It makes sense that once you buy a pricey iPhone or iPad, you'll want a case to protect your investment.

It makes sense that once you buy a pricey iPhone or iPad, you'll want a case to protect your investment.

But if you're a true gadget fanatic, you'll want a case that does more than just prevent scratches.

Let's start with a hard-shell case for your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPod or Zune that doubles as a pair of titanium high-output stereo speakers. The iMainGo 2 ($40 at amazon.com) fits any generation of iDevice as well as many other touch-screen MP3 players.

The gadget has a front window that allows you to see and control your device without opening the case. Four AAA batteries will keep it operating for up to 30 hours, easily outlasting your music player. The unit fits in your hand and weighs just less than a pound.


Many iPad users miss having an actual keyboard. Apple offers a $69 keyboard dock, but its bulkiness limits its portability. Aidacase, on the other hand, offers the Keycase iPad Folio ($100 at amazon.com), which features a built-in silicone Bluetooth keyboard.

The good news: The rubbery keyboard resists liquid spills and is rechargeable via a USB connection, and the case converts into a portable workstation. The bad news: The keyboard is a single sheet of rubber, so it lacks a true keyboard feel.


Taking notes

I've written before about Livescribe, a smartpen that records the audio of a lecture and meeting while you take written notes. If you take those notes on special Livescribe paper, you're able to touch on any note and hear the words that were spoken at the time.

Livescribe recently updated their Smartpen model to the Echo (4GB model costs $170 at livescribe.com), which features apps such as a calculator, a sound effects board, Sudoku games and a translator for foreign phrases.


While Livescribe is a useful gadget, most of its features are available in the iPad app SoundNote ($5 in the iTunes Store). And your savings might be the justification you've been needing to go out and buy an iPad.

Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail gspot@columbusalive.com