Posts Tagged ipad accessories
The biggest gripe from people that I know who use their iPads with frequency is that they have a hard time using it outdoors. The glare of the sun drastically reduces the visibility of the screen preventing it from a majority of its mobile uses especially if reading a book. Those who prefer to catch up on the latest novel or business autobiography poolside are better off with a Kindle. However, the iclipse removes this barrier and is an excellent accessory.
While it is a tad awkward and looks funny when sitting on the beach in designer shades using this screen, it does the trick magically allowing you to see the screen clearly and distinguish colors on the screen as if you were inside.
The entire device folds up for easy carrying, and once it is needed, you simply unfold and unbutton the base to wrap it around your iPad. Snap buttons keep everything in place while you are using it, and the sturdy construction keeps it from getting bent while in your bag or briefcase.
It is not only ideal for readers, but also active users of their iPad. When I travel with mine, I often carry an accompanying keyboard device so that I can do emails or type short documents. Other travel writers mention to me that they find it useful for viewing or editing photographs.
On my initial trip home after using the iclipse, I was typing on my laptop and noticed that my seatmate was clearly reading what I was typing. It became clear to me that iclipse is not only for preventing glare, but also for preventing unwanted “stare.”
It works well with all three versions of iPad and fits conveniently into a slim pocket or corner of a briefcase or travel bag.
Clocking in at an affordable price of $34.95 at the iclipse website or on Amazon, this is a cheap and worthy device for loyal iPad users who do not mind the extra, protective square footage surrounding their mobile device.
Avid photographers know that maintaining your equipment is of utmost priority when traveling. While I do not consider myself an avid camera toter, I do like to keep my camera and other electronic gear spiffy and neat when on the road.
Carson products were not on my radar screen, but from everyone that I have spoken to about them, these are the top of the line for professionals. They offer the perfect accessories to throw in your travel bag especially when you want to capture that ideal shot at the least expected moment.
Even non-professional cameras should maintain squeaky clean surfaces for long-term durability, something that many travelers overlook. You may shudder, but for years I carried my camera loosely in my bag’s pocket (without a case, because it added weight to my carry-on…and yes, international airlines often weigh carry-on bags to insure they are under seven pounds). Yes, I just threw it in a pocket of my bag without ever thinking twice.
The screen became rather scratched and the door to the main lens eventually broke teaching me an expensive lesson. This is a main reason why I learned to appreciate cheap products that keep your camera safe.
Carson’s C6 line of cleaners feature a specially formulated dry-cleaning compound that cleans the lens effectively and quickly (very important when you are in a hurry to snap that perfect in-the-moment travel shot). Travelers will find them useful for everything from binoculars to iPhones, iPads, and Kindles.
A pack of lens cleaners (available from a variety of affordable retailers) is a no-brainer for photographers to throw into their bag. Who wants to miss that shot of a child’s first step into the ocean’s waves or a safari adventure’s idyllic lion yawn. While these may seem like extraneous purchases to some travelers, those who can enjoy the perfect family photo or travel adventure enlarged in print know the value of having a clean screen. Take it from this former camera abuser…it pays to have a clean screen!
Do you like to take your electronic tools along with you on trips, but worry that in rainy or other watery conditions, they could become very expensive paperweights? Same here. Oftentimes, the best waterproof protection is to leave them in the hotel room, or bring them along in a bulky dry case. But the Sea to Summit TPU Guide Waterproof Pouch for iPad lets you bring your iPad along, even on the deck of your kayak, if that’s where you want your electronic buddy to be.
Made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), the pouch weighs only 2.3 ounces and allows you to insert your iPad, and then secure the opening with a roll-top, Velcro closure. On top of that, there’s a second fold-over Velcro closure. The seams are RF-welded for additional strength.
The screen window, as well as a small window in the back for the camera, is made of 0.15 clear TPU, so allows the touch screen and camera to work easily. The pouch measures 9.8 inches by 7.75 inches, so if your tablet computer isn’t an iPad, but fits inside the bag, you’re good to go. The die-cut loops at each corner allow you to secure the pouch to whatever you like.
I’ve used this on my kayak a number of times in recent months. It probably would have been more useful to me to engage the 3G element of my iPad, since the Wi-Fi signal isn’t super strong where I paddle, but has nothing to do with how waterproof the pouch is.
I will admit, however, to not have submerged the pouch with my iPad inside for longer than a few minutes. According to Sea to Summit, the bag meets IPX7 testing standards of being waterproof at 1 meter for 30 minutes. Sorry, divers. Not yet the bag for you.
The search for a perfect replacement for my heavy laptop when traveling on quick business trips continues as I tested out yet another wireless keyboard to use with my iPad. This version from Ipevo is perhaps the most stylish that I have seen since it comes in a sleek handcrafted tan leather case (it also comes in black) allowing it to fold up into an attractive attaché case.
At the back of the case is a convenient stand that folds out allowing you to stand your iPad at the back of the case and use the keyboard in conjunction with it as you would a laptop. It also makes it a great resource for watching movies on an airplane tray table even when not using the keyboard.
