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Entries in accessories (8)

V-luxe the Deluxe Stand for your iPad

IMG_1038If you have $499 to spare (after splashing out at least that much for your iPad already) then we have the stand / accessory for you. 

Evoking memories of classic 1950's TVs the V-luxe was created originally as a present for Paula Anne Patterson's partner.

He loved it so much that they decided other people might enjoy the classic design and gorgeous materials used in its construction and we have to agree. 

Paula has set up her own workshop BKNYdesign and as a result of a successful Kickstarter funding project and since hitting her funding target, has been working on the production model of the V-luxe.

V-luxe with speaker compartmentThe V-luxe features a 'clamshell' area which opens up so that you can slide your iPad in, forming the 'TV' part of the stand. The cabinet underneath has a grille which is actually a little door that opens up, revealing a shelf which can house Bluetooth or wired speakers that you can connect to your iPad. 

The pictures here really don't do the stand justice, but you can see much more of the stand and how cool it really is in the video on the Kickstarter project page (the Flash embed doesn't work here but the original does play on the iPad at the Kickstarter website). 

The final version will also feature cable management so that you can charge your iPad while it is in the stand.

We love the fun TV Cabinet look of this stand along with the materials used in its construction and if we could spare $499 this would be very high on our wishlist.

What do you think? Do you fancy getting one of these?

ZAGGmate - are you buying it?

As expected, there is now a whole bunch of Bluetooth Keyboard Folio type cases for your iPad. You may have seen the recent announcement from invisibleSHIELD makers ZAGG of their ZAGGmate case for iPad which adds a few unique features and another buying option.

The design of this case is different to the Folio type cases in that the aluminium case protects the front of your iPad only.

The ZAGGmate includes a Bluetooth keyboard built in to the case (although there is an option to have the case without a keyboard) with some dedicated keys for special functions such as Volume, Slideshow, Music and Search.

There is also an integrated hinge (stand) that pops up to hold your iPad in Landscape or Portrait format.

The keyboard however looks better than the usual Folio case type. It does not have the ZX Spectrum-like Chiclet moulded rubber keys, instead using a proper physical keyboard.

It looks like the ZAGGmate leaves the back of your iPad unprotected though, perhaps so that Zagg can sell you one of their iPad Invisible Shields, although at $99 it is pricey enough already.

We like the aluminium look and we think the keyboard seems a lot better than the Chiclet type. We are not sure about leaving the back of the iPad unprotected though.

We want to know what you think? Is this something you would go for? Let us know in the comments below.

iKlip Holds Your iPad When You Can't

It might seem a strange move for IK Multimedia who are primarily a software company to create an iPad specific accessory, but they have just announced iKlip, "a universal microphone stand adapter for iPad". It is available for pre-order now and will be out in December.

The iKlip attaches to your microphone stand  and holds the iPad in either portrait or horizontal format. It is also adjustable to multiple angles so should suit any setup.

Here is a description from the website:

As a Guitar or Bass player you can now use iPad on stage with AmpliTube iRig as your guitar amp and effects unit, with controls accessible right in front of you on your mic stand. Or if you use tablature and scoring apps, use iKlip to put the iPad within easy viewing range for learning and performing.

As a vocalist you can now have the perfect companion for song showcase performances: create and share set lists with your band members, complete with scoring, lyrics and notes. Everything you’d use on stage with your iPad is now within your reach.

Got a DJ, sequencer or instrument app? iKlip puts your iPad right where you need it since it can also be mounted on tabletop stands, making it the perfect DJ or virtual instrument player performance companion.

It certainly meets a need and aims to put your iPad right where you want it, especially if you are using it to play or record live music or in a practice session.

We can't wait to try this out and see how sturdy and secure it really is.

Check out some of the other images below and also the iKlip webpage where there are more images and detailed description.

We want to know what you think of this new iPad accessory. Would you trust it in a gig? Are you going to get one? Let us know in the comments. 



iPad Case Roundup - The other ones

In this the final instalment of our iPad case roundup we take a look at those cases which did not fit any of the other categories or that we felt we could not include in the previous posts. So far we have looked at Portfolio style cases, leave-on Skin or slim cases, slip cases/sleeves´╗┐ and more spacious Bags or Carry Cases.

Today's cases are more for fun really, although we would like a few of them for real. There are a few oddities, including a Do-it-yourself option for those on a really tight budget.

So we will kick off this final part of the series with:

Substrata iPad Box

FPWoodenboxhingelid.jpg

It might seem a bit strange to want to wrap natural wood around a chunk of silicone and glass from Apple, but we like the idea a lot.  And these cases look gorgeous.

