We've come up with a lot of inventive solutions for keeping our iPads out of harm's way in the kitchen, from wall-mounted peg boards to rolling them in plastic wrap. But this Chef Sleeve might be the best idea yet.The Chef Sleeve is essentially a large plastic envelope with a resealable flap. It fits snugly around the iPad, and the plastic is resistant to water, grease, and powdery ingredients like flour and confection sugar. But it leaves the screen still completely touch-sensitive. It can be recycled after heavy use or wiped clean and used again. The box can even be used as a stand to hold the iPad upright. Handy!
The Chef Sleeve performs just as promised. I felt very comfortable keeping the iPad next to me while I chopped, mixed, and cooked. Short of actually dropping the iPad in a sink of water, I can't imagine anything making its way inside the sleeve. I didn't notice the iPad getting too hot, and the Chef Sleeve website mentions that the iPad will run out of juice long before it overheats from being inside the plastic.
I also didn't notice any decrease in screen sensitivity with the sleeve on, which was one of my main concerns at the outset. It was just as easy to navigate, tap, scroll, and zoom as normal. It was also very nice to not worry about making sure my fingers were completely clean and dry before touching the iPad.
I did notice that big smears left on the plastic seemed to confuse the iPad at times. It would scroll around the smear or interpret the smear to mean it should take some new action. I was testing the sleeve pretty aggressively at that point, though, so this might not happen as much during the normal course of cooking unless you have a major spill.
The sleeves can definitely be re-used. They'll start to show wear and tear after a while, but they continue to be usable. After lots of wipes, the screen (er...the plastic over the screen) starts to look and feel a little grimy. If the plastic gets creased, it also creates a little visual distortion as you look at the screen. The seams of the envelope seem to hold up well over time, however.
For me, the biggest drawback is that I normally keep my iPad inside a case and it's actually not that easy to take it out all the time. This will be different depending on your case, of course. I will probably continue using my iPad as is for everyday cooking, and then use these Chef Sleeves just for major cooking and baking projects where I'm more likely to be making a mess in the kitchen.
These Chef Sleeves are definitely a good solution for those of us who like to keep our iPads next to us while we cook. Let carefree cooking commence!
• Find It! Chef Sleeves, $19.99 for a package of 25 sleeves
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Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)