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)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

GraphicConverter 10.5.1 - $39.95
GraphicConverter is an all-purpose image-editing program that can import 200 different graphic-based formats, edit the image, and export it to any of 80 available file formats. The high-end editing... Read more
Delicious Library 3.7 - Import, browse a...
Delicious Library allows you to import, browse, and share all your books, movies, music, and video games with Delicious Library. Run your very own library from your home or office using our... Read more
Adobe Animate CC 2017 18.0.0.107 - Anima...
Animate CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Flash Professional customer). Animate CC 2018 (was Flash CC) lets you... Read more
Adobe After Effects CC 2018 15.0 - Creat...
After Effects CC 2018 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). The new, more connected After Effects CC... Read more
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018 12.0.0 - Digi...
Premiere Pro CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Premiere Pro customer). Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018 lets you edit... Read more
Alarm Clock Pro 10.3 - $19.95
Alarm Clock Pro isn't just an ordinary alarm clock. Use it to wake you up in the morning, send and compose e-mails, remind you of appointments, randomize the iTunes selection, control an internet... Read more
Adobe Lightroom 20170919-1412-ccb76bd] -...
Adobe Lightroom is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $9.99/month bundled with Photoshop CC as part of the photography package. Lightroom 6 is also available for purchase as a... Read more
Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 22.0.0 - Profe...
Illustrator CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Illustrator customer). Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 is the industry... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.3.0- - Binary disa...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
Adobe InDesign CC 2018 13.0.0.125 - Prof...
InDesign CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous InDesign customer). Adobe InDesign CC 2018 is part of Creative Cloud.... Read more

ICEY (Games)
ICEY 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ICEY is a 2D side-scrolling action game. As you follow the narrator's omnipresent voice, you will see through ICEY's eyes and learn the... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
We've made it, folks. Another weekend is upon us. It's time to sit back and relax with the best new releases of the week. Puzzles, strategy RPGs, and arcade games abound this week. There's a lot of quality stuff to unpack this week, so let's hop... | Read more »
Wheels of Aurelia (Games)
Wheels of Aurelia 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander guide - ti...
Halcyon 6 is a well-loved indie RPG with stellar tactical combat and some pretty good writing, too. It's now landed on the App Store, so mobile fans, if you're itching for a good intergalactic adventure, here's your game. Being a strategy RPG, the... | Read more »
Game of Thrones: Conquest guide - how to...
Fans of base building games might be excited to know that yet another entry in the genre has materialized - Game of Thrones: Conquest. Yes, you can now join the many kingdoms of the famed book series, or create your own, as you try to conquer... | Read more »
Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander (Games)
Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander 1.4.2.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.4.2.0 (iTunes) Description: An epic space strategy RPG with base building, deep tactical combat, crew management, alien diplomacy,... | Read more »
Legacy of Discord celebrates its 1 year...
It’s been a thrilling first year for fans of Legacy of Discord, the stunning PvP dungeon-crawling ARPG from YOOZOO Games, and now it’s time to celebrate the game’s first anniversary. The developers are amping up the festivities with some exciting... | Read more »
3 reasons to play Thunder Armada - the n...
The bygone days of the Battleship board game might have past, but naval combat simulators still find an audience on mobile. Thunder Armada is Chinese developer Chyogames latest entry into the genre, drawing inspiration from the explosive exchanges... | Read more »
Experience a full 3D fantasy MMORPG, as...
Those hoping to sink their teeth into a meaty hack and slash RPG that encourages you to fight with others might want to check out EZFun’s new Eternity Guardians. Available to download for iOS and Android, Eternity Guardians is an MMORPG that lets... | Read more »
Warhammer Quest 2 (Games)
Warhammer Quest 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dungeon adventures in the Warhammer World are back! | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

9″ iPads on sale for $30 off, starting at $29...
MacMall has 9″ iPads on sale for $30 off including free shipping: – 9″ 32GB iPad: $299 – 9″ 128GB iPad: $399 Read more
Apple restocks full line of refurbished 13″ M...
Apple has restocked a full line of Apple Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ MacBook Pros for $200-$300 off MSRP. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
13″ 3.1GHz/256GB MacBook Pro on sale for $167...
Amazon has the 2017 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro on sale today for $121 off MSRP including free shipping: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXV2LL/A): $1678 $121 off MSRP Keep an... Read more
13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $120 off M...
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook... Read more
15″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off M...
B&H Photo has 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $2249, $150... Read more
Roundup of Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs,...
Apple has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2017 21″ and 27″ iMacs available starting at $1019 and ranging up to $350 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free... Read more
Sale! 27″ 3.8GHz 5K iMac for $2098, save $201...
Amazon has the 27″ 3.8GHz 5K iMac (MNED2LL/A) on sale today for $2098 including free shipping. Their price is $201 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (Apple’s $1949... Read more
Sale! 10″ Apple WiFi iPad Pros for up to $100...
B&H Photo has 10.5″ WiFi iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP. Each iPad includes free shipping, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 10.5″ 64GB iPad Pro: $... Read more
Apple iMacs on sale for up to $130 off MSRP w...
B&H Photo has 21-inch and 27-inch iMacs in stock and on sale for up to $130 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2179 $... Read more
2017 3.5GHz 6-Core Mac Pro on sale for $2799,...
B&H Photo has the 2017 3.5GHz 6-Core Mac Pro (MD878LL/A) on sale today for $2799 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only . Their price is $200 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Commerce Engineer, *Apple* Media Products -...
Commerce Engineer, Apple Media Products (New York City) Job Number: 113028813New York City, New York, United StatesPosted: Sep. 20, 2017Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Read more
US- *Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple (Un...
US- Apple Store Leader Program Job Number: VariousUnited StatesPosted: Oct. 19, 2017Retail Store Job Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at Read more
Product Manager - *Apple* Pay on the *Appl...
Job Summary Apple is looking for a talented product manager to drive the expansion of Apple Pay on the Apple Online Store. This position includes a unique Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Farmin...
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.