Gadget cases - why are they so popular?

Tod'sImage by dajan via Flickr
So, my aunt emailed me a link jokingly suggesting that I write a review for the world's most expensive iPad case. Although I'd be happy to have a demo unit sent to me for a review, I have to say that I probably won't be a potential customer of Tod's anytime soon. What I will do is take an opportunity to reflect on the importance of a case, and try to delve deeper into the mind of a gadgetphile. Why is it that we must have something to hold our devices?

Protecting your investment
Well, there's the obvious reason, and that's to protect your shiny new gadget from the everyday grind. Bumps and bruises, scratches, and even the occasional drop can all be prevented or shielded by a good case. With something as commonly used as a cell phone or laptop, you can easily see why there is a shelf of cases in any gadget store.

Making a statement 
Although I wasn't into the faux leather, hot pink, or neon colored neoprene cases, I see these cases all around me on the train and at school. And why not? With cell phones all coming in the same black, silver, or metallic finishes (which most of us gadget lovers seem to prefer), individuals wish to express their personalities, and what better way to do so than to pull out your alligator skin laptop case?

Function and form
There's the rare breed of cases that actually adds to the functionality of the phone. With the iPhone, I purchased and reviewed a pair of cases that helped for different reasons. The Contour Hardskin case provided an extra grip that I felt was needed so the slippery phone wouldn't fly out of my hands when taken out of the pocket. The DLO Videoshell case was deemed by some as "gimmicky", but I actually enjoyed having the built-in kickstand and I believe that this is a major selling point for the HTC Evo 4G. With my current Droid X, I settled on a plastic snap-on case, which, with the exception of letting some dust in, provides a nice feel to the almost too thin device in addition to some basic protection.

When all is said and done, there's a case out there for everyone, and I know that some prefer to go "naked" or use a shield/skin, but for me, I'm always going to be a sucker for a good case or two.


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