Mophie Space Pack Review

When it comes to battery packs for iPhones, I believe there’s no better solution than Mophie’s products. Even though they are somewhat more expensive than other similar products, these battery cases are always nicely designed and offer excellent performance. A while back we brought you a review of Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone 5, but today you’ll get to learn more about Mophie’s newest product.

As it turns out, this company decided to enhance their lineup and to bring a very innovative product. We’ll be taking a look at the Space Pack, which is yet another capable battery pack, but this one also brings 16GB or 32GB of additional storage. You can purchase it for $150 up to $180 for the larger sized version, and both of them are available for order right now.

Mophie Space Pack 2

I was very surprised to see that Space Pack brings the same dimensions as some older cases, considering that it also brings additional storage. Mophie is known for very elegant, somewhat light, and nicely designed battery cases, so it’s not surprising to see that their latest product continues this tradition. The case is comprised of two parts into which you need to place your iPhone and secure the connection by sliding the bottom part into the larger top part. The bottom part holds four LEDs which are battery level indicators, as well as the Lightning plug and the power switch. If you need to use the headphone port, you’ll need to use the provided extender since this port is deeply recessed into the case. You’ll also receive a micro-USB cable used for charging and transferring data to a computer.

When it comes to performance, the Space Pack promises to bring 1,700mAh cell inside. This means that you should expect to double the iPhone’s battery life, and this is proven to be true in everyday life. If you’re using the iPhone 5, you can expect slightly better results.

As I said earlier, this battery pack brings 16GB or 32GB or storage. This means that you can augment your phone’s storage, which is something that many users will appreciate. In order to use this function you’ll need to download Mophie’s Space app. This is basically a file manager, which allows you to view and play files like photos, videos, music, documents, and some other file types. You can transfer data from and to your Mac, but you can also copy some files from the phone’s internal storage. There’s even the option to turn on camera sync, which is designed to free up some space on the phone. Even though I was generally satisfied with how this app worked, it still feels like a beta version. Large files will need some time to be opened, and in some cases you’ll see that this app is struggling with large photo libraries. This is something that can be fixed in the future, so I am looking forward to seeing some updates since I am sure that Mophie will continue working on this app.

The UpStand Review

If you want to fully explore all of an iPad’s abilities, you’re surely going to need a stand. This way you will be able to turn your tablet into a notebook, so you can attach a wireless keyboard and write documents or browse the web. There are numerous iPad stands available, and they come in variety of shapes and sizes, and prices as well. In this article we’ll try to ease up your decision of choosing the right stand for your tablet by introducing you to the Just Mobile’s UpStand.

We already reviewed some of the products which came from Just Mobile, and they generally received mixed ratings. What’s in common for all these products is they are very quality made and interestingly designed as well, so we expected the same from the UpStand as well. As it turns out, our assumptions were true.

UpStand 2

Once you get your UpStand, it will come inside a thoughtfully designed packaging. What I always liked about Just Mobile is that they are aware that their products will be used by Apple fans, so it’s important not only to design a beautifully looking product, but also to pay some attention to its packaging. It is actually a very nice experience pulling out the UpStand from its box, which is designed to offer a full protection for its inside. Once you take it out you’ll see that you’ve received a full featured stand that’s already fully assembled.

UpStand 1

This is actually one very simple iPad stand, but it’s thoughtfully designed. You’ll place your tablet onto two metal feet, which come with non-slip lining made of rubber. These long feet are able to hold your iPad in its landscape and portrait orientation. If you look from its behind, you’ll see those two feet are connected with a unified base which is bolted into two poles, which are later fused into the stand’s sturdy base. Every single piece of this stand is quality made and seems very durable. It’s also important to note that the UpStand is made of high-grade aluminum which means that it is relatively light, but very durable and scratch-resistant. It is priced at $50, and you’ll certainly receive one of the most quality made iPad stands that I’ve seen in the long time.

As we said earlier, the UpStand seems perfect for an office use, because it turns your tablet into a touchscreen display. This way you can easily write documents or create drawings using a stylus. Some people will also like that the UpStand features brushed aluminum and industrial design, which perfectly fits Apple’s wireless keyboard design, so you’ll get a system which looks like a genuine desktop computer.

The only thing I didn’t like about the UpStand is inability to change the viewing angle. I am aware that it would be very difficult to incorporate flexible feet into this design, but I somehow missed that. On the other hand, the UpStand features very comfortable viewing angle which is perfectly usable in many situations.

