Smart Cargo Is A Disappearing Storage Closet For Your iPad Accessories [Review]

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Smart Cargo bySmarterflo
Category: Storage
Works With:iPads 2, 3 and 4
Price: $20

The Smart Cargo is a portable cubbyhole designed to — literally — stick close to your iPad and keep all of your little widgets, gadgets, cables and trinkets safely together. When I first opened the package, sent by the maker and friend of Cult of Mac Dotan Saguy, I found it bulky and absurd. Then I used it, and I like it enough that I wish there was a version for the iPad mini.

What It Is

The little wedge-shaped aluminum box actually sticks to the iPad’s Smart Cover thanks to the magic of magnets, and stays there. A little hatch on the top flips open to allow access to the fabric-lined interior, and when you roll up the Smart Cover into its folded-triangular stand mode, the Smart Cargo fits perfectly inside.

Also, the Smart Cargo makes a very nice place to grip the iPad if you’re the kind of person who carries their iPad in their hand. It is almost perfect for inter-office jaunts, and for heading down to the coffee shop.

The Good

You can squeeze a lot in here -- as long as it's not too big.

You can squeeze a lot in here — as long as it’s not too big.

The case is light, it opens and closes positively, and its aluminum skin matches the iPad perfectly. It does indeed fit exactly into the folded Smart Cover, which is both a boon and a hindrance (as you’ll see below).

The flat metal base mates with the Smart Cover’s magnets to make a super-secure seal. Let me put it this way — the case will never come off on its own; you’ll have to slide it deliberately.

The Bad

What fits inside? A surprisingly odd range of accessories. You’d expect that an accessory made for the current iPad would fit accessories for that iPad, but you’d be wrong. This is no criticism of Dotan’s design — the problem is inherent in the space allowed by the folded Smart Cover — but it’s still a pain.

Can be used alone, too.

Can be used alone, too.

For instance, you can fit in pretty much any kind of cable, SD cards, thumb drives and the original camera connection kit, plus all current Lightning/microUSB/30-pin adapters, but you can’t fit the current camera connection kit, and the small batteries from my “proper” camera are just too big to squeeze in.

Luckily, you can test the fit before you buy it by rolling up your Smart Cover and sticking things in there — just remember to subtract a few millimeters first.

The Verdict

Handsome.

Handsome.

Great, within limitations. It’s so light you won’t worry about carrying it, and you can easily pop it off and sling it in your bag when you don’t want to encumber your iPad.

But be careful. Not everything you want to fit will. I though it would be a perfect replacement for the little zip-up bag I use to carry connectors and camera accessories, but it doesn’t fit the two things I need most (Lightning camera connection kit and spare camera batteries).

Within its own bounds, though, the Smart Cargo is an excellent piece of gear. Sadly, I should probably have reviewed this a few weeks ago before the Kickstarter campaign ended. But don’t worry: Dotan has so far brought all of his successful Kickstarter project to market double-quick, so I don’t think it’ll be long until you can find one on his site, Smarterflo.

b08ebe15350f8ed9ceff3fc70439ad5f_large-1Product Name: Smart Cargo

The Good: Light, perfectly tailored for the iPad and Smart Cover; handier than you’d expect.

The Bad: Limited in what it will carry. Only works with current-gen full-size iPads.

The Verdict Fantastic — if if fits what you want it to fit.

Buy from: Smarterflo

Cult of Mac rating: Good

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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