If you’re a regular (or even semi-regular) reader here then you know I’m rather fond of iPad stands. Rather fond in the same sort of way that dogs are rather fond of bones. Yup, I’m a big fan of iPad stands. I’ve currently got four on or around my desk.
So when TUAW’s Mike Schramm mentioned a handsome new stand from Ten One Design that they’d spotted at CES, it caught my eye straight away. This new stand for the iPad 2 is called the Magnus. Two things about it are very appealing right off the bat:
— It uses a strong magnetic link to hold the iPad 2 in portrait or landscape mode. Maybe my affection for the iPad 2 Smart Cover is getting the best of me, but I just love this idea.
— It has a beautiful, minimal appearance – giving a sort of ‘Look Ma, no hands’ look to the iPad 2 and stand.
Here’s more detail on the design of the Magnus:
Magnus is first machine-crafted from pure aluminum and then hand-finished using the latest manufacturing techniques. After that, customized magnets are installed into the base, and rubberized feet are fitted to the bottom surface.
Our designers targeted a reduced silhouette. Viewed from the side, you see only the iPad’s tilt, and a flat plate on the desk. From there, the engineering took over.
Magnus may look like it’s defying gravity, but it feels like a permanent attachment. You may need two hands to separate Magnus from your iPad.
A Magnus will soon be doing its magnetic magic on my desk. They go for $49.95.If you want to see more info on this stand or place an order, check out its product page here: http://tenonedesign.com/magnus.php
Here’s an iPad 2 accessory that caught my eye this week – the Esquire Bluetooth Keyboard iPad 2 Case from Case-mate. Here’s a bit of its description from Case-mate:
You’re always in sync with the Esquire Bluetooth® Keyboard iPad 2 case. The leather case connects the iPad 2 to the included keyboard with wireless Bluetooth® technology.
Essentially turning the iPad 2 into an instant laptop, the refined case is ideal for working on-the-go. The Bluetooth® keyboard, which resembles a laptop style keyboard, is seamlessly attached to the case and connects wirelessly to the iPad 2. Recharge with the included USB cord for up to 90 hours of continuous use. The portfolio style case features premium, genuine black pebble leather and a magnetic closure to secure the case shut. The iPad cover includes an ideal viewing angle, perfect for travel or the boardroom.
There are a large number of keyboard cases for the iPad 2 available now, but this one appeals to me for three reasons:
— It’s got a leather case, rather than the hard cover style cases I see on most of these.
— I much prefer a magnetic closure to clasps and similar methods.
— The keyboard is touted as a full, near laptop-style model.
In fact I liked the sound of this enough to order one, which I did yesterday. So I’ll soon have some thoughts to share on how well this case lives up to the hype.
In the meantime, you can see more information on it or place an order at the Case-mate product page for it: http://bit.ly/AtwH2p
The Scosche fitRAIL is a nice-looking mount system for the iPad and iPad 2 – for use when you’re working out on a treadmill or similar piece of exercise equipment. If you’re tired of just listening to tunes or bringing a magazine or book along when you workout, the fitRAIL lets you make full use of your iPad – so you can read an eBook or iPad magazine, watch a movie, or try out whatever else you’re coordinated enough to do on the iPad while exercising.
The fitRAIL is said to be attachable to ‘almost any type of workout equipment’ – and of course it is made to hold the iPad securely while using it. It also folds up to fit into a travel pouch that comes with it. Here’s a little more detail on it:
An iPad or iPad 2 simply rests in the mounting tray of the fitRAIL and is secured against the frame with the patented stickGRIP material. Soft rubber feet sit on the back of the fitRAIL to ensure that the exercise equipment will not be scratched or harmed. The clip-on strap attaches to the top of an iPad to safely lock it into place. Adjustable steel bars can then be hooked onto the top of exercise equipment.
The fitRAIL can also be placed on a table or countertop to be used as a low angle typing stand, for watching movies, TV shows and more.
The durable aluminum and steel constructed frame includes a polished finish for a lightweight and stable design. Patented stickGRIP material has been included onto the surface of the fitRAIL to secure an iPad to the mount. A black neoprene clip-on strap additionally secures an iPad into the mount – resulting in an extremely safe mounting option.
The Flowfold iPad 2 Sleeve is an excellent new iPad 2 sleeve case that is the subject of a current Kickstarter project that will help finance its initial production run.
One of the most notable things about this iPad 2 case is that it is ‘ecologically sound’. Here’s a little detail on what that means:
The outer layer of the sleeve is made from reclaimed composite sailcloth. These cloths are composed of Carbon Fiber, Kevlar, Pentex or Polyester matrixes sandwiched between Mylar films. They are the toughest, lightest and most resilient wallets in the world due to their high tensile strength to weight ratios and ideal modulus of elasticities. The inner padding layer of the sleeve is made from a 3mm thick 100% post consumer recycled plastic bottle felt.
When I was approached about the Flowfold iPad 2 Sleeve and took a quick look at its Kickstarter page I thought it would probably be quite a nice eco-friendly case. I was wrong. It’s an extremely nice iPad 2 case, and one that stands up well against any iPad case, eco-friendly or not.
