Twelve South, maker of several fine iOS device and Mac accessories, has released an updated version of the SurfacePad for the modern MacBook. The SurfacePad is one of Twelve South’s earliest products, and it has now been optimized for Apple’s 2013 laptops.
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Works With: iPhone 5
Back in February, I reviewed the The SurfacePad from Twelve South and called it the “Best iPhone Case Ever.” And had it stayed pristine and continued working like it did for the first few weeks, that would be it.
But it didn’t. The lovely, minimalist leather cover certainly kept working, but while it might be a great design for something like an iPad, for an iPhone – which is constantly being shoved in and out of pockets – it’s just too fragile. That, and it sucks for taking photos.
We hated that, so we figured out a way to turn the SurfacePad, or any other wallet-style iPhone case, into a working Smart Cover just like the iPad has. The hack doesn’t take much work, and you’ll save yourself from having to unlock your iPhone every time you just want to check something really quick.
Here’s how to do it:
Out of all the junk that I own, there are a few objects which I love to use. And I mean “love” on a base, visceral level. These are the things that are so well suited to their tasks that they not only never get in the way, but they make doing that task better.
Works With: iPhone 4/S, 5
When I heat milk and cocoa in my small De Buyer saucepan, alone in my quiet kitchen late at night, I smile when I unhook the pan from its hanger and feel its durable heft; I smile again when I pour the cocoa into a thermos and feel the pan’s perfect balance. Even washing it and hanging it up again is a pleasure.
I also love to use my dented, stainless steel Klean Kanteen “Reflect” water bottle. It’s design is so simple, just two pieces of steel, a silicone ring and a bamboo disk, but it does its job so well that I really do take it everywhere with me. And it’s so trustworthy that I’ll toss it into my bag along with my iPad and never worry about it leaking.
Which is to say, some things are not just well designed, they’re actually wonderful objects in their own right. And Twelve South’s SurfacePad for the iPhone is one of those objects.
SAN FRANCISCO, MACWORLD/iWORLD 2013 – I don’t believe in covering my gorgeous iPhone with a case. I want it to be naked. Free. Yes, it might gather some battle scars in the process, but I think those give it character. I also don’t use a case because I just don’t want any extra bulk in my pocket, and most cases add a half inch of thickness to my svelte iPhone 5.
TwelveSouth has heard the complaints of iPhone users like me who hate using cases. They know that some of us don’t want to hide the iPhone’s beautiful design. They know I just want to be able to slip it in and out of my pocket with ease. But they also know I worry that my screen is going to get scratched or shatter, and they think they have the perfect solution.
TwelveSouth is a company as known for their fantastic innovations (for example, the PlugBug) as their curiosities (the BookBook case). The SurfacePad for MacBook doesn’t fall in either category: it’s a strictly utilitarian accessory, a thin leather sticker for the keyboard of your MacBook Air that makes it feel more pleasant to type on by putting an almost imperceptibly thin layer of dyed cow flesh between your palms and the cold unibody aluminum.