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Entries in Case (23)

Creative Kids? Griffin Has Your iPad Covered

Kids are naturally curious and the iPad is a big attraction for them as we know from first-hand experience. However, it is a bit scary for the iPad owning adult to hand their beloved (and expensive) iPad over to sticky little hands.

Griffin want to help you out with this quandary whilst providing something fun and engaging for creative kids with their LightBoard iPad Case. This case is part protective cover, part art stand, and is a unique approach to involving younger iPad users in educational and creative activities using the device.

The LightBoard uses appealing colours in its 'shatter-resistant polycarbonate shell', which includes a cover to protect the iPad screen and a specially designed pocket into which you can slide a piece of paper for kids to draw on.

Griffin have also developed an iPad app to go with this case called LightBoard Trace, a free download in the app store. When you place a piece of paper into the pocket on top of the case, the LightBoard Trace app will display line drawings which can be seen through the paper.

Kids can then trace the drawings using the provided washable felt-tip marker. There are also games and animations using words and letters that teach the child to write their own name and phone number.

We think this is a brilliant and inventive way to involve children in using the iPad creatively with a nice educational slant and this idea really impressed us. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

The iPad spinning Sleeve360 is Imminent

Sleeve360 iPad™ Case | November 2010 Update from Sleeve360 on Vimeo.

There has been a patient expectation around the Sleeve360 (touted as 'the wearable iPad case') amongst those who have been looking for a different approach to holding and protecting their iPad. The final production versions have now been received by the company and the case will be out very soon.

What's the USP?

The Sleeve360 offers, amongst other things, a detachable handgrip that, when attached to the case, allows your iPad to swivel through 360 degrees. As you will see from the video, it gives your iPad that ZZ Top style spinning feature which may or may not be something you can make use of.

We think that iPad artists especially may benefit from the hand grip functionality but also anyone who wants to use the iPad on the move such as Medical staff, stock control, presenters, musicians in live performances, etc.

Other features

But the case has a few other tricks up its sleeve. In addition to offering a good deal of protection for your iPad the case can be propped up in portrait or horizontal positions again using the hand grip and, in the case of portrait format, an extendable piece that supports your iPad at the right angle.

Perhaps more interesting is the inclusion of two little flip out stands that allow the iPad to sit at a very comfortable angle for typing, as demonstrated in the video.

Coming soon

The Sleeve360 is not out yet, so we haven't got our hands on one yet, but it looks like an interesting approach to cosseting your iPad and simultaneously enabling practical use of the device and we are very curious to see how well it works.

Pre-sales start in the next week or two if you are keen to pick one of these up.

We are curious to hear what you think. Is this something you would be interested in? Does the 360 degree handgrip feature interest you? Let us know in the comments below.

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.

An iPad Case That May Outlive You

This is a video preview of a new iPad case from the Saddleback Leather Company, skilled craftsmen and designers of some of the most beautiful, hard wearing and high calibre leatherwork you will ever see.

They already have an iPad Sleeve in their product line, but this new case being released tomorrow (so no price as yet) has that gorgeous satchel look that we adore in crafted leather products. In addition there is a very sturdy foldback stand design that we are now quite familiar with for cases primarily designed to use the iPad in horizontal orientation.

What this case offers above similar designs, in addition to the high quality of craftsmanship, is some fairly impressive shock protection for your iPad. Watch to the end of the video to see what we mean, it might make you wince though!

One thing would have made this video more impressive though: showing us the iPad after the drop test. Maybe there will be an update to the video to let us see the iPad in tact?

What do you think of this case? Will you be ordering one? Let us know in the comments below.

Friday Fun: The iPad - now in Hardback

Got an iPad loaded with eBooks? Got lots of 'real' hardback books hanging around taking up space that you don't want to throw away?  Re-purpose a hardback book into a case for your iPad - watch this video from Larry Greenberg (more detail below the video):

These cases are made by Etsy seller vintagecovers (artist Randy Belyk) and the design of the case seems pretty sturdy. We like the strap that fastens around the back cover when closed to keep the iPad wrapped up tight and also stretches across and attaches to the front cover when used as a stand to prevent slipping. Nice touch!

There are some pre-prepared covers on the site using vintage books but if, like Larry in the video above, you have a classic book (or comic it seems) then Randy can make you a custom cover.

A custom vintage cover for your iPad will cost you around $50, but you really will have a unique case for your iPad.

If you get one of these let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

This Will Make You Hungry

We love things wrapped in bacon: sausages, chicken, turkey, vegetables, oysters, iPads... 

Yep, you can now declare your love for all things Bacon and protect your precious iPad at the same time.  You may have seen this one around the Web, but we wanted to make sure you knew about it!

This one pegs the crazy meter as far as iPad cases go, but we are seriously tempted, even at a whopping $59 (£38).

Check out Etsy seller Antjes page to find out more. 

What is the ultimate iPad case? 

We have covered iPad cases in quite some detail. It is fair to say that there is a case out there for just about every iPad user, at least that is what we thought until earlier this week. The two primary purposes of a good iPad case up until now have been to protect the iPad and to act as a stand. But now there is a third reason. Physical keyboards and controls.

