Cool gifts for geeks, 2011: Tablet accessories

Presenting the gems in portable entertainment.

While last year may have been the year of the tablet (with the introduction/invasion of the iPad), this year certainly qualifies as the year of the tablet accessory. Whether it's a case, a pillow, stand or speaker system, we've compiled a list of our favorite devices to go along with our favorite tablets:

Watch a slideshow version of some of these products.

Products reviewed in this category:

Kraken II series iPad 2 case, by Trident Case

Hammerhead iPad 2 hard shell case

Spiderpodium tablet, by Breffo

iGuy, by Speck Products

Targus Lap Lounge for iPad 2, by Targus

Versavu Keyboard and Case for iPad 2, by Targus

Joystick-IT tablet arcade stick, by ThinkGeek

SlateShield All-in-1 for iPad, by Addo Accessories

Magnetic Cabinet Mount and Viewing Stand, by Macally

Toddy iPad cleaner cloth, by Toddy Gear

Crayola ColorStudio HD and iMarker stylus, by Griffin Technology

The reviews

Kraken II series iPad 2 case, by Trident Case

If you are concerned about protecting your iPad 2 more than a generic case, the Kraken II series offers two levels of protection. First, there's a silicone layer that hugs the iPad tightly, offering protection from drops and covering up vital ports with dust and debris protection (unfortunately, it's not waterproofed). The second layer consists of two different polycarbonate hard shells (front and back) that snap over the first layer and iPad to provide more protection. The front part of the hard shell offers a screen protector as well, allowing users to still use the touchscreen on the iPad but keeping smudges and scratches away from the glass. Two clamps on the top also snap the pieces into place, and the silicone layer fits nicely with the polycarbonate hard shell. Taking everything apart is a bit difficult, but that also means it's not flimsy.

All of this does add some bulk to the device, so I'd only recommend using this if you absolutely need the drop, dust and debris protection offered by the Kraken II. The series also comes in a range of colors to choose from as well, giving you some style to the iPad 2.

Cool Yule rating: 4 stars
Price: $49.95
Reviewed by Keith Shaw

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