Posts tagged: ipad

The Joy of iPad Cases

By , July 25, 2013 11:57 am

I’ve been using my iPad as my primary computing device over the past months. I like to keep my iPad thin but protected. Originally, I used an OEM apple magnetic cover and a Kensington TPU (thermo-plastic-urethane) cover to protect the back. Although this setup worked, the magnetic cover got really annoying. It kept coming off at the most inopportune moments, resulting in a dent on my iPad. Time for a new cover.

First, I thought that I would try a keyboard cover and got a Belkin Ultimate Wireless Keyboard
cover at Best Buy for $140. (Amazon has it in black for $96) It’s got all the makings of a great cover, but was ultimately let down by the build quality and price. For $140, I expect the thing to stay together as designed. (Topic for another post).

Beautifully made with great materials

Beautifully made with great materials

CONNECT THE DOTS:

After a lot of research I came across a cover from “The Joy Factory” called

Hard plastic back with leather like material.

Hard plastic back with leather like material.

“Connect the Dots”. The one I got is tan colored and is just beautiful. These retail for $79.95, but I was able to get it from an Amazon seller for $40. I think I have discovered the perfect iPad cover.

Here are a few shots of the cover with the iPad inside so that you can see the fit and protection that it affords. There isn’t a thing about the fit that I can complain about. It fits like the proverbial glove.  Also the cover is attached to the back piece so there is no chance of it coming off like with the OEM magnetic cover. The positions available are exactly the same as the OEM unit.

 

PACKAGING:

Nice multi-purpose packaging

Nice multi-purpose packaging

When this cover arrived in the mail, I knew there was something

Steve Jobs' quote on a mousepad.

Steve Jobs’ quote on a mousepad.

different about it. The Joy Factory really thought about he packaging and didn’t waste any materials or space. I like that.

The outer sleeve has a zipper up top so that you can reseal the case for watertight storage. You don’t have to cut or rip apart the plastic like so many others.

When you open the cover, it has a mousepad in it with the “Connect the Dots” quote from Steve Job’s commencement speech. These dots are also the inspiration for the black circles on the cover itself. It’s nice that they didn’t just stuff it with something for me to throw away as soon as I opened the cover.

FIT/FINISH:

So it looks great, is packaged well and has a bit of a story connected to it. How does it work? After a month of usage, I can say that it’s fantastic. There are several things about this cover that make it the best I’ve encountered. All the attention to details really stands out for me.

Stitched cover with chrome embossing.

Stitched cover with chrome embossing.

 

  • Stitching – unlike molded plastic covers that just glue pieces together (thermally or chemically) this cover is stitched. You can see this in the picture to the right. 
  • Materials – the cover looks like it is made of leather. I think this may be synthetic, but it feels so real that you may never notice the difference.
  • Inside – the iPad is self is nested in a suede like material. Both the inside of the cover (part touching the iPad glass) as well as the inside of the backside (part touching the aluminum) have a soft material.
  • Logo – The simple chrome Joy Factory logo is embossed and secured into the case. It’s so nicely done.
  • Magnets – yes this turns the iPad on and off like so many covers, but it also has a magnet to keep the cover held in pace when you fold it back to use it in “tablet” mode. No one else has that feature.
  • Dots – the cover isn’t just a blah piece of material. It’s very interesting with the dot pattern in it.

Overall, this cover really stands out from the crowded field of iPad covers. I’ve tried many different alternatives and can highly recommend this cover for all the reasons above. Despite the odd name, it’s a really great product. So hop on over to the Joy Factory site or Amazon you want to find out more.  The Joy Factory SmartSuit3 (Connect the Dots Vintage Khaki)

 

BlueTooth Keyboard and Cover for iPad

By , July 3, 2012 8:33 am

So, you think you can live with your iPad but you could be so much more productive if you didn’t have to put up with the “soft” keyboard on the screen. I don’t know about you, but I like the feel of a full stroke keyboard so I thought I’d go looking for a keyboard for the iPad that was wireless. I hate dealing with wires and the whole idea of the iPad is to be totally portable right?

So I got an email offer for the keyboard below. I jumped right on it as it was the right price and I am just a sucker for a gadget add-on. If you visit my blog at all, I think you understand.

Nice aluminum casing with built in rechargeable battery!

