Ipad Reviews

XGear Shield Case for iPad – accessory review

If you’re looking for a sturdy and transparent skin, the XGear Shield case for iPad for $29.95 may be the case for you.

The XGear Shield is made from dual-compound materials that creates a shock absorbing bumper on the edges. Translation: it has thick edges that fit securely to the iPad that can reduce damage to the corners if bumped. Though not completely transparent, XGear Shield has more of a frosted backing that and not only looks good but totally protects the back and sides of iPad and gives you complete piece of mind from scratches.

There are two things that I really like about this case. The first is how secure it is. There are some cases that fit, but the edges and corners are loose. While this may make for easy removal, I fear it can get caught on something and slip off of the iPad. This is not the case with the XGear Shield. The edges are actually a challenge to put on and remove so you know the case isn't going anywhere. On the downside, it doesn't allow for docking with the iPad dock. All of the openings are there, but the power button has given me some challenges. Turning on is easy though by tapping the home button instead.

Video and photos after the break!

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MathBoard for iPad - app review

MathBoard for iPad is an educational application designed to help you or your child excel in arithmetic operations. The level of difficulty is customizable, making MathBoard a great learning tool for children in kindergarten through elementary school as well as adults who wish to brush up on their basic math skills.

MathBoard is simply a multiple choice quiz generator. You can customize which topics you wish to be quizzed on, how many questions are in the quiz, and what range of numbers you want in the problems. Topics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, cubes, and square roots.

While taking a quiz, there is a small area at the bottom of the screen where you can use your finger (or stylus, if you prefer) to work on the problem as if you were using a pencil and paper. This is an excellent feature of MathBoard, however, the area is too small. For example, when working out a multiplication problem of two numbers with two or more digits, you quickly run out of space to complete all the calculations in the traditional manner. Instead, you must continue your work next to the work you already did. This can be very confusing for a child who is new to the procedure. I would like to either see a pop-up to do scratch work on or landscape support. Most of these problems require vertical space to work out and rotating to landscape may solve the lack of space issue.

After completing the quiz, MathBoard displays your score and gives an option to save the quiz. If you do, you can come back to it later and retake the entire quiz or just the questions you got wrong.

Despite the small scratch work space, MathBoard is an excellent application for learning arithmetic. The interface is very beautiful and much more enjoyable than taking printed quizzes with pencil and paper!

Video and screenshots after the break!

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First iPad reviews are in!

TiPb has done the full iPad review, of course, but while we're iPhone, iPod touch, and now iPad-centric, there are a lot of more general technology columnists and gadget bloggers out there who've gone touch-to-screen with Apple latest mobile device, and different perspectives are decidedly a good thing. So here's a roundup of what they think:

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal says it's "pretty close" to a laptop killer. He also got 11:28 of battery time on it!

After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.

David Pogue of the New York Times actually writes two reviews, one for the more tech-centric critics and one for the more positively inclined mainstream.

The techie review is decidedly negative:

The bottom line is that you can get a laptop for much less money — with a full keyboard, DVD drive, U.S.B. jacks, camera-card slot, camera, the works. Besides: If you’ve already got a laptop and a smartphone, who’s going to carry around a third machine?

The mainstream review is more positive:

The iPad is so fast and light, the multitouch screen so bright and responsive, the software so easy to navigate, that it really does qualify as a new category of gadget. Some have suggested that it might make a good goof-proof computer for technophobes, the aged and the young; they’re absolutely right.

Ed Baig of USA Today says it's a winner.

The iPad is not so much about what you can do — browse, do e-mail, play games, read e-books and more — but how you can do it. That's where Apple is rewriting the rulebook for mainstream computing. There is no mouse or physical keyboard. Everything is based on touch. All programs arrive directly through Apple's App Store. Apple's tablet is fun, simple, stunning to look at and blazingly fast.

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