Farming and agriculture are among the unusual places to find iPads at work
It doesn’t take a huge stretch of imagination to picture some of the ways that the iPad can be used in the workplace. The idea of it as a sales tool, an electronic medical chart, and as a digital textbook device all come immediately to mind as common on-the-job iPad uses. But the iPad’s versatility lends itself to a variety of industries and jobs that you’ve probably never considered.
One example is agriculture management from the cab of a farm combine – one of the unexpected places to find the iPad that Hard Candy Cases CEO Tim Hickman mentioned to me during a recent conversation. His company, which also produces the ruggedized Gumdrop Cases, has received bulk orders for iPad from some surprising sources and has led to iPad adoption in places beyond where most of us would expect. I decided to follow up on that conversation with some research of my own.
If you can’t justify buying the iPad 2 because you recently purchased the original model, or you just can’t afford it, don’t despair. Instead, give your original iPad a mini make-over by purchasing one of these four cases. They are way cheaper than the new iPad 2 and won’t add anything to landfills.
Here’s how to give some new life to the poor old iPad.
The new openings are a rectangular slot on the upper right side (when viewing the iPad from the front), opposite the volume rocker and lock; and a smaller, squarer opening on the top of the iPad in the middle.
The makers of the case say it fits the iPad 2 “perfectly,” which means the new device may have capabilities.
Chang guesses that the top opening is for HMDI or mini-HDMI, and the side opening for a SD Card. Engadget on Friday claimed the iPad 2 will have an SD Card slot, although it places the opening on the bottom right of the new iPad, not the side.
Jeff Crystal, COO of Voltaic, with their new Spark Solar Tablet Case.
If a bag is on display at CES, chances are excellent it’s got some kind of snazzy tech feature. Newcomer Powerbag caught our eye with its line of four handsome bags that all include batteries for charging iDevices (or other peripherals); Voltaic — we featured their OffGrid backpack in our Holiday Gift Guide — just launched an iPad case with high-efficiency solar cells slathered all over one side.
Belkin’s a big name in accessories, and you’ve probably got at least a few of their iPod or iPhone cases floating around your house. Today they’re expanding their line-up for the iPad with two new offerings: the Grip 360 + Stand and the FlipBlade.
The Grip 360 is an all-in-one accessory that can be used in three configurations: as a carrying case, a handheld case and as a stand. On the back is a flexible hand strap that makes the iPad easier to hold one-handed; the strap titularly rotates 360 degrees depending on which configuration you want to hold your iPad in, or removed entirely. It sells for $69.99.
The FlipBlade is a bit different: it’s a compact support for the iPad that allows you to prop your tablet up in either of its orientations, and which folds up for easy traveling. The design’s nice, but at $29.99, seems a bit overpriced for something a cheap plastic business card holder will do with more portability for less than a buck.
I love the almost Trapper Keeper like aesthetic of the Mophie Workbook Case, which not only protects your iPad but lets you prop it up horizontally at almost any angle, perfect for typing or watching video. Sure, unlike my old Trapper Keeper, it features a synthetic leather veneer, but for some reason, I less want to put my iPad in it than lock in a bunch of cool robot folders magic-markered in block capitals with their dedicated subject.
Also unlike a Trapper Keeper is the price: a Mophie Workbook will cost you $59.95 if you want one.
There are hundreds of decent iPad cases out there. Unfortunately, very few leave you room for anything other than the iPad itself. What about your stand, your wireless keyboard, your charger or your headphones? Carrying all the accoutrements needed to set your iPad up and use it more like a notebook may seem to defeat the purpose somewhat, but a lot of us use our tablets like that every day. If you like to carry your iPad fully loaded, the Incase Travel Kit Plus ($59.95) is a great solution.