Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just in CASE....

Remember a while back my breathless post about getting an iPad?  Well, it's been about two months, and I still love this device very much (more now that my company has plans to allow company e-mail to be accessible on personally owned mobile devices) and have been having a blast discovering stuff it will do.

But with any technology there are what I would term "side effects," and this is no different.  By my count I have now purchased five different cases for the iPad, and am returning the fourth.  I suppose because it's a tablet that many of the iterations of protective cases are designed to allow the iPad owner to use the device while it's in each respective case.  Some have been quite attractive (one was an aged leather job with contrast stitching), while most have been serious black in color and varying qualities of silicone, faux leather or vinyl.  But there's been something kind of "off" with most of them, in my opinion.

The iPad, if you're unfamiliar, is essentially a glass surface mounted on an aluminum case.  It's almost ten inches by seven inches, and pretty thin for an electronic device.  The first three cases covered the screen but didn't pad the device.  The next one is padding only, a sleeve from which the device must be removed in order to be used.  And the last one was from a company called Otterbox, known for their heavy-duty, industrial grade mobile phone cases.  My wife kind of started me thinking about that brand, having seen one on an iPhone (which our daughter and son-in-law both own and which my wife would eventually like to own herself) and being impressed by its design.  Just looking at the thing, you would think that whatever is inside is indestructible while this case is around it.

So I ordered an Otterbox Defender from my favorite online retailer, and it came last Saturday.  It took me a good while to maneuver the device into the case, as it comes in five pieces and there are three layers to it once assembled.  And, wow, is it protective!  Unfortunately, though, it's also heavier than the iPad itself, and one sore wrist (from holding it for a sustained period) later, I decided to return it, rather than risk a cumulative trauma injury!  Great item, and if you have an iPad and plan to use it in a rugged environment, it would be just the thing to protect your investment.  But I work in a home based office, and the toughest thing I do with my iPad is carry it onto an airplane, so rugged isn't quite as much of a requisite for me.

When I bought the iPad I also bought the Apple-brand case, which is kind of like a portfolio.  It was OK, but no padding.  And I also opted for a heavy-duty transparent screen protector, so as to avoid scratches and other injury to my new device.  That was installed by the retailer where I purchased it, so it's still on there doing its job.

And, oh, my, what a wide assortment of other things you can buy for the iPad, as is so often the case with any new technology!  My first accessory piece was a cable to allow me to connect the device to my speaker unit, which I already used with my iPod.  That wasn't easy to find, but I located the item and it works great.  Later I bought the Apple-branded dock, which also serves as an easel to set the device on a desktop.  And there are countless stands, keyboard units, pens to use if you don't like touching the device (that's half the fun, to me!), carrying cases (not quite the same as a case you wrap around the iPad, of course), and a myriad of other things.

I'm trying to restrain myself, but it's not easy.  The iPad is everything it's advertised to be, a lot easier to carry than a laptop, with far superior battery life, and ever so much more fun.  What's not to like?

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