A round-up of iPad products
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

A round-up of iPad products

By Greg Mills

Over the last month, a number of companies have sent me sample products for testing and review. All relate to iPad, so here's a round-up of reviews.

There are various solutions for protecting iPad from the inevitable scratches and damage from mobile use. We carry our iPads around, lay them down, drop them occasionally and the screen and back can get scratched and worn looking. The aluminum back can also get scuffed up.  Well, I paid nearly US$800. for my iPad with 3G and extra memory, so I want to keep it nice.  

My experience began with a silicone cover alone, to cover the back and provide some protection from shock if the case is dropped. I have seen some silicone soft covers that are much beefier around the edges to really protect the iPad from damage, but those are bulky and a lot more money. The Hand Held Items iPad silicone cover, now only $8.99 plus shipping at  http://www.handhelditems.com, which I considered a great value. However, at the time, front covers were just coming out, so I used the back cover for a while without any thing over the screen.  That was a mistake.  

If you use a back cover to protect your iPad,  you need a clear film screen saver as well. While I really like the Apple oil resistant screen surface, it is vulnerable to scratches if there is no  protection for it.  For a few bucks more, Hand Held Items now offers a screen saver for the front as well as a back cover for only $12.99 (plus shipping). Not a bad price for a package of one hard polycarbonate case with a free screen saver. 

The slick, oil repelling surface Apple applies is not as scratch resistant as glass. Despite care to prevent damage, I got some fine scratches within two weeks of use without protection. That protection could be in the form of a film covering the surface or a padded envelope type device.  There are pros and cons for all solutions.  

The padded slip covers, such as the Kensington K62911 Netbook Sleeve $9.99, offer the potential of using the iPad "bareback" as it was designed by Apple, while keeping it clean and protected while not in use.  Personally, while the Kensington Sleeve is nice, it has a closure that stretches over the iPad and is somewhat awkward at first.  It might stretch out over time, but it was a bit hard to get the iPad in and out of a new one.  

Kensington (http://us.kensington.com) also makes a really nice shoulder bag the right size to carry an iPad the charger, cords and the like -- with plenty of room for a small laptop as well. They call it the Sling Bag ($19.99) due to the shoulder strap. It's overkill for casual use, but great for a trip or for someone wanting to carry a lot of extra stuff with them.  The Sling Bag is nicely made and full of thoughtful pockets and zippered slots for the iPad and more.

I also had the chance to test drive a nice padded fabric envelope solution for iPad that snuggly covers the device, which slides in. The Fabrix Sleeves are $32.90 with discounts available on-line. They come in a bunch of colors and designs. The sleeves are so tight you can't get am iPad into the sleeve if it has a silicone cover on. So you are pretty much going to go "bareback" if you go this route.  See http://www.fabrixcases.com  .

We have all seen the screen protector film products advertised. At the end of the day, the screen is much more of an issue for damage than the back of the device.  The well advertised "Invisible SHIELD" product from ZAGG (http://www.zagg.com) is pretty much the top-of-the-line solution. The film does as advertised and really protects the screen surface from damage.  here are two downsides, however.  
 
First: i the installation of the film will be a problem for a lot of people. The film is an adhesive -- and very sticky -- film. It's floppy and tends to stick where you don't want it to grab anything.  The kit contains a little bottle of solution you wet your finger tips with and also the surface of the screen before removing the backing. You then position the film and squeegee it down to remove air pockets and wrinkles.  

That's easer said than done. My wife could probably have done it better than I did, but klutzes have iPhones too. It worked out OK, however. 

I practiced on the iPhone first and noticed I got a bit of dandruff or something in between the film and the screen that showed. Darn it. I pulled the film back, picked the speck off and reattached it. That worked out pretty well. Also, the iPhone screen saver works as advertised.  

I have had the problem of accidentally putting the iPhone in the same pocket as my keys -- which is a recipe for disaster. Having experimented on the iPhone, I graduated to iPad and that went a bit better.  Some small scratches on the iPad screen were mostly hidden by the film.

