iPad release week - Must have accessories

OK, I know some of you have pre-ordered the NEW iPad.  Since I'm as anxious as everyone else, I thought I'd do some posts this week on things you can buy to get ready for it's arrival.  Most accessories for the iPad 2 will work fine for the NEW iPad, so most of my reviews will still be helpful to you all.  I won't know until it comes on Friday whether the extra .03 inches thickness will affect case fit, but I think my favorite cases should work fine (at least I hope I don't need to add even more to my collection!).  Even if the ones I have don't fit, all of the companies below either have announced or are already shipping cases that WILL.

First, let's talk about cases and covers.  There have been thousands of cases released since the original iPad was announced, and with all things some are definitely better than others.  The biggest thing to decide on is what TYPE of case or cover you are looking for.  If you want an integrated keyboard to turn your new tablet into a net book, ClamCase makes the the best on the market.  It will double the weight and more than double the thickness, but when you have a lot of text to enter (like writing a post for your blog or a long email), you'll appreciate having it along. I have the Storm Trooper limited edition, and it is the only keyboard case I use regularly.

If you prefer a case that looks like a book, DODOcase is my favorite. The folks at DODOcase have taken the best of traditional book making and brought it to the iPad in dramatic fashion.  I really am hoping that my DODO works for the new iPad, because I would hate to have to get another one (I have three already, and I don't know that the wife would understand the need for another).  They have several special editions, and just started offering several foil-stamping options to personalize them to your needs.

For those of you looking for something that looks great on your desk or the coffee table, but adds even less size and weight, a local Portland company makes my favorite case. Grove makes a beautiful bamboo case with your choice of felt or leather cover.  The Grove cases are not made to be ultra-durable, and I wouldn't throw one into a bag full of other loose gear, but they are awesome for what they are.  They can burn any design you want (including family crests, company logos etc.) into the leather, have several designs from local artists, and the build quality is top notch.  You need to check these things out.  They are handmade, so delivery times can take a while.  Get in line now if you want one.

For full coverage protection without adding much for size, my choice is the Marware MicroShell Folio.  Nice and slim case, stays on well and uses the SmartCover feature to wake your iPad like all good cases.  It is well made, and Marware has been in the accessory business long enough to have quality in every item they make every time.

It's going to be a great week for Apple fans.