The iPad’s extreme portability is simultaneously glaringly obvious and overlooked in favor of its flashier tech wonders. The take-it-anywhere-ness of the iPad is also perhaps its biggest downside: we tend to treat it like the things it replaced, the books and magazines that we could toss without a care. That usually doesn’t work out well. Here are 30 great options — leather, wool, propped, or otherwise — that should keep your tablet ticking and looking good.
Call for backup
Doubling battery life is a no-brainer. Options run the gamut for solutions to Apple’s latest quick-to-die wonder — and we really mean run the gamut. It’s a bit of the Wild West in the battery case world at the moment, so start here with our five best selections, then do your homework and make sure what you choose will get you what you want.
Where to store it when the going gets tough
In today’s digital era of technology, “Knowledge is Power” has taken on a much broader meaning as data becomes our most valued asset. How we as users go about portably accessing and backing up these personal files — music, photos, financial documents, and third-party software — has proven to be just as critical. Whether it’s the aspiring music producer shopping beats around to labels or the established accountant keeping tabs of clients’ paper trails, everyone can use a sturdy and high-functioning portable hard drive, especially those who remain adventurous and (naturally or otherwise) accident prone.
We’re talking an external device that can withstand the daily wear and tear. Something that can handle being tossed in the messenger bag; something that can survive a natural disaster. Need we remind you of Hurricane Sandy, or of last Friday’s party at your place? Didn’t think so. Luckily for you, there’s a handful of damage-proof HHDs available sure to safeguard all your stored data — and we’ve found the best.
This is the incredible technology you're looking for
Want to use simple hand gestures to move around robots, control iTunes, play video games and way, way more without spending an entire lunar cycle on Dagobah bunking with a rambunctious green midget? The MYO gesture control armband ($149) is the answer.
The good kind of cover up
Manufacturers would prefer to regularly pillage your wallet by selling you a screen for every situation — but it doesn’t have to be that way. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($80+) can transform your favorite Apple tablet into a laptop-rivaling email burner — and spare you the hassle of lugging a Smart Cover too, since it doubles as a magnetic cover.
Won't blow up ballons, will blow up battery life
Lately the scientific community has been up in arms about a global shortage of helium gas — a problem they say is ballooning out of control due to government fire sales of the stuff in the mid 90s. Thankfully, the new Mophie Juice Pack Helium for iPhone 5 ($80) isn’t actually made of the stuff. The case is a full 13% thinner than any other prior Mophie juice packs, but adds an impressive 80% more battery life to the iPhone 5.
Slick moisture sucker
We would like to reiterate the fact that photography is an expensive hobby. Most photographers are poor. They can’t afford to be spending precious Ramen money on replacing camera bodies. Once you obtain that coveted high quality camera body, you want to keep it in tip-top shape; to do so we recommend the BRNO Dri+Cap ($70), which guards against fungus, mold and other camera-destroying agents that spawn from humidity changes.
Chargers without borders
During his 2011 WWDC keynote address, Steve Jobs, introducing the latest round of Cupertino gold, said over and over “It just works”, which is a pretty fair summation of what makes Apple products Apple products. But the problem with electronics, Apple or not, is they only work if they have power (your move, Tim Cook)….
“Smooth and supple” may not make you think of an iPhone case. Snap out of your depraved daydream, sicko, and feast your eyes on the Apogee Folded iPhone Case ($45). That’s one sweet, sweet piece of stone-oiled leather; no stitches here, just folds and tucks. Beating it up just creates a personalized patina. The case is handmade in Vancouver and fits both the iPhone 4S and 5. For this price, you should probably get it in both black and umber.
Get... chained down?
We’ve never been inside the R&D division of Ion Audio, but based on what we’ve been seeing lately we have a sneaking suspicion that the department is comprised of a gaggle of bros sitting around on torn-up leather couches with some fairly potent recreational products at their disposal. How else to explain their Cordless Phone System?
Not-so-large, but in charge
As mother nature continues to channel Tony Danza — reminding us of who’s the boss of this marble — on an increasing basis, proper emergency preparedness is more important than ever. The Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator is a breadbox-sized lifeline for powering both critical gadgets like lights and radios along with all of the touchscreen comforts of an upper middle class home.
East Coast, meet West Coast
East meets West — Coast, that is — with Gorjana & Griffin. Offering wares for men on the move (women too) that speak to a bi-coastal lifestyle, Griffin & Gorjana strikes a balance between city and beach, polished and casual, offering up iPad cases, handsome weekenders and everything in between. Spearheaded by husband and wife pair Gorjana and Jason Griffin Reidel, Gorjana & Griffin designs and hand produces offerings entirely in their 6,000-square foot studio based in Laguna Beach, California. Further evidence of good intentions? Gorjana & Griffin backs its social commitment with a charitable foundation to aid a variety of causes, including Southern California’s first Food Truck Festival, which benefits children with cancer. Now that’s something we can get behind — and wear.