There are an awful lot of iPad cases that look a whole lot like an awful lot of others. Similar colors, similar designs. The Hokusai iPad 2 Cover by Oberon Design is definitely one of the most striking and unique looking iPad cases I’ve ever seen. The folks at Oberon Design were kind enough to supply me with a review unit which I’ve had for around 6 weeks now.
As soon as I received the case I knew it was lovely to look at and I could tell it was made with quality materials and fine craftsmanship. That’s a great starting point and what I wanted to know next was how good a case it is when put to use. I’ve spent enough time with it to have some thoughts on that and on the case as a whole.
Apple has done a minor refresh on their line of Smart Cover cases for the iPad 2.
In particular they’ve made some changes to the polyurethane line of smart covers. They’ve discontinued the orange cover and replaced it with a dark gray one.
Another change is that the microfiber lining inside the polyurethane covers is now color-matched to the cover itself – and the covers are said to be ‘more vibrant’.
Pricing for the polyurethane and leather smart covers remains the same – at $39 and $69 respectively.
I’ve been wanting to try out one of the polyurethane smart covers for a while now (I currently use a navy blue leather one) and I ordered a dark gray one this morning. I should have it by around the end of the week.
You can have a look at the full range of iPad 2 smart covers at Apple’s iPad accessories page.
The folks at DODOcase have created The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore DODOcase for the iPad 2 that is inspired by the wonderful iPad eBook.
Here’s a little more background on that inspiration:
From the moment the DODOcase team first read The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore we were both amazed and inspired. We felt Morris’ journey of discovery and love of books and stories mimicked our own love of bookbinding. We have worked with the team at MoonBot to create an iPad case that Morris Lessmore himself would have loved. The result looks like it jumped right out of Morris’s hands.
And more on this new case:
The exterior covers are hand crafted in DODOcase’s San Francisco book bindery from a striking red faux leather and is ordained with Morris Lessmore’s signature hat and cane mark on the cover, and his “M” on the spine. These embellishments are created using century old book stamping techniques. The interior is a cream colored linen.
I did a review of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore back in July. It is easily the best eBook I have seen for the iPad and also one of m y all-time favorite iPad apps.
I think the DODOcase inspired by this book is a great idea and it looks like it is a superb case in its own right.
It’s priced at $64.95 – for more details on to place an order check out the DODOcase product page for it.
I spotted this via Joshua Schnell’s post on it at Macgasm.
This morning I received the Oberon Design iPad 2 Cover shown above – a review unit provided by Oberon. The design I chose is called the Hokusai Wave and I hope that despite my terribly poor photographic efforts you can get some idea how gorgeous this thing is.
And that would be my strongest first impression of this case – that it is just a beautiful design and made with lovely thick quality leather. Or, as the Oberon site describes it, ‘old school leather artistry’. Hurrah for old school then.
I’m not sure how well this case will serve when using the iPad heavily (I’ll soon put that to the test) but it is certainly a fantastic looking option for a carrying case.
Once I’ve spent more time with the Oberon iPad 2 Cover I’ll post a review. In the meantime, you can see more details on it or place an order at Oberon’s product page for it here: http://www.oberondesign.com/iPad2.php
Griffin has released their new TechSafe Case for the iPad 2 this week. It’s actually a case plus a lock-down system intended to keep your iPad 2 secure while you’re on the go.
The case itself is said to be a good, protective one and also offers this handy extra functionality:
… the TechSafe Case locks around your iPad and provides a secure anchor point for the included 4-digit combination-lock security cable. Key in the code, press the lock’s plunger, and it instantly releases tablet and case for carrying; it’s the perfect balance of security and convenience. Griffin provides online storage for your unique 4-digit combination-lock code. Store your code, accessible only by you, at GriffinTechnology.com, and retrieve it anytime.
The TechSafe goes for $79 and is available to order now at Griffin’s product page for it.
I’m not sure a lot of home users are going to want or need this level of protection, but it may have good potential with companies deploying iPads. What do you all think? Does your iPad need this sort of protection?
The Snugg iPad 2 Case Cover (Ultra Thin Version) is described thusly on the Snugg page for it:
The Snugg iPad 2 ultra thin case is sleek, classy and hardly adds any bulk to the iPad2. This new design is extremely lightweight and created from smooth polyurethane leather to the front and connected with a TPU back cover.
I’ve been trying one of these out over recent days, and as always I’ve got some thoughts to share on it.
This is an almost folio style smart cover replacement case. I say almost folio style because although it is an all-in-one case (not separate front and back covers) it does not feel as ‘together’ as a full folio style case. Perhaps that’s why it’s got the ‘Ultra Thin Version’ as part of its name.
It supports the iPad 2 automatic sleep / wake feature whenever the front cover is closed and opened.
It’s priced at around $55 (£34.99) in the UK by Snugg themselves, but the US Amazon price point is around $35.
The Trooper – the latest limited edition iPad 2 Keyboard Case from ClamCase – has got some rave reviews as one of the iPad keyboard cases on the market.
I just got mine a few days ago, but I thought I’d share some early notes and impressions on it. Here they are in no particular order, sort of a stream of consciousness while getting to know it:
— It feels much lighter than I expected this type of accessory to feel. That’s mostly a good thing, although it also makes it feel a little less solid than I expected, including at times when typing (it feels a little wobbly).
— It doesn’t feel terribly ‘Apple-like’ to me initially – not elegant at all in its look and feel.