Review: Incipio’s new Clarion, Faraday & Tuxen folio cases offer three small twists on iPad Air 2 protection

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Having reviewed hundreds of different models over the years, I can say with some authority that iPad cases are rarely “exciting.” Early on, Apple established the folio — a lidded sleeve with the ability to stand upright for videos — as the de facto standard for iPad case design, and perhaps half of all the iPad cases since then have followed the same general theme, differing more in materials than functionality. Incipio’s latest designs for the iPad Air 2 are all small riffs on the same idea: fabric lids connected to plastic iPad holders, varying more in the particulars than the broad strokes.

We’re taking a quick look today at three cases: Clarion ($35), Faraday ($40), and Tuxen ($50). Despite their varied MSRPs, they can all be had for between $31 and $33 through Amazon, with some color options going for higher prices. Functionally, they’re very similar to one another: all three support both video and typing angles, protect most of the iPad against scratches and dings, and use magnets to automatically turn the iPad’s screen off or on when it’s closed or opened. Read on for what makes them different from one another…

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The Best iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus Battery Cases

It’s a great time to buy an iPhone 6 battery case. Last year, there were zero Apple-certified options, but today, there are a handful of good to great choices at various price points. They may look similar to each other in the picture above, but the sea of black shells masks some important differences in iPhone protection, battery recharging capabilities, and pricing. One stands out as a particularly excellent combination for the iPhone 6, and we also have a good pick for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Which iPhone 6 battery case should you buy? The most recent update to this piece on February 23, 2015 added new options! Read on for all the details…

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Review: Incipio’s steel-pinned Trestle case makes iPhone 6 Plus unbendable

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Finding supposedly major flaws in new Apple products has become an expected part of the early review process — it’s now assumed that there will be a new “-gate” every year, legitimate or not. For the iPhone 6 Plus, the issue was “Bendgate,” as early adopters found that the 7.1mm-thin metal phone could be warped if sat upon or flexed in strong hands. Citing only a small number of complaints, Apple deemed Bendgate a non-issue, and sources dismissed claims that Apple had tweaked the design after initial release to strengthen its internal structure. But Apple Stores also replaced bent units without complaint, so long as the damage was determined to be unintentional.

While Bendgate was overblown, there are real-world situations where the iPhone 6 Plus can be subjected to warp-causing stresses — particularly inside pants pockets when sitting down. So Incipio has developed a solution called Trestle ($40) to solve the problem. Sold in all-black, frost and black, or frost and pink versions, Trestle uses twin steel bars to radically reduce flex potential. After a week of testing, I can tell you that it definitely works.

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The best cases for the new iPad Air 2 & iPad mini at CES 2015

Yesterday we kicked off our running list of the best iPhone cases on show at CES 2015, and today we’ve started collecting the new and interesting iPad cases we’ve run into at the show. Some of the notables include a new case from AT&T that gives Wi-Fi only iPads access to LTE data in addition to a battery pack and microSD slot, and a new folio case from Incipio that adds a small display for smartwatch-like notifications without opening the cover.

Head below for the full list of the new iPad cases, most of which are scheduled to arrive sometime in the weeks and months to come. Read more

The best iPad, iPhone + Mac accessories at the 2015 CES

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There are thousands of new Apple accessories at the 2015 CES – so many that it’s hard sometimes to separate what’s truly cool from everything else. Starting with HomeKit-integrated accessories, here’s our running list of the best new iPad, iPhone, and Mac products 9to5Mac has seen at the show. We updated this article on January 9, 2015 – the final day of CES – to include our last batch of top picks.

