Case in point, more specifically, Apple’s iPad Case

Let’s begin with the bottom line preview for my hasty readers (I doubt I have any fans at this early date):

Apple’s iPad case:

  • makes you look smart but humble
  • provides you with a built in multitasking device
  • protects your investment

Has a few small defects, which include:

  • a tendency to pick up dust on the inside cover
  • gathers more cat hair than a Swiffer
  • Can’t be used with the dock keyboard

In addition, I continue a previous discussion of obsessive-compulsive gaming disorder (also called gaming addiction), segue into intervention, prayer and games involving vegetation and the onslaught of the undead. I also engage in gender-based profiling, and touch briefly on neanderthal dogs and the foreseeable effects of canine teeth on portable devices.

Apple’s iPad case

Since I never get to the point at the beginning of these reviews anyway (and probably never will), I wanted to thank the first person to comment on a blog, even though she did it on Facebook and not on this site.

Ms. Elizabeth Emmert totally understood my comments on how iPad games can be an addictive mind suck, and went on to recommend the game Plants vs Zombies as the ultimate mind suck. Even though I had just finished an intervention at the hands of Carol and her Siamese Rescue buddies, I welcomed the comment and thought it would be harmless to check the game out in case I wanted to review it. The game costs $10, which is pretty expensive for a game, but, thanks to their intervention, I knew I had entered recovery successfully and no longer suffered from a compulsion to game mindlessly. Needless to say, I downloaded it immediately and started to play.

The next morning Carol woke and realized I had never stopped playing. I played straight through the night. When she served breakfast, I stirred my oatmeal absent-mindedly while I strategized whether to take out the football zombie with a cherry or a magic mushroom. Carol said I was beginning to look like a zombie.

I must have mumbled something that really upset her, or perhaps it was the fact that I didn’t bother to swallow before I answered (how the hell can I be expected to remember exactly, I was killing zombies) because I found myself surrounded not only by a horde of cone head zombies accompanied by the football zombie and zombie Michael Jackson’s zombie dance troupe (not to mention Zamboni zombie with his bobsled zombie buddies and three propellerhead zombies hovering over my pool) with only two sunflowers, three lawnmowers and a wilting venus flytrap to defend myself, but also surrounded by a half dozen white women with a mission, and that mission was to lead me through the mother of all interventions.

Now let me tell you something about white women with a mission. When they’re on your side you can sleep soundly at night, secure in the knowledge that they will marshall the forces of heaven to aid you. But cross them, even once (even with a tiny thing like a relapse from gaming addiction the day after their previous intervention) and there will be hell to pay. And trust me, they will collect that hell from you and make sure you know it was your fault they had to do it.

On top of that, just at the point in the intervention when Carol was confronting me with this morning’s bank statement that showed all these red numbers in the funds available column, the door bell rang. Before anyone could answer, a Pentecostal minister swept into the room for the laying on of hands and to cast out the demons of addiction, lack of ambition and the Apple Development Team, not necessarily in that order.

Let me state for the record that I learned my lesson, Elizabeth Emmert, and I have you to thank for telling me about Plants vs Zombies which opened the door for me to learn it. From now on, I will play only at night, only when I can hear Carol snoring softly beside me from under a pile of cats, and most important, I will play with my iPad in my new Apple iPad case that I can slap shut immediately should Carol show any sign of waking.

There are so many cases available now, that I was no longer sure how cool mine was. But when I visited the Apple Store this week, I learned they could barely keep the Apple cases in stock. The other cases move only when the Apple case is sold out, the new cases won’t ship for two weeks and the buyer is desperate. And when I looked once again at the other cases, I remembered why I bought mine.

That Apple iPad case is a Jobssend and for a number of reasons, which I will be glad to detail:

The iPad Case gives makes you look smart but humble

You may not believe this, but I can tell you what it’s like to walk into a Starbucks or internet cafe with your iPad in plain view. People don’t think, “there’s someone on the cutting edge of technology.” They think (and you can see it on their faces), “that guy is showing off an expensive toy, which means he’s got the disposable income to afford it, and he wants us to know it.” (And I did have the disposable income to afford it, at least until I caught a gaming addiction while using my iPad and cleaned out my bank account downloading apps from the Apps Store).

Slip that iPad inside of one of Apple’s handy iPad cases, on the other hand, and everyone’s attitude changes. They suspect you have an iPad, but they can’t be sure. And they know you’re not rubbing your iPad in their faces, so they no longer have you as an excuse to delude themselves into believing their smart phones and Droids are still the cool toys.

Now that I carry my iPad in its Apple case, people come up to me, and ask, with a great deal of reverence I might add, “Is that the new iPad? Can I look at it?” But they don’t look at me like I’m the bad guy because I wasn’t showing off my iPad. I was keeping it discreetly out of view but still clearly recognizable.

So thanks, Apple, for making me look less like an ass and more like a savvy consumer.

