iPad Cases

Booq Me and My iPad 2.

I use my iPad to do a lot of sketching, ideating, and concepting. It’s kind of like having a portable Wacom Cintique, except most of the styluses availbale aren’t nearly as good as what you get with any Wacom tablet. I don’t have the new iPad 2 yet. There is that pesky 3 to 4 week wait on them right now, but that hasn’t stopped me from looking at cases.

As a designer this new case from Booq intrigues me. I want to see it before I buy, but I really like the idea of having a pen and paper inside the case. I’m sorry tech heads, but there is no substitute for sketching with a pen or pencil on paper, and combining the iPad with a quick traditional sketching tool seems like a no brainer to me.

The price of this case ranges from 50 to 100 bucks depending on the material you choose. As always leather will cost you more. The paper refills will set you back ten bucks, which seems a bit steep and might have me saying no thanks when I actually see this in person. None the less I like the idea, and this case made the short list for my iPad 2. Booq makes really nice cases so I’m sure the construction, and materials used are top notch, and I bet the paper pad could be replaced by a cheaper variety from your local office supply store.

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Design Friday. iPad Cases for Your Shiny New Toy.

Tomorrow marks the launch date of Apple’s new iPad, and while I won’t be picking up an iPad tomorrow for a number of reasons, I do see the significance of it. From every video I have seen of it in action, and from almost every review that I have read it does look like it could become a game changer in the way people use hand-held computers.

With every shiny new Apple device, comes a slew of accessories. Today I wanted to use Design Friday to look at a number of iPad cases that have already arrived and will be waiting for those brave enough to hit an Apple store tomorrow with the mad crush of iPad curious.

Due to the newness of the iPad, many of the 10 cases shown below don’t have¬† pricing information and are only available for pre-order. What I am interested in here is materials, and features that set these cases apart.

First up, the Happy Owl Studio Clutch or Wallet. This case is available as a “Clutch”, or “Wallet”. Why they had to break this case down into male/female categories is beyond me. They look pretty much the same to me. The clutch looks a bit more functional though adding pockets to store stuff. The look is great. It has functional pockets ( Clutch only) to store small documents. It opens up and works as a stand.

Book is a hard cover case that is a simple understated minimalist solution.  The exterior is made from a light gray linen, and the interior is wool felt. This is a simple sleeve that your new iPad slips into for easy carrying. In addition to the iPad case, this is available for a 13 inch MacBook, or the MacBook Air. At 89 bucks, it seems a bit costly for what is basically a cloth soft cover.

I like Griffin products. I have bought their stuff for years, and I know that the quality is always top notch, so I am betting that this case is no different. The Elan Passport is a folio case that clips your iPad to the inside with elastic bands. The interior is made from gray micro suede to prevent scratches, it has a tab enclosure to hold the folio shut, and it has small pockets for items like business cards. Simple, direct, easy to use, no clutter. I only wish it had a pocket for things like headphones, or the camera kit.

Platform Jacket from M-Edge is a leather flip open folio designed to function as not only a case but a stand that will hold your new gadget in a vertical position for browsing and reading. It is available 14 colors and has a Four-point mounting system plus tab enclosure like the Grffin case. Like the Griffin product there is no pocket, and from what I can see there is no place for business cards or documents.

Hard Graft makes everything from overnight bags to laptop cases, and they have released an iPad case to match the line up of bags they already have. This case is made from gray felt wool, and black leather. It has an exterior pocket to hold small accessories, and a fold in top flap that seals the sleeve. This case is a sleeve though which means no stand to hold your iPad up for viewing movies or reading e-books.

Belvi Designs Etsy shop is featuring a case that they claim is a “unisex manly carrying case herringbone fabric”. Sorry Belvi Design people, you have made a beautiful case, but this looks more like a lady’s purse, and I can see it appealing to women more than men. You might think this case is manly, but it’s not. Now with that said lets talk about the design. Made from wonderful herringbone material this case features a large exterior pocket for hold accessories, it has a loop handle to slip over your wrist, velcro enclosures, and is lined with a soft brown anti-pill fleece. If I were a stylish woman I would buy this case.

I really like the Quirky Cloak as a rugged basic case. It is made from non slip rubber, comes in a variety of colors, it has a flip out stand that is designed for horizontal and vertical display of the device, the price is right ( 42 bucks ), and there is a fold over cover to protect the screen. Like so many of these cases, there is no pocket or storage space though.

And now we have this… the DRO Carbon Fiber Case. This is a 120 dollar sleeve with a felt velcro strap used to keep the iPad inside. This case is a hand crafted sleeve made from a proprietary lay-up of real carbon fiber, which has incredible strength while remaining extremely light weight. The interior is lined with neoprene to prevent scratching. I’d like to see this as a flip open style case that doubles as a stand, has an inside pocket, and a pocket for my headphones and the camera connection kit. It sure looks sexy though.

All these cases are great, but if I were buying one today, I think I would get the Happy Owl Clutch and tell everyone that it was the Wallet. I like the interior design of the case, and the fact that it doubles as a stand. It’s just a great design.