you can type or watch a video? Do you want to protect as much of the iPad as you can without  making things too complicated or too heavy to use? Brenthaven’s 5-in-1 for iPad may be the answer to your questions.

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ZAGGmate with Keyboard

On January 12, 2011, in Cases, iPad, Keyboard, Review, by Russ Walkowich

ZAGGmate with Keyboard for iPad
Company: ZAGG
Price: $99.99 USD

The iPad has turned out to be an enormous hit since its introduction in 2010, far surpassing what the estimates were for such a product. One of the things that has both worked for and against it has been the lack of a “regular” keyboard. Users have either loved the on-screen keyboard or have railed against it. One of the solutions that has popped up has been a keyboard linked to the iPad via Bluetooth connectivity. The ZAGGmate with keyboard case is one of those products.

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MiCorder Digital MP3 Recorder

On January 5, 2011, in Earphones, Features, Headphones, Review, Speakers, by John Nemerovski

Company: Olens Technology
$60 to $80 online

If you are an iPhone or iPod touch snob, stop reading now and get back to your favorite time-wasting toy. If you want to learn about a promising new audio recording device, keep reading.

MiCorder does only two things, and does them well. It records ambient sound, live music, and voice easily and efficiently with a built-in microphone in non-audiophile MP3 compression. And it records from any line audio source with an included cable, also as a 128mbps MP3. Stop yawning. The latter is MiCorder’s greatest asset.

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Commuter Series Case for iPad

On December 30, 2010, in Cases, iPad, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Commuter Series Case for iPad
Company: Otterbox
Price: $64.95 USD

I have been using Otterbox cases for my iPhones since I purchased my first iPhone. Solid and dependable, built to protect my iPhone, they have always presented a great product. When I purchased my iPad, one of the first things to cross my mind was “I know that Otterbox has to have a case for it.”

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Ecopad Bamboo Lapdesk for Notebook Computers
Price: $29

Macally has a reputation for making computer accessories that combine form and function without sacrificing aesthetics. The Ecopad is a typical Macally product — minimalist in design, attractive to the eye and hand, and serving a useful function. The Ecopad is a bamboo lapdesk, suitable for any laptop.

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Review – Eco-Envi + for iPad

On December 10, 2010, in Cases, iPad, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Eco-Envi + for iPad
Company: Marware
Price: $69.99 USD

Just in case you haven’t noticed, Apple’s iPad is appearing everywhere. Classrooms, stores, and more importantly, in business offices. Now since the iPad has been around for the past several months, cases of every design are everywhere. The question is what do you put your iPad in if you are going to be taking it to the office with you?

Might I suggest that you consider Marware’s Eco-Envi + for the iPad. First, the Eco-Envi + consists of two items; a clear polycarbonate MicroShell that covers the back of your iPad and a high-grain eco-leather case with a fleece interior to baby your iPad when you place it inside. With or without the polycarbonate rear shell, your iPad slips into the case like a hand into a brand new glove. After several weeks of use, the iPad continues to go into the case with really no expansion of the leather so there is very little chance that your iPad would accidentally slip out if you turned the case upside down. I have turned my case upside down and the iPad has not moved at all. The flap on the case keeps the iPad inside and the dirt/dust outside.

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The BookBook for iPad

On December 9, 2010, in Cases, iPad, Review, Stand, by Rich Lefko

BookBook for iPad
Company: Twelve South
Price: $69.99 USD
Twelve South

The iPad is such a unique device that manufacturers are only starting to catch up with accessories and cases that match its style. Twelve South, a manufacturer of creative MacBook cases, has released their first iPad product, the BookBook for iPad.
The BookBook for iPad is a handmade, hardback leather case that resembles a vintage tome. Not only does it provide physical protection for your iPad, but adds a level of security because of its uncommon design.

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iPad Sleeve, Stylus, Stand, and Case

On December 8, 2010, in Cases, iPad, Keyboard, Messenger Bag, Review, Stand, by John Nemerovski

WaterField iPad Wallet, Hard Candy Stylus and Pen, Griffin Technology iPad Tablet Stand, and Griffin Technology Elan Passport Graphite iPad Folio Case

Guest iPad gear review by Jackie Richards – Part Four. Many of the items reviewed below will make great stocking stuffers any time of year.

iPad Wallet
Company: WaterField Design
Price: $79 U.S. (plus optional straps and D-rings)

WaterField’s iPad Wallet has an clever design for storing and carrying an iPad plus an Apple Wireless Keyboard and several accessories. It is a premium all-weather product. The construction and design are stylish, attractive, and suitable for men and women. This tote can be ordered with or without two kinds of strap and/or D-rings, as customized from the company’s web site. Six outer colors are available.

