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Published on April 3rd, 2011 | by Greg

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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.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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