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Confessions of a Nudist

I’m a die-hard nudist. Before you get too scandalized, it’s not my clothes I abhor. I object strongly to the ridiculous outfits that we clothe our devices in. My wife, bless her heart, bought me a top of the line case for my new iPad. It was a Targus case with a Bluetooth keyboard and a nice leather-like exterior. It looked nice and the keyboard even worked, sort of. The problem – the damn thing weighed more than the iPad! So here I am, with my 1.5 lb iPad combined with a 2 lb case to create a device that looks suspiciously like a small laptop, with far less functionality. I shipped the Targus case back. I still carry my iPad, but I carry it naked. The only cover I will use for it is a light sleeve to protect the screen. My smartphone is naked too. I use a Samsung Focus S, which is slim and sleek. Unlike the iPhone, it has taken a few falls without the screen shattering, because cheap plastic seems to flex better than Apple’s metal back and gorilla glass!

Imagine that you worked out for a year to get a “bikini body”. You finally sculpted your midriff and your thighs and your arms to look svelte and sexy. When heading to the beach, you were told that you were required to put on bulky layers of clothes that hide every part of your body. Oh, by the way, these clothes are so heavy that they weigh you down. And they make you look ugly. You would be mad, wouldn’t you?

That’s what I see going on with smartphones and tablets. Engineers and designers at Apple slave for months to come up with devices that are ever slimmer and sleeker. The iPhone 5 is thinner than the iPhone 4S. The iPad is amazingly slim, as is the MacBook Air. But when was the last time you saw an iPhone or an iPad in the flesh? Most people rush to cover up their svelte devices with ugly, bulky, heavy cases that would do the morality police in Saudi Arabia proud! The result – the thin and light devices transform into ugly contraptions with cases, keyboards and other paraphernalia that obfuscate the original device.

I can’t blame people who buy the Otter cases and the Targus keyboards – after all – the devices are flimsy and they need protection. Despite all the protection, every third iPhone I see seems to have a cracked screen. But I do blame the manufacturers. What’s the point in making a device so thin and flimsy that that it now needs a case that makes it thicker and heavier than a device that could have been a little heavier and sturdier, but could be carried in all its naked glory? Maybe Kevlar and plastic is the way to go, as Motorola and Samsung have done, instead of glass and metal that Apple seems to favor.

So I insist on carrying my devices naked. I travel a lot, so every gram matters to me. I have no patience for a case that weighs down my laptop bag. And I refuse to use a case that makes my phone so bulky that it no longer fits in my shirt pocket. If designers are listening to me, please make your devices so that we can use them with no protection in our pockets, purses and bags.

I’m a nudist. And I plan to stay that way.

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