Back in June we let you in on a little information on a new product in its Kickstarter phase from Donat Saguy, and if you can recall we’ve featured everything that has made it’s way into production so far. The Smart Cargo arrived at our doorstep last Friday, and since I set forth to travel to Vegas early this week I thought there would be no better time to see what this could do to make my iPad travels a little less messy. The Kickstarter is live and will be running for another week, so use this review to decide if it would be something you should back, and let me start this off by saying, “yes, you should back this project.”
The Smart Cargo is only a long thin piece of plastic the length of the iPad. It’s as wide as one column on the Smart Cover and only about ¾ of an inch tall. It slopes down at an angle that makes it easier to use when pairing with the Smart Cover, but we’ll get to that later. Plastic on the outside opens to a soft felt on the inside which keeps all of your accessories safe. It’s a sleek piece of hard plastic that doesn’t add much weight or bulk to the iPad but creates a way to carry your most beloved iPad accessories without the need to stuff your pockets or carry a bag.
The iPad utilizes the magnets in the Smart Cover to stick securely to it adding an extra grip point to your iPad. I wasn’t to sure how this was going to work when I first posted about this back in June, but I’ll have to say Dotan has won me over. I’ve been able to comfortably use the Smart Cargo as a place to hold the iPad which is almost nicer to me than what it’s really made for.
I am using a prototype unit, as the Smart Cargo hasn’t made it into mass production, and because of this I ran into some problems, but they have already been identified, so I won’t go into detail on this. I am really interested in how the final model will perform as the only issues I find myself having are defects in the prototype phase. I wasn’t able to put the iPad USB cable into the Smart Cargo, because of one of the prototype defects I had, so I can’t say if this will actually fit inside of the final production version.
There really isn’t much performance you could except out of an accessory like this, but it actually provides more usage and convenience that deserves its own section and part of this review. First off, let’s talk a bit about how the design of this little guy works in your favor, after slapping it on the Smart Cover you find it not really hindering in any way the usage of the Smart Cover. The Smart Cover can still roll up behind the iPad, which is nice, but we do lose a couple different of the viewing angles that the Smart Cover provides. This isn’t a huge negative just because of the extra ways to hold it that are made because of the Smart Cargo.
Because of the size of the Smart Cargo, you aren’t given a whole crud ton of room, but you will be surprised. I was able to fit a pair of Apple ear buds, stylus and my PhotoFast i-FlashDriveHD and there was still room to fit a few more smaller items. I love the size of the Smart Cargo, but I do wish that the Apple charging block would fit inside of this, as that is an accessory that I will need when traveling. On every day usage, I never need to charge my iPad, but if I am going to be gone for a week or so, it is a must. But I guess if I’m going to be gone that long, I can throw that thing into something else.
When walking around with the iPad, it has never felt natural to me to hold. Since having the Smart Cargo attached, I’ve found myself keeping it in my hands more than throwing it into my bag. It is comfortable, natural and just all around nice to have in your hand. You can still roll the Smart Cover up, and even create some even more ways to hold the iPad that really weren’t the nicest with only the Smart Cover flipped backwards, as you can see below. You can use the Smart Cargo as wrist support while typing, this isn’t something I found myself using, but I did give a shot and I’ll have to say that it works, but I type with my arms angled in, not straight at my keyboard/iPad, so it was uncomfortable for me.
As I mentioned above, the iPad is 100% securely attached to the Smart Cover. It will not fall off, fly open or hinder over all iPad usage. You have to remember that this is still an accessory so what it all comes down to is how the iPad performs when you pair with the Smart Cargo. Will the Smart Cargo make it easier or more convenient in your every day iPad life? Short answer, yes. No if, ands or buts about it, it just works and really does make the iPad that much more enjoyable. Long answer, yyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!! The Smart Cargo is a sleek piece of awesome that should be shipped with the iPad’s Smart Cover every time. You create a cargo ship for your iPad accessories that is useful in other areas, not just as a ‘catch all’ for your iPad crap.
With 8 days left of the Kickstarter Project, you can still get Smart Cargo for $20 which is 33% off of the final retail price of $30. There are even some pledge options that add some of Dotan’s other creations at discounted prices. But for $20, there really isn’t a reason you should go pledge and support Dotan and his wonderful mind. The Smart Cargo will head into production as the $10,000 goal was destroyed a long time ago, currently sitting at $44,700. So jump on the Smart Cargo Ship and get one of these at a discounted rate!
More: Smart Cargo [Kickstarter]