is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
With the next major revision to the iPad rumored to be announced as soon as next week, I figure I’d better get any iPad 2-specific posts I’ve had in the hopper posted quickly. In particular, I’ve been wanting to write about cases for a while, mostly because it took me nine or ten months to find a case combination that really works for me.
For a long time, I was very disappointed with the Apple Smart Cover, which to me is an example of a fantastic design on paper that in real life fell short of expectations. I always found it fell off its magnetic hinge too easily, and after toting my iPad to and from work for only a few months, its edges quickly became frayed.
But then I came across the iPad 2 Smart Feather from Incipio, a lightweight hardshell case that hugs the back of the iPad. A lot of cases do this, but this was the first I came across that also clasps around the Smart Cover’s hinge, securing it tightly.
Neither does it add much in the way of bulk to the device. So little, in fact, that when I recently bought a Logitech Zagg keyboard case, I was happy to discover that the Smart Feather fits comfortably in the Zagg’s slot. The Zagg is also designed to let you collapse the iPad on top of the keyboard for carrying them together, a configuration that still mostly works when you have the Smart Feather on the device. It’s not a perfect fit, but it does the job.
I’ve been using all three accessories — Smart Cover, Smart Feather case and Logitech Zagg keyboard — as I’ve been doing more and more of my ‘real work’ tasks on the iPad. Having a real keyboard is a huge help, and being able to carry the iPad anywhere without having to handle it too delicately has been a boon too. It all seems to be coming together… just in time for me to buy a new model.+