InCase Origami Workstation Review

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories for iPAD 1, 2 and 3' started by jsh1120, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    This product has come up in several other threads, most notably in comparison to the Zaggmate/Logitech case/keyboard combo. Since it's not immediately obvious what the "Origami Workstation" is or how it works, it seemed worth a thread of its own.

    Stated simply, the Origami Workstation is a case designed to hold the Apple Wireless keyboard. It "unfolds" (origami-like) into a stable stand that holds an iPad or an iPad 2 with or without the SmartCover and with or without a back cover in either a portrait or landscape orientation. Together, the stand and the iPad make up a "workstation."

    Pros:

    () If you're a fan of the Apple Wireless Keyboard, the OW provides both travel protection in a rigid case that adds little to its bulk and a very good stand for the keyboard and iPad combination. The cost of the OW and the Apple Wireless keyboard is virtually the same (about $100 USD) as the Zaggmate Case Combo. I happen to like the Apple Wireless keyboard very much so this is its primary plus.

    () If you already have (and want to keep) the iPad 2 Smart Cover and/or a cover for the back of your iPad, the OW is one of the few (only?) option for adding a keyboard stand.

    () The OW's "unfolding" feature is a clever design that allows the user to "connect" triangular portions of the open case top to form a rigid stand that holds the iPad. (Easier to see than to explain.) The case itself is rigid, plastic covered in a black rubberized material, it appears. Very stable and compact.

    () Unlike other options, the fact that the keyboard case is separate from the iPad means you have the option of taking it with you or leaving it at home. (This is also a "con," see below.)

    Cons:

    () The iPad simply "sits" in the OW stand. If you're looking for a clamp to hold it in place, look elsewhere. On the other hand, you can remove the keyboard from the stand if you want to create some space between the iPad in the stand and the keyboard. And unlike some stands, the OW works with both the iPad and the iPad 2.

    () The stand, while very stable on a desk or table, is less than ideal for your lap. The triangular support for the iPad must itself be supported by a solid surface (or your thighs.) I don't use my iPad in bed much but if you do, another solution may be better.

    () The black rubberized keyboard cover/stand is unobtrusive but, at least to me, doesn't exactly look "classy." YMMV.

    () Unlike the Zaggmate/Logitech combo case (and some others), you may still need a bag/case to hold both the iPad and the OW. I consider that an advantage but you may not. As noted above it enables me to carry the iPad alone when I don't need a keyboard. On the other hand, if you want a single solution for a case, keyboard, and back protector, the Zaggmate is probably a better choice.

    There are, of course, a myriad of choices for a bag that can accommodate both the OW keyboard case and the iPad. Timbuk2 makes a nice, relatively cheap netbook case that works well for me. For those who want something classier (and more expensive) Waterfield Design makes cases that will hold the iPad (2), the OW, and various accessories in a very durable attractive bag. I have their "Travel Express" (or I will have on Father's Day. :))

    The bottom line is that if you REALLY need a keyboard and (like me) you're VERY picky about keyboards (like me), and you already have (or want) a SmartCover and a back protector for your iPad 2, and you have (or want) another case/bag for your iPad or iPad 2, the InCase Origami Workstation is a nearly ideal solution.

    Origami Workstation for iPad and Wireless Keyboard : Products By Incase

    iPad Travel Express - SFBags - WaterField Designs - iPad 2

    For a review with photos, see

    Reviews: Incase Origami Workstation for iPad and Apple Wireless Keyboard | iLounge

    P.S. I bought the OW at Best Buy. It appears it's also available from Apple Stores. Haven't found a price lower than $29.95 but you may be more fortunate on that score.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  2. info
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    Excellent review and I agree that this case deserves a thread of it's own. After looking at the photos on InCase's site, I was a bit concerned that the flaps that fold in the back of the case did, in fact, not look very "classy." But, the pics did not do the case justice at all, and the physical item looked much better than what was shown. Draping the smart cover over the back eliminated this concern entirely. Other "folio" type cases are likely to produce the same effect leaving the rear flaps looking like small angled "elegant" feet. The head on view is fabulous, bring out the absolute best of the iPad... a true pleasure to look at. :) The "velcro" like connectors in the back are of very high quality and not the "spongy" type that one might imagine from looking at the photographs... very neat. They stick together securely at the slightest contact and yet come back apart easily. In fact, the case has craftsmanship and substance written all over it. Since I began using this case/stand yesterday I have had several people come up and ask me what it was.

    Also, being able to reach over the keyboard and pick up or replace the "naked" iPad for use in one's hands is a huge plus, as is the ability to instantly rotate it into landscape or portrait mode. It is rock solid in both positions, more so than I have seen with any other case. Finally, the way the wireless keyboard snaps into the case's metal clips, leaving them almost invisible, makes for an almost masterpiece in design.

    Did I overdo it? hehe... no hyperbole here, it's all quite accurate. Summing it all up, when I saw the combination of the Origami Workstation along with the iPad and the SmartCover I thought to myself... there it is: "The Promised Land." lol
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  3. info
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    Here is very low key but strong case by Case Logic that I bought several years ago for a 10" netbook. It has padded protection for an either naked or folio cased iPad, another zippered compartment without padding, two additional small zippered storage areas, and pouches in both the front and back which allow the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Origami Workstation to fit in beautifully. It is one of the best made bags that I have seen from Case Logic.

    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001F7KXB8[/ame]
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  4. SaberOne
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    Nice review with plenty of good information.
    I’m still collecting what I believe to be ‘travel essentials’ for my iPad2. I considered the Zagg keyboard until I began reading of sub-quality issues. Fundamentally, I’m a minimalist so the smaller and lighter appeals to me. The folding Hippih keyboard looks promising and thus far I have yet to read a bad review about it. I’ll be heading out for a month-long trip to points in the US and beyond and see if the iPad is really all that useful. I’ll keep it as lean as possible while satisfying my flare to be different.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  5. Videographer
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    Not sure I care for them.

    They look quite appealing, but doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose or reason for a tablet device? Just my thought, mind you, but if one wants to attach an external keyboard, would one be better off with getting a Laptop instead of a tablet?
  6. jsh1120
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    That was my thought before I purchased the iPad. In fact, though, I've found it to be a great substitute for the netbook I've used for a couple of years when I travel. The iPad fits on an airline table better than my netbook even with the addition of the keyboard. The battery life far exceeds the netbook's. The iPad boots quickly so I don't have to wait a couple of minutes every time I turn it on. And since I hate touchpads, I can use my stylus for navigation rather than carrying a small travel mouse.

    I wouldn't claim that the iPad is an adequate substitute for a laptop. At least not for me since my laptop is a full-fledged desktop replacement. But when I'm on the road (and especially when I'm crammed into a middle seat in coach), the iPad has undeniable advantages over the netbook I took along in addition to my laptop.

    P.S. And if you don't see the advantage of a real keyboard over the on screen keyboard on the iPad, you're not a touch typist and I suspect you don't compose documents of any significant length. That's not meant as a snide remark. It's just that we ancient types who learned to type on IBM Selectrics with the keys covered will probably never adjust to the odd experience of using a "screenboard."
  7. Videographer
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    HAHAHA . . . about the only time I use a keyboard is for short emails. The last time I can remember using a keyboard extensively was when writing letters to a very special person who now I'm proud to say is my wife. I guess I can see a use for them if one does a lot of writing, but for me, the touchpad works well . . . my long letter writing days are over :D.

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