Word processing apps for the iPad are good, but not great, but my concern with many wireless keyboards is that the Bluetooth connection sometimes wavers leaving certain things you intended to type off of the screen. This is why I was eager to try this new keyboard, which is priced extremely competitively at $79 on the Ipevo website.
To begin, the keyboard easily stays in place thanks to a magnetic bottom, and it can also be removed for remote use. The entire thing weighs just over a pound making it a simple edition to my briefcase and a beneficial replacement to a laptop. Its battery life is strong enough to last on a long flight and charges quickly. A special button also switches the device quickly into sleep mode if the juice is running low to conserve the battery. If watching movies, the keyboard even has built-in buttons to play, stop, pause, rewind, or fast forward.
What many people take time getting used to is typing on a compact keyboard. Connecting the keyboard with the iPad is a cinch thanks to the well-written startup guide that makes even technology novices feel comfortable.
Trendsetters appreciate the fact that the iPad 3 fits well in the case although there are currently some hiccups with the sleep/wake mode for iPad 3 that are being worked through by Ipevo.
When typing, I experienced minimal disconnections with the wireless Bluetooth signal which made my experience using it quite productive. It is certainly a worthwhile device to use for quick emails, and the attractive case and stand added to the benefit making it one of the better brands that I have tried.
Like other wireless keyboards, it is not meant for those that need to type pages of documents when traveling (it is meant for emails and short reports), but it definitely lightens the load for trips when writing your first novel is not the priority.
The summer road trip and air travel season will soon be upon us! Forget about gas prices, packing, and plane tickets…is your iPad ready for all the abuse? We don’t travel long-distance without ours, and while our boys (ages 12, 10, and 7) are old enough to pay the device proper respect, accidents still occur. We’ve tried half a dozen cases over the course of the last few years, dragging them along on countless road trips, weekend getaways, and flights. Below, you’ll find our top picks for traveling with kids.
Right out of the box, we encased our new iPad2 with the Apple SmartCover, only to realize that ‘hey wait a minute…this thing offers next to no protection!’. We liked the simplicity of the SmartCover, however, and the fact that it saved our battery life with its sleep/wake feature, so we paired it with Speck’s SmartShell. The SmartShell is a very simple case that fits around the back of the iPad to protect it where the SmartCover does not, and since it’s designed exclusively with the SmartCover in mind, the two work perfectly together. The SmartShell is made of semi-opaque plastic that takes scratches and dings in stride, and even has a magnetic strip at the back to which the SmartCover connects when the iPad is propped up. If you like the sleek, minimalist features of the SmartCover but need the back protected, the SmartShell is for you. The only downside: the kids complain that the thin design makes it hard for them to get a good grip on the iPad while gaming.
The SmartShell matches the colors of the SmartCover perfectly, so you can either coordinate or mix-and-match. Pick one up at the Speck site for $34.95, or Amazon.
I’ve long been an Otterbox fan because it protects like no other cover. (I’ve used the Commuter and Reflex cases for my iPhone for as long as I’ve owned my phones.) Like most Otterbox designs, the Defender for iPad2 is heavy and a bit cumbersome, but if you want absolute full protection, in my experience, this is it. Its design is three-fold: first you have the hard plastic shell (with foam interior), then the silicone membrane. Over all that, you have the plastic shield. We really are talking full armor here.
The upside: I love-love-love the Defender’s shield design, which works as a detachable stand for viewing and typing. Unlike other stand designs, which can be awkward or even useless, the Defender’s is sturdy and well-constructed. I can type easily on the iPad’s screen while using it, and that’s saying something. The downside: because of all the pieces to the cover, it can be difficult to take on and off, and dirt specks and debris easily get into the cracks between the case and the iPad screen. (Or at least this occurs in our house.) Pick up an Otterbox Defender case on their site for $89.95 or at Amazon for considerably less.
Despite my Otterbox loyalty, the Speck Wanderfolio may be my new favorite iPad cover. It’s not too big and bulky, but not too thin and flimsy. It is, if you’ll pardon the cliche, just right. Made of a plastic shell and either faux or real leather, depending on the version you opt for, the front cover folds over portfolio-style, and opens with a magnetic clasp which also activates the sleep/wake function. Inside the padded cover, you get a secret (or not so secret) panel that opens to sleek passport and document pockets. If you don’t use that section (as we usually don’t) just snap it closed, and you’ll barely know it’s there. The back of the iPad is fully covered by the Wanderfolio, and the case adjusts for pretty decent display/viewing options. (Not as awesome as the Otterbox stand feature, mind you, but still quite respectable.)
The Wanderfolio is slightly more bulky than the SmartShell, but not half as much so as the Otterbox, making it solidly protective without going overboard. Pick one up in one of four colors at Speck for $69.95, or on Amazon. And if you have a Kindle or Kindle Fire, Speck makes a Wanderfolio for those as well.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, check out Ramsey’s review of the G-Form Extreme. They say that while covered in the G-Form, you can drop a bowling ball (or hefty toddler) on your iPad. I’m not sure I’ll try it, though!
Note: All the above were tested using our iPad2. If you’re sporting the new iPad, double-check that the cover will fit before buying. Speck has an entire page devoted to the new iPad.