iChair for iPad (1st Generation) Reviewed by Tom Slayton
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Hinged, rotating tab on the back portion of the case allows your iPad to stand in either portrait or landscape orientation. A second tab serves to raise the top portion of your iPad slightly in landscape mode to allow more comfortable typing. Comes complete with a screen protector, squeegee, and a spare slider (top portion of the case) in either blue or white.
What's Not: iPad must be completely removed from the case before it can be used with most docks, such as Apple?s keyboard dock.
The iChair provides basic bump and scuff protection for your iPad. What sets this case apart, however, is the inclusion of two hinged tabs that can be snapped-out to stand your phone in both vertical and horizontal orientations.
Size and Fit
The iChair for iPad fits, literally, like a glove. The soft, textured interior hugs your iPad without marring it. The two pieces fit together in seconds and do not come apart without deliberate pressure applied to both pieces. All of the ports and switches are easily accessible; however, the cutout for the docking port is only large enough to accommodate docking by cable, in most cases. The good news is, however, the case comes apart in seconds so it is entirely feasible to pop it off/on when needed.
Features and Quality
The iChair feels very substantial and durable, yet doesn?t add a great deal of weight. If you had to pick something to wrap your iPad in, you would very likely pick the soft, foamy material that lines the iChair. It grips your iDevice firmly, yet will not scratch it. The rubberized exterior makes it comfortable to hold and doesn?t feel slippery when your hand sweats.
Its greatest assets, however, are the hinged tabs that are built into the back of the case. They pop out with the flick of a finger and support your iPad in a variety of ways. The primary tab will firmly support your iPad in the vertical orientation. However, who likes to watch movies in portrait mode? Cleverly, this tab swivels so that your iPad will stand horizontally, as well. There is also an additional tab that is designed to slightly elevate the top portion of your iPad (in landscape mode). This makes typing a bit more comfortable, and allows you to see what you are typing without staring down at your iPad, vulture-style. As with the iPhone version, the tabs themselves are hinged. This is important as a simple flap of plastic will eventually break with use. I punished these tabs relentlessly and they never felt anything but rock-solid.
While black seems to be the dominant color for iPad cases, the folks at iChair allow you to select a second slider (top portion) in either blue or white at no additional charge. I?m guessing that the lower portion of the case, which contains the tabs, is a bit more complicated to manufacture in different colors than the top. Including a second slider is a nice touch. While I don?t particularly care for the two-tone look, I?m sure there are plenty of people out there who are ready to disagree with me.
Like the iChair for iPhone 4, the iPad version is a well-engineered case that incorporates a kickstand allowing you to stand your iPad in either the vertical or horizontal orientation. While the iPad is svelte compared to any computer, it has enough mass that you won?t be leaning it against a coffee cup, for instance. This case does a great job of providing a secure way to prop-up your device, effectively serving two functions simultaneously (bump protection/stand). I was a bit disappointed to find that I couldn?t use it with my keyboard dock, however, it is simple to remove/reinstall.