Review and Giveaway for The Otterbox Agility System for iPad

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Pros…

Good drop protection, variety of case options and accessories available, you can pick and choose which accessories to buy

Cons…

Quite bulky and heavy, no screen protector, not spill proof, buying the whole system can be expensive

Summary

The Agility Tablet system from Otterbox combines good drop protection with a very flexible system of cases and accessories.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

Otterbox are known for their rugged protective cases for Smartphones and Tablets and they have recently introduced a modular line – the Agility Tablet System. It is available for iPad Mini, iPad 2/3/4, iPad Air and Samsung Galaxy Tablets. I tested the iPad 2/3/4 system. In my household, like many others the kids get to use the older iPads and we still have iPad 2 and 3 that are used daily. Any time kids are using iPads having them in a protective case is a high priority, so I am always interested to test out any new protective cases on the market.

The Shell

The Shell is the heart of the Agility system, none of the other accessories work without it. The Shell is a hard plastic case, it has a cutout on the back of the case that connects with all the other parts of the Agility system. The Shell gives the iPad drop protection, it is made of a thick layer of plastic and is very solid. It has a raised edge that sticks out past the edges of the iPad in all directions adding extra protection of dropped on an edge or corner. There are cutouts over the speaker, buttons and ports, there is not a screen protector. The Shell can be used on its own as a case, and my children will usually use the Shell without a cover when playing games on the iPad. The Shell comes in Charcoal Grey, and retails for $39.95.

All of the accessories for the Agility system have a strong magnet in the shape of a circle with 4 tabs on them. This magnet fits perfectly into the cutout on the back of the Shell, so that the accessory connects to the iPad. The circular shape allows the iPad to be rotated, and the tabs make sure it stops perfectly in landscape or portrait position and keep the iPad securely in this position.

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The Folio and Portfolio Covers.

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The Folio is the more slimline of the case options and comes in Apple Grey, it retails for $49.95. The Folio is similar to the Apple Smart Cover but with the addition of the magnet for connecting to the Shell. The front has a vinyl type covering and inside is a micro-fibre lining. It has automatic wake/sleep for the iPad when the cover is opened or closed. The Folio can be folded to create a stand for the iPad but I didn’t find this very stable – it was easy to accidentally collapse the Folio when touching the screen.

The Portfolio is the more luxurious outer case option, it comes in black leather  with a grey micro-fibre lining and retails for $69.95. The Portfolio has a magnetic clasp and automatic sleep/ wake when the cover is closed or opened. There are 2 flaps inside the Portfolio which create a 2 position stand for the iPad, I found that this worked much better than the Folio stand and was quite stable in both positions. The Portfolio is larger and heavier than the Folio but I thought it was a much nicer case option.

Wall Mount

The Wall Mount is a 2 piece mount that allows you to securely mount your iPad on a wall or other flat surface. The back plate can be attached to the wall with 3M Command Strips (which come attached to the plate) or with 2 screws. Once the back plate is in position the front plate slides onto it via 2 grooves on the sides, the 2 parts attach very firmly together. The front plate has the magnetic mount and includes an even stronger magnet than the cases have so the iPad is very securely mounted. The Agility mount system lets you easily change the iPad from landscape to portrait mode. This is a great idea if you like cooking using your iPad and want to keep it off the counter, clean and protected from spills and could also be used in a bathroom or on the wall by a treadmill or exercise bike. It comes in a choice or Charcoal or White and retails for $29.95.

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Dock

The Dock is a great multi-position stand for the iPad, it retails for $49.95 and comes in Charcoal. It has a weighted base which makes it very stable. The iPad connects to the Dock (via the Shell) with the standard Agility magnetic mount which is Part of the upper section of the Dock. The viewing angle can be adjusted to any angle from lying flat to just under 90° (it will not go completely to 90°  to prevent it toppling over.) The dock needs to be on a flat surface such as a table or countertop and works really well as a stand for movie viewing or working on the iPad. It can also be used on a desk when using the iPad as a second screen for your computer.

