Review: ePillow for iPad

March 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad, Reviews

Add a little comfort in your use of the iPad (or other tablets) with an ePillow. It’s exactly what it’s name sounds like. It’s a pillow stand for your iPad (or other electronic device). It has a simple design that brings comfort, keeping your hands free from holding the tablet device.

Basically it’s a soft pillow (made of suede, synthetic leather, or cotton depending on the color) that has a little holder in front to hold your device. Lay the pillow on your lap and slide in the iPad (or tablet). And then use it as you would normally do. It puts your device at a nice angle so you’re both comfortable and not straining from holding the device. Adjust the angle of the pillow to what best suits you. You can slip the device into the holder in either portrait or landscape mode.

If you’re a traveler, the ePillow is very convenient to take with you also! On the back of the pillow is a long strap. Simply slide this strap into the handle of your suitcase, and don’t worry about it falling anywhere. Use the ePillow on the plane or the car to read your books, play games, watch a movie, or even sleep on when you get tired (unless you’re the driver)!

On the front top right of the ePillow is a small pocket that’s big enough to hold your charging cable. You can store it in there when moving around.

The ePillow works with various devices, including iPad 1 and 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, Acer Iconia A500 Tab, LG Optimus Pad, HP Touchpad, Android Toughbook Tab, Sony Tab S, Asus Transformer Prime, ePad and even books!

When putting the iPad (or tablet) into the slot, a portion of the bottom part of the iPad is covered. All your frequently used apps in your dock (most likely email, Safari, etc) will be covered up when using the ePillow. But this isn’t a problem at all if you’re viewing video or movie. If you are changing apps constantly, this may be a little bit cumbersome if you’re using the apps in your dock.

Choose from a variety of materials (and colors) including suede, synthetic leather, and cotton. Currently available colors Brown, Black, Red/Grey, Aqua/Grey, Pink/Black, Black/Pink, Red/Black.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars · ePillow.net · $29.95

Disclosure: This product was sent by ePillow for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Hub Innovations Rev 360 Smart for iPad 2

March 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad, Reviews

If you find yourself walking around a lot to show screens and apps on your iPad, you may want to consider getting the Hub Innovations Rev 360 Smart Case for the iPad 2. It’s an iPad 2 case that not only fits snuggly on the iPad, but also in your hand!

Made of a soft silicone material, the case fits the iPad 2 perfectly, leaving openings for all the buttons and ports, including a side to slip your Apple Smart Cover into. To use, simply press the case in along all the sides.

What makes this case extra special is the mechanism on the back of the case. There’s a circular piece with a strap that allows you to put your hand in. Once your hand is in, spin, turn, or hold the iPad to the position that best helps you display the screen. And when you’re done displaying the screen, you can put it down on a table and the circular back becomes a stand. Turn it to be in either portrait or landscape mode. It’s about a 30 degree angle, which is perfect for typing.

If you would like higher angle, that’s where your Apple Smart cover comes into play. Place it on the iPad and turn the cover into a stand. Now it’s perfect for movie viewing.

Overall, it’s a wonderful case, especially if you enjoy holding your iPad in one hand. Being able to use the case as a stand too is a bonus. The Hub Innovations Rev 360 Smart Case is available in assortment of over 20 beautiful colors and patterns. Variations of this case is also available for iPad 1 users ($49.95), as well as iPad 2 users who do not have Apple Smart covers ($59.95). The only difference between the regular Rev 360 for iPad 2 and the Rev 360 Smart for iPad 2 is the opening for the to place the Apple Smart cover.

Rating: 4.5 our of 5 stars · $69.95 · hubinnovations.com

Disclosure: This product was sent by Hub Innovations for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Atari Arcade Duo Powered

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad, Reviews

Blast to the past with the Atari Arcade by Discovery Bay Games! It’s a retro Atari game controller for the iPad, and just the perfect gift for fans of the Atari 2600 video game console. It’s such a fun way to bring back those childhood memories!

The Atari game controller is an extension to the iPad. It’s a one-piece device with a joy stick and 4 buttons on it, as you would expect on an old arcade machine to have. On the top of the controller is a place for you to slide your iPad in. This part is a little tricky because the slot is only as big as the iPad’s charging port. Once you slide it in, click on the two locks on both sides. These locks keep the iPad in place so it doesn’t fall out while playing.

