Sometimes it feels like we've seen every iPad case in the universe--and then there comes a weird new design that takes iPad culture to an even deeper level. Enter the Joby Gorillamobile Ori and Yogi cases, both of which transform--in different ways--into some positions that even made us blush.
We first got wind of these around CES, but we've finally gotten both to our office to check out in more detail. Both feature the same base iPad case: a rubber-reinforced plastic shell that snugly encases itself around the iPad, and offers some modicum of shock absorption (as we discovered when our Yogi-encased iPad fell off our photographer's door handle and bounced, to our horror, on the carpeted floor). However, the Ori and Yogi attach radically different hardware around that shell.
The Ori's flat metallic unfolding panels are origami-influenced, and though it takes some figuring out, we found some incredibly useful orientations for office work. Folded flat, it can be used as a standard flip-open folio case, albeit one with lots of flat metal panels. It can flip backward into a rigid semi-elevated keyboard mode. In stand mode, the 360-degree rotating iPad mount swivels from landscape to portrait easily, and when hyper-extended, it's a useful monitor.
The Yogi extends the oft-seen Gorilla segmented-ball-joint tech seen in several camera and smartphone tripods, adding two large flexible bendy-limbs onto the back. The dual arms can clip on two parts of the case, for portrait and landscape needs, and can even grip around the edges of walls, poles, tree limbs, or wherever else you feel inspired. We found it made a perfectly ridiculous arm-band, with a little careful bending. It could be the perfect case for long road trips with the kids, if you can wrap it around the back of the head rest on your car seat. The Yogi's instruction manual suggests a number of positions, ranging in inspiration from Yoga poses to ones that border on the Kama Sutra. The Ori and Yogi are available now for $79 and $49, respectively.