Multi-Touch is pretty special but until Apple can endow the iPad screen with some kind of haptic feedback there will always be those who struggle when performing certain tasks. Two tasks that readily come to mind are typing and game control. The KeyCase iPad Folio with Integrated Bluetooth Keyboard and the iControlPad look to solve the problems of typing and game control.

Though we can't honestly see a larger iPad specific version of the iControlPad being particularly popular should it ever come to market, the KeyCase on the other hand looks like a real winner. Having a slim Bluetooth keyboard built into the body of the case is a superb idea. The KeyCase could well be the ultimate iPad case for those who spent a lot of time writing.

Guest Post: I rest my case, in search of an iPad case…

Today we have a special Guest Post from Paul Westlake, a Photographer and iPad user we have followed on Twitter and Facebook for a while now. Paul has just taken delivery of the Marware Eco-Vue iPad case, so we asked him if he would let us know what he thought of it. Paul's review, posted on his Tumblr, has been reproduced below with his kind permission.  Over to you Paul... 

I rest my case, in search of an iPad case

As lovely a design as the iPad is, from the first time I took it out of the box, I knew I would need to protect it in some way…

Not just from the inevitable bumps and knocks when putting it down, but with two over-eager sub-6 year olds wanting to play with Dad’s ‘Big iPhone’ 24/7 I knew that I needed some sort of case to offer my pride and joy a little extra protection.

Both the Apple Store and PC had a very small range of cases at first - The majority of which were slip-in envelope style cases, which were fine for transporting the iPad from one location to the next, but offered zero protection when in use.

I wanted something that would protect the device both in transit and also when in use.

After a little searching, and some very positive reviews, I decided to go for an Eco-Vue for iPad case from Marware - However, it seemed like I wasn’t the only one, as finding one in stock in the UK (I believe they are also on back-order in the US) was next to impossible.

Logo

Amazon had them available for pre-order, so I placed an order with them (my ‘Prime’ account means that postage was free). The lead time was initially 4-5 weeks, which then moved back to 8 weeks at one point (although it actually arrived yesterday which was 5 weeks in the end). I paid £29 for mine, I see today they are available for £34.99

Compared to the Apple iPad Case

I knew I couldn’t wait 5 weeks with no protection, so I bought Apple’s case whist I was waiting for the Eco-Vue to arrive - As it turns out, this gave me an excellent ‘benchmark’ item to compare the Marware with.

The comparison between the two is like night and day… Remember that BOTH cases retail for £30 (although some Amazon marketplace sellers are selling the Marware for £55 + delivery, so be aware!).

I never really loved the Apple case to be honest - I thought the edges were not very well finished, I hated the fact that the cover material looked filthy all the time (a baby wipe cleans it up well by the way), but it was very slim, protected the back on the iPad, and made typing much easier.

Open Case

Then the Eco-Vue arrived… Wow!

I am very much quality oriented, so paying a few £s more for a product doesn’t bother me if the quality of the product warrants it - As it turns out, the Marware WASN’T extra over the Apple Case.

The feeling of ‘quality’ is really important to me - I am using the iPad to show potential Wedding clients my Photo Portfolio… Having the iPad in a tatty (dirty) looking case doesn’t portray the initial impression I am after.

The Eco-Vue portrays a feeling of ‘Class and Quality’ - That’ll do for me!

The case has a very solid, durable feel to it and the workmanship is fantastic - From the initial embossed logo and stitching on the ‘sustainable’ leather exterior to the lovely ‘suede effect’ internals.

It is a really nicely engineered case -  It’s fit is absolutely PERFECT. All the ports are accessible without even a hint of poor fit.

Ports

The iPad itself slips into the case from the top - It is then held in place by folding a strap over the top, which slips down behind the iPad.

I must admit I was sceptical as to how this would stop the device falling out it you tipped it on it’s end, but when testing (holding it upside down and shaking it!), I have seen no movement at all.

As a ‘belt and braces’ measure I have added a bit of velco to the inside of the case where the strap meets it - Perfect.

It is the little details that give you the impression that this was designed by someone who actually thought about how it would be used, (which is not always the case) for example;

The kick-out stand to raise the iPad for typing is ‘held’ in place when not needed by magnets - nice touch.

Stand

The addition of an elastic strap that you put your hand through when using in portraits mode - Gives you far more confidence that you aren’t going to drop the iPad.

Strap

As you can tell, I am more than happy with the case so far…

The case is ‘strong’ enough to support the iPad in Portrait and Landscape modes, which makes it great as a photo frame and for watching movies:

Portrait

Landscape

What would I change?

I wish it had a small pocket in which you could place a micro-fiber cleaning cloth or business cards, but that is a VERY minor thing.

It does add a fair bit of weight to the iPad - Personally I don’t mind this all that much, but should be something you should think about if you are considering the case.

When fitted, the case is about 1/3 thicker than the Apple Case - This does obviously offer more protection, but also makes the iPad look far more ‘bulky’.

Bottom line, if you want a perfect fitting, beautiful leather case that shows off your iPad to the fullest, this is the way to go.

