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It makes a pretty good picture frame, too.

iPad Case by Guided Products
Category: Cases
Works With: iPad 2G and newer
Price: $7ish

Remember that $7 cardboard iPad case I wrote about a couple of weeks back? I’ve 2 below in my apartment, and I’ve actually been testing them out for the last week. The evaluation follows, but below’s the short form: They are surprisingly excellent, they are outstanding insulators, they benefit making buying lists.

What It Is

It’s a cardboard case, and it comes pre-assembled in natural cardboard brownish or elegant white. The case comes pre-assembled (that is, it’s glued along 2 edges after being folded into shape) meanings that it uses up more room than it ought to when shipping.

The case, from Guided Products, also has a couple of velcro dots to keep it closed, and there are cutouts for everything, including the front-facing FaceTime camera. The case works like Apple’s initial iPad 1 case, with the tablet moving in fro the left, and a flap tucks in keep it in place.

In brief, it’s every bit as full-featured as a “normal” case, just it’s made of cardboard.

The Good

This flap turns the case into a stand for movie-watching or typing.

It’s cheap. That could be the biggest selling point for some individuals, but in the end it may be less costly to get a $30 plastic case. The reason is that cardboard wears out, and if you get it wet you are nearly done for.

You’ll get a couple of hard leave of this case prior to the iPad inside even feels it.

Given the intrinsic restrictions, though, the case is surprisingly durable. The cardboard is of the corrugated kind discovered in supermarket boxes (just thinner), and so it’s a built-in air cushion in every sheet. Add to this the truth that the oversized corners will crumple on impact and you’ll get a couple of difficult leave of this case prior to the iPad inside even feels it. I discussed a cardboard bike helmet a couple of years ago which is now in manufacturing, and if it’s good enough for my melon, then it’s good enough for my iPad.

The cardboard is also light. Incredibly light in truth. Add to this the velcro fasteners and you’ve just about the best case to hold your iPad inside another bag.

I likewise like the built-in stand, which works by creasing the front cover and tucking its edge into a flap on the back. It’s simple however works remarkably well. I am likewise a fan of the cardboard itself, makings it simple to scrawl pictures and notes onto the surface.

The case is wonderful for modding, too. You can stick stickers, run gaffer tape slog the edges to make it last longer, or even glue or tape a magnet onto the from to trigger the iPad’s sleep/wake function. In truth, I fully expect this case to become a fixture at trade convention, an excellent free gift when printed up with business logo designs.

The Bad

It’s cardboard. This indicates it gets soaked when wet, and expands when it dries out again. It’s prone to cuts and scratches, and it’s a wonderful insulator. Exactly what?

Yes, it insulates. If you enjoy movies with the iPad 3 (simple to do with the strong built-in stand) then you’ll notice that the iPad gets rather hot. That’s because of the wallets of air inside the cardboard sheets, which stop that heat from dissipating.

You’ll observe that the iPad gets pretty hot

The case is likewise a little loose, letting the iPad rattle around somewhat. In practice this is no big deal as the case will get warped after a couple of weeks (or days, deepening on how difficult you treat it) and conform much better to the iPad’s curves.

Other than that, though, there’s very little to complain about.

The Conclusion

Still life with stand and cow-skin rug.

This case makes a terrific novelty present, and is ideal if you are the kind of sap who likes to hold his children’ inefficient drawing with him all over. But it’s likewise a surprisingly capable case. If you keep it away from its Kryptonite (water), then it must actually last a good very long time (note: you must be keeping your iPad far from water anyway).

And finally, when you are done you can simply toss it in with the recycling. I ‘d suggest this case if you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. I simply want there was a version for the mini (although I might probably simply make one). One thing to keep in mind: These can be found in packs of three, currently on offer for $17. That’s still low-cost, and you’ll have spares.