iPad Accessory Review: DigiPower Coffee Clutch Carrying Case and Stand

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Are all iPad cases starting to look the same to you? If so fear not, the DigiPower’s Coffee Clutch will break you out of your “iPad-case-alike doldrums” with ease. The case/stand takes an unusual approach to protecting the iPad while adding an ever-present stand and a great “grab and go” handle. Let’s take a look.

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From DigiPower:

The Coffee Clutch is both a versatile carry case and a lightweight portable stand. Its unique and fun style makes it a must-have accessory for the iPad.

Among the features:

Easy to use on your desktop or on your lap

Grab and go; use the built in handle or included shoulder strap

Contoured design adds protection for your iPad

Soft textured black finish

It offers:

A handle grip

A detachable shoulder strap

A flexible rubber border

A fold out stand

The Coffee Clutch comes with the case/stand and a removable shoulder strap. The packaging is simple and uninteresting, but it gets the job done.

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Except for three of the front edges (more on that shortly) the case/stand is made from hard plastic. Built into the back is a kickstand that when closed doesn’t add much thickness.

As you can see the handle is actually part of the case itself. That means there is no risk of it breaking off or coming loose.

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Getting the iPad into the case is a simple process once you have done it a few times; you slip the long edge of the iPad into the section of the case closest to the handle. (This is where the one hard plastic side is along the edges.) You then slowly work the other three edges up and over the iPad. It takes a slight bit of force but that ensures the iPad will stay put once it is inside; and it does.

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The cutouts for the headphone jack, microphone and sleep/awake button are precise. The case does make it a bit more difficult to access the button but it remains full functional.

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The same goes for the volume toggle and the freshly returned — thanks to iOS 4.3 beta rev 3 — rotation lock.

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Once in the Coffee Clutch the iPad is completely usable. Yes, it does set the iPad’s landscape orientation such that the Home button must be on the left, but my experience using the Coffee Clutch shows it to be irrelevant in daily use.

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The case is super simple to grip and feels quite comfortable in the hand.

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I held the Coffee Clutch, shook it hard, and felt totally confident that the iPad wasn’t going anywhere. It is really quite impressive how thinking outside the box a bit can create something that is so practical.

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When you flip open the back stand it exposes the back of the iPad and the Apple logo. It then lets you set the iPad on a horizontal surface for hands free use.

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Unfortunately this is only usable with the iPad in landscape due to the design, but most video viewing will be done in landscape.

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Finally there is the shoulder strap. It looks a bit cheap but it is made from a material that is slightly elastic, and as a result feels quite comfortable to use.

I really like the Coffee Clutch. It is a different take on the iPad case/stand and it works. I showed it to Elana and her response was, “Now that is a neat idea… Someone should have thought of this months ago.” I agree. It is a neat product and worth consideration if you carry the iPad from room to room constantly. No, it doesn’t protect the screen, but that wasn’t the goal here; besides, you can always add your choice of screen protector.

The Coffee Clutch will be available from DigiPower, and while there is a product page it does not currently let you order one.

MSRP: Word is the case/stand will run about $30.

What I Like: Holds iPad securely; Lets you get a great grip on the iPad; Has a built-in stand for horizontal viewing

What Needs Improvement: No screen protection; Adds some heft and makes the device wider; stand is only really good for landscape viewing

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.