This week we bring you another accessory double-header; this time featuring the MyHandstand Hand Holder Strap and the Mophie Workbook, both for the iPad 2.
MyHandstand Hand Holder Strap
Like the waterproof DryCASE, the MyHandstand Hand Holder Strap is an iPad 2 case that targets specific users – in this case, professionals on their feet that use an iPad 2 for much of the day. Think Darrell of The Office before his promotion, tracking warehouse inventory or a nurse looking at your vital stats; an insurance adjuster in the field arriving at an estimate or a hostess checking on the wait time for your table. The $39.95 MyHandstand is a snug case with a thick, elastic strap on the back that lets you easily and securely hold the tablet with one hand for prolonged periods of time. It’s a well-built case, though I would expect future versions of the product to improve on the plastic plate that holds the elastic strap.
The MyHandstand features a tough yet flexible thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) case. It fits snugly around the iPad, but it isn’t so tight that slipping the iPad 2 in and out of the case is an impossible chore. It also features cutouts for iPad 2’s ports and controls along with pliable covers for the volume rocker and power button. The case should protect the iPad 2 against scrapes and scratches, but the rubbery TPU case is fairly thin, giving doubts to how much damage it will prevent should you drop the iPad 2 on a hard linoleum hospital floor or, worse, a concrete warehouse floor. The upshot of the thin, TPU material is the case weighs less than a half a pound (7.75 ounces, to be exact) and maintains the iPad 2’s sleek style.
On the back of the case, a plastic plate is affixed to a pivoting mount. A thick, plastic strap is threaded through the plate, which you can adjust to wrap tightly around your hand. A soft, rubber cushion with grooves for your fingers rests against the top of your hand when in the strap, and on the other side, four grooves on the plastic plate keep your hand securely in place. The grooves on the plastic plate aren’t the most ergonomic in design; they may not afford the most comfortable fit, depending on your hand size.
The pivoting mount lets you find the right angle for operating the iPad 2, in either portrait or landscape mode. You can also rotate it so that when you place the iPad 2 on a flat surface, it can act as a stand providing a useful viewing angle.
If you use an iPad 2 for much of the workday, the MyHandstand could make your job easier, alleviating the hand stress of gripping the iPad 2 hour after hour while also providing some piece of mind with the protection the TPU case affords.
Finally, an iPad case worth owning. After reviewing a number of cases that came up short in one area or another, the Mophie Workbook case for the iPad 2 arrived on my desk this week. It offers both style and protection, along with full access to the iPad 2’s ports and controls, magnetic integration that wakes and puts to sleep the tablet, and the ability to convert to a stand that offers a wide degree of viewing angles. At $49.95, the Mophie Workbook isn’t the cheapest iPad case out there, but given its luxurious styling and useful features, I think it’s well worth the price.
The Mophie Workbook is a folio-style case made from a synthetic leather. The material used (a fine Corinthian pleather?) feels plush, and the stitching around the edges looks well sewn. The interior of the case is made from a soft material that will help protect the iPad 2’s screen and aluminum back from scratches.
The iPad 2 slides easily into and out of the case, and yet it fits very snugly — a difficult combination to pull off. The iPad 2 is held in place by a strong Velcro latch, and the frame around screen leaves a bit of the iPad 2’s bezel visible, obviating worries that it will encroach on the screen. Cutouts on the top and bottom leave the front-facing camera and power button exposed, and around back small cutouts keep the rear-facing camera and speaker grill exposed. Lastly, cutouts on the sides leave all the ports and controls easily accessible.
The lid includes a magnet that allow the iPad 2 to wake when you open the case, and it puts it to sleep when it’s closed. A high-quality elastic strap can be attached, which keeps the lid securely closed during travel. You can then flip the strap around to the back of the case to open it. You can also replace the strap by slipping it off the two pleather loops on the back of the case and choosing from the three other straps that are included in the box. Oddly, two of the three straps are just different shades of pink. The other two are gray and blue. We reviewed the white Mophie Workbook; there is also a black model that comes with blue, pink, yellow, and black interchangeable straps.
The lid can be folded back and beneath the iPad 2, creating an incredibly useful stand. There’s enough resistance between the pleather edge of the case framing the iPad 2 and the pleather lid that you can position the iPad 2 from a 90-degree angle to about 45 degrees without it slipping.
With the lid, frame, and back piece all made from a plush pleather material, the Mophie Workbook isn’t the thinnest and lightest iPad case, but we don’t mind the added heft because of the quality of materials used. When housing an iPad 2, the case measures one inch thick and weighs 1.93 pounds (up from the iPad’s weight by itself of 1.32 pounds).
In the end, the Mophie Workbook is worth the weight and money. It’s made from high-quality materials and boasts a great look, a snug fit, easy access to all of the iPad’s controls and features, and the ability to convert into a useful stand. Mophie backs the WorkBook with a one-year warranty.