If you're in the market for a handcrafted and premium iPad case, the Palette Case appears to be a good pick. It's stylish, functional and not priced exorbitantly -- the latter being the main flaw in a lot of premium iPad accessories (you know it's not a feasible product when the case is more expensive than the actual tablet).
Designed in San Francisco and made by local craftsmen in New York, it's angling itself as a "locally-built" accessory -- a far cry from the usual China-sourced cases you'll usually find in the market today (yep, even some that are priced at premium ranges). It's a looker, too, so be assured that your tablet won't be decked in anything but a sweet-looking receptacle.
The Palette Case features a lush Merino wool back panel that makes it soft and comfy to hold. Even better, the backside gets a large hole in the center, allowing you to slip two fingers in to secure the device when in use. That way, there's no danger of having your iPad slip off your grasp, allowing you to use your hands without having to watch your actions too closely.
Out front, it gets a trifold leather panel that attaches to the side via embedded magnets, allowing you to either turn it to the side like a folio cover or remove it completely to get it out of the way. When detached, the leather cover can be folded to work as a stand in both landscape and portrait modes. The embedded magnets will secure it to the back of the tablet case.
You can get the Palette Case directly from the product's website. Price is $120.
When it comes to geeky-looking tablet sleeves, there's no shortage of choices in the market. From sleeves decked in geeky designs to cases with uber-geeky functions, there are plenty of accessories out there to satisfy even the hardest-to-satiate appetite. The 8-Bit Tablet Sleeve, however, probably takes the cake when it comes to appearance -- the thing just looks that awesome.
Styled to look like a pixelated envelope right out of an 8-bit console game, the sleeve is downright eye-catching. While the design adds nothing of value to the sleeve's utility, that really doesn't matter. You will want to buy this for the sheer novelty value -- and the fact that everyone will be asking you where you got one.
If you like using your high-powered, high-resolution tablet to play retro 80s games, then the 8-Bit Tablet Sleeve should be the perfect accessory to house your slate. Construction of the envelope-type sleeve is synthetic leather with a matte finish, cut and colored in a black and white pixelated pattern. Inside, the material is lined with a soft fabric that will keep nicks and scratches off during transport, with a hook-and-loop strip securing the flap closure.
Thinkgeek has the 8-Bit Table Sleeve available now, priced at $29.99.
Remember the Grab-It Pack? If you're not familiar, it's a gadget holster that looks designed to hold ultra-advanced military weapons for super soldiers. Or something like that. Well, they have a new version called the Tablet Pack, which comes with container space to hold your favorite slate.
Just like the Grab-It, the bag will strap to your waist and leg, keeping the contents from swinging wildly while you haul your ass around town, making it perfect for carrying an iPad whether you're kicking it on a bicycle or racing to work on the subway. And, yes, it's styled like a bad-ass weapons holster that will look even better wrapped around The Punisher's body rather than your nerdy, frail physique.
The Tablet Pack is made using 1680D polyester, with nylon backing and sponge inserts that give your precious gadgets the protection they deserve. It comes with three pockets: a large one (11x 8.5 inches) for the iPad, a small one (5.5 x 3.5 inches) for phones and a wide top pocket (3 x 7 inches) for any other stuff you're bringing along. The body strap can fit waists up to 43 inches, with extenders available if you spent the last couple of years eating too many triple-patty bacon hamburgers with extra cheese.
You can get the Tablet Pack directly from the official website, priced at $45.95.
Mercenaries for hire use iPads, too. All that waiting inside abandoned warehouses, park benches and tinted industrial vans can get boring after a while. And we're guessing this is how they transport their tablets: the Kato Tactical Mini-Messenger Bag.
As the name implies, it's a mini-messenger sized to fit an iPad, along with the minimum of tools any mercenary could need while stalking targets and hunting bounties on the road. You know, stuff like pistols, bullets, tranquilizer darts, tasers and cyanide poison (for when you get caught and can't give up your contacts).
The Kato Tactical Mini-Messenger Bag is made from DuPont Cordura, complete with quiltings and paddings to ensure your tablet never gets damaged in the course of your day-to-day affairs. It comes with a main compartment measuring 12.1 x 9 x 3.1 inches and a back compartment measuring 12 x 9 x 0.75 inches, so you can carry an 11-inch ultraportable (yep, the small MacBook will fit) and an iPad if you need both. Or maybe just more guns. Yeah, that sounds about right.
The interior can also be used to hold DSLR cameras and lenses (for spying and stakeouts) -- just rearrange the padding inserts and your expensive photography gear will be duly protected. Sporting MOLLE modular components, the bag can also be expanded to hold multiple exterior pouches on the front and sides. It comes with one extra pouch that you can attach to the side for extra space.
Thinkgeek has the Kato Tactical Mini-Messenger Bag available now. Price is $99.99.
With most iPad cases, the whole spiel about "keeping your iPad protected" tends to point more towards nicks and scratches, rather than serious bumps and drops. That's why truly protective accessories, like the Gumdrop, feel somewhat special. It's also one of the reasons why the Normincies Radical iPad Bag is so awesome.
