Lost In Mobile

Shaun McGill

07412 655899

Lost In Mobile is the continuation of PDA-247 which, under various names, provided news, reviews and commentary on the mobile world for 10 years.

I have been writing about the mobile industry, mobile products, apps and everything else in between and beyond for more than 10 years, and currently write freelance for Imagine Publishing and also undertake one-off projects upon request.

I welcome your comments and thoughts and if you want to get in touch, please do so via the email address or phone number above.

Thanks for stopping by.

Shaun McGill

My Case Solution

I'm on my third iPad. No, I haven't broken them. I've just found compelling reasons to buy the next model every year. One thing I do with my mobile devices is put some sort of case on them. Now we all know that there are lots of cases out there and lots of different approaches to cases and lots of different needs. So while what I describe here works perfectly for me, it may not address any of your needs.

You can get into a debate about which side of the iPad is more prone to scratching or damage. Most people take great care with the screen. They might add a screen protector and they might use a lint free cloth to clean it rather than rubbing the dust off with a hand or a shirt. However, the back of the iPad is aluminum, a metal that is light but scratches relatively easily. And when you put your iPad down, the screen is up and  it's the back that sits on any dust and whatever that is on the table. It doesn't take much to scratch the surface.

So given that, I began covering the back of my iPad with a TPU case. I wanted something that gave me a better grip plus something that would protect the back as well as provide some drop protection. Most TPU cases also stand out over the edge so that if you put your iPad screen down, the screen is slightly raised. As well, I picked up a slip case that I could slide the iPad into and put in my briefcase. Problem solved. Well, one problem.

I found that there are many times when I want to sit my iPad down on a table or desk and have both my hands free. I also wanted it at an angle so that it was easier to see or type on. There are lots of stands but very few are small and easily portable. This becomes apparent when you use your iPad on an airplane. You want something small and light but small and light stands tend not to be very solid. They tend to separate from the iPad with usually bad consequences for the iPad. Or the whole thing just becomes a pain.

Finally I found a portable stand that would clip onto the iPad on both sides with a stretchy rubber connection between the two sides. That meant that the stand wouldn't come off the iPad or vice versa. That problem was solved as long as I remembered the stand.

Then there was the typing problem. I'm no touch typer which should actually make the iPad keyboard easier to use. Unfortunately the "technique" I've ended up with uses my thumb to tap the space bar, and on the iPad, that technique fails at least a third of the time. The solution? A bluetooth keyboard. I found a nice one that is the width of the iPad and worked fairly well. But it's a separate piece. Yes there are keyboard cases, but they usually require that the iPad is part of the case and is permanently in landscape mode unless you physically remove it. Besides, I want to be able to use the iPad stand alone as well. I needed a two part case with a keyboard. I did try one that was supposed to be a case, but the aluminum edges rubbed my hands when I typed. And I'd still have to carry around the little portable stand.

In looking through an accessory guide, I spotted a case by Zero Chroma called the Vario-SC. The Vario-SC is a rubbery case but has a plastic stand built into it. And the neat thing is that the stand rotates and has lots of positioning options. You can have it quite upright or almost flat, landscape or portrait. Wonderful. That meant I didn't need that little portable stand because the stand now was part of the case. But I still had that separate keyboard and no real screen cover. I could have used a Smart Cover but it seemed a waste while I still had the slip case which held the iPad with the Vario-SC and the bluetooth keyboard.

And then I saw that Logitech was coming out with their Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. It is a very thin bluetooth keyboard with a magnetic latch that is similar to Apple's Smart Cover. And now I was thankful that the Vario-SC came with a cutout for the Smart Cover. I bought the Logitech keyboard and, as expected from a Logitech product, it fits perfectly. from the back it looks very similar to the iPad itself.

And that's my solution. A Zero Chroma Vario-SC case with built-in stand and a Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. My next decision is whether to buy an iPad case that fits the Logitech keyboard, just to complete the set and protect the back of the keyboard.