The next thing you need to do is download the Atari Greatest Hits iPad app. It’s a free iPad app with in-app purchases. The app comes with one free game. You may remember the old favorite, Missile Command. Of course you can play the game without the controller, but it’s much more fun with it!

Be sure to mount the iPad onto the the controller before launching the Atari Greatest Hits app. If you happen to launch the app first, you may need to close the app or restart the iPad. Once mounted, select a game to play and go to “Controls.” Make sure the “Atari Arcade powered by Duo” is selected. Then hit “Play.”

The joystick and buttons feels so much like the old arcade games. They even make the same clicky sounds! They could sound a little loud, but that’s what makes them great!

Play some of the old arcade favorites like Asteroids, Centipede, and Missile Command. You can purchase packages of 5+ games for just 99 cents, or purchase all 99 games for just $9.99.

One downside is that it only works with the Atari Greatest Hits iPad app. You can’t use the joystick with other games. I’d love to see this working for Pac-man one day.

Overall, the controller and the games in the apps are a lot of fun if you like the retro pixel games. They sure bring back a lot of great childhood arcade memories!

Note: The Atari Arcade controller is compatible with both the iPad and iPad 2.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars · DiscoveryBayGames.com · $59.99

Disclosure: This product was sent by Discovery Bay Games for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Woodees iPic Stylus

February 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad

There’s now an iPad / tablet stylus made with musicians in mind. It’s both stylish and functional, and may I add, quite adorable. It’s Woodees’ new iPic Stylus. It works with all touchscreen devices, and resembles a guitar pic, but with a stylus nub on the end.

The iPic offers a very natural feel for musicians, especially if they’re playing the guitar, bass, or other musical string instruments on the iPad or iPhone. You can hold it between your thumb and index finger for that natural “pick” feel. Or even hold it to “poke” at the screen to type. You can even turn the iPic to the side and strum it like a real guitar pick on your device.

For fun with musical instruments, download the free iPad app, Miso Music: Plectrum for iPad to test iPic with.

One thing I would change about the iPic is the surface of the pick. It’s a little bit slippery to hold at times. If the surface of it had some texture, it may work better even for the sweatiest fingers.

Overall, the iPic is a fun little stylus, especially for the musician at heart. It’s available in both black and white. Normally $19.99, it’s currently on sale for $14.99.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars · Woodees.com · $14.99

Disclosure: This product was sent by Woodees for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Macally Ecostand2 for iPad 2

February 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad

Is Macally Ecostand2 a case or is it a stand? It’s a little bit of both actually, and best of all, it’s eco-friendly too! This case and stand combo contains two parts — a plastic back case that fits nicely on the iPad 2 and the flexible bamboo stand.

The Case. The case is simple to put on. Simply snap the case on back of the iPad 2, and securely work your way around the edges to make sure it’s all in. It’s made of a hard plastic that’s dark gray in color. There’s cutouts for all the ports and buttons, including the back camera. The case only slightly covers the front edges. On the middle of the case is a large circular magnet. This part is used to attach to the bamboo stand.

The Bamboo Stand. The stand looks like a small cutting board but with flexible and bendable pieces in the center. To put the stand into a vertical stand, bend the bottom part down and back, and the top part at the angle you wish the iPad 2 to be in. The center piece should be at a 90 degree angle.

The stand does take a little bit of muscle power to move and position, but that’s a good thing because it means it’s sturdy when you use it as a stand. Not to mention, it looks very nice too, especially if you love bamboo.

To put the stand in a typing position, simple push the top part of the stand all the way down.

Using both the case and stand. Both the stand and case have magnetic pieces on them. To use them together, simple put the iPad 2 (with the case) onto the circular area of the stand. Be sure to use both hands when doing this. Once it’s in place, you can turn the iPad at any angle you wish. It’s one of the view stands that allow a full 360 degree rotation for various viewing angles and positions.

This stand and case combo is excellent for game playing or video viewing. And when you just want to use the iPad by itself, simple detach the iPad from the stand with a light pull.

One improvement I would make on this product is the case. The cutouts have some sharp edges that would be nicer if smooth, especially when the iPad is used without the stand. Overall, the Ecostand2 is beautiful to have and display in your home.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 starts · MacAlly.com · $39.99 · Amazon ($37.50)

Disclosure: This product was sent by Macally for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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