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Old 04-30-2008, 01:24 PM   #1
carandol
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iLiad Cover Review

There doesn't seem to be much info about covers for the iLiad out there, so I thought I'd write this review...

I've been wondering about getting a cover for my iLiad for a while. The shoulder bag that comes with it protects it pretty well, but it's actually pretty useless as a bag, since it doesn't have any pockets or compartments other than the one the iLiad is in, and there's never a time when I want to go somewhere carrying only my iLiad and nothing else. So, one of the leather covers – but which one?

The Deluxe Cover was definitely out – no way I was going to pay £40! So it was a choice between the M-Edge Executive covers, and the standard iRex leather cover. I read (somewhere on this forum, I think) that the M-Edge covers make it hard to get to the stylus and get in the way of the flip bar, and since I use both a lot, this seemed like a bad idea. So the standard iRex cover it was. I was slightly dubious about the velcro thing, but I used to have a Psion Revo with a cover held on with velcro, and that worked...

So I paid my money, and waited for it to arrive. And arrive it did – rattling about in the same size box as my iLiad came in! They obviously have a one-size-fits-all policy at iRex, and the size of the box could have something to do with the hefty shipping fees. (I suspect that iRex thinks everyone who buys an iLiad is some sort of high-flying executive type to whom the odd £10 here and there is trivial. They could have popped it in a jiffy-bag and it would probably have cost half the price to post).

But there it was, a brown leather cover, with a sturdy plate in the front to protect the screen, a loop on the right to put the stylus in (why?) a flap with a press-stud on to hold it closed, and two pairs of pieces of velcro with peel-off backing, ready to stick wherever I wanted on the device and the cover.

The description of this case gives it a “rugged look”. It's not what I'd call rugged, the leather's too fine-grained for that, not thick enough. It looks more like a case for a gentleman's writing set than a field medic's surgical instruments. I dare say once I've been carrying it about for a while it will get all scuffed up and more rugged looking, which would be nice; I'm more of a Firefly traveller than an Enterprize traveller if you know what I mean.

But now, the velcro. Where to put it? Two strips, each about 3.5cm long, no instruction leaflet. The case doesn't enclose the iLiad in any way, so if these pieces of velcro didn't hold it in the case, nothing would. In the end, I decided to put one piece horizontally across the top, about 1cm below the card slot, and the other vertically in the indentation at the bottom (being careful, of course, not to cover the reset button!) I put the fluffy strips on the device, and the hooky strips on the case, so that if I decided to use it out of its case, I wouldn't keep catching it on my clothes.

And, surprise surprise, it works fine! The iLiad is held firmly to the case, the case closes snugly around it, and it feels very sturdy and well-protected. And much to my surprise, I found its actually easier to hold when reading with the cover on, than it was with it off! You can hold it in one hand, exactly as you would a book, and there's more to get hold of somehow, or it feels more natural or something. The cover is flexible enough to bend back on itself if you want to (though I don't), and the press-stud flap is not in the way as I thought it might be. The stylus is easy to get to, there's nothing getting in the way of the buttons, flip bar and various connectors, and the only time I'd need to remove it from its cover would be to press the reset button.

All in all, I'm really pleased with it. I can't do a comparison review with the other covers, but I'd certainly recommend this one to anyone who's not satisfied with the shoulder bag.
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:55 PM   #2
MarkRPenn
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It's definitely a good cover (the M Edge is hopeless), but it's also definitely NOT leather!

Also, while it does protect the screen pretty well due to the hard front flap, it doesn't protect the edges or corners much. The rubberised finish of my iLiad is coming off to an unacceptable degree now (approx. 6 months old), and it's spent it's entire life in this case. That said, I think it's the rubberised finish that's at fault here, not the case.

Mark
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:25 PM   #3
saniko
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I'm happy with the M-EDGE cover

I love the look of the standard cover, but I have to pipe up about the M-edge cover. It is not hopeless! A lot of things people have complained about loosen up over time and improve on the case... which happens with most leather project.

I love the M-Edge executive cover!
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRPenn View Post
It's definitely a good cover (the M Edge is hopeless), but it's also definitely NOT leather!
Well, I'm a vegetarian, it's a long time since I looked at a cow in anger

Quote:
Also, while it does protect the screen pretty well due to the hard front flap, it doesn't protect the edges or corners much. The rubberised finish of my iLiad is coming off to an unacceptable degree now (approx. 6 months old), and it's spent it's entire life in this case. That said, I think it's the rubberised finish that's at fault here, not the case.
Mine's got a little bald patch on one corner from holding it when reading, and it's spent the last 3 months in the nylon bag when not being used. It's the same sort of rubberised finish as my IBM Thinkpad T21, which isn't showing that degree of wear, even though it's about 8 years old!
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:53 PM   #5
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Saniko, do you not find that the case stops you flipping the bar to the right easily? The only way I can see that loosening up would be for it to move out of the way, which would be a distortion surely? Not being able to get the pen out is, I can see, something that could improve with age, though it could easily have been designed to avoid the issue entirely.

Any case, intended to allow the devise to be used while still in it, that stops you using a major feature of the device just as easily as without the case is hopeless IMHO, at least from an engineering POV.

My definition of hopeless is anything that makes you ask "why on earth didn't they spot this problem in the very first prototype?".

It may be worse for those of us who advance pages by flipping right (the non-standard setting) I'll concede, but even those that don't change the setting have to reverse pages sometimes don't they?

So if you're happy with it, that's very good and I wouldn't try to persuade you otherwise, but it IS bad design, and I WOULD try to dissuade people from buying one.