HiRise Stand Review

If you own one of the newest generation iOS devices and if you’ve ever searched for the perfect dock which will house that device, then you’ve become aware of many issues and problems with those products. The main problem is that Apple has set certain rules that mandate some minimum physical dimensions of docks, so most of these are very limited in functionality. For example, most Lightning docks can’t support phones inside a case, no matter how thin those cases can be. This also made designers create two main dock types, and those are docks which feature fixed Lightning connector, and docks which feature removable USB-to-Lightning cable.

Based on my numerous reviews of the newest generation Lightning docks, I need to say that I still haven’t encountered a dock with fixed connectors which work well in practice. As it turns out, a dock that I am about to review will confirm my theory, since this is one of the most functional docks that I’ve seen in the last year.

HiRise Stand 2

If you follow MacReview articles, than you probably know about the company called Twelve South which creates very interesting iOS accessories. Today we are going to take a look at the HiRise Stand, which can be used not only with the iPhone 5, but also with the iPad mini, the iPod Touch (5th generation), and the iPod Nano (7th generation). It is priced at $35, and uses USB-to-Lightning cable so you can use the one which already came with your iOS device, or you can buy an additional one for $19.

This product will come in parts, so you’ll need to spend several minutes setting it up. The biggest single part is the angled base, which is clearly inspired by an iMac’s foot. There are also two supports, where one is used to adjust the height. You’ll also receive four screws and the hex tool as well. All parts are made of brushed metal, and they feel very sturdy and firm, and they are very quality made as well.

HiRise Stand 1

In order to actually use this stand, you’ll need to take the Lightning cable through the base and use one of three provided clips to secure it. One of those clips can be used with medium-thick cases, while the other clip can be used with some very thick ones. As you can assume, the third clip can be used to secure your iOS device if you’re not using a case. Also, most docks come with one common problem and that’s general instability of the Lightning plug, which can be moved or completely removed once you start pulling your phone away. This is not the case with the HiRise Stand, and I was very happy to see that.

Twelve South’s HiRise Stand is probably one of the best Lightning docks available. This is a very tricky territory, since most similar products are very limited and troublesome, but this one proved to be very reliable and quality made. Also, its price of $35 is very affordable for this product category, so I warmly recommend it.

 

The iOStand, by iOMount Review

The iOStand 4When it comes to iPad stands, I believe that I’ve pretty much reviewed almost any possible type. In order to give you a wider choice, and to make their products stand out, designers and manufacturers are always trying to bring something new and something that wasn’t seen before. As I’ve seen during my reviews, these risks don’t usually pay off since all pioneering is a new try of building a reliable and solid product, and it takes time to become one.

The last paragraph pretty much described how I felt when I first saw iOStand, made by iOMount. This is one of those strange, yet curiously interesting products that simply capture your attention. As it comes to a product like this one, I always assume that designers spent a lot of time making that product beautiful, which is simply not enough to overcome its limitations in functionality. As it turns out, I was wrong, at least with the iOStand.

IOStand 2

When you take it out of its box, you’ll see that iOStand is as simple as it gets. You’ll basically receive a pedestal for your iPad in a form of weighted foot and elegant arm which ends up with an interestingly looking ball. As you can see from the pictures, this ball comes with a magnet attached to it. Now you must be wondering how I attached my iPad to this stand, and the answer lies in the iOAdapts. These are small steel washers which you need to attach to your iPad, and once attached they won’t make your iPad thicker since they are very small and light. These washers now can be pulled by magnets of iOStand, and as it turns out – this connection is quite strong and seems very reliable.

IOStand 3

What’s important to say is that previously mentioned ball which sits on top of iOStand can roll around its central axis, which means that you can rotate your iPad any way you like. This gives you the biggest possible flexibility in terms of ease of use and possible viewing angles, and I simply loved this feature. This is the best selling point of this product, since you can use your iPad in every possible scenario – from web browsing, to reading a recipe while standing in the kitchen.

IOStand 1

There are also some downsides to this stand, which need to be said. First of all, it is a real shame that arm isn’t retractable, so your iPad will be always up in the air. This means that you can accidently hit it, which will most certainly make it fall, facing the screen down. The same could be said for that magnetic connection, which does seem very strong now, but I am not sure how it will act in a few months and if it’ll become loose. These are all things for concern, and something to think about before making a purchase.

The iOStand is priced at $100 and comes in two colors: black and white. You can also purchase the version with stainless steel finish, which is priced at $120.

Incipio’s LGND iPad Case Review

LGND 2Even though iPads are probably one of the most quality made tablets on the market, they still need some protection which will keep them scratch-free for a long time. It is also important to take care of iPad’s touchscreen, since this is where it holds most of its functionality, so in case you’d like to use your iPad for a while, you simply need to invest in a quality protection case.

