Published on April 3rd, 2011 | by Greg0
Joy Factory: iPad Gear
Sure, the iPad 2 is out. But there is still plenty of new gear for the original model coming out, and since it's easier and cheaper than ever to find the iPad 1, you can add some great extras on top for the same price as the only getting the updated version. Especially if you're going to be using the tablet in a static environment, the newer model really doesn't offer any needed features. We certainly like the newer one for use out and about, but we have taken our now-obsolete iPad Uno and are using it in the kitchen and office for use as a photo-sharing device and internet-only terminal. And if you're worried about losing your device, Joy Factory also has you covered with a glossy iPad case, that sadly won't work with the new edition.
Carbon fiber is cool stuff. Sure, they make airplanes out of it, and high end jewelry, but those are a bit out of our normal range of gear. Instead, we've got the Joy Factory Tournez Carbon Fiber iPad Mount, a pretty nifty (and sexy) device. It's a basic clamp mount, and the clamp itself is only so-so- but the arm and case are excellent, and make for a really flexible solution. The advantage of a mount like this is obvious- ease-of-use in a multi-person situation, and saving space on counters or desktops or in a kitchen where counter space might be at a premium. We also liked it placed on a headboard, for watching movies on the iPad while in bed. It did not work quite so well for playing games, though, as the tension wasn't quite as firm as needed for hard taps on the screen.
Setup is easy- just adjust the clamp to fit the scenario. Counters and such work fine; you can also the mount directly to a wall but we didn't test this out. Some extra mounting options might have been nice- we've seen some with heavy duty suction cups and magnets such- but the clamp method works well. We liked that, once mounted, it can spin in 360 degrees. The price feels a bit high, at $130 or so, but the materials are extremely well-machined.
We've also been testing the Arc PurpleRomance case. We've seen some other cases with a built-in stand, and often are skeptical about their sturdiness. This one was pretty good- four viewing angles meant we could adjust for use in bed, or on a desk. This case also includes a scratch-resistant screen, which was a bit confusing at first- we had to remove our other scratch protection for it to work well, so you might want to test the case before committing. This case is heavier than some, and built more for looks than sturdiness- the chrome finish tended to show scratches a bit too easily for our normal handling. The Swarovski crystal accent might be nice, but it's part of the large logo on the back of the case, a bit too much for our tastes.
Our testers agreed- the PurpleRomance case felt like a bit of a reach. Take, for example, the Joytracer feature- a romantically-named addition that might be useful, but is basically a service that allows you to register your iPad to a code on the case. Then, when someone finds the iPad they can use the code to return the device to you. It sounds nice, but in practice probably wouldn't do much to help, and Apple's MobileMe features have rendered it a bit less than necessary. At $80, it's an interesting all-in-one solution, good for the style maven for whom the iPad is more of a fashion accessory… but not so great for regular outdoor use.