Business Today
The Extras That Boost A Gadget's Usefulness
Time to move on from regular covers and get some innovative, utility-oriented covers for your devices.
Today's gadgets don't sit idle at home-they are constantly on the move. Be it your smartphone, camera, laptop or tablet, it goes wherever you go. This means that the chances of their getting damaged due to dust, falls or shock increase automatically. One way of avoiding accidents is to be careful-but even the most careful can have an offday. What you can do to minimise damage then is to add a security layer between unforeseen circumstances and your device. Fortunately, savvy companies have moved beyond the ordinary and today produce protective covers that are innovative and packed with utility for the consumer.

1.    Laptops/ NETBOOKS

From the regular laptop bags to sleeves, there are plenty that offer protections to notebooks.

TARGUS 15" APPLE SLIP CASE
Price: Rs 1,999

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Designed for the Apple MacBook range, this sleeve from Targus is made of premium nylon exteriors and has bubble foam inside. It comes with two different openings for accessing the laptop. The opening at the top makes it a regular sleeve while the one that opens up like a clam shell acts as a lapdesk. This means you need not pull the MacBook out of the sleeve or hunt for a flat surface when you want to work. The sleeve also easily slides into another bag.

PHILIPS NOTEBOOK SLEEVE WITH HEAT PROTECT
Price: Rs 1,999 onward

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This innovative laptop sleeve absorbs the heat generated by the machine. The hard top provide a sturdy surface work surface and ventilation, while three layers provide protection. Unlike other cooling pads, this one doesn't use electricity to absorb the heat. In grey and yellow, the Philips sleev is available in four sizes: 10.2 inches, 13.3, 14.1 and 15.6 inches.

BLUE LOUNGE CABLE CLIP
Price: Rs 800 onward

Just like your gadgets, the charging cables are meant to be handled with care. With so many wires running across the room and adding to the clutter, you could use this cable clip for cable management. Capable of handling any size of cable-headphone, mobile charger, laptop chargers, etc-the Blue Loungeclip available in different colours and sizes. There are six small clips or four medium ones or two large-sized clips in a pack.

2. TABLETS

The tablet category was defined by the launch of Apple iPad. You might find it a bit surprising but even with so many tablets in the market, this segment is dominated by the iPad and so is the accessory market. Here are a few worth checking.

APPLE SMART COVER
Price: Rs 2,210

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This is the official accessory for the Apple iPad 2. Supposedly a smart cover to protect the screen from dust and scratches, this comes with a built-in magnet that smartly yokes it to the tablet when brought near the edge. Opening the Smart Cover wakes the iPad 2 from the sleep mode while closing it instantly puts the iPad to sleep. Folding the cover turns it into a 'stand', used both horizontally and vertically for various needs including typing, Facetime, etc. It also removes the smudges from the tablet's touch surface.

HIP STREET iPAD BLUETOOTH KEYBOARD AND PORTFOLIO CASE
Price: On request

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This one is a three-in-one case. Made of leather, it acts as a carrying case for the iPad while keeping it free from scratches. Unfolding the case allows it to be used as a stand for holding the iPad horizontally. The netbook-sized keyboard that pairs with the iPad over Bluetooth has been added to the case. It gets attached to the magnetic plate below the cover and makes typing on the iPad a lot easier.

GECKO FOLIO DELUXE
Price: NA

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For those who are not really impressed with the iPad Smart Cover can consider the Folio Deluxe from Gecko. The Australian accessory brand is present in most of the leading gadget stores, including organized retail. This tablet cover has a soft padded exterior along with a chamois leather-like lining inside. The Folio is designed in such a way that it can be used as a stand as well.

BELKIN LEATHER SLEEVE
Price: Rs 2,699 The leather sleeve for the iPad is a fashion accessory. It is lightweight and fits easily on the iPad's body.

3. MOBILES

You will find a regular carrying pouch for any handset in the market but if you take a step further, you will unearth some interesting cases just for smartphones. When you spend thousands of rupees on a phone, why not spend somemore and protect them?

GRIFFIN SURVIVOR CASE
Price: Rs 2,999

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Designed for the Apple iPhone 4, the survivor case from Griffin has something special about it. As the name suggests it is crafted to withstand dust, air, sand and vibrations. Tested and certified by the US Department of Defense and meeting UK military standards, it can resist a 6-ft fall. The integral display shield can deflect rain and the cover can protect the phone from water of up to 200 mm for an hour. Available in four colours, the multiple layers give it a handy grip.

CALLER ID CASE
Price: Rs 849 onward

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Rarely do we answer a call without having a look at the incoming call-is it someone we know or some random number? This becomes a bit tiring if the phone is in a wrap that covers the display. Golla has come up with some innovative covers for Apple iPhone, BlackBerry and Nokia smartphone. These have a caller ID window that displays the incoming call details, leaving it to the user to decide whether to take the handset out of the case to answer the call or not. Inventive thought.

BELKIN VERVE CASE
Price: Rs 1,299
The Belkin Verve is a lightweight leather case with detailed cutouts giving access to the controls placed on every side of a mobile phone. However, what makes it stand out is the kickstand that comes handy for viewing multimedia content like watching movies and videos. The foldout kickstand comes into use when one wishes to place the phone on a plain surface in landscape mode.

CASEMATE FUEL FOR BLACKBERRY
Price: Rs 2,999 onward
Uniting the concept of carrying a phone in the case along with charging on the move, companies have started coming up with smart covers that have inbuilt batteries. These covers with in-built rechargeable batteries store the charge and power up the smartphone when clipped to the jacks in the cover. The power on/off button makes them efficient to use and because they add minimal bulk to the whole thing, they are quite useful. Similar to the Casemate Fuel, there are some available for iPhones and iPods from brands like Mili and Mophie.

KATA RC E690
Price: Rs 2,388

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For preventing your DSLR from unexpected rain or to continue shooting in the rain, Kata has come up with rain covers. The rain cover has two side sleeves that allows the photographer to access the camera and the lens covers even as the adjust lens hood helps in adjusting the zoom level while keeping the camera body protected.

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