If you have seen Substrata's wooden iPhone cases, you will know what to expect from this innovative custom woodworking shop from the Portland, Oregon area.  The iPad cases are in prototype still, but the release date is slated for June, so surely not long to wait now. There are two models, the Sliding lid model and the Hinged lid model, the one we are looking at is the hinged lid (Box) case, as it seems to offer more protection and also has a stand action by folding back the front cover.

We like the curve of the wood on the bottom lip that gives the case when closed a lovely, smooth, tablet shape, that should slip nicely into your laptop or carry bag.  You can sign up to receive news on the iPad case releases from Substrata on their site and you can also view a complete gallery of the prototype wooden cases here.

Book for iPad

Spot the iPad case in this picture

bookledge1a.jpg

Yep, it is the grey one in the middle that says simply 'Book' on the spine, but it is nicely camouflaged don't you think? Handmade by one guy in a studio in Minnesota, these 100% wool felt lined cases are made to look like an ordinary book from the outside.  We like these a lot too.

book725.jpg

The linen used on the cover provides an authentic book like appearance and the banding at the top of the spine, along with the realistic looking pages around the edge add to the authenticity of the camouflaging.  The case combines the aforementioned felt sleeve internally with hardback casing to offer a good deal of everyday protection for your precious iPad.

The price tag is $89 and you can get the spine printed with custom text for an extra $5.  Whilst not a bargain, the 'Book' is very unique and lovingly handmade with the best of materials.  For a quality product that not everyone will have, we could go for this case.

Do-it-yourself iPad Book Case

There are quite a few DIY iPad case projects around the web, some of them actually quite good and others, not so!  The idea of making your own iPad case appeals to us though, partly because of the challenge, but partly to save money if we're honest.  Having recently spent hundreds of pounds on your iPad you are probably quite keen to save a few pennies on your accessories.

If you cannot afford the 'Book' case mentioned above, you can create something like it yourself with quite a bit of time and a certain amount of effort.

This project does require hacking a big hole out of an existing paper book, which feels a bit wrong to be honest. We have trouble throwing any book away still, but if you take the writer's suggestion and get a cheap, secondhand book that someone else was going to throw away anyway, then perhaps it is permissible.

We like this DIY project for the stealth aspect and because it is a fun and unique approach. The video below is from Ben, the creator of this project and how-to article, have a look and if you try it let us know how it goes by commenting below.

We hope you have enjoyed our series of posts on some of the cases you can get for your iPad. Whatever you use to protect and carry your iPad we would love to hear from you about your experiences and any recommendations you have for our readers, just leave us a comment below.

Just in case you missed them, here are the other posts in this iPad Case Roundup series:

iPad Portfolio Style Cases

iPad Skins and Shields

iPad Slip Cases and Pouches

iPad Bags (to carry more of your stuff)

iPad Cases Roundup - iPad Bags

So far in this roundup series we have looked at cases that deal with your iPad, and your iPad alone, whether that be Portfolio style, a leave-on Skin or slim case, or even a slip case or sleeve.  Today we are going to consider cases which can carry your iPad along with all the kit that goes with it, and by this we mean the charger, connection cable, VGA cable, (your own) headphones or anything else you want to take along as well.

Even before the iPad was on everyone's radar, there were already a lot of bags around that could carry a netbook or other device with ~10" screens and, depending on your needs, you may find one of these perfectly suitable, but we have tried to concentrate our search on bags created specifically for the iPad.

So here we go, they are not all the same type of thing, but these are the top three carry bags that have caught our attention recently:

Cocoon Messenger Sling

This $29.99 (£21) bag from Cocoon is a ballistic nylon sling bag with the usual outside pocket and carry strap, but which has some interesting features. First, it includes an external pocket with a clear plastic section for your iPhone, iPod or other device which allows you to see the device's screen, but importantly even allows you to use the touchscreen without taking the device out of the pocket. This is really useful for operating the iPod controls without taking it out of the bag or, for example, taking a call on your iPhone and using the screen without having to fumble around in your bag for your phone.

Another unique feature is Cocoon's patented design for keeping your cables, connectors, and even other devices organised inside the case. If you haven't seen it before, this is the description from Cocoon's website:

  • GRID-IT!™ organization system – a rubberized woven elastic object retention system for gadget organization
  • Ideal for organizing MacBook accessories, iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry and other digital devices
  • Versatile Organization
  • Endless configurations
  • Designed to hold items firmly in place
  • Back of GRID-IT!™ doubles as a mouse pad

The Grid-it is a bit odd to look at first of all but when you see it in action it makes sense, so we have found this little review video on YouTube from supersonik90 who has lots of reviews on her YouTube channel, check it out:

 

Sena Collega

Sena case crocored.jpgWe like to recommend things sometimes that are a little less run-of-the-mill and, if you can bear the leather, the Collega can be used with handles like a mini-briefcase, or with the handles retracted like a 'clutch' bag.

