Whenever a new device that has had as much anticipation and coverage as the iPad the second most important thing about the device launch is; accessories. For the iPad my biggest concern was how I was going to protect it, especially when it is in my backpack for travel/school. In comes Case-mate and Speck. Both of these companies produce great quality cases that do more than look good, they also help protect your investment. I received a case from each company and have been putting them to the test over the last week or so. Which one do I prefer? I am not going to tell you quite yet..read on to find out.
The Speck PixelShield case is made of textured neoprene and has extra padding on the side the screen is intended to point towards, with a micro-fleece interior to help protect your screen from scratches when using the case. There is a handle at the top of the sleeve for carrying and/or quickly removing it from your bag. I have found that this case does a great job of proctecting my iPad. There is adequate padding on the back side of the case that I would think it would take a good bump in order to do some damage to the screen. I like the design and the look of it, with one exception. When I first received the PixelShield I immediately thought, pot holder. It has that look to it, doesn’t it? Maybe it is just the color, there is a black version on the Speck site. One thing I could do without on it is the handle, I couldn’t see myself walking through a school or an airport with this thing in my hand. Don’t get me wrong, it makes sense and I could definetly see how users would benefit from the handle, it just isn’t for me.
The Case-mate Express Nylon case is the second case I have been using with my iPad. The Express case is made with black ballistic nylon which looks great but all helps to protect your iPad. Using magnets to hold the flap secure and keep your iPad in the case even if you pick it up from the wrong side. The padding on the inside is sufficient, but there isn’t a whole lot there. This case would do a great job at protecting the iPad, but for long trips in a backpack I would be a little nervous. I love how small and compact the Express case is due to not having a handle that takes up extra space. This case is a professional looking accessory that is perfect for a business and student alike all while protecting the iPad.
The verdict: I honestly like both of these cases, I can’t say I prefer one over the other. If I am going to be traveling with my iPad in my backpack for extended amounts of time I use the PixelShield case, if I am just going to class and am walking out the door with only my iPad I grab the Express case. Both of them serve their purpose and do it rather well. I would like to see a hybrid case that combines the best features of both of these cases. The small form factor of the Express with the exterior and padding of the PixelShield. That would make a great case. You can find more information on the PixelShield on Speck’s website, or order it through the Apple website for $39.95. As for the Case-mate Express Nylon case you can find that on the Case-mate website for $34.99. Although, at the time of this writing the Express case is currently out of stock, keep checking the Case-mate site if you are looking to get one.