With the iPad, Apple decided to break an old tradition and release a case. At $39 it’s not the cheapest, but many people think it’s one of the best cases out there. Read on to find out if Apple knows how to make cases as well.
This case has a couple of nice features that make it stand out from the crowd. First off, you can lock the screen flap on the back to prop it up to a very nice typing angle. You can also prop it up at a steeper angle, but that isn’t very stable (at least not without my mod). I love the typing mode position and it’s one of the reasons I bought the case, and it doesn’t add as much bulk to the case as many similar solutions. You can’t prop it up in portrait mode though, which is a downside.
Another great feature of this case is that the whole thing is very low profile. It’s made of some sort of weird semi-rubber, semi-microfibre, semi-thorknowswhat material that appears to be very durable, gives a good grip and can be glued or melted together rather than stitched together like a leather case. The case is stiff around the edges and the lid, which provides a nice frame that doesn’t twist off. Unfortunately the material attracts dirt like no other, and dust seems to stick to it particularly well. Since dust is light grey, the case look slike a bird took a shit on it and it got smeared all over the place most of the time.
The case seems to be pressed together around the edges, creating a sharp (for a case) stiff edge around the entire case. This can make it a bit uncomfortable to hold, but it actually provides a lot of protection from falls because if the iPad falls on one of those edges they will act like a pretty thick soft edge without adding the bulk that would entail. I think they made a wise choice with this design as it keeps the case low profile without sacrificing protection. As for the back and front, those sides aren’t as protected (the screen more than the back) but it’s unlikely that the iPad will fall exactly flat in any case (get it? in any case…).
The case opens like a book and the lid that protects the screen can be held against the back of the case to keep it out of the way. Just yesterday I posted a mod that adds an elastic strap to the case to keep the lid in place both when closed and when fully open, which is also visible in some of these pictures (so be aware of that if you haven’t seen the mod and think the band is stock). As you can see in the picture above, the lid is divided in two in order to bend to form a triangle when propped up in typing mode.
The iPad is secured inside the case with a small flap that goes around the side of the iPad and is then pushed between the underside of the iPad and the case in order to stay in place. This generally works well, however the iPad often slides a few mm- enough to misalign the cutouts.
The bottom has cutouts for the speaker and dock connector. Like with pretty much any case, the cutout for the dock connector isn’t big enough to make any dock connector accessory fit in there (such as som FM transmitters etc). Also note that the official iPad charging dock will not fit the iPad if this case is on, unlike the Candyshell case that Allen reviewed.
On the side you have cutouts for the volume and mute button. I quite like that there are actual cutouts rather than having a case where there are rubber (or whatever) pieces on top of the buttons, as this way is much more responsive.
The two cutouts on the top are where you’ll notice if the iPad is misaligned. It’s often impossible to insert a headphone jack without pushing the iPad further into the case. Not a big issue, but soemthign youæll end up doing a lot.
The back has a small flap that the lid will slot into to put the iPad at a nice angle for typing. You can’t adjust the angle or anything, but the angle they chose is spot on as far as I’m concerned.
All in all I quite like this case. My main reason for wanting it beside the stand feature was the size, as this is truly one of the most low profile cases out there. In fact, when it all comes down to it that is really the only feature that it truly has over the competition. The size really makes a difference though, at least if you you want a case, not a tank. It feels great to carry it around closed and it doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a pillow or sorts, which is often the case with many book-style leather cases which add a lot of thickness to the iPad. I wish it wouldn’t attract as much dust, that it had the elastic strap by default and that it was a bit cheaper (say, $30 max). Still, I love it, and will probably be keeping it until the iPad 2 arrives- maybe we’ll be lucky and the old cases will still work.