Today we are going to talk about the latest Incipio’s product. This company is specialized in all kinds of cases and bags for Apple-made computers and handheld devices, even though Incipio also makes some basic audio equipment and iOS-compatible chargers. The product we are going to review in this article is called the LGND, and this is origami-style iPad folio case.

LGND 3

The LGND is made to be compatible with the third- and fourth-generation iPad. As we said earlier, this is a folio-style case which means that it covers iPad’s back and front side, and the tablet’s left side as well. It leaves open all the ports, buttons, and speaker. The backside of this case is very light and thin, so you won’t have any problems accessing all these ports and buttons. It is also important to say that even though its backside is thin around port openings, it is overall very firm and sturdy and I believe it will take care of your iPad for a long time.

The front side of LGND case is made of the same material found on its back, but as you can from the pictures, it is origami-like shaped. This means that you can fold it into two different positions and make it serve you as an iPad stand, which is a nice addition to a traditional tablet case. Both of these positions are made to be used with landscape-oriented iPad, so your tablet could be tilted at 20- and 45-degree angles. When you fold this case into a stand, its magnets are used to firm up this whole construction so I have to say that it keeps iPad firmly in its place.

LGND 1

Even though the LGND will keep your iPad safe from any external damages, and it can also serve as a reliable stand, this case does have some disadvantages. Simply said, it wears easily, and in order to make a permanent scratch on its front side you simply need to make a cut with your nail at a very mild pressure. This means that the LGND will be covered in scratches from its first day of use, and it will quickly lose its “brand new” look. What’s important to say is that even though it wears out rather quickly, this does not affect its protective function.

The Incipio’s LGND is priced at $35, and could be purchased in two materials: vegan leather and suede. Also, it comes in several colors like black, navy blue, gray, pick, and red.

Lifeproof Frē Review

Lifeproof Fre 2In case you’d like to use your iOS device outdoors and keep it intact, you need to purchase one of those extra tough cases which are created to offer a complete protection. This is a special type of accessories, which are made to give your iOS device a full protection from natural elements as well as a shock protection, while some of them also offer additional built-in battery. With all this is mind, it is clear that this type of cases are perfect if you plan on going to camping and hiking for example, or if your lifestyle or work takes you on a long journeys outdoors.

In case you’ve ever been interested in purchasing such a case, you’ve probably seen Lifeproof cases. These cases offer probably the best protection from any natural element, and protect your iOS device from all angles. In this article we are going to review Lifeproof Fre – iPad Mini Case, even though you can find very similar cases for any other iOS device.

Lifeproof Fre looks bulky and heavy, but if you compare it to any other all-protective case, you’ll see that it’s got some elegance and is actually a very interestingly designed product. It protects an iPad Mini using its plastic and hard rubber shell and it doesn’t only surround iPad’s edges, but also its front and back side. This iPad Mini case also covers all ports and buttons, but also provides a very convenient access which could be tightly closed so that you don’t have to worry if water and dirt can find a way to your tablet.

Lifeproof Fre 1

The Lifeproof Fre offers transparent covers for both iPad’s front and back side. Also, it covers iPad’s rear camera, but provides so-called CrystalClear optical lens, which allows you to take beautiful pictures at all weather conditions.

Every Lifeproof product is water, dirt, snow, and shock proof and it’s got a military-grade certification of these abilities. You can find numerous tests around the web which can help you get an idea what kind of protection this case can offer, and most of these tests are really interesting to watch. Having all of this in mind, it becomes clear that this is one very well engineered case, which is actually quite thin and sleek for an all-protective case. According to official specifications (which are proven to be very accurate), this case is water proof for up to 1 hour at 2.2m depth (6.6’) and shock proof up to 1.2m (4’) drop.

Another important thing about Lifeproof products is that these cases are made to be compatible with numerous Lifeproof-branded accessories like all kinds of straps and holders which could be mounted onto a bicycle for example, which can make your iOS device completely outdoor-ready. The Lifeproof Fre costs $100, which is a pretty good deal, and comes with the shoulder/hand strap kit. Since this is the brand new Lifeproof product, you won’t get any additional accessories at the moment, but just like with other cases, many accessories will become available in future months.

SETA iPhone Stand Review

SETA Stand 1The newest iPhone generation came with the Lightning port, which surprised many 3rd party developers even though some rumors and pictures appeared in the past which indicated that Apple was going to make this transition. It is clear that the Lightning port has many advantages over the old 30-pin connector, and that we are going to see many uses for this technology in the future.  One of those things that needed to be changed during this transition is a design of iPhone docks.

