Cult of Mac Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her Edition [Updated]

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Believe it or not, Black Friday has already come and gone. Pretty soon the Christmas season will begin, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much.
Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.
From now until Christmas, Cult of Mac will be putting together holiday gift guys full of ideas for the special ones in your life, no matter what their interests or your budget. Today, we’re looking at gifts for the lovely laydee in your life.

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Killian’s Thanksgiving Smorgasbord: Evernote, Spotify, iPad Mini, Logitech Keyboard Case And Erfon Elijah

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! This year to observe the holiday we asked each of our writers to tell us a bit about the things they are most thankful for in 2012: specifically, the Apple product, app, service, third-party accessory and person they most relied upon and were grateful for this year. All through the rest of the day, we’ll be posting these thanksgiving observances. Here’s Cult of Mac News Writer Killian Bell’s list of the things he’s most thankful for this year. You can find the rest of our Thanksgiving Smorgasbord entries here.

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Zagg Already Offering Not One, But Two iPad Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Cases

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The Zaggkeys Mini 7, one of two new keyboard cases from Zagg for the iPad Mini.

That’s pretty darn fast: Keyboard-maker Zagg has unveiled two new keyboard cases for the iPad Mini, just a day after Apple pulled the sheet off its new pint-sized iPad. There’s the Zaggkeys Mini 7, a pared-down seven-inch model that spans the width of the Mini, and the Zaggkeys Mini 9, a 9-inch version with a slightly more comprehensive suite of keys.

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Zagg Launches Backlit iPad Keyboard

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Backlit.

 

Over at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin. Zagg has launched a couple of new iPad keyboards. And one of them, the Pro Plus, has something I have missed ever since I took to typing on my iPad in the corners of dark and seedy bars: a keyboard backlight.

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ZaggFolio iPad Keyboard Case Is Great… Apart From The Case [Review]

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As a keyboard, the Zaggfolio is great.

The new Zaggfolio keyboard and case for the iPad 3 is a very weird little number. At first glance it looks like any other folio case, a protective book which holds the iPad in one side and has a keyboard embedded behind the front cover. But this one is modular, with a removable keyboard. And it comes in colors, although the plastic used to do this looks like it has been cut by (a shaky, alcoholic) hand.

And if you want to use the case without the keyboard (which is actually possible, as they’re available separately) then you’re going to end up with the dumbest-looking case around.

Despite all this, the Zaggfolio is actually pretty great.

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Cirago’s Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Case For iPad Isn’t The Best, But It’s The Best Deal [Review]

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Some wildflowers, a filthy table, the Cirago Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard Case for iPad, and an enantiomorph.

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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The Best iPad Cases [Best Of]

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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

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Logitech Zagg Keyboard Case for iPad 2$100

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

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Pad&Quill Contega$100

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

Padcover

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

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G-Form Extreme Portfolio$90

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

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Skech Porter$60

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

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Speck Smart Shell$30

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

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Apple Smart Cover$39

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

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Don’t Panic$99

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

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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.

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How The Mysterious Boost Connection-Less Speaker Works [Review]

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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.

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How I Blogged The Entire Mobile World Congress From An iPad [MWC 2012]

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My iPad blogging setup, including camera connection kit, emergency battery pack and pouch of spare SD cards. Photo Charlie Sorrel (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

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.

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