Did you get a new iPad? Nintendo 3DS? Do you have any other personal tech that you cherish? If so, you want to do your best to protect your tech. Many misfortunes can befall your tech and taking a few easy steps might prevent many tears.
If you have an iPad 2, you may have bought Apple’s Smart Cover at the same time. The Smart Cover comes in fashionable colors and folds to prop up the iPad 2 at different angles for typing or reading. Another cool feature is that the Smart Cover turns the iPad on when you open the cover and turns the iPad 2 off when you close it. I got one this weekend and, as fun as the Smart Cover is, it isn’t a case. The Smart Cover leaves the back of the iPad 2 exposed to scratches which mar the beauty of the device. Many people using the Smart Cover with their iPad 2 devices have reported finding scratches even though these people were careful about using their devices.
Because Apple prizes secrecy, the company does not reveal the specifications of a new device before a big product announcement. With the iPad 2, Apple’s announcement came just nine days before launch, not enough time for case manufacturers to design, produce and distribute iPad 2 cases to be ready by the launch date. So if you have an iPad 2, you are going to have to wait a while to have a choice of cases for your device. Here is a link to an article on Mashable showing different iPad 2 cases coming soon: iPad 2 cases. Make sure to read reviews on these cases after they come out to make sure you are buying a case to fit your needs. I am hoping that someone will sell a back cover for the iPad 2 that will both protect the back of the device and be compatible with the Smart Cover.
What should you look for in an iPad 2 case? Look for a case that protects the front and the back, is attractive and a bit cushioned to protect the device from being dropped. A case should also allow you to prop up your iPad at different angles for viewing or typing. I’m not a big fan of sleeves for my tech devices because I tend to take my gadgets out of their sleeves and neglect to put them back.
If you bought a Nintendo 3DS and you’re upgrading from a Nintendo DS or DSi, you might be able to use the cover for your old device if the cover doesn’t block the three camera lenses of the 3DS. If you need a new cover for your 3DS, I suggest this one as it has great reviews, holds lots of games and is very cushioned. Nintendo 3DS case on Amazon.
In addition to getting cases, you should get screen protectors for your devices. With my first iPad I mistakenly believed that my case with a cover would protect the screen. I was wrong and ended up with light scratches on my screen. I have ordered this screen protector for my iPad 2: Splash Masque Screen Protector on Amazon. If you are considering this one, make sure to read the helpful comments for advice on how to attach it to your iPad 2.
As the Nintendo 3DS was launched just yesterday, I have not found reviews for any 3DS screen protectors. You may wish to wait a few days to see how the different screen protectors are reviewed before deciding which one to purchase. If you don’t want to wait to get a screen protector for your 3DS, check out this Amazon discussion where people recommended the HORI screen protector for the 3DS based upon their past experience with HORI screen protectors. HORI Nintendo 3DS screen protector on Amazon.
What else can you do to insure your tech? For your iPad 2 you can purchase Apple Care which costs $79 and extends Apple’s one year warranty for an extra year bringing the total Apple warranty time to two years. The advantage of this warranty is that you can take your broken iPad into an Apple Store and Apple will replace it on the spot. The disadvantage is that Apple Care doesn’t cover water damage or damage to the device due to it being dropped.
Another option is a warranty from Square Trade. You can buy a two year warranty from Square Trade on any model iPad for $95.99. The advantage of a Square Trade warranty is that they cover the iPad from damage due to drops and liquids, including full immersion. They also offer a free buy back program, though the price they are offering to buy back iPads is much less than you could sell your iPad for now on Gazelle or eBay Instant Sale (see Getting an iPad 2? What To Do with Your Original iPad).
Square Trade also offers warranties on other devices, including the Nintendo 3DS. The price I was quoted for a three year warranty on the 3DS was $32.99.
I purchased a Square Trade warranty on my iPad 2 last week and within an hour after purchasing the warranty, I received a follow up phone call from Square Trade asking me if I had any questions about my warranty. I wanted to make sure my warranty was for the iPad 2 and they confirmed that it was. I found this outreach from customer service to be very impressive.
Just in case you are under the mistaken impression that Apple’s devices are overly fragile, check out these two pieces about the durability of Apple’s devices. The first is a must-read story from iLounge reporting on an iPhone 4 surviving a 1,000 foot drop from an airplane, completely unscathed.
The second story is a video about the amazing flexibility of the glass screen on an iPad 2. I had no idea glass could bend like that. I am posting this video with two warnings. First, mute your volume (click on the speaker symbol on the lower left side of the video screen) because there is no dialogue and the music will not enhance your viewing experience. Second, you must promise me that you will not try this at home. The person testing the glass wasn’t wearing gloves or long sleeves. He wasn’t injured, but he was lucky, not careful.
You have a lot invested in your tech so it makes sense to consider investing in accessories and warranties to help protect your devices. What do you do to protect your tech? Let us know in the Comments section below.
The Nook Color eReader is now being offered on Home Shopping Network at a whopping high price of $329, $70 more than the device sells for at Barnes & Noble. This is interesting for two reasons. First, a warning to Wonder of Tech readers who are thinking of buying a Nook: don’t spend the extra $70 at Home Shopping Network to buy a Nook, get one from Barnes & Noble. Second, HSN is selling the Nook as a tablet, not as an eReader. They are claiming (in the video on HSN’s website) that the Nook will be upgraded in April to be able to run the Android 2.2 operating system. This isn’t the Honeycomb tablet version of the Android operating system that the Motorola Xoom runs, but the version of Android that is used on smartphones.
What will be interesting is when people buy a Nook from Barnes & Noble and then buy their apps from Amazon’s Android App Store. People also then will be able to load the Kindle app and read Kindle books on their Nook. How will Amazon respond? Stay tuned to The Wonder of Tech to find out!