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Published on April 3rd, 2011 | by Greg


Joy Factory: iPad Gear

Sure, the iPad 2 is out. But there is still plen­ty of new gear for the orig­i­nal mod­el com­ing out, and since it’s eas­i­er and cheap­er than ev­er to find the iPad 1, you can add some great ex­tras on top for the same price as the on­ly get­ting the up­dat­ed ver­sion. Es­pe­cial­ly if you’re go­ing to be us­ing the tablet in a stat­ic en­vi­ron­ment, the new­er mod­el re­al­ly doesn’t of­fer any need­ed fea­tures. We cer­tain­ly like the new­er one for use out and about, but we have tak­en our now-ob­so­lete iPad Uno and are us­ing it in the kitchen and of­fice for use as a pho­to-shar­ing de­vice and in­ter­net-on­ly ter­mi­nal. And if you’re wor­ried about los­ing your de­vice, Joy Fac­to­ry al­so has you cov­ered with a glossy iPad case, that sad­ly won’t work with the new edi­tion.

Car­bon fiber is cool stuff. Sure, they make air­planes out of it, and high end jew­el­ry, but those are a bit out of our nor­mal range of gear. In­stead, we’ve got the Joy Fac­to­ry Tournez Car­bon Fiber iPad Mount, a pret­ty nifty (and sexy) de­vice. It’s a ba­sic clamp mount, and the clamp it­self is on­ly so-so- but the arm and case are ex­cel­lent, and make for a re­al­ly flex­i­ble so­lu­tion. The ad­van­tage of a mount like this is ob­vi­ous- ease-of-use in a mul­ti-per­son sit­u­a­tion, and sav­ing space on coun­ters or desk­tops or in a kitchen where counter space might be at a pre­mi­um. We al­so liked it placed on a head­board, for watch­ing movies on the iPad while in bed. It did not work quite so well for play­ing games, though, as the ten­sion wasn’t quite as firm as need­ed for hard taps on the screen.

Set­up is easy- just ad­just the clamp to fit the sce­nario. Coun­ters and such work fine; you can al­so the mount di­rect­ly to a wall but we didn’t test this out. Some ex­tra mount­ing op­tions might have been nice- we’ve seen some with heavy du­ty suc­tion cups and mag­nets such- but the clamp method works well. We liked that, once mount­ed, it can spin in 360 de­grees. The price feels a bit high, at $130 or so, but the ma­te­ri­als are ex­treme­ly well-ma­chined.

We’ve al­so been test­ing the Arc Pur­pleRo­mance case. We’ve seen some oth­er cas­es with a built-in stand, and of­ten are skep­ti­cal about their stur­di­ness. This one was pret­ty good- four view­ing an­gles meant we could ad­just for use in bed, or on a desk. This case al­so in­cludes a scratch-re­sis­tant screen, which was a bit con­fus­ing at first- we had to re­move our oth­er scratch pro­tec­tion for it to work well, so you might want to test the case be­fore com­mit­ting. This case is heav­ier than some, and built more for looks than stur­di­ness- the chrome fin­ish tend­ed to show scratch­es a bit too eas­i­ly for our nor­mal han­dling. The Swarovs­ki crys­tal ac­cent might be nice, but it’s part of the large lo­go on the back of the case, a bit too much for our tastes.

Our testers agreed- the Pur­pleRo­mance case felt like a bit of a reach. Take, for ex­am­ple, the Joy­trac­er fea­ture- a ro­man­ti­cal­ly-named ad­di­tion that might be use­ful, but is ba­si­cal­ly a ser­vice that al­lows you to reg­is­ter your iPad to a code on the case. Then, when some­one finds the iPad they can use the code to re­turn the de­vice to you. It sounds nice, but in prac­tice prob­a­bly wouldn’t do much to help, and Ap­ple’s Mo­bileMe fea­tures have ren­dered it a bit less than nec­es­sary. At $80, it’s an in­ter­est­ing all-in-one so­lu­tion, good for the style maven for whom the iPad is more of a fash­ion ac­ces­so­ry… but not so great for reg­u­lar out­door use.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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