iPad cases and stands: The few, the proud, the innovative
The flow of new iPad cases and stands continues unabated here at TUAW Labs, where I'm making room for the next round of goodies by boxing up what I've reviewed over the past few months and shipping it to NYC for the Engadget meetup. In order to get a few more into the box, I'm taking a look at the G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2 (US$69.95), Bracketron iTilt stand ($19.95), and ZooGue Case Genius for iPad 2 ($49.99). The nice thing about these three iPad accessories is that they all have something innovative and unique to make them stand out from the crowd.
G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2
The first thing I have to say about the G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2 is that it is, at least to my eyes, butt-ugly. The second thing is that despite the looks, it's probably one of the best protective sleeves that I've seen for the iPad.
As you can see from the photo below, the Extreme Sleeve 2 comes in a eye-jarringly bright yellow with a flexible armor that would be more at home on a Navy SEAL than an iPad. Fortunately for those of us with sensitive eyes, G-Form also makes the Extreme Sleeve 2 in a more sedate black.
It's the armor that counts here, though, and this would be perfect for carrying an iPad or iPad 2 around to construction sites, campsites, college dorms, kindergartens, or other potential disaster areas where a broken iPad is just a slip away.
The Extreme Sleeve 2 uses a material called PORON XRD that stiffens and absorbs energy from impacts to protect your iPad. This material is also water-resistant, and it's surprisingly lightweight. How good is the protection? Well, answer this question -- will your iPad sleeve protect your iPad against the impact of a 12-lb. bowling ball being dropped from a three-foot height?
If you're going for sleek style, look elsewhere, but if you want to protect your iPad, the G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2 is probably right for you.
I wrote about this product a little over a week ago, but I wanted to bring it up again. Why? Because it's rare to find a product that is both inexpensive and does one job very well. For $20, you're getting a very adjustable and sturdy iPad stand that folds flat for transport. For those of us who like our Smart Covers and don't want to have buy some expensive, fancy case with a folding leg that pops out of the back, this is perfect for using the iPad hands-free.
I just wish the iTilt had one feature built into it -- a Google+ "plus" button or a Facebook "Like" button.
ZooGue Case Genius for iPad 2
I've been a big fan of ZooGue's iPad cases since Macworld Expo 2011, when the company seemed to be giving them away to everyone in sight. Frankly, they did a good job of marketing the case by doing so, as they made it easy for a lot of the Apple press to get their hands on one of the most versatile iPad cases on the market.
The second-generation (perhaps third?) Case Genius is now available for iPad 2, and it still beats most of the competition in terms of being able to do a lot of tasks very well. Want a portfolio case that adjusts to a huge range of angles? It'll do that. Want a case with a hand strap so you can carry the iPad around while you do your rounds in the hospital? Yep, the Case Genius can do it. How about a case that you can strap to the car headrest so the kids can watch a movie while you're driving? Case Genius does it.
The Velcro-covered leather case has improved as time has gone by, and the company obviously responds positively to owner comments. The ZooGue Case Genius for iPad 2 definitely wins the prize for "iPad case most likely to be used everywhere in your life."
I was pleasantly surprised with all three of these iPad accessories, since all of them bring something unique and innovative to the table. The ZooGue Case Genius is priced less than other cases or stands that have much less capability, the Bracketron iTilt takes up very little space when folded and is actually reasonably priced, and the G-Force Extreme Sleeve 2 can literally take a pounding.
Stay tuned to TUAW this weekend for several reviews of other innovative accessories for iOS devices.