iBallz is by far the most unique iPad protection we’ve seen, to date. iBallz is a stabilizing, and shock absorbing, harness for iPad and other tablets. It’s essentially a set of 4 very dense foam balls strung together with an elastic cord and a drawstring. Each ball has a cutout for the corner, or a side, of an iPad. With an iBall on each corner, your iPad will finally be able to survive drops and falls.
iBallz offers superior protection for your iPad around the home and office. iBallz just released four new cases to offer iPad superior protection while in transit. We got the opportunity to review the iBallz Lid, a neoprene folding sleeve with a velcro fastener. The Lid wouldn’t be an iBallz product if it wasn’t unlike any other case out there. Lid is designed to work exclusively with iBallz. It’s one piece with four folding flaps. The outside is a protective black neoprene and the interior is a very soft, furry, teal-colored lining. The flaps of the Lid case are inserted between the iPad and the elastic cord that runs around the parameter of iPad. When three of the flaps are between iPad and the cord, the main flap can velcro to the front for full iPad protection, or it can velcro to the back of iPad to offer easy access to iPad and a back handle. With the main flap velcroed to the back of iPad, you can slip your hand or arm between the back of iPad and the Lid to prop your iPad upright. This is actually a pretty convenient way to hold iPad. If you’re sitting down or standing up, it’s an easy way to type, or show off pictures, without having to grip the border of iPad for its sweet dear life. Though it’s not intended for this, the Lid case can also prop up your iPad in landscape mode by resting the main flap on the surface and folding the two small flaps backwards. This is ideal for watching movies or videos.
iBallz is an awkward-looking solution for delivering some serious iPad protection. Awkward or not, it does work very well. I even tested it out with a few small drops. As long as the drawstring is tight, it should be sure to survive some not-so-small drops. If you rearrange iBallz and only use one iBall on the center top of iPad, the last ball can be situated under the iPad to tilt it towards you. This makes for an easier typing environment. One iBall has extra grooves on the sides of its cutout for an iPad lock button. Regardless of which iBall is on the lock button corner, only a little piece of the lock button will be accessible.
The Lid case is also on the awkward side, with all of the flaps. But, once you get used to it, you’ll find it’s pretty useful and very comfortable to hold. The Lid case offers your iPad even more protection then just iBallz; it makes it very safe to travel with. It gives you two new ways of propping iPad upright–the intended way is by using the back as a handle for your hand or arm to slide through, the unintended way is using the flaps to prop it up landscape mode on a table. This will eliminate a lot of the fingerprints you have covering the borders of iPad.
iBallz is technically made for any tablet, but this will really only apply if the tablet is as thin or thinner then iPad. The website indicates it works perfectly with a kindle. The iBallz balls come in black, gray, or teal (“blue”). A set of iBallz costs $19.95. The Lid case costs $29.95. They’re both currently available from iBallz.info and shipping is not included.
Update 11/24/2010: Use code TURKEY at checkout to receive 30% discount and free shipping until November 29th.
The Good: Superior Protection, Affordable, can be used to tilt iPad towards user
The Bad: Strange looking, No screen protection when traveling with device, tough to hit iPad lock button
The Good: Very Comfortable, Offers great protection
The Bad: Awkward design with flaps, only works with iBallz