Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard all about Apple’s fabulous new Smart Cover. Does that mean accessory makers are giving up and taking their ball home? Not by a long shot. In fact, this week’s roundup of new and recently announced iPad 2 accessories is dominated by devices that let you go hands-free by propping up your tablet.
Adith: The UK company already has a hot seller in its U-bar wall-mounting kit for the iPad. Adith says a U-bar2 is now in development and will accommodate the iPad 2; no price or shipping date has been given.
Element: If you’ve got a few more bucks to drop on displaying your iPad 2, Element’s Joule Chroma series of stands might be worth a look. The stand has a magnetic “tilt foot” that lets users adjust the angle of their viewing; rubber pads on the bottom help the stand grip the surface it’s on, and a speaker port helps amplify sound when the tablet is in portrait mode. The stand comes in six colors, costs $150, and begins shipping April 6.
Hinge: LA-based designer William Tang is trying to attract funding for his Hinge for iPad, a folding V-shaped birch-and-leather display stand that can prop the tablet in either portrait or landscape modes. When not in use, the product can fold shut and slip into a user’s pocket. Tang is using Kickstarter.com to attract pre-order pledges of $25 minimum to begin production of the product. As of Friday, he had 30 days remaining in his effort.
Pendle: Another UK company, Pendle, doesn’t have to do much redesign of its iPad stand to accommodate the new tablet. But the company is announcing that it is celebrating the launch of the iPad 2 with a “limited edition” of the product, which displays a tablet at two angles—inclined or reclined. The item is available for £25—around $40 in American currency—and is available now.
tyPad: Of course, you don’t just want to look at your iPad 2—you want to do stuff on it. Accessory Workshop has announced production of the new tyPad for iPad 2. The device encloses your tablet in a leatherette case—there’s a port that allows for use of the tablet’s front camera—along with a Bluetooth silicone keyboard. The $100 product will ship in April.
JBL: There are accessories that don’t involve propping up iPad, too. JBL this week introduced its new OnBeat speaker dock, which is compatible with both generations of iPad, as well as the iPhone and iPod touch. In addition to offering 360-degree sound, the device can also stream video content to a television via an optional composite cable. OnBeat is $150, and is available for purchase in Best Buy stores.