One other consideration in going to film screen savers is that the film top surface is not as good as the Apple oil repelling finish you cover up. I noticed the screen saver film attracts dust and dirt more than the factory coating.  

If ZAGG could get the slick oil repellant surface of the Apple manufacturing process on the outer surface of the InvisibleSHIELD they would really have the category aced. Their existing film solution is good, but not excellent due to this issue.  

Also, the ZAGG surface is not as slick for touching and collects dust much more than the bare iPad screen. And the $29.95 is quite a bit of money for a little bit of film. Still, the ZAGG InvisibleSHIELD is a good solution, if you want to go that route. 

If you intend to use a back cover you need to either keep the iPad in a case when not in use or use a folding cover such as the Apple black cover sold at the Apple Store online or at the local Apple store.  I am using both the InvisibleSHIELD and the Apple cover, at this time. With the flap, which covers the iPad when not in use, I may remove the InvisibleSHIELD. That way I can see how it comes off and compare the surfaces again. The Apple iPad Cover is pricey at $39 and can be found at http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC361ZM/A .

My conclusion is that some sort of protection for iPad backs and screen is important, as it is hard to imagine a mobile device that won't get trashed, in time. There are three basic solutions. One: a back cover/screen protector film. Two: a soft sleeve "bare back." Three: the folding cover, as in the Apple cover. There is no one solution for everyone, and there are pros and cons to all of them.  I think I am tending to go with the Apple folding cover solution as it allows me to use the special finish Apple applied at the factory and it allows iPad a built-in, inclined position for use that the other approaches don't offer.  

I will keep my eye on this area of product and update readers on further innovation in this area.

(Greg Mills is currently a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Married, with one daughter still at home, Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's web sites at http://www.gregmills.info . He can be emailed at gregmills@mac.com)

 
AAPL
$112.03
Apple Inc.
-0.62
MSFT
$47.96
Microsoft Corpora
+0.44
GOOG
$514.90
Google Inc.
+3.80

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.2.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Adobe After Effects CC 2014 13.2 - Creat...
After Effects CC 2014 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous After Effects customer). After Effects CS6 is still available... Read more
Evernote 6.0.5 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
Command-C 1.1.7 - Clipboard sharing tool...
Command-C is a revolutionary app which makes easy to share your clipboard between iOS and OS X using your local WiFi network, even if the app is not currently opened. Copy anything (text, pictures,... Read more
Tidy Up 4.0.2 - Find duplicate files and...
Tidy Up is a complete duplicate finder and disk-tidiness utility. With Tidy Up you can search for duplicate files and packages by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, time... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their...
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their New Game: Tempo Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] WarChest Ltd and Splash Damage Ltd are teaming up again to work | Read more »
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary...
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to C...
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to Celebrate 20 Million Downloads Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Desti...
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny, and Beyond – AppSpy Takes a Look at AAA Companion Apps Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] These day | Read more »
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Fre...
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Free for the Holidays Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Shift - Photo Filters Designed By You (...
Shift - Photo Filters Designed By You 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Pros for...
 B&H Photo has new MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Airs for...
B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, for a limited time, for the Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday shopping season. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: iMacs for up to $...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software: - 21″ 1.4GHz... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac minis availab...
B&H Photo has new 2014 Mac minis on sale for up to $80 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459 $40 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off MSRP... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac Pros for up t...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $500 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2599, $400 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3499, $... Read more
Save up to $400 on MacBooks with Apple Certif...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Save up to $300 on Macs, $30 on iPads with Ap...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
iOS and Android OS Targeted by Man-in-the-Mid...
Cloud services security provider Akamai Technologies, Inc. has released, through the company’s Prolexic Security Engineering & Research Team (PLXsert), a new cybersecurity threat advisory. The... Read more

Jobs Board

Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.