To use a case or not on your iPad? It's an age-old question with two staunchly divided factions. If you subscribe to the no-case philosophy -- for whatever reason -- you can probably skip this post. However, if you prefer to keep your iPad in a case, then read on.
I put cases on my gadgets for one simple reason: safety. I'm rough on them and I have two young kids. The safety and protection of a case is self-evident. Gadgets simply have a longer life-span when they're covered by something. Especially if you use them outdoors or while traveling. Out in the field high-use devices are more likely to get damaged due to a slip, drop or fall. And with kids, cases are even more essential.
I've tried a lot of different cases for the iPad, including the Apple iPad case, various skins, shells (like the Otterbox Commuter case) and sleeves (like the Waterfield sleevecase). While each has its merits, I've found what I believe to be the holy grail of iPad cases: BookBook for iPad ($69.99) from Twelve South.
For starters, it's drop dead gorgeous. It's beautifully aged and feels like an antique leather bound copy of Huckleberry Finn. I especially like that fact that the faux-book design makes it completely anonymous allowing you to go into a meeting, class, coffee shop without the inevitable "Say, is that an iPad?!" It's also extremely secure because it doesn't scream "Steal me!" when people see it. It's more like, "Oh, he's a bookworm, better leave him alone."
When you open the zipper, you'll see the iPad on the right nestled snugly under two leather corners at the bottom and held in place by an elastic band at the top. It creates a nice snug fit without obscuring any of the iPad's ports or buttons. The genius though, is in in the black leather string and button visible to the left. They allow the BookBook to be pitched into an A-frame stand for watching movies, videos or slideshows. Simply open the BookBook past 180 degrees to your desired viewing angle and bring the string under the case and tie it around the leather button. It works surprisingly well.
Twelve South also makes BookBook cases for the MacBook Pro (in two colors) that are just as beautiful. Pictured above is the iPad case sitting on top of the MBP case.
I can't recommend the BookBook for iPad enough. After using one on my MacBook Pro, I couldn't wait for the iPad version to arrive -- and I wasn't disappointed. The iPad's size and thin form factor work particularly well with a case like the BookBook and result is an awesome synthesis of form and function. Granted it's a little spendy at $70, but for this level of material and build quality, it's money well spent. After all, you spent $500-800 for your iPad, it's worth a few extra bucks to protect it.
Do you use a case on your iPad?