Space at 100k feet?!
Uhh... I don't think so. A generally accepted standard is the Karman Line, which is a rough approximation of the point below which "significant lateral thrust would be keep a craft flying level" (from 'Where Does Space Begin?' on Slate). That altitude is 100 kilometers. If Google is to be believed, that works out to 328,083.99 feet.
NASA determines whether you're an astronaut (which it seems would apply to iPads as well as badasses) by using the 100km figure above. The USAF, generously, considers you an astronaut if you've gone up a mere 80km - but that's still far above 100,000 feet.
Not only that, the SR71 Blackbird had a *service ceiling* (normal operating range) of 85,000 feet.
And a final thought - a balloon can only support an object if it can 'float' on the air around it. A balloon, by definition, can't leave the atmosphere any more than a rubber duck can float to the top of the tub water and keep on going until it's hovering. Ye cannae change tha laws'a'physics.
So we have problems:
A: At absolute best, the balloon could 'float on the surface of space'. If you want to get really pedantic, that disqualifies any claims immediately - the iPad is hanging below the balloon, ergo it can't be in space. But that's not necessary...
A: By definition you can't stick a balloon in space, as it will pop. Their balloon did not pop. It did not go into space.
B: The atmosphere's border is gradual, not immediate, like the tub water. Something buoyant will float up to a certain point and stay there; it's 'surface' is dependent on its lift. Have any mass at all? You won't get to the top; at some point your lift (unless you're a rocket) is going to go away, and that point will not be space.
C: Remember, even helium has some mass. If you get to the point where the atmosphere is less dense than helium, as it must, the whole kit and kaboodle might as well be a brick. You want to get to space? Helium may be lighter than air, but I'm fairly sure it isn't lighter than nothing.
So, there's no way in hell it's going to come even close to any commonly accepted definition of 'space'. And it didn't - far less than half by the most generous definition, and less than a third by the most common.
I'm not surprised about the case manufacturer - playing fast and loose with the facts is a treasured tradition of marketing - but I'm a bit surprised that El Reg just gave them a free pass. If someone from the US issued a press release saying that they had driven an electric car "coast-to-coast on one charge, all the way to Chicago!", you'd be all over it like a cheap suit. So I'm disappointed that you didn't jump on -this-.