If you hold your breath every time you hand over your tablet to your toddler or other tiny techie, we looked at a couple of cases you might consider.
The M-Edge SuperShell case gives your iPad a big cushy foam hug. You may recall at CES in January, they were literally throwing around an iPad in their case. (Check out the video.)
First off, kids that age want to touch, hold, teethe on and torture just about everything in sight -- and a few things that aren't. That's especially true when the object in question is something you use and that comes to life with pictures and sound.
This case is made of ultra-protective closed-cell foam that helps absorb shocks and is light enough for a small child to tote around and sturdy enough to withstand the many drops the device inside will experience. It also wipes clean without too much effort.
SuperShell's design makes the audio jack and charging cable inputs difficult for little hands -- and mouths -- to get to and protects them from enduring potential water (drool) damage. They are accessible enough should they need to be used.
The rear-facing camera and speaker are cut out, so you can still video chat with grandma or hear the audio on an educational app or video.
Also, buttons for power and volume control are incorporated in the design. This, I believe, is an update from the case shown in Las Vegas.
The cases cost $34.99 on the M-Edge website and come in "Atomic Green" (seen in the video) and purple. "Jungle Green" and purple are available at Best Buy. They'll be adding blue to the color choices next week. Also coming next week is a SuperShell case for iPhone for $29.99 in pink, cobalt, black, and purple.
The one thing I would urge on an update of the iPad case is the open home button. Little hands have a way of pushing buttons they shouldn't. And with multitouch navigation on iPads, there's no need to leave it exposed.
That said, this is a case I would use daily with my own toddler now and as he grows. He can carry, drag or drop it without my fearing the end is near for the device.
The other accessory I kid-tested was Tablet Bean Bags' Teddy Bear.
In addition to being a fully huggable stuffed animal, it doubles as a tablet holder. You can prop your tablet in the bear's lap, and his movable arms grip it into place. The teddy also has anti-skid material on its tummy and hands and a bendable spine to further lock the tablet into place for games, educational apps, and video watching or chatting.
The teddy bear holder can accommodate many of the popular tablets on the market. The bear comes dressed in a matching backpack, where you can slip in the tablet for transporting. Although the removable backpack is padded, I would still probably feel more comfortable with a case on the iPad in case of accidental drops.
The $49.99 bear comes in blue swirl, pink swirl and brown traditional. This is an accessory and toy that's made for an older child of 3 years and up. If you try to go younger than that, you're actually making your tablet vulnerable. (Plus the bear has button eyes, which aren't recommended for younger children.)
While I think this tablet accessory is adorable, cuddly and does the job just fine, the price feels a smidge high for both a teddy bear and a tablet stand.
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