Chances are, you use your iPad around the house more than a regular computer. After all, the portability makes it easy to use in bed, on the couch and, pretty much, anywhere you want. But what if you want to use your tablet on a stand while on an unstable surface, like for watching a movie with the iPad on your lap? That's where the CushPad comes handy.
Looking like a Chumby-shaped pillow, the combination stand/cushion features a front slot for holding an iPad snugly and an extended base so it stays upright while laid over less-than-ideal surfaces. Definitely beats having to lay the tablet over a pillow so you don't have to clasp it in hand, right?
Designed to securely hold the iPad 2 (it's not a fit with the original iPad), the CushPad's loading area can handle both landscape and portrait orientations. It has non-slip material both inside and outside, so it won't slide when put over smooth surfaces. The cover can be removed for washing, too, so you don't have to live with a dirty accessory when the thing gets a little grimy from use. Could be a great way to keep your iPad safe when you let your kids play with it, as well.
The CushPad is available now, priced at $34.99.
When it comes to propping up the iPad at versatile angles, nothing beats a dedicated stand. And when portability is an issue, it's hard to do better than the Arkon IPM-TAB, a fold-up stand that you can compact into a bundle the size of a pocket knife when not in use.
Measuring 7 x 1 x 1 inches when closed, the easel-type stand can easily slide into your pants pocket or any spare compartment in a bag. At 8 ounces, it barely registers any weight at all, making for one convenient accessory to have around.
During use, simply unfold the Arkon IPM-TAB1, adjust the legs and backrest, and throw your tablet onto the assembly. The grooves on the legs can work with iPads even with a case on, along with other brands of tablets (unless they're exceptionally thick like the Windows ones from early 2000s).
Since the separation of the legs and the angle of the backrest can be adjusted, you can set up your iPad at practically any angle in both portrait and landscape views. The only limitation is during charging -- since it's not that elevated, you won't be able to charge in portrait view (unless you orient it with the charging slot on top). It comes with non-skid traction material at the base, too, so the tablet doesn't slide around even when you type on it.
Whether it's for browsing with the free use of both hands, reading recipe instructions while cooking, or watching a movie you actually like on a plane, the Akron IMP-TAB1 should prove a helpful addition to your pocket stash. It's available from Amazon, priced at $10.
The iPad 2 inherited the very slippery backside of its predecessor, making it an equally scary device to handle bare. Giving that surface some much-needed traction (apart from imparting a more personable appearance to the stark aluminum body) is exactly what the Bookback for iPad 2 does.
Made by Dodo (of Dodocase fame), the skin is a self-adhesive piece of leather-like skin that covers the rear of your tablet. That way, you can confidently tuck it in under your arm while taking a stroll without worrying about the prospects of any unfortunate accidents.
The Dodocase Bookback is made from the same Moroccan fabric, which looks and feels like leather, that is used on the company's popular iPad cases. Designed for convenient peel and stick function, the skin can be easily removed without leaving any residue. The original version of the accessory made for the iPad covered the entire back panel, while the iPad 2 version features a cutout at the bottom left hand of the cover to keep the speaker holes uncapped.
While minimalist in form and marketed primarily as stylish ornamentation, the Bookback actually performs a critical function -- one that could prove indispensable for clumsy users who've experienced gadgets slipping out of their grasps on more than one occasion. It's available now, priced at $19.95.
Ever wished you can use your iPhone while using your iPad while keeping one hand free to do all that tapping? This DIY iPad iPhone Connector Clip lets you make all of that happen.
Why would you even want to make one? Because there's no way you can watch a movie while surfing the web on either machine. With such an assembly, that's perfectly doable (imagine browsing on the iPad while a video plays on the iPhone), along with scores of other "real multi-tasking" duties.
Full instructions for the build were published on Geeky Gadgets, with plenty of photos and detailed directions so you can make your own. It's actually excessively simple, although I'd caution to give it extensive trial runs on the bed before bringing it out where either device can encounter damaging drops.
To make your own Connector Clip, you'll need a 24-cm long plastic "U" shaped extrusion, which can fit both your iPhone and iPad with their respective cases. All you have to do is cut the extrusion in half, attach the two parts in an H-shaped rig and you're done. Very clever.
The result is quite impressive, literally allowing you to use both devices at the same time, even without having a table to set them on. Plus, if you've got a second iPhone, you might actually be able to fit two along the same edge for even more awesome uses. Again, though, this looks like it puts your iPhone in danger of falling off, so best do some serious testing before using it regularly.
Want to use your iPad for making electronic music onstage? We doubt there's anything better than the StudioDock, a protective case that doubles as a dock station where you can hook up everything you need for both studio and live performances.
Created by Alesis, the accessory covers the tablet's bezel, which accounts for the "case" part. It's a little too chunky to be as comfortable as most book-sized cases, but it's still plenty portable -- especially for a full-on musical rig.
The StudioDock has ports for nearly anything you'll need for stage performances and musical experimentation: MIDI in/out ports, stereo outs, gain controls, XLR combo ins and more. That means, you can connect your microphones, PA speakers, MIDI controllers, guitars and monitors onto the thing, all while playing a game of Angry Birds during intermission.