The iPad case makes a great book stand/typing table

You’ve probably seen the iPad case multitasking demo on Apple’s web site. You can fold the case and rest it on it’s spine to create a display stand. From that angle you will find it easy to read or watch videos you download from Netflix.

You can also fold the case and rest it on the front cover, which is now tucked into a pocket on the back cover. This elevates the screen just enough to make typing with the onscreen keyboard comfortable. When you’re finished, you simply untuck the cover, close the case, and your iPad fits inside the well on the door of your car while you drive home.

The iPad Case protects your investment

The iPad hasn’t been out long enough for the horror stories to develop, but I’m sure just about everyone has anguished in sympathy over stories of people who dropped their iPhones three feet to the floor and had the cases or screens crack, voiding the warranty (and the phone itself). I don’t know if any of the stories are true, but even as urban legends they’re pretty darn scary. I do know someone who closed the door of an airplane overhead bin on her MacBook (bye bye Apple Care). Urban legend or not, I don’t want that to happen to my iPad.

I don’t know about you, but that thin aluminum shell looks pretty flimsy to me. And Jenny Manytoes, our adopted polydactyl cat, and our neanderthal dog Chutney have developed this fun game where Jenny knocks an expensive object onto the floor and Chutney carts it off between her ferocious, slobbering jaws (she isn’t that big but she packs the body mass of a wooly mammoth into her frame, which means she can’t be stopped by any force in nature when she decides to destroy something precious). The thought of the delicate iPad screen between those teeth gives me nightmares.

The case is just sturdy enough to protect your iPad against these kinds of normal household disasters. It won’t protect your iPad if you drop it beneath the wheels of an onrushing Hummer, or drop it in the water (something Carol does frequently with her phones), or leave the cover off when a toddler decides to grab it and run through the house banging it into walls or reaching into his diaper to paint on it. But it should protect your iPad well enough should you drop it a couple of feet, or let it fall from the seat of your car and into the parking lot.

For all of its benefits, however, the iPad case does have some drawbacks you may want to be aware of.

In typing stand mode the inside cover collects dust

The nice soft, suede inside cover, which should gently snuggle and protect your iPad’s screen also collects dust from the table when it’s folded into typing position. That’s because the inside cover is now lying directly in contact with the table surface and any dust or debris will be picked up by the suede. The dust concentrates at its highest density along the edge of the fold.

When you unfold the case and close it over the screen, that dust on transfers to your screen, leaving a smudge or thin line of dust. In time this could damage your screen.

I recommend you wipe away any dust before closing the case, and, more important, buy a screen protector. The protector will be difficult to apply because of the large surface of the iPad’s screen, but the extra protection will be well worth it.

That suede cover loves to attract cat hair

In fact, frequently I will open my iPad case and the inside will look like one of those clothing rollers that remove lint. I actually have to remove the entire iPad from the case to wipe clean the screen, and then wipe the inside of the case (and inside the compartment that holds the iPad) with a clean cloth.

Don’t have cats? Dogs will leave their hair too. In fact, you might be tempted to get rid of your pet to keep the hair off your iPad and case. Do not, under any circumstances choose your iPad over your pet. (Or your girlfriend, boyfriend or child for that matter. Your pet needs you. iPads and boyfriends can find another home easily, and, believe it or not, they probably won’t even remember you as time passes. Your pet, however, will pine away to nothing unless a heroic rescue family finds it and nurses it back to health.)

Keyboard connectivity issues

Actually, there is no issue, because when your iPad’s in the Apple case, it won’t connect to the dock keyboard. You have to remove it from the case, which actually fits quite snugly, making removal a chore. First you have to untuck the holding flap that secures the iPad in its compartment. Next you have to gently push the iPad away from the case wall by sticking your finger through the slot for the volume control. Then you have to gently grip the far side of the iPad and nudge it out. Be careful, you don’t want to put too much pressure on the screen or leave fingerprints all over one side.

Returning the iPad to its case is slightly easier, but only slightly. The case is designed for a tight fit to secure the iPad and keep it from slipping out of the case accidentally. So it feels like you’re pulling a pair of size 10 jeans over your iPad’s size 14 hips.

I recommend that you buy the wireless keyboard if you want to keep the iPad in its case. With the case in book stand mode, it will be just like having a monitor in front of your keyboard. If, however, you’re like me and use a lap desk, you will need the dock keyboard and just have to accept the routine of slipping the iPad in and out of its case. However, It doesn’t matter which keyboard you chose (if any); just buy the case.

Basically the Apple iPad case is worth the $40. The next best competitor, the incase, is twenty dollars more and far bulkier. The Apple case is so slender, you can barely detect any change in the device’s size and weight. Combined with the book/typing stand capabilities the case makes your portable device even more portable and functional than the iPad’s designers intended.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she’d like something else.
When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

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About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
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