Older docks which came with 30-pin connects were truly docks, which means that you were able to simply push your iPhone into them, and your phone will immediately begin charging or syncing over iTunes. It took some time for developers and designers to come up with docks which included the Lightning cable, but all of these came as plastics shells and simple stands used to hold your phone while you pull and attach Apple-supplied Lightning cable. Today we can see that there’s no other way for these docks to work, so designers are trying to take advantage of this situation and create some very unusual and elegant docks.

SETA Stand 3

The SETA stand is a Kickstarter project which received some well-deserved attention. This project is still in its fundraising phase, but since main goals are already met, the SETA iPhone stand has come to life.

This stand seems very simple at a first sight, but once you decide to take a closer look you’ll see some very interesting details and you’ll realize how interesting this product actually is. It is made of a single piece of aluminum and its aesthetics perfectly fit with iPhone’s lines and shape. There are several colors to choose from, even though white and black versions are the most compatible with white and black iPhones.

SETA Stand 2

Connection between an iPhone and the SETA stand is achieved using so-called NanoSuction technology, which basically means that you can stick your phone onto top side of this stand. Still, this is not just another suction surface, since this pad is non-porous and holds you iPhone very tightly without leaving any marks. It is also interesting to mention that you can clean this pad using a clear tape, so it can rebuild its suction abilities.

Besides sticking your iPhone to SETA iPhone stand, you’ll also need to connect your phone to a wall outlet using the Lightning cable. As you can see from the pictures, this stand comes with a hole for this cable, just like any other similar stands. I do have one remark with most of similar stands, and that is lack of any grip for cable which will keep it in place once you take your phone and unplug it. The SETA stand solves this elegantly, and keeps the Lightning cable in its place after you unplug your phone.

In case you’re interested in buying a stand for your iPhone 5, the choice is very large, but there are numerous stands which are very impractical. The SETA stand is not one of those, and I can warmly recommend it.

Williams-Sonoma iPad Kitchen Stand Review

WS Kitchen Stand 1An iPad completely changed the way we consume digital content, since now we’ve got large and beautiful Retina display which is perfect for web browsing, watching videos, playing games, reading magazines, and so on. There’s also the Apple’s App Store which is filled with thousands of great and very useful apps, and that number is rapidly increasing every single day. That’s why an iPad has many different uses, which made this tablet so successful.

All of this actually led to specifically created set of apps, which are very popular in the App Store. Those are cooking apps, which made iPad relevant and very useful in the kitchen. It seems that iPad started to push out old-fashioned cookbooks, which is due to its interactivity and video content. As you can image, it is much easier cooking and trying out different recipes if you follow a video tutorial. This led to creation of another interesting product category, and those are specifically designed iPad kitchen stands. These can be a bit different than usual stands, since these are made to keep your iPad in its upward position so you can watch videos or read a guide while cooking, without that much active interaction with a tablet.

WS Kitchen Stand 3

In this article we are bringing you a review of a kitchen stand made by a well-known brand Williams – Sonoma. It is priced at $50, and you can find it at Apple’s online store or at Williams – Sonoma website.

This kitchen stand is a nicely designed product to hold your iPad in order to help you while cooking. It can hold an iPad in four different positions, and two different viewing angles, which should be just enough in order to find a perfect position. It is rounded in shape, and made of a metallic surface which fits nicely into every modern kitchen. As you can see from the pictures, it is covered with a rubber layer on its top and bottom sides, so it will firmly keep an iPad in its place. You can also notice a bracket, used to hold your iPad in portrait or landscape orientation. Also, its top side is a bit inclined and that’s because you can place an iPad on top of it, which offers a flatter viewing angle and another use of it. Finally, there’s one more interesting detail and that’s a small bracket on its backside, used to keep you iPad plugged into its cable during use.

WS Kitchen Stand 2

It is also important so say that Williams-Sonoma designed two other products which are perfect to use with their kitchen stand. That’s a Bluetooh speaker ($180) which fits nicely into bottom side of a kitchen stand, and there’s also a Screen shield ($15) which covers iPad’s screen so is doesn’t get accidentally scratched or dirty, which is a nice addition since you’ll be using it in the kitchen. We’re only letting you know about these two products, since we’ll review them in a separate article so a final rating in this article will only apply to a kitchen stand.

In general, this stand is really perfect for use in the kitchen since its holds your iPad in a perfect viewing angle for watching videos while working, naturally in a standing position. It can be also easily cleaned from any smudges and nicely absorbs accidental hits, which can all easily happen while cooking.

