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.

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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.

VersaCover Mini Origami Review

VersaCover Mini Origami 1In general, folio-style cases are the perfect hard shells for any iPad Mini, and they are very convenient to carry and use. The problem with those is that most folio-style cases are very bulky, so when you place your iPad into it, it will become even bulkier. I guess that everything comes with a price, so in case you need a very strong protection for your iPad, you’ll simply have to deal with added weight and bulk.

In case you’ve got an iPad Mini, and you like folio-style cases, a company called Moshi made a product which you might be interested in. It is in fact a folio case, but it is very slim and can generate enough protection without adding any bulk. It is called VersaCover Mini Origami, and continue reading to see what this product can offer you.

Many will like VersaCover Mini Origami because of its lightweight construction. Just like any other folio case, this one has a back and a front side, so you can comfortably slide your iPad Mini into it. This case is made of a translucent plastics, molded into a single flexible piece. With this said, you can assume that this plastic won’t suffer hard hits, but it will keep your iPad Mini free from scratches and other light accidental damages.

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VersaCover Mini Origami leaves all ports open, as well a small hole for the back camera, and a microphone too. Back shell is a single piece of plastics, while the front cover is made of a very thin plastics covered by a layer of soft suede. It feels really nice in hand, and takes of iPad’s screen properly. You can choose from several color schemes: (Aloe) green, (Denim) blue, (Sakura) pink, and (Velvet) grey. A nice and gentle pastel tones will suit most people.

Now, what’s really interesting about this iPad Mini case is that it can be folded into several origami-style shapes, so you can use it as an iPad Mini stand. The front side is dented by five lines, which are used to make a certain shapes. You can actually make four different shapes, which means you can use your iPad Mini at three viewing angles in landscape, and one position in portrait orientation. This case is really versatile, and offers you enough space to play around with your iPad Mini at different viewing angles. Also, even though the cover is made of thin plastics, once you fold it into a shape you’ll get a very strong and sturdy construction.

If you ever used any of Moshi’s product, that you know that you can expect a good quality. The VersaCover Mini Origami is no different, and comes with some nice details which show that designers took their time with this product. With all this said, $50 seems like the reasonable price for this product.

X-Doria’s Dash Folio Felt Review

Dash Folio Felt 2In case you’re interested in using an external protection to keep your iPad free of scratches or damages, you can surely find the right case, a shell, or a skin. There are many different type of external iPad protection, which is a good thing since some of like using those tight skins which tend not to change iPad’s original aesthetics, while on the other hand there are those who like folio-type of cases. These cases completely cover your iPad, so it somewhat looks like a notebook. This means there is going to be the front and end cover, as well as some type of a system which will hold an iPad firmly within these covers. Folio cases are usually bulky and some of them also add a significant weight to iPad. They also bring complete protection and they usually act as a stand as well.

In this article we are going to review one of X-Doria’s products, which is a company which makes all kinds of holders and protection for iOS devices. This case is called Dash Folio Felt, and is priced at $50. According to X-Doria’s statements, it is made for iPad 2, 3 and the newest generation.

At a first sight, it is clear that Dash Folio Felt is a quality made product. On the outside you’ll find felt exterior, which feels nice in hand. It only comes in one color – dark grey. This type of external felt will surely attract dust out of any surface you place it on, which I didn’t like. It also means that it will become somewhat dirty after a while, even though its dark color will keep it invisible. For someone who’s very sensitive to dust, this type of external lining wouldn’t be a good fit. In case you really like X-Doria’s products, you can find another folio case, which comes with leather cover. It is also priced at $50.

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Internally, you can find a lot of faux leather. Stitching is very good, so I guess you shouldn’t have any problems with Dash Folio in a long-term. As you can probably imagine, you can also use this cover as a stand, and it is able to keep your iPad inclined at five different viewing angles. Four of those could be achieved by using the ridges found in the front cover, while the last one is achieved by folding over the front cover around the iPad’s back. Also, this case leaves all ports open, as well as both cameras.

Now, many users noticed that this case works very well with the iPad 2, but you will need an extra push in order to make other iPads fit it (3rd and 4th generation). I hope this won’t negatively impact on the stitching, since these two iPad can stretch it a bit. It seems that X-Doria tried to make a folio case which will suit as many iPad generations as possible, even though it should have made a small adjustments to each iPad generation.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

BassDOCK Review

As iPhone and iPad became popular, a large number of 3rd party accessories flooded the market. Even though it might seem like these devices are enough by themselves, you won’t feel their real power until you buy a wireless speaker, or a good pair of headphones, for example. The truth is that Apple made a lot of empty space for companies who are challenged to create innovative and original products which will appeal to consumers. Many companies found a success in this.

Besides skins and cases, which are relatively inexpensive, bestselling iPad accessories along with wireless speakers and docks. Wireless speakers utilize Apple’s AirPlay technology to stream music wirelessly, without losing any quality, and they can be also accessed from any iOS device. On the other hand, docks for iPad are needed if you plan on using this tablet with a physical keyboard, so it’s essential to have a quality dock which will keep iPad in place and at a right angle. There’s also third kind of accessories, which actually combines speakers and docks, and such product came from a company called Scosche.

Scosche’s BassDOCK is a speaker, which is also used as a dock for your iPad (1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation). This is interesting product category, which we didn’t have a chance to see that often. If you think about it for a second, you can see all the challenges these products need to face in order to become successful. They need to be big enough to produce quality sound, but they shouldn’t be too big, since this speaker and a dock will become unusable. This is why I was eager to see what BassDOCK can offer.

At a first sight, this product seems interesting, even though I’ve seen more appealing speaker design in past. Still, its classic design serves its purpose. It is relatively small, with only 7×7 inches in its base (17.7×17.7cm). This means that you can easily move it around, and place it onto almost any hard surface. It’s made of plastic, with aluminum grill and some nice finishing touches, and feels really nice under the fingers. Since this is not a wireless speaker, it also houses iPad’s dock. You can attach your iPad and it will stick firmly, and you can also use it in portrait and landscape mode.

This product is not made to replace wireless speaker, but it’s actually made to replace old-fashioned stereo devices, where you now get iPad with its shiny screen, from where you play your music, through a powerful speaker. Speaking of its performance, it is amazingly good, especially in its price range. Sound is very clear, bass is quite noticeable, and volume fills up even the large rooms.

All in all, this is an interesting product. Still, it is not clear where its position in a today’s market should be, since wireless speakers are now very affordable and they allow you to use your iPad and carry it around the house, which is not something you can do with BassDOCK. On the other hand, iPad is too much expensive to be used as a replacement for an expensive touch screen on your new stereo system.