OK. OK. By now, most RainyDayMagazine readers know we don’t review every piece of “iGear” that hits the market, and that we are quite selective when it comes to what we actually choose to recommend. Since readers tell us that they find our approah helpful, we continue the practice. As the process takes a little longer, it was no surprise to us that with December 25 fast approaching, we got more than a few “less-than-subtle” inquiries as to when the “iGear” GiftGuide would be posted.
We took a bit longer this year not because we could not find anything…good. Just the opposite. There is an embarrassment of riches out there when it comes to accessories for the various iDevices. To come up with a list, we asked ourselves: what accessories did we use the most, what are we still using, and if we had to pick some to recommend, what would they be?
If we had to pick just one iPad accessory to recommend, it would be a case. If we had to choose one case, it would be Freedom Input’s i-Connex Combi unit. The i-Connex Combi case has a good feel, is easy to hold, and offers a solid amount of protection. It has an integrated removable SmartCover which folds into an angled stand. The back of the case houses a hidden Bluetooth keyboard. In our opinion, this case has everything we need, is well designed, and is a great value for the money. If we didn’t already have one, this is the one we would want to find under the tree on Christmas morning.
To be sure, there are also MANY other excellent iPad cases on the market. They may not offer as much as the i-Connex, but their particular strength may make them a better choice. We are happy to point out a few we think are particularly worthy:
- Business folio: Sena – Black, thin; what more do you need?
- Rugged protection: Otterbox – Don’t even bother looking elsewhere
- As the third screen: HexaPose – Fits right in with other Mac gear
- For school: ZooGue BinderPad – Turns any 3-ring binder into an encyclopedia
Of course, cases are not the only accessories for iPads and iPhones. Styli, skins, and headphones also make great gifts/stocking stuffers/last minute Yankee Swap items. Here are a few which should make them smile:
- Digital styli: Finger painting is for two-year olds (Wacom Bamboo, Lunatik)
- iPhone skins: Awesome selection of sizes and designs (DomeSkin)
- Headphone cord case: Simplest way to corral the cord (The Nest)
We have noticed a large increase in over-the-ear (OTE) headphone offerings this year. OTE headphones have been around for seventy or more years, but the segment went quiet when in-ear buds came onto the scene. However, it is clear that this piece of audio gear is making a comeback. We will be taking a more in-depth look at this category of headphones in 2013. For those looking for a suggestion, check out the 3000 Series from FannyWang Headphone Co.:
- 4-way active noise cancellation of up to 20dB – less external distractions
- Build-in power amp w/ Bass Boost – less distortion when playing loud
- 50mm dual plated drivers – big clear sound
- DuoJack splitter – to share the music
- Remote and mic – to control volume and answer calls
While it is true that iDevices have dominated the phone and tablet markets, other devices have begun to chip away at Apple’s stranglehold. The one which may actually give Apple a serious run for the money is Amazon’s Kindle Fire. We did a review of cases for the Fire earlier in the year. We are quite happy with how they have held up and have no reservations recommending them.
- Heavy-duty protection: Gumdrop DropTech series
- Everyday cover: LightWedge Verso Artist series – Cities
- Out and about: LightWedge Marrakesh
There are still almost two weeks to go before Christmas. That means that there is still time to shop, wrap presents, and get them under the tree. Tomorrow, we will take a look at a few great things we have found for those cooks on your list. Come check it out!