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September 13,2012- Back To School...

While computer tablets are not yet standard-issue for students, the technology/form factor is beginning to find its way into more and more school bags. Even though tablets are more than adequate to take on many school tasks, they are not yet powerful enough to replace a traditional laptop. However, what they have going for them is the all-day battery life, instant-on capability, and their lightness. Apple's iPad is clearly the tablet of choice at present, so we thought it fitting to take a look at a few cases for the iPad that may be appropriate for the "Back To School" crowd.

There are now literally hundreds of cases on the market for the iPad since it exploded onto the market in 2010. In deciding what cases made sense for the "Back To School" crowd, we filtered the choices with the following three criteria in mind: protection, transport, extra storage. Protection from drops and other hazards just makes sense when the device will be used for more than couch-surfing (not surfing for couches, surfing on the couch). Ease of carring the iPad around would be another concern, especially for those not using a backpack. We also thought that having an extra pocket for a charging cable and earbuds or just a place to tuck some pens and paper could be really convenient.

So the interns scoured the web for candidates, created a pool of potentials, and brutally whittled down the list. In the end, the following cases and covers made the cut :

Note: Click on any of the images for a larger version

Tim Angel is the inventor/designer behind the ZooGue BinderPad. We really like the idea of this case as it seemlessly integrates the iPad with something many students already carry, the three-ring binder.

We looked at modulR case and accessories when the iPad was first introduced (case, stand, wall mount). They were a brand new name at the time, but are a lot better known now because of their continuing record of providing innovative carrying and mounting solutions for the iPad. We like the modulR system because you can mix and match accessories (strap, stand, mount, etc) to create the exact setup for your needs.

Students looking for a case with an integrated SmartCover may want to check out the Canvas and Cara from SwitchEasy. Both folios have a built-in stand and offers 360º protection. Those who like to go analog (paper pad) as well as digital for their note taking will appreciate HardCandy's CandyNote case.

We know that sometimes it is convenient to have more than just the iPad. If you just want to be able to tuck a few pens in with the iPad, Quiver has a clever solution for you. However, if you want to bring along a little more than that, we found two cases (Dresden, Recon) with a bit of extra room for those other things.

No matter how careful you are, carrying electronics around means they may have to survive the occasional mistreatment. If your gear must be protected at all cost, then the place to go for that protection is OtterBox. OtterBox cases have been field-tested by butterfingers the world over. The two we have selected (Reflex, Defender) will provide protection for everything but a swim in the pool.

This preview is meant as an overview of the various cases we thought would be appropriate for those heading back to school with a tablet by their side. We will take a more in-depth look at all of them tomorrow. [Permalink] -Back To School: iPad Cases Preview

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