It’s been a bit since my last post, but it has not been uneventful. I even have a trio of iPad cases to review for you, so let’s get to it.
The first case I want to talk about is the Eco-Vue case from Marware
. I used the case for over a month and it traveled everywhere with me. It is lightweight, and doesn’t offer much protection for the iPad itself, other than acting as a cover. The case, advertised as “eco-leather” (read specially process leather that looks and feels a lot like soft vinyl), has a semi-rigid case and flap, the iPad is held in a mostly secure manner, more on that in a minute, and the inside of the case is a microfiber/felted material which provides some protection for the screen itself. There is an elastic band to hold the case closed, or open and it has a low level stand to support the iPad in low landscape mode for typing. The feature that sets this case apart is a wide elastic strap on the inside cover that provides the ability to hold the iPad with one hand without fatigue due to its weight.
This feature is what makes this case so unusual and such a value. I haven’t seen any other case with this type of hand hold and I think Marware is onto something with this one. There are a few issues with the case from my month with it. First, the felted interior started looking dirty after a couple of weeks use. I wash my hands regularly and use more hand sanitizer than I probably should, but the case itself looked like I had used it after changing the oil in the car. I have seen this happen with felted material before and it is just the way this fabric wears, but you need to be prepared for the look. The flap that holds the iPad in the case started loosening after about three weeks of use. In the beginning, the case is straight-backed and this gives the flap plenty of contact to maintain friction and keep the iPad secure. Once the back starts to curve to match the shape of the iPad, however, the flap starts to loosen and slip. It never came completely out, even when the iPad was held upside down, but I lost confidence in it after I felt it slide back and forth in the case. A small piece of Velcro would fix this, but I think the designers should have thought of that themselves. Another sign the case may not hold up in the long run is the wrinkling that developed on the spine of the cover, both inside and out. The leather of the case started to develop stress lines from opening and closing, as well as being held folded over like the picture above. Also, the internal felt started to stretch a bit and I was afraid it may wear or tear over a longer period of time. Finally, the last issue has me the most curious at the designer’s thought process. The small flap used to lift the iPad to a good angle for typing is held in place by a magnet. For a Wi-Fi iPad, this raises no issues, however, for the 3G iPad with the MAGNETIC compass, this raises a few issues. With the case closed or folded back, the compass will not work and the iPad with definitely let you know about it any time you launch an app that accesses it. I cant figure out why the designers would over look this flaw, or if they thought that most of the iPads sold would be Wi-Fi and they decided to use something easy design to hold the flap. Overall, this case has some solid features, but I am concerned it will not hold up over a long time. The price of the case is quite reasonable, at $25 on Amazon at the time of writing, and for most users, this case will work well. Just be prepared for the felt to look well used after a few weeks.
Half the price of similarly featured cases
Elastic band holds the case securely closed
Felted interior protects the screen
That strap is just an awesome way to hold the iPad
Concerns over long-term survivability
Flap holding iPad loosens over time
Felted interior looks “well used” in a short period of time
That crazy magnet (but only an issue for 3G iPads)
The next case is not as good, or even in the same league as the Marware case. It is the Deluxe Leather Muilti-View case by Acase
. Where the Marware case was a pretty solid case, the Acase, at $14 shows you definitely get what you pay for in a case. This case is basically two pieces of strong cardboard wrapped in leather and joined together on one side by a thin leather strip and held closed by a snap closure. The case has a set of ridges on the outside flap where a picture frame style leg on the back of the iPad can rest in to provide several levels of viewing. The iPad slides into the case from the top and a small piece of elastic loops over a corner to hold the iPad in place. on the inside of the cover, there are a set of pockets which can hold small papers, but beyond that, I would be afraid to hold anything against the iPad screen as there is no real protection for the iPad’s screen. Apart from these “features” this is a basic flip case to cover the iPad
Ok, I really tried to find a redeeming quality for this case and all I could come up with is that the snap works well to keep the case closed. That’s it, I can’t really see any other solid qualities which would make me want to recommend this case to anyone. The case feels flimsy in your had, even with the iPad in it. The top of the case is open, with only the little elastic loop holding in the iPad and that seems to be slipping most of the time. The kick stand works ok for viewing landcape mode, but the cover is too weak to stand it in portrait mode. The lowest angle setting for the case is still way too steep for comfortable typing and the kickstand has that crazy magnet that the Marware uses, but in this case, you CAN”T move it away as it is attached to the case behind the iPad. Overall, I can’t bring myself to recommend this case to anyone, even the ultra-budget conscious. I would recommend that you save your money and by another case, or use a ziplok bag as that is possibly built a little better.
The snap closure works well
Cheap (everything else)
The kickstand does not adjust well and each stage is to similar to the last
The iPad is not securely held in place.
The Magnet thing again
Just not a good case….
Well there you go. Two cases, one not bad, one you should stay away from like a zombie. I am currently testing another case from a social site called the Quirky Cloak
. I’ve only had it for a few hours, so I will post a review after I have some more time with it. In any case, (sorry for the pun) I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.
(Note: All pictures are from Amazon as mine just didn’t turn out well.)