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The latest gadgets from CES 2015 to bring HomeKit automation and Siri integration to your setup

At WWDC 2014, Apple first announced HomeKit which it describes as a “framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected accessories” around your home, and we’re starting to see the first HomeKit-enabled accessories announced. HomeKit is especially interesting as smart devices that use it can be controlled by Siri commands like “turn off the lights” or “lock the front door” and actions can even be grouped together. Below you’ll find our running list of the latest gadgets from CES 2015 to bring HomeKit automation and Siri integration to your home: Read more

Incipio debuts Prompt Notification Folio, first iPad folio with OLED screen for watch-style notifications

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As a particularly interesting addition to its very wide new range of cases, Incipio today debuted Prompt Notification Folio for iPad Air 2 ($90) — the first iPad case with an integrated OLED screen capable of displaying phone-style notifications, shared either from an always-connected iPhone or the iPad inside. Head below for a closer look.  Read more

The best iPhone cases & battery packs on show at CES 2015

There is a never ending supply of new iPhone cases at CES again this year, so we’ve decided to roundup the best of the best below. Some of the cases include backup batteries, others offer charging via built-in solar panels, and one includes a detachable Bluetooth speaker. One of the new cases even claims to “defend against the bend,” a jab at the iPhone 6 Plus bending controversy of last year. Head below for the run down on the growing list of iPhone cases launching at CES: Read more

Incipio unveils new three new pieces of HomeKit-ready automation gear

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Incipio today unveiled a new lineup of iOS- and HomeKit-compatible automation tools during the Consumer Electronics Show. The three new pieces of tech will be available in stores in Q2 2015.

The first two items on the list are very similar: the Direct Wireless Smart Outlet and the Direct Wireless Smart Power strip. Both provide users with the ability to activate and control electric devices from a smartphone using the upcoming Incipio Direct app.

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Review: Incipio’s offGRID Express is the most affordable Apple-authorized iPhone 6 battery case

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If I had to choose one word to describe how Incipio’s past iPhone offGRID battery cases felt, it would probably be “svelte,” as they were all impressively thin and gently curved. Starting today, Incipio is shipping its first offGRID case for the iPhone 6, and it notably trades “svelte” for “edgy” design. Offered only in matte black, it’s called offGRID Express ($80), and Incipio claims it’s the first Apple-certified iPhone 6 battery case that’s actually available for consumers to purchase. This time, the back is somewhat angular, due in part to a larger battery pack than prior models, and the sides are equipped with the fancy metallic button protectors rival Mophie has only offered in its most expensive Juice Packs.

Incipio’s message is clear: by offering 3000mAh of power at an $80 price point, offGRID Express is practically daring Mophie – and any other Apple MFi-licensed manufacturer – to step up and take a swing at its value proposition. Yes, comparatively unknown vendors are selling cheaper options, and Tylt offers a 3200mAh, Apple-licensed alternative called Energi for $100, but offGRID Express actually matches it in recharging performance for a lower price. It’s positioned directly at consumers who care about both quality and cost, not just one or the other. Read more

The best new iPad Air (and Retina iPad mini) cases from around the web

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Since Apple announced the all-new iPad Air alongside the second generation iPad mini, all of the big case makers are now announcing the cases they’ve been working on for the devices in the months leading up to the announcement. With the new iPad Air arriving in just over a week on Nov. 1, we thought it would be good to roundup some of the best cases that have already been announced for the device in addition to Apple’s new leather Smart Case ($79.99) and polyurethane Smart Cover ($39.99) for the iPad Air pictured above:

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Incipio and AT&T team up to launch NFC-enabled ISIS iPhone wallet

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Live from the CES show floor at the Las Vegas convention center, accessory maker Incipio just finished showing us their new product for iPhone. Known as a Cashwrap, and landing in March 2013, it is an NFC-enabled iPhone case that allows iOS users to take advantage of the ISIS Mobile Wallet service that officially launched in October on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon for NFC-enabled Android devices in select regions. Incipio also informed us that it has teamed up with AT&T on the project—making Cashwrap AT&T’s ISIS solution for iPhone coming.

The product will launch for iPhone 4 and 4S initially and will be available for sale through AT&T brick-and-mortar locations for $60 to $70. Incipio’s full press release and a short video of the Cashwrap up close and personal from the CES show floor below: Read more