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Power Base

We did not test the Power Base, but it is designed to be used underneath the Dock creating a powered docking station. It has 3 USB ports allowing it to charge 3 iOS or Android devices at once. It comes in Charcoal and retails for $49.95

Summary

I love the flexibilty of the Agility system, it gives great drop protection but also allows for a variety of different covers, mounting and charging options. One downside of the system is that it is, like most protective case options, quite bulky and heavy. The Shell on its own is similar in weight to other protective cases so when you add the Folio or Portfolio it is heavier still. It does not have a screen protector, which for some people may be a problem, but I actually like it without – the screen is more responsive than with a screen protector and it is protected from scratches in transit if it has the Folio or Portfolio cover on. The magnetic mount system works very well and I love the idea of being able to add the Power Base to the Dock so that it can be a charging system as well as stand.

Overview video:

You can currently get 10% off all OtterBox products including the Agility system using this code: Save 10% site-wide at OtterBox.com with code OTTER10 + get Free 2-Day Shipping!

Giveaway

Otterbox have kindly offered to give an Agility System Package to one lucky iMums Reader – the Package consists of one Shell + Portfolio +Dock + Wall Mount, total value of the package is over $170. The winner can choose a package for iPad 2/3/4, or iPad Mini or iPad Air.   Winner must have valid US shipping address. Enter via Rafflecopter below, winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop the Agility Tablet & iPad System with Free Shipping at OtterBox.com!

 

NOTE: Products were supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Review of Tatch – a simple, portable way to attach your iPad to a car headrest

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Pros…

Compact, light, quick and easy to install, great for travelling, works with most cases

Cons…

iPad too far away if need to touch screen frequently, can’t adjust angle

Summary

The simplest, most portable iPad car mounting system I have tried. It works very well for watching movies on the iPad during long car journeys, especially when paired with headphones, not so good for game playing

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

There are no shortage of ways to attach iPads and other tablets to your car headrest, but many of them are cumbersome and may require removing your iPad from it’s protective case. A new product on the market the Tatch aims to simplify the process with a simple, portable, quick and easy mounting system that lets you use your regular iPad case.

The Tatch is basically a large piece of shaped rubber, you slip the Tatch over 2 corners of your iPad  (diagonally apart from each other), then wrap the rubber strap around your headrest and close it with velcro. They say with will work with any 10″ tablet, most cases and any headrest (they enclose an extra piece of velcro to extend it for very large headrests). It is very fast and easy to install and uninstall- it literally takes seconds.

Every summer we spend a month or so traveling and this includes long flights, rental cars and long drives, so anything to make these journeys easier is appreciated. I do have other headrest mounting options but often don’t take them along just because of the extra bulk in our luggage so I do appreciate how compact the Tatch is.

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I took the Tatch along to test out on this summer’s trip. We found that for watching movies on long car trips it was a great solution – both the child in the seat immediately behind it and in the middle seat could watch the movie comfortably. I did get some complaints from the driver (whose headrest the Tatch was attached to) that he could hear the movie a little too well! We easily solved this by giving the kids headphones, we bought a headphone splitter (little adapter that lets you plug in 2 sets of headphones to one headphone jack) for 2 Euros (about $3) and then both kids could listen via their own headphones.

For playing games on the iPad it was less successful for us- my kids are 7 and 10 and were sitting on backless boosters and their arms were too short to reach the iPad to play without leaning forward. Carseats for younger children typically move them further forward than backless boosters to so it may work better for kids in carseats vs boosters.

Overall, I love how quick and easy to install the Tatch is, that it fits iPads in a variety of cases and that it is very light and easy to carry with you when traveling. It is definitely the simplest, most portable iPad car mounting system I have tried. It works very well for watching movies on the iPad during long car journeys, especially when paired with headphones. It didn’t work well for us when the child need to be able to touch the iPad screen frequently, so I’d recommend it for movie watching but not for game playing.

The Tatch is available online from buytatch.com for RRP $29

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


Review of the iDL46 Dual Charging Stereo FM Clock Radio with Lightning Dock from iHome



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What we love…

Dual charging ability, lots of options for wake up music, can set  different music for bedtime vs waking, nap option

What we’d love to see…

Ability to set up the app when it is not connected to the iDL46, ability to store more than 2 alarm presets.

Summary

The iDL46 Dual Charging Stereo FM Clock Radio with Lightning Dock from iHome is a modern twist on the classic clock radio, it includes a lightning dock and a USB port so he can charge 2 devices at once and wake up and go to sleep to your favorite music tracks or radio station.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The iDL46 Dual Charging Stereo FM Clock Radio with Lightning Dock from iHome is a modern twist on the classic clock radio, it includes a lightning dock and a USB port so you can charge 2 devices at once and wake up and go to sleep to your favorite music tracks or radio station.

