Holiday Shopping Guide: The best docks, stands, cases, & cables for your iPad mini

With iPad mini introducing a brand new set of dimensions for case manufacturers, most have not been as quick as with previous iPad launches to get products on the market. In the first couple of weeks of the product’s launch, only a handful of well-known accessory makers were taking orders, and we unfortunately saw many cheap 7-inch Android cases repurposed and sold as iPad mini compatible.

Apple’s new Lightning connector standard was of course another hurdle, and means there are not nearly as many available third-party docks, keyboards, adapters, etc., as iOS device owners have come to expect.

Below, we have put together a guide to the best of the best iPad mini accessories we could find that are currently available to order and shipping before the holidays:

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Supposed iPad 3 case compared to iPad 2, suggests bigger battery and different screen and camera

(Updated with higher res image. Click to enlarge)

Repair Labs (via MacRumors) said it got ahold of an iPad 3 case that has numerous differences from an iPad 2—listed below:

A. You can see here that the mounts for the logic board are very different, which means the logic board shape will be different allowing for . . . .

B. More battery. The width of where the logic board sits on the iPad 2 appears much larger than that of the iPad 3. We have long heard that the iPad 3 was going to provide longer battery life, and this back housing seems to support that. [Ed: Actually, this could be to compensate for the additional power draw of the screen and possibly a faster processor]

C. The camera is different. It is hard to make a judgment just by looking at the casing, but what we can expect is a different camera on the iPad 3 than what we had on the 2.

D. LCD will be different than what we have had before. Whether or not it will be the super screen we have seen reported will have to wait. But the different mounting does mean that the LCD has been redesigned at the very least.

The report said the iPad 3 case was not noticeably thicker than the iPad 2, countering previous rumors that the new iPad would be thicker.

It is hard to vouch for the authenticity of the case above, but the changes mentioned do seem to mesh with what’s floated around.

 

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It won’t survive a waist high drop, but yet iPhone 4S lands safely from the outer space

Alright, calling it outer space is a little over the top as weather balloons may typically reach altitudes of 40km (25 miles) or more, which is still in the atmosphere, but still…

So these guys paid an eye-brow raising tribute to Steve Jobs in their own unique way, by launching two iPhone 4Ss into space by attaching them to a weather balloon. Yeah, I know, it’s an old trick, but the phones are new and do 1080P video. One of the phones had an interval photo timer app running while the other captured video. They explained:

We launched 2 iPhone 4S phones with a weather balloon to go up to 100,000. We put one of the iPhone 4S’s on an interval photo timer app and the other on video mode. We used s Spot GPS tracker (though I would not recommend it because it only tracks in 15 minutes increments.

The result of their undertaking is impressive: Check out the included clip depicting Earth’s atmosphere in full HD quality. The weather balloon eventually deflated and the iPhones landed safely, courtesy of a parachute and OtterBox cases for the iPhone 4S. Yeah, I know it’s a paradox that the iPhone 4S can safely land unscratched from the outer space and yet won’t survive a waist high drop.

And if the attached GPS failed, the amateur balloonists could use Find My Friends to get their rig. See? It isn’t just for finding cheating spouses.

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