For the same £30 you will spend on Apple’s own case, I think it is a no-brainer… I would even go as far to say even when I factor in buying the Apple Case as a ‘for now’ solution (essentially meaning the Marware has cost me £60), it would be worth it.

I know a number of resellers say they will have stock from the start of August - I suggest you get yourself on a waiting list now. 

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Paul is a Bedford based Professional Wedding/Portrait Photographer and Apple nut.

His background is working as a Training Consultant, which taught him how to deal with the most difficult part of being a Photographer... Influencing people with absolutely no authority!

We recommend you check out Paul's Professional portfolio at SmugMug but he posts some great photos on Flickr too.  You can also check out Paul's blog here.

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 - Skins and Shields

For general every day use of the iPad you could just 'go naked' as Apple intended out of the box. If you want a bit more protection however for your expensive piece of kit from bumps and scrapes without going the full on leather Portfolio route we covered yesterday, an iPad Skin or Shield might be what you need.

We have included in this category protective covers that you put on and leave on your iPad.

There are so many of these out there that it is actually very difficult to recommend just three, but below are the ones that caught our eye and that you may want to check out for yourself:

Case-Mate Gelli Checkmate and Kaleidoscope Cases

These two covers from Case-Mate provide good protection for the back and sides of your iPad, whilst offering some tactile grip similar to silicone cases. Case-Mate use a thermoplastic, flexible material to protect your iPad and we liked these cases because they are very close fitting possibly close enough to use a slipcase as well (which we will talk about tomorrow), but we also liked the unique approach to the design of these two types of cases with the checkered effect in the Checkmate cases and the circles on circles design of the Kaleidoscope cases.

The different coloured cases may not all be to your liking, but the Checkmate comes in Gray, Blue or Green, whilst the Kaleidoscope is available in Pink, Tomato (um, Red) and Aurora (Yellow). Thankfully you can visit Case-Mate's site and select each of the colours to see what they will look from several different angles.

Here are the features listed on Case-Mate's site:

  • High performing, flexible, plastic-like material protects your iPad from minor impact and scratches

  • Unique patterns and colors

  • Lighter, softer and more resilient than silicone and rubber cases

  • Access to all ports and controls

 

Macally Metrolpad

If you like the way your iPad looks and want to keep it that way, but do not want pretty colours or designs spoiling its look, then you could consider the clear protective case from Macally they call Metrolpad. Sounding a bit like a 1920's classic, this case looks nice, and has a few interesting features.

Here's the description from their site:

  • Durable Lightweight Construction

  • Hardshell Back Panel With Silicon Edge For Protection And Grip

  • Open To All Connections And Controls

  • Form Fitting Silicon Edge For Quick And Easy Removal Of iPad

  • Clear Case To Display Your iPad In Its Original Appearance
We like the look and idea of this case, but just be careful if you plan to use your iPad with the dock or keyboard dock, it probably will not fit with the case still attached, so you should bear this in mind before you buy.If you want some basic scratch protection without adding any bulk to your iPad, you might want to check out the next recommendation.

 

Gelaskins / MusicSkins

We could not decide between these two purveyors of very nice and beautiful vinyls for the iPad, so we thought it best to tell you about both, and yes we know they are not the only two companies doing this, but we think the quality from these two is of a very high standard.

Both companies claim that the adhesives used for their vinyls will not leave a residue, and in our past experience on other devices that has been true mostly, except sometimes for some gunk trapped around the edges, but it was always easy to wipe off.

These skins allow you to make a really strong statement and express some individuality in amongst a rapidly growing throng of iPad owners.

gelaskins_JazzTrio_500-white.jpgGelaskins

Some of the designs at the Gelaskins site have really impressed us when we see the originality and richness of the colour renditions. We have bought a few of them for our iPhones in the past and we can back up Gelaskins reputation for good quality images and materials used in their vinyls.

If you haven't been there before, or if you haven't been there since they have started doing iPad versions, we would really recommend you have a browse around their site and see if anything takes your fancy.

Gelaskins also provide a vinyl for the front of your iPad if you want to use it, and you can download a matching wallpaper from their site too that matches up with the front decal, very nice if you want that kind of effect.

There are some very talented and original artists creating designs for them, and you can even become one of these artists yourself if your talent leans that way. You can always design your own if you cannot find something you like.

JL-NYC-DP-iPAD.jpg

MusicSkins

If you like the idea of using a fancy vinyl design but really love your music and want to show this off on your iPad, then you may be more tempted by the latest releases from MusicSkins.

Like Gelaskins, the MusicSkins site says it uses a special adhesive from 3M to leave no residue, also using high quality materials to create some scratch proofing for your device.

The FAQs even state that air bubbles will not be a problem on installation because "it has patented 3M air release technology which allows you to simply push the air bubbles out".

We are very tempted to spend quite a bit on the MusicSkins site, so browse at your peril, but really, it is worth a look and they say that iPad designs are available for any of the artists featured on the site.

We hope we have given you a few ideas for how you can provide fairly minimal, leave on protection for your iPad, and if you have any suggestions for Skins or Shields of your own then please, leave them in the comments.

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

iPad Portfolio Style Cases

iPad Slip Cases and Pouches

iPad Bags

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