You could probably get several very nice iPad cases for US$299, providing a different look for every day of the week. Or, if you need to be radically mobile and self-sufficient with your tablet computing, you might be interested in Voltaic Systems' new Spark case -- a solar-powered hard shell model with enough power to charge your iPad wherever the sun shines.
Voltaic designed the Spark to pair neatly with Apple's tablet, with a 1:1 charge to use time ratio (a full charge for the iPad requires 10 hours of light on the panels). Rather than charging devices directly, the solar panels top off an included battery; it's designed to provide a full iPad charge, and sports both standard-power and high-power USB ports for multiple devices.
Obviously, a specialty case such as the Spark isn't for every iPad owner or usage model. For those who do need auxiliary power or extended off-the-grid operations, though -- field researchers, surveyors, engineers, park rangers, etc. -- it could be just the thing.
Our video interview with Voltaic's Jeff Crystal is below.
- Key specs
- Form factor Tablet
- Operating system iOS (8)
- Screen size 9.7 inches
- Storage type Internal storage (16 GB, Flash)
- Maximum battery life Up to 10 hours
- Dimensions 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 in
- Weight 0.96 lb
- Announced 2014-10-16