Seen @ Macworld is Appletell’s column highlighting our experiences at the recent Macworld/iWorld Expo. Appletell stopped by several booths that featured interesting products; some were longtime pillars of Macworld with updates to established products, many were new companies showing innovative and exciting product for the first time, and a few featured accessories, apps, and products we didn’t even know we needed before we hit the Moscone West show floor. Here we feature buzz from the show floor and details of our conversations with the makers, inventors, and companies whose products were on display. Be sure to check out our coverage of other exhibitors from Macworld/iWorld 2013.
The iBallz and Lid case were one of Appletell’s favorite products at Macworld 2012, and the company was back on the show floor this year with their retro camper and the same awesome protection, this time scaled down for the iPad Mini. iBallz Minis are the company’s universal small-tablet protection; originally designed for all tablets smaller than the iPad’s 10 inches, the iBallz Minis are now the perfect companion to protect your iPad Mini (and AppleTell readers can get them now for 20% off).
Appletell picked up a set of iBallz Minis on the show floor to try out, and comparisons with the original iBallz for iPad are inevitable. The original iBallz offer shock absorbing protection for your iPad by elevating the screen and back so that drops—even onto uneven surfaces—don’t directly impact the screen or dent your back cover. Since they’re anchored to your iPad’s corners, they also offer shock absorption/drop protection for the corners of your iPad, preventing screen shatters and dings.
The good news is the iBallz Minis are every bit as protective and useful as their larger brothers, just in a small enough package to fit your iPad Mini. The balls themselves are slightly smaller (in proportion to the reduced size of the device), but they work exactly the same. Each ball has a groove that slots over your iPad Mini’s corners, and an elastic band runs along the outside of the balls to hold them in place, essentially wrapping each corner in a full protective sphere to prevent damage from just about any angle. A clip secures the elastic band and lets you tighten or loosen the elastic drawstring.
Unlike the larger iBallz, the Minis have a great deal of adjustability; nearly seven inches of excess cord is left over when fitted firmly to an iPad mini, as they are designed to fit a large variety of shapes and sizes for sub-10″ tablets. At first, this excess cord is irritating, but at the end of the cord is a Velcro loop that allows you to secure the cord to the elastic frame of the iBallz, handily stowing it out of the way. The iBallz Minis can be used in much the same way as the larger iBallz, so feel free to use the cord to suspend your iPad Mini from a kitchen cabinet or employ it as a handy grip for accelerometer-dependent games.
The reduction in size does not in any way reduce the usability, functionality, or sheer delight of the iBallz Minis. The full sized iBallz earned a five-apple rating, and the iBallz Minis deserve no less. Perfect for protecting an iPad Mini, the iBallz Minis can also be used to protect smaller tablet/ereader devices like a Kindle or Android tablet. They go for $25, are available in black, pink, or turquoise, and are available here.
If you decide to pace an order, be sure to use promo code APPLETELL when checking out to save 20% off your purchase. This is in addition to the free shipping already offered for U.S. addresses. Thanks to the group at Friendly Integration, LLC for providing this special offer to our readers. The 20% off special ends Tuesday, March 5, 2013.
Be sure to check out our coverage of other exhibitors from Macworld / iWorld 2013.