What are the best ways to protect your computer, tablet, and phones? I’ve been looking at some of the most clever and creative products that offer helpful solutions.
InCase Tensaerlite Bumper Sleeve
Many companies make neoprene and fabric sleeves to hold your notebook computer, but this device goes well beyond that. It’s a sleeve with a precision molded-in rubber bumper hidden inside the case that provides a wide resilient frame around your notebook. The computer slides into a slot at one end or side by opening a magnetic flap. As it slides in, it drops into a soft lined compartment. Once inside, the case protects the computer from serious drops and tumbles. The case is slim enough to fit into another briefcase. It’s one of the cleverest designs available and works well. It’s available for most MacBooks and costs about $70 at Incase.
Apple iPad Pro Leather Case
Apple has released a beautiful leather case that houses the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro with the Apple Keyboard attached. It holds the Apple Pencil as well in a clever pocket that locks the pencil in place. It’s lined in leather and microfiber to protect the iPad from scratches. Available in a choice of four colors. $129
Element Case for iPhones and Galaxy Phones
While you can buy a protective phone case for under $10, what can you get for $149 or more? Element Case has been designing cases machined out of aluminum and other rugged materials and has created a line that’s like nothing else. One example is their Sector case that combines aerospace grade carbon fiber and CNC machined aluminum, which allows it to meet military specification drop tests. Some of their cases have built-in clips and come with fabric sleeves that can attach to your belt. The buttons to control volume and power are precision made and work as well as the buttons on the phones themselves. While the cost is high, adding one of their cases is almost like getting a new phone.
ZipBrief from Waterfield Designs
This just-released slim briefcase fits a large iPad, notebook, charger and a few other accessories in slim, easy-to-carry form factor. It unzips on three sides to allow it to be opened for airport inspections and it slips over the handle of a wheeled suitcase. Two internal mesh pockets hold additional accessories including pens, the Apple Pencil, Surface Pen or other writing instruments. The case is available in a choice of materials, including tan waxed canvas with a choice of leather trim, or black ballistic nylon with chocolate or black leather trim. Its zippers are completely waterproof and the sturdy material with cushioned interior provides good protection for its contents. The ZipBrief comes in three sizes to fit laptops from 12 to 15 inches. Manufactured in San Francisco. $219 to $239 direct from the manufacturer.
LifeProof Phone Cases
It’s hard to compile a list of protective cases and leave out the LifeProof cases. Originally developed for the iPhone 5, there are now models to fit many models of phones from Apple, Samsung, Google, Motorola, and LG. There are two types, one without a transparent cover over the display (NÜÜD) and one with the cover (FRĒ). Both provide protection to two meters under water for an hour, as well as protection against dust, dirt, and drops. $90
Journal Wallet Case
Twelve South is a Charleston, S.C. company that makes thoughtfully designed accessories just for Apple products. Their new wallet case for the iPhone is one of the nicest available. It’s made of smooth leather with a folding front cover with slots for credit cards. A plastic cradle holds the phone securely. The case can be folded back to provide a viewing stand for watching movies. Available in tan and black. $70
Logitech Hinge iPad Case
Logitech has the lightest and most compact cases for the iPad. They’ve improved with each generation and provide the best solution for a case to cover both the front and back. Their Hinge model has an adjustable stand and a magnetic closure that turns on and off your iPad, just like the Apple covers. $60.
Lastly, Vaja, an Argentinian company, creates some of the most beautiful leather cases for phones and other products. They come in a variety of textured leathers in a variety of colors and designs, some with built-in covers and some with pockets for credit cards. They range in price from about $80 to as much as $150, but often have some on sale for less.
What all these products show is that for every new electronic product, there are scores of companies creating products to carry, cover, decorate and protect it. In fact, according to Credence Research, the mobile phone protective case market alone is estimated to be US$13 billion in 2016. And there’s often as much creativity in the cases as in the products themselves.