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The Week in iPad Cases: Cork

There's much to like in the third-generation iPad, from its amazing screen to its great battery life. And its popularity means a vibrant ecosystem of cases and case vendors. These undisputed stars of our weekly roundups keep coming up with new and exciting ways to keep your tablet safe while adding a splash of style and custom features.

Camalen: The Hexa iPad (iPad 3; $115) is a folio case made from high-quality, full-grain Turkish leather that is capable of adapting to a large number of viewing angles. It works in both landscape and portrait orientation, switching easily from one to the other thanks to its clever construction. The case comes in black, tea, tan, or black floater.

GripCase: This company's eponymous case (iPad 2 and iPad 2; $40) has been updated to fit Apple's latest-generation iPad and provide the same level of extreme protection and comfortable portability as GripCase's prior cases. The GripCase features a large, rubber shield on the back and generously-sized grips on all sides of the tablet, and it comes in blue, red, green, purple, black, or blue with black highlights.

iSkin: The company has released two new accessories as part of its third-generation iPad lineup. The Agent 6 Sling (iPad 3; $100) is a convenient, cross-body messenger bag hand-crafted from premium ballistic nylon. It features an external pouch for your charger and a front cover for accessories or a mobile phone.

The Recon Sleeve (iPad 3; $70) is a carrying bag--also made from ballistic nylon--with fitted, neoprene-elastic brackets designed to perfectly fit your iPad and restrain it without obstructing the screen. The case also features a carrying handle and a military-style nylon bag for decoration.

Kinatic: The company's iPad carrying bag (iPad, iPad 2, and iPad 3; $60) provides a number of different features, including room for a pen and both interior and exterior pockets for accessories and other items you may want to take on the go with you. The bag comes in versions with or without a shoulder strap, and is available in black, blue, green, or red.

Macally: The BookStand 3 Protective Case Stand (iPad 3; $50), available in black, gray and black, or natural, is a premium, faux-leather folio that folds open to prop up your iPad for viewing and typing in landscape orientation. The Bookstand DB Hardshell Flexible Case (iPad 3; $50), available in a black or white, is a similar case made of plastic and rubber.

The Covermate (iPad 3; $40), available in black or white, is a hardshell cover designed to protect your tablet and work alongside Apple's Smart Cover; it features a unique un-powered "amplifier" that, according to the company, enhances your iPad's audio without the need for external batteries.

The MagCover 3 (iPad 3; $50), available in gray, purple, or green is a folio that holds up your table for viewing and typing and snaps on using a convenient magnetic-latch system. Speaking of magnets, this case, which comes in grey, tan, or purple, is also compatible with the iPad's sleep/wake feature.

Finally, the ShellStand 3 (iPad 3; $50) features a rotating, folio design that can stand at a typing or viewing angle in both landscape and portrait orientation. Its generous padding keeps your tablet safe, and its cover is compatible with the iPad's magnetic sleep/wake feature.

Padacs: The Fortress (iPad 2 and iPad 3; $60) is a protective film for your iPad's screen that can take all sorts of abuse and punishment. You may not routinely subject your tablet to falling bricks or scratching nails like the company does in its promotional videos, but you'll be happy to know that the screen protector's four different layers are ready to cover your everyday activities.

Shrapnel Design: The Weve (iPad and iPad 2; $168 to $196) is a folio case made entirely from a single sheet of bamboo and padded with premium cork for an environment-friendly construction that doesn't compromise on protection or style. It's available in a natural-wood color or black.

SwitchEasy: The company's CoverBuddy (iPad, iPad 2, and iPad 3; $25) has been updated to work with the third-generation iPad. A shockproof back case made from ultra-tough polycarbonate, it's designed to work in conjunction with Apple's Smart Cover and it comes in clear, black, light grey, dark grey, blue, pink, green, navy, red, cream, or tan.

USBFever: The company's latest Leather Case (iPad 3; $53) comes with a detachable Bluetooth keyboard, allowing you to type in comfort or to travel without a keyboard when you prefer. It comes in black.

If, like me, you tend to forget things that aren't firmly attached to your iPad, you may also want to take a look at the PU Leather Case (iPad 3; $40), which provides essentially the same features as its detachable counterpart--minus, of course, the detachable part.


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