The Wallet’s rectangular shape is enhanced by genuine leather edging, in addition to rugged outer material. Interior padded pockets “keep your iPad and Keyboard separate and safe,” according to WaterField, and that claim is accurate. A loose premium nylon mesh rear pocket is deep enough for a small purse, several cables, or a book.

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Marware SportShell Convertible Review

On October 20, 2010, in Features, iPad, by Rich Lefko

SportShell Convertible
Company: Marware
Price: $59.99 USD

There will soon be a bazillion (is that a real number?) cases for the iPad. Choosing the “best” one can become something of an exercise in futility as they all offer some feature twist the other ones don’t. The case, or cases, you ultimately select will be based on your own need, or how and where you intend to use your iPad.

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Review – Elan Holster Metal

On October 14, 2010, in Apple, Cases, iPhone Cases, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Elan Holster Metal iPhone 4 Case
Company: Griffin Technology
Price: $34.99

When I was evaluating the Elan Form Graphite iPhone 4 case, I was also working on evaluating Griffin Technology’s Elan Holster Metal case for the iPhone 4. Unlike the Form Graphite, the Elan Holster Metal case is a case that sits horizontal on your belt and provides wrap-around protection for your iPhone 4.

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Review – Otterbox Defender Series iPad Case

On September 7, 2010, in Cases, Dock, iPad, Review, by Mike Breed

Otterbox Defender Case for the iPad
Company: Otterbox
Price: $89.95

When I found out about Otterbox’s new Defender Series case for the iPad, I jumped at the opportunity to review it. I’ve reviewed other cases for Otterbox in the past, so I’m already familiar with their attention to detail and quality workmanship that is put into their cases. I couldn’t wait to see what they had for the iPad. I wasn’t disappointed.

I couldn’t help but smile when I opened the Defender case. The packaging was of Apple-caliber, with the placement of everything well thought out. The Defender case for the iPad comes with three layers of protection. The hard plastic inner layer provides rigid durability. This is surrounded by a softer silicone cover that cushions minor impacts and provides scratch resistance. A protective screen film helps to prevent marring of your iPad’s screen, while a hard plastic shell that can be snapped onto either the front or back of the iPad serves a dual purpose as a stand. It’s the ultimate package for your iPad.

As is the case with other Defender series cases from Otterbox, getting the case onto your device takes a bit of work. Fortunately, Otterbox provides illustrated instructions for getting the case on and off without much difficulty. It does take some effort to get the silicone tabs to line up with the slots of the inner shell, but with some coaxing, they go in with an amazing fit. The result is well worth the effort. Your iPad looks stylish in a matte black finish that gives the impression that it’s part of Apple’s design for the iPad.

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Review: Speck iPhone 4 Cases

On August 17, 2010, in Cases, iPhone Cases, Review, by Owen Rubin

Speck Cases for iPhone 4
Company: Speck

Price: $24.95 – $29.95

No surprise to anyone by now, your iPhone 4 probably needs a case, if not only to keep it from suffering connection and reception errors, but to protect the finish as well. And you might just want to protect that glass from drops and bumps too. Yes, I know, you can get one for free from Apple (for a short time), but personally, I did not see one in their free collection that I actually liked.

Three cases from speck

So I went looking for other cases, and the first place I went was Speck! I have one of their cases on my MacBook Pro, and another on my iPod touch, and really like them both, so what better place to start. Speck has a few new designs out for the iPhone 4, and I looked at three different cases.

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Otterbox Defender Case for iPhone 4
Company: Otterbox

Price: $49.95

Until now, cases for the iPhone 4 have been scarce. With both the front and back of the phone being made of glass, most of us worry about breakage for good reason. I was fortunate enough to find an Apple bumper for my new iPhone while visiting an Apple Store in Charleston, SC. I’ve been using this bumper as my primary case, but while proudly showing off the beauty of the hardware, the bumper doesn’t offer much protection for the iPhone’s back glass.

