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The Week in iPad Cases: The crux of the matter

It's been a couple of weeks since our last iPad-case roundup—you can blame WWDC and its slew of announcements for that—but we're back! This installment of our hebdomadal case roundup includes a covering that turns your magical tablet into a veritable laptop, another that can be used to mount it just about anywhere, and one that adds battery time to a device already known for its legendary power independence.

Adonit: It might surprise you to hear this given its name, but the Writer (iPad 1; $100) is a folio-style case that incorporates a Bluetooth keyboard. The keyboard is powered by AAA batteries, which means that, if you ever run out of juice and you’re out of reach of a recharger, you can simply duck into the nearest store and get some disposable replacements. The Writer comes in black and tan, and, of course, it props up your iPad in landscape orientation for typing or viewing. (An iPad 2-compatible version is in the works.)

Aire: If green is your thing, Aire has you covered with a variety of cases made out of recycled movie-theater banners (iPad and iPad 2; $39). These colorful sleeves are available in a wide variety of patterns and are compatible with Apple’s Smart Cover. Each sleeve's interior is made of a soft-but-durable material that protects your tables from scratches, dents, and inadvertent drops.

Booq: As its name implies, the Viper Slider (iPad 2; $40) slides over your tablet and protects it from dents and scratches. The tough polycarbonate exterior leaves all ports, buttons, and cameras accessible. The Viper comes in a faux-wood motif, with soft inlays for a more comfortable grip; the interior features a soft lining for maximum protection.

Chester Mox: The Dark Brown iPad Sleeve Case (iPad; $155) is made entirely of high-quality, scuff-resistant, Chromexcel Horween leather and, according to the company, features a hybrid combination of classic and modern designs. The inside of the leather is soft to provide maximum protection, and the case can be closed using a double-layer tab that uses neither magnets nor snap buttons.

Crux Case: If you’re the kind of person who won't accept the view that the iPad isn’t a traditional laptop, you may want to take a look at the Crux Loaded (iPad; $249), a clamshell cover that adds a keyboard and a trackpad—yes, a trackpad—to your iPad. The Crux includes its own battery that adds 7.5 hours of juice to the tablet. The Crux is available in black or white and is slated for release this fall.

MiPow: The Juice Cover (iPad 2; price unavailable) is an iPad 2 case that incorporates a battery, giving your tablet several extra hours’ worth of autonomy. The Juice Cover fits on the back of the iPad, with a little tab that plugs into the iPad’s dock-connector port to supply the power. The Juice Cover comes in white and is compatible with Apple’s Smart Cover.

Mount Me: The Freedom II (iPad and iPad 2; $50) allows your tablet to be mounted just about anywhere, including flat surfaces (using suction cups) or your legs or a car seat’s headrest (using a strap). The mount can tilt and pan to accommodate multiple viewing angles; comes in black or white; and even includes screws for permanent wall mounting. The company is currently offering a 25-percent discount on pre-orders; the Freedom will be available later this month.

Mophie: the Workbook (iPad 2; $50) is a faux-leather folio that comes in black or white with four interchangeable, colored straps. The case supports infinite viewing angles in landscape orientation, and it can function as a typing platform. In addition to providing all the appropriate openings for buttons, ports, and cameras, the Workbook is compatible with the the iPad 2’s magnetic sleep/wake feature.

Qmadix: The Portfolio with Removable Bluetooth Keyboard (iPad 2; $150) isn’t going to win any prizes for the originality of its name, but there is something to be said for a product whose moniker is so descriptive that it hardly needs any introductions. In addition to including a full Bluetooth keyboard that can be conveniently recharged through the included micro-USB port and—unique to the genre, can be removed from the case for better typing positions—the Portfolio can also be used as a viewing stand in landscape orientation.

Speck: The HandyShell (iPad 2; $55) is a rigid, snap-on case that features a unique, multi-function handle. In addition to acting as a stand in both portrait and landscape orientations, this jack-of-all-trades accessory can be used as a thumb ring for one-handed gripping; as a faux-neck for using the iPad 2 as a guitar; and even as a hook for hanging your favorite tablet on the wall.


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