Mark
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Old 04-30-2008, 05:19 PM   #6
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Thanks for the review !!! Actually, I considered buying the cover, but I wasn't too keen on glueing velcro on my brand new iLiad. What I didn't like with this cover was the lack of protection on the edges. But on the other hand, the M-edge has protection but renders the stylus unusable, which is not good either.
Would it be possible that you upload a few detailed pictures of the iLiad inside the iRex Cover and the cover without the iLiad in it ? (sorry to ask, but I'll probably try to make one myself and there are not that many good pictures of the iRex cover around...)
I was also very tempted by the "rugged leather look", but obviously, it's not that rough and not that much leather either ^^
Anyway, your review was great, thank you for taking the time to write it and share your experience !
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:13 AM   #7
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Vanessa, a couple of things; firstly although it's not leather, it does look very good. I wouldn't call it "rugged", but it has a certain natural and lived in look about it that's quite nice.

Secondly, it's great for KEEPING the iLiad in. I've only ever removed mine once in 6 months, to reset it, and because it's quite slim and folds back with zero resistance, it's really nice for using the iLiad while still in the case. I can read one handed with no problem, and the closing flap even retracts into the body of the case when you need it to, so it's not flapping about in your way. Given that, the velcro becomes a non-issue.

Re edge protection, it's true that nothing covers three of the edges, but the front and back covers do overlap the iLiad and therefore provide some protection. I'd say it's the corners that are most vulnerable, especially if you drop it.

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Old 07-10-2008, 12:19 PM   #8
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Thanks for a useful description of the iLiad covers. One problem, I cannot find the cover you bought. I see the M-Edge Executive at €32 and the DeLuxe at €60.
Your quote:"So it was a choice between the M-Edge Executive covers, and the standard iRex leather cover." Where do I find this standard cover please?
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:39 PM   #9
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They don't appear to sell it on their website anymore. Whether it's just temporarily out of stock, or the item was discontinued, I don't know. The shoulder bag seems to be gone as well. The only options I currently see on iRex's website are the M-Edge cover or their Deluxe cover.
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:36 AM   #10
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There's a book wholesaler in Eastbourne that stocks the iLiad and accessories (including the shoulder bag.
http://www.gardners.com/gardners/inc...ories.htm&M=C0
They supply Waterstone,s and WH Smiths , who should be able to order one for you.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carandol View Post
There doesn't seem to be much info about covers for the iLiad out there, so I thought I'd write this review...

I've been wondering about getting a cover for my iLiad for a while. The shoulder bag that comes with it protects it pretty well, but it's actually pretty useless as a bag, since it doesn't have any pockets or compartments other than the one the iLiad is in, and there's never a time when I want to go somewhere carrying only my iLiad and nothing else. So, one of the leather covers – but which one?

The Deluxe Cover was definitely out – no way I was going to pay £40! So it was a choice between the M-Edge Executive covers, and the standard iRex leather cover. I read (somewhere on this forum, I think) that the M-Edge covers make it hard to get to the stylus and get in the way of the flip bar, and since I use both a lot, this seemed like a bad idea. So the standard iRex cover it was. I was slightly dubious about the velcro thing, but I used to have a Psion Revo with a cover held on with velcro, and that worked...

So I paid my money, and waited for it to arrive. And arrive it did – rattling about in the same size box as my iLiad came in! They obviously have a one-size-fits-all policy at iRex, and the size of the box could have something to do with the hefty shipping fees. (I suspect that iRex thinks everyone who buys an iLiad is some sort of high-flying executive type to whom the odd £10 here and there is trivial. They could have popped it in a jiffy-bag and it would probably have cost half the price to post).

But there it was, a brown leather cover, with a sturdy plate in the front to protect the screen, a loop on the right to put the stylus in (why?) a flap with a press-stud on to hold it closed, and two pairs of pieces of velcro with peel-off backing, ready to stick wherever I wanted on the device and the cover.

The description of this case gives it a “rugged look”. It's not what I'd call rugged, the leather's too fine-grained for that, not thick enough. It looks more like a case for a gentleman's writing set than a field medic's surgical instruments. I dare say once I've been carrying it about for a while it will get all scuffed up and more rugged looking, which would be nice; I'm more of a Firefly traveller than an Enterprize traveller if you know what I mean.

But now, the velcro. Where to put it? Two strips, each about 3.5cm long, no instruction leaflet. The case doesn't enclose the iLiad in any way, so if these pieces of velcro didn't hold it in the case, nothing would. In the end, I decided to put one piece horizontally across the top, about 1cm below the card slot, and the other vertically in the indentation at the bottom (being careful, of course, not to cover the reset button!) I put the fluffy strips on the device, and the hooky strips on the case, so that if I decided to use it out of its case, I wouldn't keep catching it on my clothes.

And, surprise surprise, it works fine! The iLiad is held firmly to the case, the case closes snugly around it, and it feels very sturdy and well-protected. And much to my surprise, I found its actually easier to hold when reading with the cover on, than it was with it off! You can hold it in one hand, exactly as you would a book, and there's more to get hold of somehow, or it feels more natural or something. The cover is flexible enough to bend back on itself if you want to (though I don't), and the press-stud flap is not in the way as I thought it might be. The stylus is easy to get to, there's nothing getting in the way of the buttons, flip bar and various connectors, and the only time I'd need to remove it from its cover would be to press the reset button.

All in all, I'm really pleased with it. I can't do a comparison review with the other covers, but I'd certainly recommend this one to anyone who's not satisfied with the shoulder bag.
Which iLiad do you have? Also, do you have the item number for this cover? It sounds exactly like the one I would like to get for my husbands iLiad (gift for the holidays).
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cjp View Post
Which iLiad do you have? Also, do you have the item number for this cover? It sounds exactly like the one I would like to get for my husbands iLiad (gift for the holidays).
Unfortunately, looking at the iRex web site, they don't seem to sell this one any more.
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