In true form, Otterbox has has solved this dilemma by delivering what amounts to armor for your iPhone with its new Defender series cases. As someone who spends a lot of time outdoors with my phone, I really appreciate the thought Otterbox has put into the Defender. Don’t let the higher price-point scare you, the Defender’s built quality and functionality fit the price.

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Which style of iPad case is best for you? Let’s look at three different models, with our guest reviewer, Howard Nemerovski.

Eco-Vue for iPad
Company: Marware
Price: $45 plus shipping (available worldwide)

iPad SoftGloss Case
Company: iFrogz
Price: $30

Sleeve for iPad
Company: Rickshaw Bagworks
Price: $30 to $60, depending upon custom materials of your choice

Marware’s Eco-Vue is similar in design and function to the Griffin Elan Passport Folio iPad case that I reviewed here last month. Eco-Vue is constructed with an attractive, sleek genuine eco-leather outer shell. You can read about eco-leather at the product’s web site here. There are dozens of user reviews, mostly raves, linked on the same company web page.

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iPad Bubble Sleeve and Squish Skin Review

On June 14, 2010, in iPad, Review, by Beth Lock

iPad Bubble Sleeve
SRP: $49.99
Squish Skin
SRP: $39.99

Company: Hard Candy Cases

Hard Candy Cases have carved a niche in the highly competitive area of iPad cases and skins. I had the opportunity to test two of their many protective products, the durable and colorful Bubble Sleeve and their silicone Squish Skin.

I gave the Bubble Sleeve a good workout on a recent road trip to San Diego. I was comfortable tossing the enclosed iPad onto the back seat of the car because of the type of protection the Bubble Sleeve offers. The case is made from EVO-foam with a soft interior lining. The exterior bubbles not only give the appearance of added protection, but they actually work. I believe anyone who gives their electronic devices a harder to usual workout would appreciate the durability of the iPad Bubble Sleeve.

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Review – ColcaSac Kindle Case

On May 18, 2010, in Review, by Elisa Pacelli

ColcaSac Kindle Case

Company: ColcaSac
Price: $34.95

I’m going to put it out there right at the start: the ColcaSac Kindle Sleeve isn’t the most attractive Kindle case out there. It’s not made of soft, fine leather, or have a fancy designer name. But is that what’s most important in protecting your precious Kindle?

ColcaSac is a company in Utah that makes handmade sleeves for Kindle, MacBook, iPhone and iPad. We spend a lot of money on our technology, so it’s important that it’s protected. My ColcaSac Kindle Case fit the bill nicely.

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Review – Macally BookStand iPad Case

On May 12, 2010, in iPad, Review, by Donny Yankellow

Macally BookStand iPad Case
Price: $49.99

Company: Macally

The iPad case market is booming and Macally is one of the companies diving right in with a bunch of offerings. The BookStand is one of their higher end cases coming in at a price of $49.99. Is it worth the money? Read on.

To start, the BookStand is a case that mimics a book. It has a front, a back, and a spine. It opens like a book, but instead of pages inside it has an iPad. The case itself covers the front and back of the iPad nicely (when closed). The only side that is covered is where you would have the spine of the case. When opened the only coverage on the iPad is the back and the four corners holding the iPad into the case. While this may not be the best protection, it does leave easy access to controls and connections. It also makes for easy installation, something I am finding is not common is many iPad cases.

When closed the case has a strap that holds the case closed when transporting. The material is a nice and soft and I have no worries about it scratching the iPad. The model I tested was gray, but a black model is on the way.

The great thing about the BookStand is that the cover folds back behind the iPad and becomes an easel. The strap straps in making it very secure. In my tests I have propped the iPad up on a stool using the BookStand and it works perfectly. When in this form the iPad can be propped almost straight up in landscape mode or more reclined to help with typing. This is the best feature of the BooksSand.

Overall, I really like the BookStand. IMy main complaint is that the sides are exposed when traveling. When the case is open it really doesn’t do much protecting. If you want a case for protecting your iPad from falls I suggest going with a different model.

If you are looking for an easel-like case for your iPad that is lightweight, great looking, and easy to use this one is worth checking out. Rating 9 out of 10

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