Designed to turn the iPad into a full-fledged laptop replacement for musical sets, it can work with every single audio, MIDI and music-making software from the App Store. If you've browsed through the App Store recently, you know that's a lot, turning this erstwhile dock into an incredibly useful piece of stage equipment.
No pricing or availability dates for the StudioDock yet. You can bet that a lot of musicians , both working and frustrated alike, will be watching for this one, though.
Looking for a safe way (read: no chances of slipping) to use the iPad with one hand? There are cases that offer just that, but if you don't really want to deck your tablet in a whole new shell, the Padlette might just be what you're looking for.
A rubbery appendage, the accessory stretches between two opposing corners of the slate. In doing so, it creates a fitting of sorts that you can use for working with the iPad single-handed.
The Padlette is made from 100% silicone and comes in seven colors (including glow in the dark blue). Since it's stretchable, it can be used on both bare iPads and ones housed in a separate case (even thicker ones), so you won't need to alternate between the accessory and your favorite iPad cover.
According to the website, the design allows people to use the slate with one hand in a variety of ways using the piece of rubber stretched along the back. If you have a hard time imagining how that's supposed to work, don't worry, I feel the same way. My guess is that the rubber fastens to your hand, so the iPad stays still with no chance of falling off. Still, it's just a guess -- a picture of someone using it would have helped (attention: Padlette)
They have a promo video on the site that, unfortunately, doesn't show the Padlette in action, either. If you're interested in taking a chance that it might be what you're looking, Amazon has it now for $25 a pop.
Need something to prop up the iPad for hands-free use without using table space? Yes, you likely do and nothing on the market seems to offer it. That is, until the iProp, a bendable floor stand that acts as a dedicated holding mount for your slate.
The idea behind this accessory is similar to a flexible lamp post. Instead of a lighting unit at the top end, though, you get a mounting area to hold the iPad. That means, there's no need to find a table to set the slate up on -- simply park the stand anywhere nearby and you can quickly reach out for it.
The iProp has a heavy-duty V-shaped base (weighs over 3 lbs. to guarantee stability), attached to a 36 inch pole (with the top 24 inches fully bendable). At the end of the articulated neck is a ball and socket joint that lets you rotate and swivel the connected hard plastic holder at practically any imaginable angle. Suffice to say, this standalone solution offers a heck of a lot more versatility, compared to every iPad stand and mount in the market today.
With the accessory, you can quickly set the slate up next to your desk during work, in front of a lounge chair for watching movies or right next to your bed for use as an alarm clock. This is really quite clever, so expect the copycats to follow shortly after this thing starts shipping.
Availability for the iProp is slated sometime in the Spring, priced at $79.95. It's currently on pre-order, with the offer of free shipping as an early buyer incentive.
The iPad is plenty functional for playing movies. Sometimes, though, you just want to see what it plays on an even bigger screen. That's when the Cinemin Slice gets to work.
A projector for the iPad, it can supersize your tablet's 9.7-inch display to a whopping 60 inches at an 854 x480 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio, all while you sit as far as 10 feet away from the wall. The slate is docked face up via the 30-pin connector, too, so you can control it while everyone else watches, making it a viable alternative during business presentations.
The Cinemin Slice uses Texas Instruments’ DLP projection technology, which boasts "ultra-clear, high contrast picture with vivid color." It amplifies audio from your slate, too, packing 6-watt stereo speakers, along with a headphone jack for more private listening. Aside from the iPad, it can dock any Apple device with a 30-pin connector, as well as laptops and other gadgets via built-in mini-HDMI, VGA and AV ports. It comes with an IR remote control.
Granted, it won't be a perfect blown-up replica of the iPad since the aspect ratio is notably off. Still, upsizing your display while you waste the day playing Scrabble with your fingers sounds mighty fun to me.
Expect the Cinemin Slice to hit stores in January 2011. Price has not been announced.
Most iPad accessories feature sleek design and elegant styling. The iBallz has none of that, but it does give your tablet something most of those other add-ons won't: seriously effective protection.
Consisting of four balls connected to each other by stretchable cord, the harness is designed to go around your tablet, with one ball clamping on each corner of the device. Aside from the corners, the rest of the gadget is exposed, allowing you to work the way your normally would.
How does an accessory with four rubber balls and elastic cords protect the iPad? When the slate slips from your hand and falls downward, the balls will be the ones to actually touch the floor, spreading the shock among the rubber and elastic components, leaving your device unaffected. Additionally, the balls will slightly raise your iPad off the surface, so even if you spill coffee on the table, none of it will ever touch your multi-touch contraption.
Aside from the protective function, it can also double as a typing stand. Pull one (or two) of the corner balls and let it fall to the rear, then use it as a functional stand for setting the slab at an angle. If you own an ebook reader or another tablet, it can double as protective accessories for them, too, since the balls should be able to clamp to most of them.
Despite lacking in the aesthetic department, the iBallz harness really does fulfill a need none of the current crop of cases and jackets appear to come close to serving. It's available now for $19.99.