The holidays are here for much of the country, but in between the family reunions, long meals, and gift-unwrapping sessions, there's still time to take a look at what's new in the world of iPad cases. In this week's roundup, we've got everything from the elegant to the rugged.
Blue Lounge: The Bonobo Series of bags (iPad and iPad 2; $45 to $150) are designed specifically to help you carry your electronics around. The various models, each built using recycled post-consumer PET plastics, can carry everything from phones to tablets to laptops in a variety of convenient configurations.
Bracketron: If you're looking for an inexpensive way to protect, use, and care for your iPad, Bracketon's SuiteGear Kit (iPad 2; $20) includes a polyurethane cover for your iPad 2, a capacitive stylus, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a digital screen cleaning gel at a price that's difficult to beat. Even better, the case is transparent, letting the iPad's natural beauty shine through, and it works with Apple's Smart Cover.
Booq: The Folio (iPad 2; $40) is, as the company's website advertises, simple and understated, favoring elegance over flash. Its folio-style design makes it ideal for use as a viewing stand, and a couple of strategically-placed rubber strips help keep the case and tablet stable. The Folio is available in white, blue, red, or black.
Evio: The Harmony (iPad 2; $40) is a folio made with faux-leather in a stylish two-color design; it can be used to prop up your tablet as a viewing or typing stand. The case features all the appropriate openings for cameras, buttons, and ports, and it takes advantage of the iPad 2's magnetic sleep/wake feature.
F3 Designs: The F3 Folio (iPad and iPad 2; $80 to $180) is made entirely out of wood, with an exterior veneer of teak, mahogany, ebony, or zebrawood, and designed to carry your iPad in a safe and natural protective environment. A $15 option provides a strategically-placed slot at the top of the case for compatibility with credit card readers.
Frappe Design: The Smart Sleeve (iPad 2; $65 to $119) is made entirely out of soft leather materials that allow it to work as a typing or viewing stand with minimal bulk. It's compatible with Apple's Smart Cover and magnetic sleep/wake feature, and Frappe offers three lines: the Executive Series, available in smooth or textured black, smooth orange, or textured red; the Limited Editions, available in brown full-grain leather, brown suede, or bonded natural leather; and the Exotic Series, available in blue or pink ostrich leather.
GermanMade: The company's iPad cases (iPad and iPad 2; €70 to €80) are designed to look like books, but can store one of Apple's tablets, either solo or together with an iPhone. (The latter model, called the g.2, even includes a bit of extra space for stationery and cables.) Made of wood with a high-quality paper backing (leather is a €40 option), the cases are available in some twelve interior colors and either a white or black exterior. (Hat tip to TUAW.)
Papernomad: Can you make a case out of paper? The folks at Papernomad have gone and done just that, with their case (iPad and iPad 2; €43) built from eco-friendly, paper-composite material wrapped around soft sheep wool for maximum protection. As a bonus, the outside of the case is designed to work just like regular paper, and the company even encourages its customers to doodle on it and create their own customized look.
Pelican: The HardBack (iPad and iPad 2; $85) is built out of high-impact plastic and designed for extreme environments. It's crushproof and waterproof, with a special automatic purge valve to equalize the internal air pressure and keep air and dust out. The internal foam liner keeps everything safe and provides plenty of protection. There's even room to store Apple's Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard.
Zagg: The ZaggFolio (iPad 2; $99), which we covered in our iPad-keyboard buying guide, combines a battery-powered Bluetooth keyboard and a folio case for the iPad 2. The ZaggFolio now comes in a variety of colors: blue, red, black, lime, pink, orange, and purple for the polyurethane version, and orange, tan, black, and brown for the leather version.