Durables iPad Sleeve Review

Durables sleeve 1I am one of those people who don’t like iPhone/iPad cases, which are usually covering the original and beautiful aesthetics of these products. Cases also tend to make a device a little bit bulgier, except for those ultra-thin ones, but which comes with a price. Instead, I always use sleeves, both for my iPad and iPhone as well. These can protect my mobile devices while I am not using them, or during a transport, and when I need to use them I simply take them out and put back in, later on.

I guess people like using either sleeves or cases, and of course both of these offers some upsides and downsides as well. It is also a matter or aesthetics, which is individual for each of us. Well, for those who like using sleeves to protect their iPads, we are bringing today a review of Durables sleeve which is made by Dodocase.

Durables sleeve can be used with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation iPad. It costs $65, which is a lot more that an average price for any iPad sleeve, so I was very curious to see what this product can do for me and what the reasons for that price are.

Durables sleeve 3

It is clear that Durables offers very interesting and probably unique materials and textures, which is something that many iPad users would appreciate. On the outside, it is made of waxed canvas, and it really feels nice under the fingers, which offers unusual tactile feel. Of course, since it’s waxed, it is also water resistant so you won’t have to worry if your iPad will get wet during a rain, for example. It also means that it leaves and oily trace on your fingers, which I believe is noticeable only in the first couple of weeks. As you continue to use this sleeve, this material and its texture will lose that coating. Also, this material is susceptible to leaving white-ish traces if you scratch is with your nails, or with a key for example. Some people will like this since this creates that interesting retro-feeling, while others might not appreciate this.

As we said earlier, outside skin is made of waxed canvas and for that matter, Dodocase added an interesting and much helpful leather hand grip. Durables sleeve comes in three color combinations, and each combination bring different colors of the outside skin, bright colors of its inside, and differently colored leather grip.

Durables sleeve 2

It also important to notice that this product is hand-made, and it is very quality made. Stitching is very firm, and I believe you can be using this sleeve for a very long time. Since hand-made products are usually a bit pricier, I believe this is one of the reasons why Durables is priced at $65.

Speaking of this actual functionality, iPad slips nicely into this sleeve, even if you put on Apple’s Smart Cover. On the other hand, it is tight enough to hold your tablet firmly. The only thing I didn’t like it that there’s no button or a snap which will “close” the opened side once you put an iPad into it, so it doesn’t fall out if you grab a sleeve but its bottom side.

Joule II Review


Joule II 2Differently from some earlier generations of iOS devices, iPads arrive without a dock in the original package. Even though you can buy Apple’s own iPad dock as a separate purchase, this leaves a lot of space for 3rd party designers and manufacturers to offer their own docks and grab some profit. This led to very wide range of available iPad docks, so in case you’re interested in this purchase, you can spend quite some time searching for the best one.

Actually, there’s isn’t “the best” iPad dock, since we all have our individual taste and needs as well. This means that some of us like minimalistic Apple design, while others are inclined towards a bit more lavish shapes and materials, for example. Also, some docks come with special features like built-in sound amplifiers, built-in styluses, or even game controllers. Of course, this all correlates to different budgets, which is important to have in mind.

Today we are bringing you a review of a very interesting iPad dock, made by Element Case and named Joule II. This product is a bit more luxurious, and is made for individuals who are willing to spend a bit more money on a quality made product.

Joule II 3

Joule II comes in a thoughtfully designed shape. As soon as you lay your eyes on it, you will realize that this is not just another iPad dock, but a precisely designed product.

In its essence, Joule II is a metallic tube with refined edges. As you can expect, it features the cradle for your tablet which comes with microsuede lining, which softly grips your iPad. This is a very nice touch, which you’ll surely appreciate. In case you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can order Joule II with black or brown leather lining. This upgrade also refers to fine finish, which will be a nickel finish in case you want to spend $40 more. Standard edition comes with black or silver scheme, with microsuede lining, and costs $110.

Joule II 1

Joule II holds you iPad firmly and you can position the tablet in landscape or portrait orientation. As you can see from the pictures, it comes with finely finished curved edge right bellow iPad’s home button, which is a nice touch. It also features sound amplifier, which will boost iPad’s sound a bit, but it won’t be too much noticeable.

Joule II can be finely adjusted to any possible angle, so you can use it in various situations. Element Case calls this mechanism Auto Tilt, and it actually works very well in practice. It can easily hold iPad’s weight since whole Joule II is quite heavy due to its metal nature.

In case you’re willing to spend a bit more money on a quality made and interestingly looking iPad dock, Joule II is a way to go. Its design nicely complements iPad’s shape, finishing materials and curvature, and it also features some interesting details like volume booster and Auto Tilt mechanism.