The Lightning dock works with  Lightning compatible iOS devices including the most recent iPod Touch, iPhone 5/5s/5c, the iPad Air and iPad Mini. I’ve tested it with the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. It works well with devices not in a case or in a slim case, bulky protective cases will prevent the dock from working. I Like the fact that as well as the lightning dock there is also a USB port so you have the option to also charge non-Lightning compatible devices and ones in bulky cases.

The iDL is an oval shape – approx 9″ long, 6″ high and 6 ” deep at it’s thickest part. It looks stylish, with a black cloth grille cover and fits nicely on a bedside table.The  iDL46 is designed to work with the free iHome Set app. The iHome Set app will only work when connected to a compatible iHome product so you can only set up the alarms when connected to the iDL46. I tried doing this with my iPhone in the dock and it was painful- the iPhone touchscreen really didn’t respond well when docked and it was slow and awkward to set up. I did discover however that it worked much, much better when I connected by iPhone via its charging cable to the USB port. I could set everything up easily this way and then put the iPhone back on the dock once it was set up if I wanted to. I would love to see the app allow you to set up without being connected, but for now I’d definitely recommend connecting via USB when setting up.

The clock allows you to have 2 alarms set up, for each of them you can set them up for everyday, weekdays or weekends.  The clock will auto sync to your iPhone./ iPad clock time. You can adjust the volume you will wake up to, wake up music duration, snooze duration and the music source. You can also set a nap time where it will wake you up x amount of time from now, and you can set music playing at bedtime that will switch off after a set amount of time. For the music source for each alarm there are several options- you can choose the radio, device connected via USB or docked device. For each device you can set it to continue playing from where you last played (either from your music library or iTunes radio) or to a custom playlist.  The radio is an FM radio and has 6 station preset options. If you choose the playlist you need to create a new playlist in your device named “iHome”. There are lots of other settings in the app such as adjusting the brightness of the clock display, there is currently no option to have an alarm tone instead of music to wake up to.

The sound quality is a far cry from the crackly old clock radios of my youth – it’s nice to wake up to clear, nice sounding music. It is both much louder and better sound quality than listening directly from your phone. It doesn’t have the same depth and sound quality as a  dedicated speaker system like the Kicker Amphitheater but for a clock radio at this price point it is good. It is pretty powerful for a small speaker unit, there is some distortion at higher volumes- however this is not an issue at the volumes I would normally be listening at in the bedroom.

Overall, if you have a hard time waking up in the morning the iDL46  provides a nice alternative to a traditional clock radio and will charge 2 devices whilst you sleep!
RRP $99.99 from iHomeaudio.com and many other retailers.

iHome Set – iHome


iHome Set iHome Set by iHome

Price: $FREE

iHome Set is for use with all app-enhanced iHome models. iHome Set requires iOS 4.3 thru iOS 7 on iPhone, iPod touch & iPad.

iHome Set provides a convenient interface to set clock, alarms, radio.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

iSkelter ‘s Apple TV Station – Review

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iSkelter is a company with a mission – to create fine, hand-crafted, desks and accessories in the USA, their company slogan is “hand-built by people who give a damn”. They create beautiful handmade pieces from Bamboo, and their latest product is the Apple TV station.
If you have an Apple TV you’ll know the remote control is very “Apple”- sleek, silver, minimalist, but tiny! Because it is so tiny it is really easy to lose. I live dread that the kids will lose it between the sofa cushions and we’ll never see it again, so the idea of having a special place to keep it really appeals.

The  iSkelter Apple TV Station is simple and elegant. It is made from a piece of bamboo that has been polished so it is very smooth to the touch. The top surface has custom cutouts for the Apple TV and the remote. Both slots are lined with a black felt-like material, and the same material is used to make 4 small feet for the base so it doesn’t scratch your furniture. The remote slot has little cutouts to make to easy to pick up.

 

apple-tv-accessories1-510x652 The base is laser etched with iSkelter’s logo and slogan.

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The iSkelter Apple TV Station is a beautiful, organic, eco-friendly way to display your Apple TV and to keep the remote safe. It is well designed and very well made with good attention to detail. It is hand made in the USA and is available online from iSkelter.com RRP $39.99 but currently on sale for $32 with free shipping, this is a great price for a high quality, hand-made product.

recommended-by-the-imums

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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