We think that in Black and used with handles the case looks quite business-like, but Sena also supply the Collega in a Red Croc version too (pictured) which may appeal to a different type of user.

Looking very modern in styling, the Collega includes an outside snap-shut pocket which can carry your cables, charger, headphones, etc. and a very sturdy looking zipper around the main compartment.

Internally the Collega has a micro velvet lining for the main compartment which also includes a good dose of padding to protect your iPad in transit. We know it will not appeal to everyone, but if you fancy a more detailed look at the Collega have a look at Sena's site here

Loopbag Transit

Loopbag_12_laptop_case_cb0002_4-tm.jpgLoopbag_12_laptop_case_cb0002_6-tm.jpgOk, this one does say 'iPad' in its official title, but it does also say that it will fit all laptops up to 12.1 inch, so we cannot honestly say that it was made only for the iPad. What this case does have is an internal pocket to coset your iPad in 10mm thick padding, along with a lot of extra room to carry more of your stuff than the other two bags above.

It has a double zip design that allows you quick access to just the iPad pocket, or you can unzip both and completely open up the bag to have total access to the contents. The internal lining comes in a choice of contrasting Green, Coffee or Azure, depending on your model choice, and if you have ever tried to find a black cable inside of a black lined bag in a dimly lit room, then you will know how useful that can be!

When it comes to getting around with the Transit case, you have the option of using a shoulder strap or the carrying handle on the top. The material used in the construction of the outer case is waterproof, adding a bit of all-weather protection for your iPad and accessories.

Overall we think this is a nice looking bag, with enough storage space in addition to your iPad to satisfy most users wanting to take a number of additional components with them to work or on day trips. You can check the website for more pictures and press reviews too.

As always, we found it difficult to narrow this roundup down to just three bags, so if you have any experience with another bag, or even one of these three, and want to let us know, please leave your comment below.

Don't miss the other posts in this iPad Case Roundup series:

iPad Portfolio Style Cases

iPad Skins and Shields

iPad Slip Cases and Pouches

iPad Wooden case, Book style case and a DIY book option

iPad Cases Roundup - Slip Cases & Pouches

We continue our roundup at the various ways of carrying and protecting your iPad with a look at slip cases. We consider slip cases to be any type of case which lets you carry around the iPad, providing at least a bit of protection, and allows you quick access to your device when it is needed, so nothing that stays on the iPad permanently.

Again, there are quite a few of these type of cases around, so we were looking for something practical but with a unique or interesting design to differentiate it a bit.  We also wanted to avoid the multitude of wetsuit-like neoprene cases around, not that we have anything against them, it is just that they are so prolific and really fairly similar that we couldn't find any particular model we would recommend over the others.

So here are our top three slip cases for the iPad:

reader_sleeve.jpg

The Reader Sleeve

Although this $48 (~£34) hand made slip case by Byrd and Belle is also marketed as a Kindle case, the options do specifically mention the iPad size with a choice of Black or Brown leather, so we think it counts.  Which is a good thing as the Reader Sleeve is a very classy looking case made from 1/8" thick 100% wool felt, which we want very badly.

It does, admittedly, look like a big felt envelope, but we like the simplicity of that look, and the contrasting, hand dyed leather fastening strap with a snapper on the front complete the minimalist approach to this particular slip case.

The stud on the back and the fastener on the front have been positioned so that your precious will not be harmed in any way, and the polishing properties of the felt will give the screen a bit of a buff too.

Apart from the 1/8" thick felt though, there is a not a lot of evident padding, so we wouldn't recommend drop testing your iPad in this case, but if you have a taste for sheer simplicity and lovely design, we think you will love it.  Check out all the details here.

Proporta Maya II Pouch

This not-leather-but-very-much-like-it case has been in our possession for a few weeks now and we like it.  The material used is very close in feel and flexibility to very soft leather.  There is also a bit of protection in between the outer material and the inner, which is reassuring and feels like it can protect the iPad from the scuffs and scrapes that it would be subjected to when carried in a bag along with your other essentials that you carry around with you.

The inner lining is made from a very soft material that we have no worries about scratching the iPad when in transit.  The Maya II has three different stylings too, based on Pink, White and Black, with a contrasting pattern (including stitching) flashed across the bottom left corner on the front of the case.

