28/02/2012

Must have iPad accessories

It's all very well having an iPad but there are some essential accessories that no iPad should be without.

The iPad is a thing of beauty with its shiny aluminium back and pristine glass front, unfortunately they're very susceptible to being scratched.

There are screen protectors such as the Zagg Invisibleshield (for iPad and iPad 2) and though they're meant to be easy to apply, it's almost impossible to do so without air-bubbles being trapped somewhere under the film - which spoils the look completely, it's a trade-off between looks and maintaining a scratchless screen.

Zagg shields are available from a boutique San Francisco company called Dodocase who were a book binding company and have moved into making amazing iPad cases (more on those later).

Dodocase also made a limited edition Bookback (a leather backing) for the iPads and iPhones which will protect them from normal use (and with holes in the right places for cameras etc).

On the other hand Gelaskins make backings for all sorts of devices including the iPads. There are hundred's of pre-designed backings or it's possible to upload your own designs (the gadget backing equivalent of UK's Moo cards). The backing is made of a special material (actually made by 3M the company famous for their yellow 'sticky note') that is easily applied and also can be peeled off and stored (as long as it goes back on the sheet it came with) so backing can be changed as your mood changes.


Cases

Dodocase make the most lovely case for the iPads, made from leather and bamboo they turn an iPad into a 'Moleskine' book, they come in several colours (including black and now with some artistic covers too). The only disadvantage is the size as the case adds a couple of millimeters to the front and back and about 0.5cm length and widthways.

iLuv make several covers including a pink padded zipped sleeve which is quite garish but does offer all around protection. There's also a rubber slip-on version (doesn't protect the screen, but ensures the back and sides are protected from scratches).

A partner of Dodocase is another SF boutique company called Rickshaw Bagworks who make a very simple (yellow) sleeve (though available in multiple colour variants) made of sailcloth material, they also come in horizontal or vertical orientations, again offering very good all round protection for the iPad (the cases are very strong and resistant to scratchy things and being dropped a bit and waterproof). Rickshaw also make a Messenger bag for the iPad that holds a Dodocase'd iPad perfectly and has a nice zipped internal pocket for keeping earphones or other accessories that might easily be lost.

Adonit make a case called the Writer (both for iPad and iPad 2) which is an ABS rubber case with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard which is surrounded by aluminium. The iPad slots in (and is easily removable) and the case acts as a support so the iPad can be easily positioned for optimal reading angle. The central bar contains the batteries and indicates when the keyboard is sleeping etc. The case is held closed by magnetic clasps.


Stands

There are all sorts of stands available, Griffin Technologies make one called the A Frame which is made out of chunky aluminium with rubber edges. When opened into it's A-like mode it can hold a horizontal or vertical iPad (useful for watching videos). When closed, the angle if good for typing on.
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