Burkley Elton Smart Leather iPad Folio Cover review: Quality leather protection

This full-grain cowhide leather smart case protects your iPad in style. You can fold the front folio into a secure stand for watching videos or for typing. Your Apple Pencil is fully compatible with this case, there is no need to remove it for charging.

The Good

  • Handcrafted premium full-grain leather
  • Smart case with sleep/wake functionality
  • Folds into stable stand
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil
  • Nice looking

The Bad

  • Expensive

Form and function

Burkley Elton Smart Leather iPad Folio Cover: Features

Burkley Elton Smart Leather iPad Folio Cover

This elegant case from Burkley is handcrafted from premium full-grain cowhide leather. The leather will develop a patina over time. You can see scratches on the case in my photos; these will appear naturally over time as with any real leather product. I was not particularly rough on this case, nor did I make special efforts to baby it. It's part of the charm of natural leather.

The core of the case is plastic, though no plastic is visible. It's all covered with leather, including the interior of the case. The case fits nicely without adding much bulk. All four corners are well protected. Much of the edges of the iPad are exposed, but for good reason. All of the speakers, buttons, and ports are exposed, as well as the whole edge where you would dock your Apple Pencil. The camera cutout is sized just right for full photographic functionality.

Embedded magnets allow sleep/wake functionality when you open and close the folio. The magnets also help stabilize the iPad when the folio cover is folded back into a stand. Just like Apple's Smart Cover, the stand provides two secure horizontal angles. The lower angle is perfect for typing, while the higher angle is just right for watching videos. You can also stand your iPad up vertically, but I didn't find that angle to be as secure.

This is an ideal case for fans of premium natural cowhide leather.

Burkley says the case is moisture-resistant, though I didn't test that. It's definitely not intended to keep the iPad itself dry. However, if the case itself gets wet, it shouldn't get saturated or damaged by the water.

The case looks different depending on how the light hits it, as you can see in the above photos. Branding includes a small buffalo embossed on the front cover, and another buffalo on the back with the words: BURKLEY - STRONG LEATHER. My case is the Distressed Brown, but it also comes in Brown and Black. This particular model is for the 2018 11-inch iPad Pro, but Burkley does sell similar cases for other iPads on its site.


Burkley Elton Smart Leather iPad Folio Cover: What I like

I really like how solid and secure this case feels without being overly bulky. I do like leather and the patina it develops over time. I like that when you fold the front cover back into a stand, magnets secure it into position. Some cases rely solely on gravity to keep the iPad standing.

Burkley Elton Smart Leather iPad Folio Cover


Burkley Elton Smart Leather iPad Folio Cover: What I don't like

Like many elegant leather goods, this case is on the pricier side. Personally, I'd like to see more colors available than just shades of brown and black.

Classy and functional

Burkley Elton Smart Leather iPad Folio Cover: Bottom line

This excellent-quality leather case might be the smart case you're looking for. The folio cover folds into a secure stand for typing or watching videos. Dock your Apple Pencil without removing the case. Burkley's Elton Smart Leather Folio Cover is an ideal case for fans of premium natural cowhide leather.

See at Burkley

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.