Case-Mate The Express

This nylon flip case is basically a big envelope for the iPad (again) but we like it for its ease of use, strong, durable materials, and its simplicity again.  Whilst it may not seem like much, The Express uses low power magnets to keep the outside flap closed when you have your iPad in place, and that simple magnet closure has proved fairly practical for other types of cases we have used in the past, and it is also dead fast to access the device when you need to.  The ballistic nylon is easy to clean and water resistant too so it should offer further protection in that regard.

It is the accessibility of this case though that recommends it to us.  We can imagine doing some last minute checking on the showtimes for our film, then slinging the iPad into this case, snapping the flap closed and slinging it into our bag on the way out of the door.  That is a lot of slinging but The Express seems to offer a good amount of knock protection as well from the stiff outer panels that make up the 'envelope' case.

The Express retails for $34.99 (£29.99 on Amazon.co.uk pre-order), and there is a short video overview of the case below if you want to see more:

 

Honourable mention

We could not recommend this case as one of our three picks because it is still not released yet, and we are not sure when, or even if, it will be available, but we really want one and think it would be an excellent complement to the iPad.  What is this case you ask?  It is the drawCase from UK based company Draw Limited.

They are not necessarily a case manufacturing company, they are a 'product and graphic design studio, based in Cardiff, Wales.  But their website says:

The drawCase for iPad is the first of a range of cases to be launched by Draw. The idea for this range of products came about from the desire for highly functional and protective cases which were compact yet provide excellent impact resistance to handle the rigours of daily life.´╗┐

drawCase_gallery.jpgWe think the metal construction with internal shock padding and unique 'cap' design is really interesting so we are looking forward to seeing it for real, we are on the mailing list at least, more details and a place to register your interest are on the site.

We know there are loads of these slip cases out there, and we have only mentioned three (or four) of them, so if you are using one and would like to let us know about your experiences with it, as always, let us know in the comments.

Don't miss the other posts in this iPad Case Roundup series:

iPad Portfolio Style Cases

iPad Skins and Shields

iPad Bags

iPad Wooden case, Book style case and a DIY book option

iPad Case Roundup On Its Way (And Why You Need It)

With the UK launch of the iPad only 5 days away, we thought it would be a good time to start looking at the options out there for new iPad owners when it comes to protecting their £400+ investement.  The rest of the world has the added benefit of the user testing provided by our US friends on the iPad, its software, and accessories, over the last month. We get to see some real world experience with these things before we buy.

Why you need this roundup

Following the first flush of excitement after the iPad’s launch a few weeks ago, the realisation soon set in for many iPad owners that it is an expensive piece of kit, and that the more they use their iPads, the more valuable it becomes to them and naturally they want to protect their investment.

Added to that is the ‘book-like’ nature of holding the device and what to do with it when taking it on the train, bus, or when sat at a cafe trying not to show off (“Yes, it is an iPad.  Ok you can touch it, but only once!”).  Also there is the natural desire to use the iPad as a standalone viewer for various media, whether that is photos or artwork as a slideshow, for video or animation viewing (e.g. Netflix, ABC).

It is with these needs and necessary uses in mind that we decided to have a look at the state of play as far as iPad cases, bags and skins, especially as the iPad makes its way into consumers’ hands outside of the US this week.

One is never enough

There are actually a surprising number of bags, cases and other type of protection for the iPad already on the market, and it has very quickly become a daunting task trying to consolidate the list down to a reasonable size.  It is also clear that, for many people and iPad usage scenarios, one type of case is not enough. Different cases may be necessary for different situations.

So we have decided to put our case roundup into five categories, and we will be listing our top three products in each category.  Hopefully you will find something of use amongst these products we have discovered, and if you are really cash strapped after forking out on the iPad in the first place, we will even throw in a way to make your own iPad case.

Tune in tomorrow, and for the rest of the week, to see our iPad case roundup, beginning with Portfolio cases.

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for something we really have to include, let us know in the comments.

Friday Fun - iPad Accessories

Ok, we don't usually do this type of post, but because it is Friday and nearly pay day for many of us here in the UK (and, more importantly, only one week away from the iPad launch for you fortunate US residents) here is a link to the ipadaccessories.com Essential Accessories for the iPad.

Our favourite?  The horrendously-overpriced but lovely-all-the-same Muzetto iPad Messenger Bag.  In fact, their round-up of messenger bags has got all of us creative types reaching for the credit card.

And, just for a laugh, let's not forget The Joy of Tech's take on how to carry your iPad.

Enjoy!