Last year at the launch of the iPad, there were very few accessories available. Sure, you could pick up an Apple Case for the iPad, and I think there were a handful of third-party cases, but the variety wasn't exactly overwhelming.
After the wildly successful first year of the iPad, everyone in the accessory business is going out of their way to make sure you have a choice of goodies at launch or shortly thereafter. In this article, I'll tell you about some of the cases and stands we've heard about so far.
Targus 360° Rotating Stand / Case for iPad 2
This is the first iPad 2-specific product that I've actually received, and it's a beauty. The Targus 360° Rotating Stand / Case (US$59.99) features a unique design with a 360° swivel that allows the iPad 2 to be displayed in portrait or landscape orientations. Unlike other swiveling stands and cases, the Targus 360° is remarkably thin. The center of the swivel mechanism is open so that the Apple logo is clearly visible, there's a soft velour lining to gently caress your iPad 2 screen, and the exterior is a very attractive black faux leather.
To hold the case closed while in transit, there's a wide elastic band similar to that used on Moleskine notebooks. The plastic "tray" that holds the iPad 2 has a hole in the proper spot for the rear-facing camera, although the device has to be swiveled into portrait mode for the camera to be able to "see."
You can buy one now through Amazon, and Best Buy stores will have the cases available on March 11. Targus will also have the thin Protective TPU Skin for iPad 2 ($29.99) and Vuscape Cover and Stand ($39.99) available to protect that new iPad 2.
Click the read more link to see more upcoming iPad 2 products.
StealthArmor for iPad 2
We've talked about StealthArmor from Fusion of Ideas here on TUAW before. It's a tough skin for your iPad or iPhone that is made of a material originally designed to protect race cars from flying bits of asphalt at high speeds.
The company is celebrating the launch of the iPad 2 with special pricing on the newly-designed StealthArmor for iPad 2. Normally $45, purchase StealthArmor during March and you can get it for only $35. There are 17 different finishes (including clear) available, and the StealthArmor will ship on Monday, March 14.
Twelve South Compass
While the Twelve South Compass ($39.99) isn't a new product, the company let us know that the unique candy bar-sized stand will work with the iPad 2. It looks good with the white iPad 2, by the way:
You can pick up a Compass at an Apple Store while you're picking up your iPad 2 tomorrow.
If you're a fan of the colorful skins and matching wallpapers available from GelaSkins, you'll be thrilled to know that the company has iPad 2 GelaSkins ($29.95) ready to roll. The iPad 2 skins will ship on Monday, March 14. There are literally hundreds of custom skins available:
GelaSkins are easy to install and can be removed if you want to change to a new meme. How easy? Watch Mike Rose put a GelaSkin on his iPad at Macworld Expo while drinking coffee and talking to the camera.
Angry Birds fans who want to clothe the new iPad 2 in bird-themed gear need look no further. GEAR4 will be supplying its Angry Birds iPad 2 case soon, price to follow. You can sign up with GEAR4 to get information about the upcoming case.
Belkin is one of the world's top accessory manufacturers, probably due to the fact that it responds to new product introductions with innovative gear. The company is marketing a full line of cases and protective films for the iPad 2, including the Slim Folio Stand, Access Folio Stand, Flip Folio Stand (all $39.99) and the Verve Folio Stand (49.99). Belkin's ClearScreen and MatteScreen Overlays for iPad 2 are used to protect the bare iPad 2 screen from scratches and smudges ($39.99).
Two cool stands, the ViewLounge and FlipBlade Adjust (both $29.99, see FlipBlade Adjust below), both make their debut for the iPad 2 as well. Note that the Belkin iPad 2 products are all listed as "Coming Soon."
DODOcase for iPad 2
That beautiful DODOcase you bought for your original iPad isn't going to work with your new iPad 2, but don't fret -- the company has already come up with a product to protect your new baby.
The DODOcase for iPad 2 ($59.95 - $64.95) is available with a plethora of inside cover colors to make your iPad 2 feel unique and protected. If you have a few extra quid available, why not go with the Limited Edition model ($89.95)? It features a black and white cloth cover, and is stamped with the iPad 2 release date (3.11.11) on the spine:
XtremeMac iPad 2 Lineup
Three different iPad 2 cases are coming from the folks at XtremeMac, each complemented with the Tuffshield, a durable film in glossy and anti-glare finishes to protect the screen. The cases include the Thin Sleeve ($39.99), the Tuffwrap Shine ($34.99) and the Microshield for iPad 2 ($34.99).
You can even get the Tuffwrap Shine in Pantone's color of the year, "Honeysuckle Pink." That's worth a mention anywhere!
The designers at WaterField Designs have come out with more drool-worthy cases for iPad 2: the Smart Case ($59), Slip Case ($29), the Ultimate SleeveCase ($55 - $109 depending on accessories) and Suede Jacket ($19 - $25). If you happen to like Apple's Smart Cover (and who doesn't?) but want better protection for the rest of the device, WaterField has the EXO SleeveCase ($49 - $103 depending on accessories) and the iPad Wallet ($79 - $101 based on configuration).
Unfortunately, the cases won't be available for a few weeks, but you can pre-order now. The company also says that there will be another iPad 2 announcement coming on Tuesday, March 15...