iPad 3/iPad 2 Flexi-Fold Smart Case
Looks smart; good protection; clever stand feature
A bit of a tight fit
$41 + $15 shipping
The New iPad 3/iPad 2 Flexi-Fold Smart Case is a clever hybrid case/stand for iPad 2 and the new iPad.
The Flexi-Fold Smart Case is made by GGMM and available online from the UK at ThePadZone. It uses a folding front flap to transform from a simple (but durable and attractive) all-over cover into a rear stand.
The web of creases on the Flexi-Fold iPad case’s front flap looks confusing at first, but have a quick fiddle and you’ll find it naturally folds into a few variations on a simple three-dimensional structure.
These are designed to prop up a landscape-oriented iPad in two positions: a low-slung typing setup and another nearer the perpendicular for watching films. (We managed to improvise a standing position for a portrait iPad too, but this didn’t look too secure.)
The Flexi-Fold iPad case’s flap has the necessary magnetic jiggery-pokery to make the iPad 2 or 3 sleep and wake at will and to stay closed without a fastening mechanism. And the case allows the usual access to ports and functions. The only real exception is the volume controls, which are covered up but have little icons to show you where to press.
The New iPad 3/iPad 2 Flexi-Fold Smart Case is made of a pleasant, leather-esque synthetic microfibre material. It feels good in the hand and, while we wouldn’t recommend trying out any high-altitude drop tests, should offer decent protection against scratches and bumps.
The inner lining of the front flap is soft and seems designed to buff the iPad screen, much like Apple’s Smart Cover, but doesn’t really manage it – the layer of protective casing covering the iPad’s front bezel means only the very centre of the inner lining comes into contact with the screen. If fingerprints cause you palpitations, look elsewhere (or carry a screen cleaning cloth at all times).
Macworld Australia’s buying advice
This is a smashing case and stand for iPad 2 or 3. It’s a bit of a tight fit, but that’s not such a bad thing once you’ve got the thing inside and it looks smart and feels sturdy. And the folding stand idea is more than a gimmick – it’s an effective concept that adds to the user experience. At $41 plus shipping it’s not super-cheap, but Apple’s polyurethane Smart Covers set you back just as much without offering any protection for the iPad’s back.