To be perfectly honest, when I first saw the Cooler Master Elegance Collection cases for iPad, I wasn't sure I liked the look. They're made of 100% synthetic wool felt reminded me of the art I used to make as a child, or something like a faux-finish. However, the more I used them, the more they grew on me.
That material, the synthetic felt, is not only biodegradable, but also water repellant to keep your precious iPad safe from incidental contact with water. You can't submerge it, of course, but a little rain or a tiny splash won't bother it in the least. It also provides cushioning effect against drops and other minor forms of impact. But there's more.
With the Elegance Collection, Cooler Master has put a lot of thought into the details. The Cormo Sleeve messenger, for example, has a strong, snap closure but also a wonderfully old-world cord wrap as well. It's carefully constructed so as not to block or dampen the speakers, so if you're listening to music, a podcast, or an audiobook, you can still keep your iPad safe and secure in the Cormo Sleeve case. And it's even got a pocket for your iPhone, or for some papers, pens, sunglasses, or other small items.
The Afrino Folio offers a convenient carry handle and offers full headphone jack access. Once you've secured your iPad inside the rigid plastic frame, you can even roll up the soft, felt cover and use it to like a stand to prop up your iPhone. It only works in landscape mode, unfortunately, and not in portrait, but it does make the Afrino Folio more of a multitasker. There's even a place to store your pen or stylus, though it doesn't feel especially secure to me...
- Water repellent material
- Easy access to ports
- Excellent attention to details
- Felt look can take some getting used to
- Bulky by nature of materials and style
The bottom line
The Cooler Master Elegance Collection cases for iPad, namely the Cormo Sleeve and the Afrino Folio absolutely aren't for everyone. While water and impact resistant, the synthetic wool felt finish alone will probably make many think long and hard before bringing either one of them home. If you do like the folio or messenger look, and enjoy the hipster vibe, the Cooler Master Elegance Collection for iPad is definitely something to consider.