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

How to build a successful civilisation i...
GodFinger 2 grants you godlike powers, leaving you to raise a civilization of followers. In the spirit of games like Black & White, the GodFinger games will see you building bigger and better villages, developing more advanced technology and... | Read more »
How to get all the crabs in Mr Crab 2
Mr. Crab 2 may look like a cutesy platformer for kids, but if you're the kind of person who likes to complete a game 100%, you'll soon realise that it's a tougher than a crustacean's shell. [Read more] | Read more »
How to be a star in Britney Spears: Amer...
If you've ever wanted to be a star, baby, then you've probably already checked out Britney Spears: American Dream and are happily making your way up the charts. But fame doesn't come easy, and everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. So we've got... | Read more »
AppSpy is hiring a part time Staff Write...
| Read more »
How to save lives in ER Surgery Simulato...
A serious earthquake has struck a nearby town in ER Surgery Simulator - Emergency Doctor, and it’s up to you to save the victims. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in G...
Ketchapp Games loves the endless runner genre. And its newest game, Gravity Switch, is no exception. Gravity Switch takes a fresh approach, though, as you move a block, suspended in zero gravity, safely through a maze of shifting pillars. If the... | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in S...
Smash Fu is a high-paced tile-tapping game that requires quick reflexes and some practice. You’ll have to smash bricks with the skill of a seasoned black belt to get a high score. To raise the stakes a bit, you’ll also have to avoid tapping any... | Read more »
How to keep the ball rolling in Dropple
If you're new to the minimalist puzzler Dropple, you may find yourself struggling to make it beyond the first couple of steps before your ball falls into the endless abyss below. [Read more] | Read more »
Game Craft releases new Legend of War ti...
Set for release at the end of this month, real time strategy title Legend of War seems sure to delight with a veritable feast of sweet features to get stuck into. Developed by Game Craft, the game is due for release through both the App Store and... | Read more »
How not to die in Traffic Rider
Traffic Rider, an Out Run-esque game in which your ride a motorcycle recklessly into trffic, might not seem particularly complicated. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Textkraft Professional Becomes A Mobile Produ...
The new update 4.1 of Textkraft Professional for the iPad comes with many new and updated features that will be particularly of interest to self-publishers of e-books. Highlights include import and... Read more
SnipNotes 2.0 – Intelligent note-taking for i...
Indie software developer Felix Lisczyk has announced the release and immediate availability of SnipNotes 2.0, the next major version of his productivity app for iOS devices and Apple Watch.... Read more
Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman Laun...
Grand Rapids, Michigan based Skunk Tank has announced the release and immediate availability of Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman 1.1, the company’s new business app available exclusively on... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro (model #MF841LL/A) on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Amazon also has the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks available s...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New 2016 13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the new 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (model MMGG2LL/A) on sale for $1149 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.