While I won't call the design "radical and innovative" like the product page does, it is quite the handsome-looking yet super-functional piece. Suffice to say, carrying your tablet in this, as opposed to a small messenger bag or a backpack, should see you less worried about having it meet an untimely demise.
The Normincies Radical iPad Bag's most pronounced feature is the large slab of 5052 aluminum sitting right on its backside. Yep, it's a solid piece of metal protecting your slate from bumps and drops, ensuring higher chances of survival regardless of what perils it encounters throughout your travels. Want to ditch the aluminum while carrying your iPad around the hotel? No problem -- just pull out the snap fasteners and it turns into a lovely fabric bag.
Measuring 10.6 x 8.8 x 1.37 inches, the actual bag is made from cordura nylon, with a low-profile black color outside and an eye-popping orange shade in the interior. The bag is padded, as well, to double up on the protection part. Interior features a main tablet compartment and two smaller pockets for holding other stuff.
You can get the Radical iPad Bag directly from the Normincies online shop. Price is $198.
Trying to figure out more stylish and convenient ways to bring your iPad on the road? You'd probably want to look at the Bombata Micro iPad Briefcase, which brings both style and utility in spades.
Sporting a modern European-inspired design, the vertical briefcase offers plenty of options for carrying your tablet. You can use the dual rounded handles to hold it by hand briefcase-style, sling it over your shoulder like a messenger or even put the whole thing inside a larger bag.
The Bombata Micro iPad Briefcase measures 13 x 10 x 2 inches, with two large compartments on either side of the case when opened. One side is sized to hold an iPad inside a padded frame, held in place by velcro straps. The other features three pockets of different sizes to hold your other stash.
Designed for lightweight handling, the bag weighs just a little over a pound. Construction is vinyl and silicone, with a zip around closure. From the looks of it, this should fit all three generations of iPad handily, as well as smaller computers.
You can get the Bombata Micro iPad Briefcase in 8 colors -- blue, red, orange, brown, green, purple, black and pink. Price is $37.
You just got the new iPad. And you want a brand-spanking-new keyboard case for it. The YourType Folio + Keyboard looks fit for the deed.
Made by Belkin, it's a foldable iPad case with an integrated keyboard opposite the tablet's container. Unlike other cases with integrated keys, the entire keyboard is fully detachable, so you can leave it at home and use the accessory like a regular folio case if you want.
The Belkin YourType Folio + Keyboard is a stitched iPad case with a smooth inner lining and a magnetic tab closure. For typing, it allows you to stand the iPad at a slight tilt in landscape mode. You can opt for higher angles, but you'll need to remove the keyboard to make room.
The removable keyboard pairs with your iPad via Bluetooth, which it will do automatically at the push of a button. Keys feature a spring mechanism and function-specific keys that include most of the common commands you'll need to use with iOS. As with similar keyboard cases, though, you may want to exercise caution when putting pressure on the case with the keyboard slotted in, as it looks like the keys could touch the iPad's screen if you're not careful.
Amazon has the Belkin YourType Folio + Keyboard available now, priced at $99.99.
The CushPad makes for a viable accessory when standing your tablet on less-than-even surfaces. If you're not a fan of the size or form of that repurposed pillow, though, the CampFire case should make for an interesting alternative.
Made by X-Doria, it's billed as a "sleeping bag for the iPad." Not only can you use it to set the tablet up on less-than-stable surfaces, it also doubles as a bag to cover your slate like a padded sack.
Both second- and third-generation iPads can fit into the plastic housing integrated into the CampFire. When opened up, the iPad sits snugly in the frame, backed by a padded cushion that lets you prop it up in both landscape and portrait orientations. The padding is chunky enough that you should be able to hold it steady on most any surface, including your lap and your bed.
When you're done using the tablet, simply loosen the string and flip the whole panel inside out, positioning it so the padded fabric covers the entire tablet, much like a drawstring bag. While the bag doesn't look all that comfortable to carry by itself, the entire thing should sit snugly on your backpack during trips.
From the name, we're guessing X-Doria is trying to market the CampFire as an ideal accessory when using the iPad while you're outdoors. That means, you can stand it on a blanket while lounging on the sand or on the ground when resting inside your tent. It's available now, priced at $59.99.
Someday we'll have foldable iPads that can fit in a card slot on our billfolds. Until that day comes, though, we'll have to settle for The Wallet, an iPad 2 case that doubles as a functional (and non-pocket-friendly) wallet.
Made from genuine cowhide leather, the case boasts superior grip and durability, so the entire thing should hold conveniently in hand. Plus, leather always looks swanky, so it's double the awesome.
The Wallet is a slim profile iPad case measuring 8.5 x 11 x 2.125 inches. Design is strictly business-like, complete with a leather strap magnetic closure, so it should go equally well with both your office suit and Darth Vader costume. The tablet frame sits on the right side of the folio, with full port and camera access, as well as support for the iPad 2's "wake-on-open/sleep-on-close" feature. And, yes, it offers an integrated typing angle.
Since it's meant to double as a case for stashing other stuff, you get a load of pockets and pouches on the left side. Designed for serious organization, it features a large main pocket (can hold hard drives and notebooks), two zippered pockets, five card slots, a phone holder and pen loops.
Thinkgeek has The Wallet for iPad 2 available now, priced at $79.99