Just in case
A tsunami of protective cases soon follows every major smartphone release. Some are functional, some are stylish — but few are both, and most are forgettable. So when we were offered a trio of new cases from SYSTM to try out on an iPhone 5, we were understandably skeptical. A month of testing has proven…
A different kind of POS
Forget the confusing title, and remember this: the ShopKeep iPad POS by Griffin is going to make a lot of small business owners very happy. The new point-of-sale iPad mod — consisting of a protective case with built-in magnetic card reader that works in conjunction with the ShopKeep app — makes manning the cash register…
Looks good in leather
We of all people love a good camera, but sometimes they can be so aesthetically… well, boring. Cold, monochromatic bodies coupled with cold, monochromatic buttons, dials and lenses — it makes even the plainest of men want to go out and do a little accessorizing. And while you may be cringing over the mental image…
The pick of the little
So you managed to score that shiny new iPad Mini. Next step: a case. We’ve saved you hours of SafeSearch Googling by rounding up 30 of the best iPad Mini cases at a variety of price points to help get your new Cupertino buddy from birthday suit to warm and cozy. Whether you prioritize looks, function or insurance for your butterfingers, each of these iPad Mini cases has a forte — and a price. We’ve ordered our selections starting with the most affordable and will update this article as better entries come along. So peruse, hone in, and for god’s sake, cover your shame man.
Sheltered no longer
It’s hard to comprehend, but there are people out there in this great land of ours who don’t have high-speed internet access. Some, by choice (like your grandfather, who asked you to explain what Facebook is) and others by lack of choice, hamstrung by providers that ignore less populated areas due to high installation and…
Looking and playing the part
The typical Mac user’s desktop setup is a uniform of brushed aluminum, displayed with pride and reverence. Many accessory makers have tried break into the clique with lures of enhancements — but few take the bait, for fear of marring their Cupertino livery.
12 gifts for the tech obsessed
To the inexperienced, the words “techie” and “guy” seem synonymous. Sure, most guys do like technology these days — but like does not true a techie make. So while this list can absolutely be applied to any modern man, its real target is the hardcore gadget nut. The one who scours the blogs and refreshes…
12 gifts for the aesthete
They speak to Adobe software like a petulant brother, organize bookshelves by color for “fun” and fill photo albums with typefaces. They find calm through arranging objects in right angles (whether it’s their property or not) and take pleasure knowing that they’ll always notice the details we philistines ignore. “They” are designers of course, that…
12 gifts for the traveler
These guys seem to have racked up a bigger airline status than Clooney and more time on the road than Kerouac. They call ports of call home and know how to navigate the TSA, border checkpoints and a nasty comped bar hangover with ease. Whether a job takes them to exotic first-world destinations or their…
A bag Mr. Eastwood would love
Dropping a beloved L-Series lens is akin to a photographer’s very own “fiscal cliff”. Sometimes, though, your on-the-go shooting style demands more than an iPhone and insta-edit. For bold times like these, the Kata Revolver 8 PI Camera Bag ($250) gives serious shooters with a bundle of gear the upper hand against gravity’s nasty game…
Your current case is on the edge of extinction
Seems like you can customize just about anything these days. From kicks to cars, people want to be their own clever, intellectual, trendy (or not), unique snowflake — just like everyone else. Which is why we’re shocked someone didn’t think of the Dodo Case Customizer Tool ($80+) sooner. Fueling your one-off narcissism, Dodo Case enables…
Stay in touch with the future
Windows 8 is coming, and if Microsoft has its way, PC users will be transitioning seamlessly back and forth between their desktop and tablets like they’re in some kind of Ridley Scott daydream; that is, as long as they own the right accessories. For those unfamiliar with Windows 8, the traditional desktop experience you know…
You’ve got a doozie of an SLR and a couple lenses that cost more than a semester of college tuition, but your camera strap looks like it was yanked off a pair of Fisher-Price binoculars. Luckily for you, Joby, who’s made a name for themselves with their line of versatile camera tripods, has decided to…
Bust a cap in your hood
Any photographer worth his stop bath will tell you that a proper lens hood is one of the most important tools of the trade. The problem is that lenses still require a lens cap to stay scratch and smudge free when traveling. The Hoocap ($49) lens cap is the clever solution photogs have been waiting…
Up Where We Belong
If your iMac needs a pedestal upgrade from its current almanac/cigar box, the Twelve South HiRise ($80) is a more than suitable replacement. Providing proper height adjustment for your display, the HiRise is perfect for people who like their necks and don’t enjoy performing impersonations of Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein. The HiRise’s internal metal…
Antonio Banderas may not approve
There’s a reason museums have signs asking patrons not to touch the art. It’s basic human nature: we like to touch stuff, priceless works of self expression be damned. The TMDtouch Zorro Macsk ($199) delivers the touch capability we’ve been craving on our iMacs, at a reasonable price, and with very little hackery. The Zorro…
A better music box
The Apogee Quartet ($1,295) is a USB audio interface that provides Macs and their parent’s-basement-squatting masters with studio-grade chops. Connection-wise, four combo XLR and 1/4” analog inputs — complete with world-class mic preamps capable of capturing click-free transitions from a vast gain range of 0-75dB — and eight digital inputs can accomodate a burgeoning boy…