I am currently conducting a highly scientific experiment involving my iPad and nudity. Ok, that sounds really bad. Let me start over... I am attempting to use and carry around my new iPad Air without a case. This is a pretty terrifying prospect for me because I take my iPad EVERYWHERE. However, when you think about it, that is even more of a reason to consider going "caseless: with an iPad...especially with incredibly light and thin iPad Air or iPad mini. Apple has gone the extra mile to take every millimeter and ounce out of these devices and what do we do? We slap a case on this new gorgeous device from a manafacuturer than in many cases did not take the same care in design that Apple did (don't get me wrong there are some amazing quality cases out there).
So what drove me to make this decision? The biggest driver for me was the purchase of a new messenger bag (or "man purse/murse), the Muzetto Leather from Waterfield . I've been drooling over these leather messenger style bags for a couple of years now and I finally bit the bullet and used my birthday cash this year and bought me one. I'll be writing a review on this bag soon, but in summary this is an amazing bag. However, there are certain compromises. The best design feature of this bag is that it is very slim...minimalist. So it really forced you to filter out all the stuff you would normally carry in a larger bag and carry just those things you really need to carry. Since I pretty much have to carry my work issued MacBook Air at all times this didn't leave a lot of room for me to have much of a case on my iPad and have it still fit in my Muzetto. But, since the Muzetto has a really nice padded pocket in the front specifically for tablets I kinda already have a built-in case for my iPad...my Muzetto bag. So when I bought my iPad Air last month I bought it without a case and have been using it this way ever since.
I've been going ceaseless with the iPad Air for over a month now and so far it is working out fine. My previous iPad was the iPad mini and I used the BookBook case from TwelveSouth and loved it. I would by lying if I told you I didn't miss the study feel of carrying around an iPad as an old-style leather book. It was really nice knowing I could literally take my iPad with me anywhere and know it wasn't going to be damaged and most people didn't even know it was an iPad. But by giving up the leather book form factor case I gained a lot more portability in that the iPad is quite a bit lighter and easier to hold for long periods and much less bulky. I haven't hesitated one bit in taking my iPad everywhere with me, even without a case and it still looks just as new now as it did the day I took it out of the box. Granted I am pretty careful with my devices). If I leave the house or am going from meeting to meeting at work I always have my Muzetto bag with me anyway, so in that sense my iPad is being carried around in a protective case (the bag). I did just purchase a skin, the Bodyguardz Armor. It hasn't arrived yet as of this writing as I bought it on sale over the weeknd of Thanksgiving. I bought this because I wanted some added texture (grip) on the back of the iPad and som scratch/scuff protection. The Bodyguardz Armor also comes with an anti-glare screen protector, and while these can degrade the image quality some they also significantly cutback on the glare and reduce fingerprints (which in my opinion reduce image quality even more).
The other aspect of going ceaseless is not having a built-in stand for my iPad. This one really had me concerned. I liked being able to take out my iPad mini and use the BookBook to prop it up on my lap and be able to take notes. Now that I don't have a case I can't do that...or can I? I now find myself thumb typing in portrait mode more often than not and for the times I need to type a large amount of text I just lay the iPad down on my lap flat and it works just fine. So surprisingly I have not missed my case in that respect. It was really handy using the case to watch movies on an airplane or even for reading because that would free up my hands to hold a drink or hold food. Now I end up typing on a flat tray table when doing work or just holding the iPad when watching a movie or reading. Not having a built-in case hasn't been a problem on my frequent airplane trips either. The other main iPad stand use I have is at my desk at work and home or at the dining room table. Several years ago I made some solid wood iPad stands and I am now getting much more use out of those now that I don't have a case on my iPad. I keep one stand at home and one at work and the work great for when I need a stand at these locations. So far I haven't had a need to carry any kind of a portable stand with me and I'm hoping it stays that way.
My naked iPad experiment so far has been a success. Apple designed the iPad to be touched and held and depending on how you use your iPad a case may do nothing but get between you and a beautifully designed product. Apple has literally spent millions in R&D to make the iPad as thin and light as possible and if you add a case to the iPad you counteract some of that design. Like anything deciding to use or not use a case has its benefits and compromises. I've told you what seems to work well for me, now it's your turn. Post a comment me below and tell me your thoughts on using a case or going caseless, I would really love to hear what other people are doing!