Best Buy recently launched the Incase Convertible Book Jacket case for the Apple iPad 2, and I took the case for a spin. The Book Jacket is an attractive case that looks somewhat like a large day planner. The case is quite thick, however, so you lose much of the benefit of the iPad 2’s slim form factor.
The Book Jacket can be used as a folio or as a stand. The case uses what has become a common three angle design, where the iPad 2 is supported by one of three indentations on the inside of the case’s front cover. This design doesn’t work perfectly – there is a bit of wobble when interacting with the iPad 2’s screen, but overall the stand feature worked just fine for my requirements.
One thing I wasn’t impressed with was the Book Jack’s price. At $60, I wondering how much value I was getting over the generic cases on Amazon that are priced in the $30 range. Additionally, the Book Jacket makes it a bit difficult to access the iPad 2’s ports and buttons. This is mostly Apple’s fault – the curved edges of the device can make it difficult to press the device’s buttons when the iPad 2 is in a case. However, the Book Jacket also blocked the iPad 2’s speaker, making audio sound a but muffled.
The appeal of this case comes down to the Incase brand. We’re big fans of Incase, and if you’re a fan perhaps the Book Jacket’s premium price won’t be a problem. But if you’re just looking for a serviceable case that will stand up to minimal wear and tear, we’d suggest you look elsewhere.
Check out the video review of the Book Jacket from our partners at iGear360.com, above.
Tired of cheap-looking iPad 2 cases covered with faux leather and silicone? Take a look at Sena Case’s recently unveiled iPad 2 collection. The company’s cases are handcrafted with real leather, and come in a variety of colors, including black, orange, red and brown.
Sena’s Florence case, above left, is a slim folio-style case for the iPad 2 that can fold into tying or viewing angles. Also available for preorder is Sena’s Folio case, above right. Like the Florence, the Folio is handcrafted and made with genuine leather. The Folio also converts into a stand, and displays the iPad 2 at three different angles.
Both the Florence and Folio will retail for $80 when released on April 22nd. You can also preorder either case for $70 now. To preorder, surf on over to Sena’s website here. Unfortunately, the company’s website doesn’t provide many images or either case, but we’ll try to get our hands on a review unit soon.
There aren’t many cases currently available for the HTC ThunderBolt, but we think the Seidio Innocase II Surface is really all you need. Although the Surface is a bit thick, the case protects the ThunderBolt well, provides good access to all ports, buttons and the kickstand, and feels comfortable to hold.
Our partners at iGear360.com reviewed the black version of the Surface, above. We like the case’s soft matte exterior, although as you can see in the video the case does tend to pick up lint. If you like to show off your ThunderBolt on a holster, the Surface case’s holster is a good option. It’s one of the few decent holsters for the phone currently available.
The basic version of the case costs $25, and is available in black (as shown in the video), red, purple or blue. Note that red, purple and blue versions of the case don’t have the same matte exterior as the black version. With the holster, the Surface costs $40.
You can find the various versions of the case by following the links below:
Still waiting for your favorite iPad 2 case to be released? So are we. It’s been nearly two weeks since the iPad 2 was launched and surprisingly few cases are currently shipping for the device. Many cases from leading manufacturers such as Speck, Case Mate, Belkin and others are backordered until early to late April.
However, we scoured the Internets to find iPad cases, films and screen protectors that you can buy today. Check out the list below:
Snugg iPad 2 Leather Case Cover and Flip Stand (above, second from left) – $30, ships in 4 to 5 days
Black Brown Stand Leather Case – $20, ships in 1 to 2 days
Glam Case (above, second from right) – $50, ships in 1 to 3 days
iLuv Leatherette Portfolio Case with Stand (above, far left) – $43, Black, Brown, Gray
AYL Genuine Leather Case Folio with 3-in-1 built in Stand – $40, will ship on March 25th, Black, Blue, Red
Targus 360 Degrees Rotating Stand Case (above, far right) – $60
CaseCrown Executive Flip Faux Leather Stand Case – $23, Black
Skins / Back Covers:
iLuv Flex-Gel Case (above, second from left) – $17, available in black, blue, gray, pink or white
BoxWave Wild Gloss (above, far right) – $20, ships in 1 to 2 days
Fosom TPU Skin (above, second from right) – $15, free super saver shipping
Apple iPad 2 Silicone Skin with Touchscreen Stylus (above, far left) – $15
Full Body Films:
iPad 2 Black Leather Skin Kit (above, second from left) – $17, available from Amazon seller
Armour Suit Military Shield, Black Carbon Fiber Film and screen protector (above, second from right)– $21
Zagg invisibleSHIELD WiFi and 3G versions (above, far right) – $40
Screen Protectors (none pictured, because honestly, they all look the same):
iLuv Glare-Free Screen Protector – $10, from Amazon and other Amazon sellers
Anyone who has used a MacBook knows there’s only one place you can get a MagSafe AC adapter: right from Apple itself, just ask HyperMac. That’s why we were surprised and pleased to see that Apple didn’t cripple the iPad 2’s magnetic auto wake/sleep functionality with the threat of patent lawsuits. Apple allows any case manufacturer to take advantage of the iPad 2’s magnetic sensor, and so far we’ve spotted a couple of interesting cases that do just that.
The SmartBlazer2 for the iPad 2 cribs the design of Apple’s folding Smart Cover, including the Smart Cover’s ability to fold into a stand. However, unlike Apple’s Smart Cover, the SmartBlazer2 also covers the sides and back of the device. When opened, the SmartBlazer2’s magnets instruct the iPad 2 to spring to life, and when closed the iPad 2 goes to sleep automatically. You can preorder the SmartBlazer2 for the iPad 2 here for $60. We’re excited to see how this case’s leather exterior feels in person, although we’re a bit disappointed at the case’s thick form factor.
Pad and Quill also plans to make use of the iPad 2’s magnetic sensor with their Octavo case, below. Constructed of Italian leather and wood, the Octavo case looks and feels like a finely bound book. But open up the case, and the iPad 2 lights up, thanks to a magnetic sensor in the Octavo’s cover. Close the case, and the iPad 2 falls asleep automatically. The Octavo case costs $60, and will start to ship on March 25th. You can preorder the case here.
We were enthusiastic about Griffin’s Elan Folio Slim case for the iPad 2 when it hit Best Buy’s shelves last week. The case’s thin form factor highlighted the iPad 2’s sleek edges, and the Elan Folio’s stand functionality worked well at home, the office and at the gym.
But after a week’s worth of use the Elan Folio is already starting to show its age. The edges of the case have started to fray, while white fabric peeling from nearly all of the case’s unfinished faux leather sides. The single layer of stitching that encircles the case has started to come apart as well – we dare not pull at the many threads that are poking from the case’s exterior.
We initially lauded the Elan Folio’s tight fit around the iPad 2, but after a week the case’s faux leather exterior has stretched significantly. The case no longer hugs the sides of the iPad 2. Instead at some points the case stretches out several millimeters away from the iPad 2’s sides, occasionally leaving the sides of the device uncovered.
We were disappointed by the durability of the Elan Folio, especially considering the case costs $40. Although we initially recommended the Elan Folio, this is no longer the case. Check out a video review from our partners at iGear 360, above.