So upon ordering and receiving my Hype HY-1023-BT keyboard, I was duly impressed with it’s appearance and overall quality. The aluminum matched very well with the iPad and the key action was very nice. The aluminum itself was a bit flimsy and not as good a quality as the aluminum on the iPad itself, but then again what is? However, what I really liked was the way that you could prop up the iPad in a slot in the keyboard and get a psuedo laptop experience.

Wow, it looks like a mini-laptop in this mode!

But the real the kicker was that I could place the keyboard on top of the iPad and have it become one protected compact unit as shown below.

Protected like a clamshell. Keyboard snaps on face of iPad.

OK, so enough of the physical coolness of this keyboard. How does it really work and is it worth the price of admission?

After using this on and off for a week, here’s my quick list for your consideration.

PROS:

  • Great protection for the iPad face. Great and secure fit.
  • Full key action is great for long sessions of writing and / or email answering.
  • Blue tooth pairing is easy and wakes up every time without incident. It will even go into powersave mode if you forget to turn off the power switch.
  • Rechargeable battery uses a standard mini-usb for charging.
  • Combo touchscreen and keyboard is nice and you get used to it fast.
  • Lots of curious looks and compliments.

CONS:

  • If you have any kind of case or protection on your iPad already, you have to remove it to fit this keyboard cover. I had a nice Belkin TPU cover along with the Apple smart cover that had to be removed. This leaves the back of the iPad vulnerable.
  • Taking the cover off is not so easy. It takes a bit of effort to snap off and then insert in the stand. You also have to turn on the Bluetooth keyboard to get a connection.
  • If your battery dies, you are outta luck.
  • I found I didn’t use my iPad as much because it was work to get it setup.
  • It’s too much like a laptop now.

 

I think the last two items in the CONS column seal the deal. I found that the convenience of whipping out the iPad for a quick session was defeated. It took a while to set up the iPad and the immediacy was compromised. So I went back to my TPU case and Apple Smartcover. It may not be as cool, but it makes the instantaneous usage of the iPad much easier. Apple got it right.

However, if you want t a full sized keyboard and you don’t want to spend the bucks for the one from Zagg or Loitech ($100), then this is an awesome alternative. Oh yeah, how much did I pay? I got it through a GroupOn Deal for around $25! For that price, it’s a steal.

 

Best iPad case EVER!

By , May 19, 2010 10:25 am

Like you (?) I have been looking for a way to protect my iPad that won’t defeat its beautiful design and form factor. After doing a bit of research and lots of purchasing, I have come across the best case EVER! It’s made of TPU (Thermo Plastic Urethane). OK, pictures will be all you need to see. I can’t explain it any better.

The case as it came from LuxMo = Luxury mobile

The case as it came from LuxMo = Luxury mobile

Extremely thin and not sticky like silicon cases

Extremely thin and not sticky like silicon cases

The fit is amazing. Tight with no slop at all.

The fit is amazing. Tight with no slop at all.

Cutout is perfect and only as big as needed.

Cutout is perfect and only as big as needed.

You can get this case for only $16 at http://stores.ebay.com/PawAvenue. If you have an iPad, you need this case.

So what else have I tried? Here’s a quick rundown and why they don’t work so great.

1) InCase Silicon skin – this silicon rubber case fits loosely and never felt too secure. It’s got extra girth on the edges to make it easier to grip, but it also makes the iPad fat. Fail.

2) Apple iPad case – this OEM case is made of a synthetic suede like material. It fits well and fold in half like a portfolio. Problems? It’s got this heat sealed edge around it that look cheap. Also, the synthetic material picks up all kinds of dust and ends up looking dirty. Fail.

3) Crazy Digital Leather case – this one came close. It’s got great protection, a nice price ($20 on Amazon) and it also acts as a stand. The one thing I didn’t like is that it once again messes with the sleek design on the iPad. It affords great protection and is a good way to carry your pad “incognito” though. Here’s a quick picture of it.

Crazy Digital case is a nice tan leather and at a great price.

Crazy Digital case is a nice tan leather and at a great price.

So there you have have it. My search for the perfect iPad case is over. Now I just have to figure out if I would ever carry only the iPad over my laptop. I have a very nice portable laptop at only 3.1lbs. I take it everywhere I go. Although not as “wow” inducing as an iPad, I can do a lot more on it.

The best thing about the iPad is the instant on, picture viewing and also the applications made for it. For those things it rocks. Everything else is different, but not hugely better than my laptop.

At least my case problems are over.

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