I originally got my iPad 4 with an Apple Smart Cover (now only available in gray) and while it is adequate, it doesn’t really provide the protection that I want. To take a step up, I decided to try the Snugg iPad Case Cover and Flip Stand and I am glad I did because it offers more functionality and much better protection, convenience, and style.
The Snugg iPad case comes in a rainbow of colors (I chose Red) and is made of PU Leather which is leather with a thin layer of embossed polyurethane on top which is easier to clean. I was impressed by the rich leather feel and the vibrant color with contrasting white stitching for a sporty look. As far as basic functionality it has all the features of the Apple Smart Cover with the magnetic flap/lid and "Wake on open. Sleep on close." However, there is much more as this video from Snugg illustrates:
Some highlights of the Snugg case:
Access to Controls and Ports: All ports, controls, and cameras were fully accessible although the volume control is closely bordered by the protective bezel and back covers.
Interior: You may not see it but your iPad does and the Snugg case has a soft nubuck interior with the iPad held firmly in it with a velcro closure.
Stand: The stand is created by tucking the lid into the tab on the back of the Snugg case as shown in the video. It can be arranged at two angles as shown in the pictures and video. The shallower angle was fine and more sturdy than the Apple Smart Cover. I won’t use the steeper upright position on the Apple Smart Cover since it seems unstable. It was better with the Snugg cover but I still found it difficult to set up and it seemed less sturdy than the other position due to the flap hinge.
Stylus Loop: I use a stylus almost exclusively with my iPad and I really appreciate the stylus loop (stylus not included - Snugg sells them separately if you need one) for holding a stylus to the case so I can keep track of it. The loop can be tucked away if you don’t want to use it.
Hand Strap: One of the difficulties with an iPad is the considerable strain on your arm and wrist that comes from holding it one handed. The Snugg iPad case has a convenient elastic hand strap (shown in the video) on what is actually the inside of the flap for you to slip your hand through in order to hold the iPad easily in a portrait orientation. You will need to wrap your fingers around the edges of the flap and iPad to hold them together, again as shown in the video. This worked fine, but I really wish there was also a similarly convenient way to hold the iPad in a landscape orientation.
General Fit and Finish: I can’t say enough about how nicely constructed the Snugg case is. It has a robust, elegant, and stylish look and feel.
To sum it all up, I highly recommend the Snugg iPad Case Cover and Flip Stand for your iPad. It is currently available for $35.99 (black is $29.99) at TheSnugg.com where they offer a full line of cases for other tablets, Kindles, iPhones and other iPad versions including the latest iPad Air and mini 2. Their full line also seems to be available at Amazon if you prefer.
The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT is now available at the Microsoft Store for preorder with delivery by 10/26. The pricing was announced to be competitive with the Apple iPad:
And note, if you want a different color Touch Cover that will be extra.
Unclear on the difference between the Touch Cover and the Type Cover? Here’s the skinny:
As far as the other specs, hit the link above for the full details, but here’s a brief summary:
VaporMg™ casing: Made with VaporMg, Surface is precision crafted to be tough yet elegant, without excessive bulk. At less than 1.5 pounds, with a watch-like finish that’s incredibly smooth, and durable, Surface is a delight to hold and touch.
Integrated Kickstand: Integrated Kickstand provides uncompromised support and flexibility. Flip out the Kickstand for hands-free entertainment. Whether you’re watching a movie, or shooting video, Surface stands on its own.
Windows RT and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview: Work anywhere, anytime with Windows RT and Office Home 2013 RT2 (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote). Keep tabs on news, friends, and entertainment with pre-loaded Microsoft apps including Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games. Visit the Windows Store to discover more apps and games.
Storage: 32 GB or 64 GB depending on model
CPU: NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM
Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology
Front and rear-facing 720p HD video cameras: Capture life from all sides with LifeCam. The rear camera is angled to shoot straight ahead when the Kickstand is flipped out. The Kickstand also enables hands-free Skype video chat or recording. Custom lens design and an ambient light sensor maximize light intake while providing sharp focus so you’ll never miss a shot
Audio: Two microphones, stereo speakers
Sensors: Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
Power Supply: 24W power supply
Warranty: One-year limited hardware warranty
It will be interesting to see how well Microsoft can play in the tablet hardware game on it own versus Apple. Reportedly they have placed orders for 3-5 million during the 4th quarter.
For years I had a Caller ID adjunct box attached before an older landline phone with answering machine that sits on the line for our DSL service. Aside from the small hard-to-read display, the darn thing ate batteries at a ferocious rate. I suppose I could have bought a new phone/answering machine with Caller ID (although many of those displays are hard to read too), but first I thought I would look around to see if I could find a Caller ID box with a large screen that I could plug in to the wall. After a little searching at Amazon I found the oddly named Fans-Tel Type II Large Backlite Screen (actually the Fanstel Model G99M Caller ID Adjunct Box) which fit the bill quite nicely:
The 3 line backlit LCD screen is 3 3/8″ wide by 1 1/2″ tall (viewing area 3.1″ x 1.5″ ) and the large font characters are easy to read since the backlight on the display lights when a call comes in or you are reviewing calls. Better yet it has an AC cord and a brick that I plugged into the same power strip that the phone plugs into. You can optionally insert 3 AA batteries to back-up the memory and run caller ID during power failures. As you might expect, I have not had to replace them in the 6 months I have had the unit.
I do not use the call or message waiting features, but I got just what I wanted: easy to read Caller ID without the battery bill. The price is currently $24.98 at Amazon.