Quick research will show that Loop Attachment started its life developing a silicone watchband for the sixth generation iPod Nano (I still have one; it’s no iWatch but it’s decent enough for what it is), but it was the release of the Mummy Case for iPhone a while after that brought them better attention. At a slight risk of being sexist, the band of vibrant colours seemed to delight the girls, and the boys got excited that the silicone strips on the back held their plastic and Nando’s loyalty card. The silicone-clad marriage appeared happy enough.
As one would have expected, an iPad Mini companion was later released on the heels of its iPhone Mummy Case sibling. Although they’ve removed the card-carrying function this time, they were kind enough to replace it with another: it’s now a thief-deterrent. Who’d want to steal a kitsch tablet?
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TwelveSouth, makes of premium Apple-only accessories, recently announced their SurfacePad for iPad mini. It’s a svelte Napa leather cover that adds very little to the iPad’s dimensions, while offering scratch protection, the texture of actual leather, and the convenience of a few built-in stands. The magnets hidden in the front of the SurfacePad act just like a Smart Cover for sleep/wake action, and the kickstand and magnets hidden along the rear panel help prop the iPad up in two viewing angles, and one typing angle. I also like how TwelveSouth made the cover rigid, allowing you to fold it behind the iPad and hold it easily. That addresses one of my pet peeves with the Apple Smart Cover: the fact that the three (or four) panel design can often hang limply underneath the iPad during use.
I previously reviewed the SurfacePad for iPhone and was quite pleased with it, so I’m glad that TwelveSouth decided to adapt the idea for the iPad. In fact, I think the overall design is a much better fit for the tablet, as the cover will likely be heavy enough to stay closed at all times (instead of occasionally swinging open, as it did on the iPhone 4S). Having several viewing and typing angles is fairly standard in the iPad accessory field, but what’s impressive about the SurfacePad is that it does all of this while keeping a very low profile.
TwelveSouth released the $70 iPad mini edition first, but I do plan on reviewing the version for the Air when it comes out in a few weeks. In the mean time, do take a look at TwelveSouth’s terribly slick product page.
Plinth is an interesting looking little pocketable stand for the iPad and just about any other tablet. It’s a Kickstarter project that’s about half way to its funding goal with a little over a month left to meet its target.
It’s notable mainly because of its (very) small size and due to its being touted as a ‘universal’ tablet stand. It looks cleverly designed – folded down it fits in a pocket and is roughly the size of an iPhone; it uses ‘flip out wings’ and rubber feet to provide its stand capability.
I’ve used a few very small iPad stands in the past. Some, like the Twelve South Compass Mobile Stand, have been very impressive. Others have been OK, but lacked a little in terms of stability.
The Plinth looks good in its trailer video. I may try to get a review unit at an appropriate stage of the project – as I’m always on the lookout for good iPad and tablet stands.
Take a look at the Plinth Kickstarter page and see what you think of this versatile little stand.
Pad & Quill make some lovely handcrafted cases for the iPad. Their latest new collection is called the Author Series and allows us to build our own iPad cases with a fair bit of help and some unique patterns to work with.
The series features 5 very handsome new designs from Tamrah Ryan, an artist from the St. Paul area where P&Q are based and where they make these cases.
You can choose your colors for inside, spine, outside, and elastic – and also select to add pocket and monogram options if you like. And of course you then choose which new design to use on the case. I especially like the blue and black patterned one.
The Author Series goes for $79.99. You can see lots more detail, customize your case, and place an order at the P&Q product page for the new line.
I’m not that frequent a user of iPad keyboard cases, but I have to say this one looks great. It’s called the VersaKeyboard and it’s touted as ‘the first disappearing iPad keyboard’.
If it’s even near as good as the promo video then it’s going to be a heck of a good iPad keyboard case. I’m also optimistic about it because it’s from Moshi, makers of one of my all-time favorite and most heavily used iPad cases – the VersaCover.
Here’s a few of the key features of the VersaKeyboard:
- Detachable Bluetooth keyboard with 130 hours of battery life and LED power indicator.
- Folding VersaCover doubles as a stand in portrait and landscape modes.
- Ultra-thin and lightweight design at 13.4 ounces (380 grams).
- Durable polycarbonate shell includes convenient keyboard slot.
- Support for iPad auto-wake and sleep functionality.
It’s compatible with the iPad Air (I hope we’ll see one for the Retina iPad mini soon) and priced at $100.
You can see more detail and place an order at the VersaKeyboard product page at Moshi.