Butterfingers! Part Two: Road Testing iPad Covers

Earlier this summer I wrote about some of my favorite covers for the iPhone – now it’s time to give the iPad some love. (No iPads were harmed in the making of this post… though I did drop one by accident once or twice…)

Let’s kick things off with:

The iGuy by Speck

Courtesy: Speck

Design-wise, I adore this cover. It’s clever and hilarious – I can’t tell you how many people stop us and ask about it when they see it. Have you ever handed your child your iPad (you don’t have to admit it out loud, it’s totally fine, you’re safe here…) and spent the entire time on edge about them dropping it? If you want full toddler protection – this is the cover for you. It’s durable, soft, and sproingy. (Yes, I think that’s the appropriate word to use here.) The arms serve as comfortable handles your child will have no problem gripping and hanging on to. Remember above where I said I may have dropped an iPad here or there – yeah – this would thankfully be the one that I dropped. And it bounced on one of the arms, and then bounced on the face of the iPad (cue me sucking in my breath and cringing in that way one does when a gadget drops) and it was fine.  Boooiiinnnggg!

This is a great cover if you’ve upgraded your iPad and given your kids the old one as “theirs.” It is not a cover you can pop in your purse and it takes up a lot of room in a backpack, so if you’re traveling on a plane, this may not be the right case for you or your child.

As an aside – I’d like to mention that even though the iGuy is designed to allow you to take pictures with later versions of the iPad, we shoved an original iPad in that sucker and it worked fine.

FitFolio by Speck

 Courtesy: Speck

Speck has a line of super stylish iPad covers in their FitFolio line that I road tested while I was working in an office for a month or so. I love the designs they offer – my favorite being the grey retro boom box one. This cover is extremely light and tight fitting, with a magnet in the cover to put your iPad to sleep and gently wake it up when you need it.

I loved how easy it was to throw this in my purse or tote – I felt confident that my iPad was fully protected, and asleep. My one issue with this cover is standing the iPad when you fold it over – often the iPad would slip out of the notch in the cover and slam down. It happened so often in meetings that I had to stop trying to prop the cover up in a standing position, and resort to folding the case in a triangle underneath.

Speck Wanderfolio

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 Courtesy: Speck

I was intrigued by the idea of the Wanderfolio—aka iPad case as wallet—idea because I dream about paring down my life, but it never seems to happen. I wrote about how much I loved the Speck wallet case for the iPhone – so this seemed like the logical thing to try for the iPad.

When I get a new purse, I start out by streamlining all the things I carry, but alas, eventually, I end up with 3 random colored crayons, a stick and a rock from the park, a 2-month-old Trader Joe’s receipt, 14 lip glosses that I will never remember to use, a discount card to the Koreatown Galleria, and a parking ticket somehow littering the bottom of my bag. (Full disclosure – I just now looked in my purse and these are all things I actually found in there. RELATED: I need to clean out my purse. ALSO RELATED: I should pay that parking ticket. SOMEWHAT RELATED BUT VERY IMPORTANT: Always remember to put change in the parking meter.)

The Wanderfolio keeps you honest – it’s not that easy to overstuff it, though you know I tried. The design is slim with and without things in the pockets of the generous wallet area. Inside you’ll find two large pockets, two medium pockets, and two small pockets in a section of the case that snaps shut to keep everything secure.

I had some kind of mental block using this case as a combined wallet and iPad cover. Maybe it’s because I am so in love with the ease of my wallet iPhone cover, which feels less cumbersome to me. But let’s face it – carrying around your iPad is cumbersome. You just get used to it. I found myself using this case with the wallet part empty because the lining inside is EXCELLENT for propping up the iPad. No slippage. No embarrassing WHAPS! during important meetings, with me sheepishly re-propping up my iPad. To me, that’s a huge selling point for this one.

But you still, as it turns out, have to carry a purse, since, uh… where am I supposed to put my keys?

Griffin Elan Folio – Cabana

Griffin_GB03844_Product_ElanFolioStripesPoolBlueiPad2_01

So you’re looking for a cover with some verve? Want something feminine and neutral all at the same time? This cover is quite durable with a classic look.

This cover is not my style at all. No, really! Remember that I often have rocks, sticks and rogue crayons in my purse. But it doesn’t stop me from appreciating the color and clean lines of the design. This is the kind of cover that some amazing art director would put in a photo shoot for a magazine as set dressing – like for an article titled “She Works Hard For The Money!” or “Daily Beauty: Casual Friday!” Of course there would be a model in a super stylish outfit awkwardly clutching a facing-out-baby while she dials a phone with a pencil in her other hand. And on her desk is an iPad propped up with this very cover on it. The light streams in from the window. And that office looks so stylish, so breezy and clean that your heart fills up with hope that your life can feel this good if only you buy this cover.

Xdoria Smartstyle

smartstyle-1

If you’re just looking for something simple, no bells, no whistles, no gimmicks or bonuses, then this is a great cover for you. This is a no frills, good, solid iPad cover. The craziest it gets is a small embellishment on the cover, separating it from the Apple store magnetic covers; a quite nice little  design detail. This cover was the lightest of the bunch, and a great all-purpose, don’t notice me and my iPad kind of cover. It does what it’s asked to do – protects the iPad, wakes it up and puts it to sleep with a magnetic cover, and doesn’t add bulk. You can’t go wrong.

The Props Power Case by Digital Treasures

Props Power Case 1

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I fall into bed at night, exhausted, then wake up in the morning, pull out my iPad and realize I’ve forgotten to charge it. Hello 5% battery life! This would be no big deal if I could just, you know, plug it in and leave it to charge up as I went about my business. Unfortunately, I often use my iPad for work, and bring it everywhere I go. So I don’t have that luxury.

Enter the Props Power Case.  I can’t tell you how many times this 12,000 mAh battery came in handy as I road tested this case. It’s surprisingly light for something that packs such a power wallop! I really loved this case the best of all and am still using it as my regular every day accessory. This is by no means a light load- when you pop this in your purse, you really FEEL the weight. But knowing that I have back up battery power whenever I need it is worth it – it suits my work on the go lifestyle.  And it’s especially important to me to have while traveling.

Hope this helps you narrow things down a bit. It’s hard to believe there’s an entire industry built around personalizing our i-devices. I still marvel at things like this, because I still have all of my LPs, and remember when the 8-track would click off in the middle of the song so it could switch tracks.