Put a Case On It: Protect Your iPad Day 1

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When I spend $500 on a device, I want to keep it well protected. As many know, AppleCare does not protect against accidental damage. Unfortunately, many vendors simply don’t have cases ready, and Apple’s cases are hard to come by at the moment. Naked iPads? For someone as paranoid as me, I shudder at the thought.

I sent out an “all call” for iPad cases and agreed to only look at cases that are ready for sale today, not pre-production or preview units. These are all cases that vendors told me are in stores or able to be ordered online for immediate delivery. Here are some of the ones I liked.

Belkin Pleat Sleeve: $39.99

The Belkin pleat sleeve is a basic iPad sleeve with something extra. The front pleats aren’t just stylish, but provide a thick cushion to give extra protection to the screen from daily mishaps as well as provide a pocket for your headphones and other accessories. I was able to fit quite a bit of stuff in that little pocket. This will be the normal in which I carry my iPad. The front pocket is the killer feature for me.

Hard Candy Bubble Sleeve: $49.95

As Chris wrote, Hard Candy was ready for the iPad release today and easily got me a case for the new member of the family. The Bubble Sleeve provides serious protection. This isn’t a typical neoprene sleeve. The case has thick, sturdy padding on all sides to protect your new investment. Similar to the Belkin sleeve, the Bubble Sleeve has extra cushioning to protect the screen. What I like about this case in particular are the red rubber grips that hold the iPad securely in place. This case will be my travel case. I’ll want to add a little bulk if I’m going to be putting this in an overhead bag or under a seat on the plane. The Bubble Sleeve will be perfect for students who will put 30 pounds of books in a backpack along with their iPad.

Griffin Elan Passport: $49.99

The Elan Passport is weak on protection, but strong on style. While it provides a hard front and back for the iPad, it does nothing to cushion it or protect the sides. Very similar to Apple’s iPad Case, the Passport is a portfolio. Open it up and you’ll have your iPad to the right and slots for business cards and other information on the left. I’d use this case for daily work on the job to maintain a professional and classy image. This is the case I’d want to see on my doctor’s desk.

Three very different cases, all available today. The future will bring more of these protective gizmos, but Precious needs one today! How can I even think of leaving this “magical” and “revolutionary” device unprotected? Apple’s loss is Belkin’s, Hard Candy’s and Griffin’s gain.

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