How much extra are you willing to pay to get the best iPad keyboard case possible? If your answer topped out at $10, then we’ve got the keyboard case for you, courtesy of Cirago. It works just fine, really, but you won’t mistake it for a Zagg.
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Now that you’ve filled your device with bargain iOS games from those Memorial Day App Store sales, maybe it’s time to accessorize it, too. ZAGG, which makes some of the finest accessories for mobile devices, has discounted 20% off keyboards and cases, and 50% off almost everything else.
Some say that the iPad is almost unusable without a case. I actually love the feel of using mine bareback, but The Lady literally refuses to pick up an iPad if it isn’t protected in some way (she has a history of dropping the things).
But whatever your view, one thing is certain: a case can add all sorts of functionality to your iPad, or keep it safe in more dangerous situations. Here’s our pick of the best cases out there.
The Best Keyboard Case
Now also available for the iPad 3, the Zagg wins for its compact size, light weight and clever design which allows it to double as a case (complete with sleep/wake magnets). It also has a great-feeling keyboard which is as good as Apple’s own.
The Best Hard Case
The new Sure-Lock bumper system keeps Pad&Quill’s Contega ahead of the competition, and keeps the iPad safely inside the tough baltic birch and leather Moleskine-Style case, while the sleep/wake magnet and clever articulated rear cover (which turns the case into a stand) mean it’s anything but old-fashioned.
The Best Slip Case
Dicota PadCover — $20-$50
I have had this slipcase since the iPad 1, and it’s still going strong. The PadCover is made from leather and wool, with a soft lining and handy pull-tab which ejects the iPad from within. If you’re using the iPad 2 or 3, you can fit in a smart cover, too. Discontinued by the manufacturer, but still available to buy in various places.
The Best Rugged Case
The impact-absorbing material of G-Form’s cases is also used to make padding for professional athletes. The Extreme Portfolio will soak up the power of a bowling ball dropped onto its face, and yet remains flexible and comfortable to use. It’s the case we turn to when we really need to protect our iPads.
The Best Folio Case
The Skech Porter offers all the protection of a fat folio case in a slim, great-looking package. A clever crease in the rear panel lets it work as a multi-position stand without adding extra bulk, an elastic handle is surprisingly handy and it packs a full compliment of magnets and camera holes.
The Best Rear Shell
This thin shell adds bulk at the corners where it’s needed, and has cutouts for everything from the camera through the speaker to the Smart Cover that it is designed to compliment. The plastic is smooth but grippy, and the little lozenge-shaped metal panel holds the Smart Cover in place when it is open.
The Best Minimal Case
The original, and in many ways still the best. Apple’s Smart Cover works in concert with the iPads 2 and 3, offering protection and a stand with minimal materials. It set the standard for every iPad case since, and is still the one to buy if you can’t bear to hide your beautiful iPad inside a heavy folio.
The Best Case To Use At Home
Our full review is waiting until we see a newly tweaked version of Thomas Fulton’s felt and leather case, but the Don’t Panic is already my favorite iPad case to use around the home. It’s light, offers some protection, and a clever arrangement of straps and magnets lets you prop it up on your bed, type, wrap it around your thigh, or just about anything you like. I think of it as my iPad’s favorite pair of slippers. It would be great out of the house, too, but the magnet in my prototype likes to zap my credit cards.
The Best Travel Case
Lacambra iPad Case — €115 ($150)
If you’re traveling around the world or to-and-from work, the Lacambra case has your iPad covered. Made to order in Spain from leather, the case zips closed and keeps the iPad safe inside. There’s a cut-out for the volume switch, pockets for business cards and boarding passes, and some extra tabs and straps to make typing or movie-watching easy. Don’t leave home without it.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the iFrogz Boost, a magic box which amplifies the sound from an iPhone or other device just by being close. You put the iPhone on top and the battery-powered iBoost speaker goes to work, making everything louder.
The technology used is called near field audio, or NFA, but nobody would tell me how it works. Luckily, the iFrogz folks sent me one, so I took it apart to see what’s inside.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — This year I decided to cover the Mobile World Congress without a computer. Or at least, without my MacBook. I live in Barcelona, so I knocked out a couple of posts on my iMac when I was at home, but on the show floor and in the press lounge I relied solely on my iPad. And amazingly, it was up to the task. There are some annoyances, but with a combination of perseverance (or just stubbornness) and the right apps, I got a pretty easy system going.
Cirago’s Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Case looks mighty familiar, huh? It’s almost as if the designers at Cirago took Zagg’s/Logitech’s iPad 2 keyboard case, filed of some corners and added a kickstand. Then again, as just about the only thing wrong with the Zagg is the non-adjustable stand, maybe that’s not such a bad idea.
Zagg’s new Boost speaker, sold under the iFrogz brand, appears to amplify music using nothing but magic. Just place your iPhone (or any other device with a speaker) on top and it will boost the sound. No wires, no Bluetooth, no nothing. The music just issues forth from a pair of 2-watt speakers.
If you do a lot of typing on your iPad, the ZAGGFolio keyboard case should be on your list of things to try. It’s a nice wireless keyboard and solid iPad case combined in one reasonably-priced unit. Let’s take a closer look.
LAS VEGAS, CES 2012 – Here’s the secret business of most polyurethane iPhone screen protectors: they know you’re not going to be able to get it on perfectly aligned without bubbles or pieces of grit underneath. In fact, they’re counting on you making a mash of things, and having to buy an expensive replacement.
But that business model is a double-edged sword, thinks Pure Gear. Sure, make the process of applying a polyurethane shield difficult and you might sell first-time buyers two instead of one the first time. But since the process is such a pain in the butt, and so hard to get right, many consumers never try again after the first time they mess it up.
That’s where Pure Gear’s incredible new shield applying tech comes in. Called the PureTek Roll-On, Pure Gear’s solution makes applying a polyurethane shield to your iPhone as easy as rolling a new coat of paint on the wall.
We’ve seen some crazy accessories for Apple devices over the past year. Some of them have been so inventive that we’ve marveled at their originality and design, whereas others are so simple and functional that we’re knocking our heads wishing we had thought of something so elegant. Over the past year we’ve tried to cover the most important new accessories for Apple devices, and we’ve narrowed down the favorites to a list of 10 accessories that we think are the best of the best.
Now it’s your turn to tell us if you think we’re right, and let us know which is your favorite Apple accessory of 2011. Take a quick glance at the 10 items below and then vote in our poll to let us know which you think is the true winner.