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This week I am taking a look at the Incipio Executive Folio black leather case for iPad. This case not only looks good but is super thin. There are no pockets in the case other than the area to slip in your iPad. The flap secures with a tab of leather that tucks into a leather loop.
The fact that this case uses real leather is nice; no "pleather" here. You can smell it as soon as you take the case out of the packaging. The inside is a very soft suede. I feel very safe sliding my iPad in and out of it. Since it is so soft, it slides in smoothly too. Sometimes with these types of cases the iPad won't slide in smoothly and can get stuck on a corner, etc. I have not found that to be the situation here.
The only concern I have with this case is that the leather tab that closes the external flap is only sewn on in two places. It feel that over time, it might easily tear. My case has not torn, but if you watch the video, I show you what I mean.
Overall, this is a slim case that will protect your iPad from daily bumps and grinds. There is not any real padding for falls, but it seems to had handled the daily abuse I was able to give it just fine.
Otterbox Commuter Case for iPhone 3GS strikes the perfect balance between convenience and protection. If you're rocking Apple's other big smartphone release this year, the $99 iPhone 3GS (or the unlocked iPhone 3GS, depending on where you live), or still lucky enough to have a 16GB or 32GB iPhone 3GS from last year, this case should be on your radar. (It also fits the iPhone 3G.)
Confession: I thought I'd hate it when it first arrived. I don't know why exactly, maybe it was fear of layers bulk, uncertainty about dual color schemes, dunno, but I was not looking forward to testing out the Otterbox Commuter. Then I put it on.
AD&D analogy time -- If skins are the chainmail of the case world and the Otterbox Defender is the full plate armor (yes, even the pink one), the Commuter is the in-between, plate-mail option. It's strong but still a but flexible, solid and secure but still snug and light.
Like plate-mail it comes in two layers, the silicone that you slip on first, and that has covers for the 3.5mm headset jack and 30-pin dock connector, and the plastic shell that goes over it. Together they provide protection against scrapes and scuffs and minor impacts.
The Otterbox Commuter also comes in a ton of colors -- yellow, white, blue, green, brown, burgundy, and black. (Yes, I'll spare you the strained surcoat analogy).
Again, not as big as the Defender, not as thin as a skin, I found myself leaving it on even after my typical week-long review period was over. Since I've been carrying an iPhone 4 around as well, maybe I was a little more concerned about my iPhone 3GS getting damaged, maybe I started to like the look, or maybe I wanted my fellow SPE editors to think I had an imaginary, super-secret iPhone 5 prototype hidden in a fancy camo case (I'll never tell!)
This week I had a chance to look at the black FlexGrip case for the iPad by Griffin, available in black, blue, purple and white. The FlexGrip manages to protect and look good. It's made from silicon, but the slick kind. The case it self is not slippery, but rather it does not stick to surfaces. This is good if you place your iPad in a bag and want to access it easily but bad if you want it to grip on a surface.
I used the case for a couple of weeks putting it in and out of my backpack, laid it on tables, watched content on it, etc. The only issue I had with the case is that the edge flashings do not grip the iPad's glass tightly. This is an issue for me as I seem to collect lint where ever I go. I found myself having to occasionally clean out the lint particles. Also, it is important to note that if you use the iPad dock like I do, it does not fit in the dock with the case on.
Ultimately I liked Griffin FlexGrip for iPad. Just be aware of the looser flashings and that it is the slip not sticky silicone.
The Case-Mate Gelli is easy to apply and remove from your iPad. The case is translucent so it allows the back of your iPad to still show through. The case also has a triangle pattern on it which gives the case a bit of style in comparison to a regular plain silicone case. The case is very easy to put on the iPad and has open spaces to allow for all the buttons and ports and controls. The case goes over the edges of the iPad so it will protect the iPad against minor impacts.
Case-Mate Gelli Checkmate Case is about 2 to 3 mm in thickness at it greatest points so it is still lightweight but also durable. This case is a nice silicone case as it has good grip but does not feel sticky as some other silicone cases can. I have been using this case for a week and I am quite happy with it. I would have liked if it came with a screen protector.
The XGear Shield is made from dual-compound materials that creates a shock absorbing bumper on the edges. Translation: it has thick edges that fit securely to the iPad that can reduce damage to the corners if bumped. Though not completely transparent, XGear Shield has more of a frosted backing that and not only looks good but totally protects the back and sides of iPad and gives you complete piece of mind from scratches.
There are two things that I really like about this case. The first is how secure it is. There are some cases that fit, but the edges and corners are loose. While this may make for easy removal, I fear it can get caught on something and slip off of the iPad. This is not the case with the XGear Shield. The edges are actually a challenge to put on and remove so you know the case isn't going anywhere. On the downside, it doesn't allow for docking with the iPad dock. All of the openings are there, but the power button has given me some challenges. Turning on is easy though by tapping the home button instead.
Marware Eco-Vue case brings executive leather folio look-and-feel to iPad
Make no mistake, the Marware Eco-Vue case for the iPad [$42.95 - TiPb store link] is the executive option for iPad cases. It's the leather bound Cadillac. It's the finely appointed Benz. No, I'm not writing a luxury car review, but that's kind of how this case feels. The quality is excellent -- it smells excellent. Deep black leather with crisp white stitching on the outside sandwiches your iPad providing a think layer of plush protection, softer gray microfiber swaddles it inside while still granting access to hardware buttons and ports. There's also a clear screen protector included to keep the display safe.
A thin elastic band lets you secure the Marware Eco-Vue closed or flipped back and open. There's a leather strap that folds over the top and tucks in to keep your iPad from falling out. I'm paranoid so it didn't de-stress me to the level a snap or velcro or some other form of security would have, but it's long enough and the friction is high enough that the iPad stays put. It's leather-glove tight inside either, which will annoy perfectionists but does make getting the iPad in and out far easier. Since I haven't seen a dock yet that will work with this size case, that could be a plus for those who want to take their iPad out every once and a while.
Inside the Marware Eco-Vue's front cover are a couple of highly useful extras. An elastic leather strap lets you slip one hand inside so you can carry the iPad around and tap away with the other hand without worrying it will slip and fall. A stand folds out to let you prop it up on a table to create a better typing angle. A magnet keeps it from flopping around when not in use. Smart. So smart I kind of wish a magnet was also used to keep the case closed, though the elastic is certainly more traditional.
And if you're wondering about the Eco in the name, Marware says it's made out of substances healthier for the environment and meets RoHS standards.
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Here is the OtterBox Defender in pink [$42.95 - iMore Store link], also offered in black, white, and yellow [iMore Store Link] a case said to be strong enough for a man but made in pink for a woman.
As a special bonus, we asked you, our readers, if you wanted to see Rene use this case for a day along with photographic proof, and you responded with a strong, hell heck ya! Though, getting Project Pink to happen was more difficult that originally planned...
Read on for the review, and the results, after the break!
When we met with Tezuka-san and the Capcom Street Fighter IV team at GDC 2010, he was gracious enough to give us not one, but two (2!) special edition promotional Street Fighter IV iPhone cases. Full color, they feature Ryu and Ken and are emblazoned with the slogan "Waiting for a new challenger" and the Street Fighter IV logo. When we got these Capcom told us there were only a few left in North America. This is the real deal, and they're letting us give them away to you, our readers.