For years now, my family has used neoprene lunch bags from a company called Built. (As I recall, they used to be called BuiltNY.) These bags are sturdy, well-made, and they come in a variety of colors and designs. They hold up really well. We’re still using the bags we bought several years ago. Built makes a variety of other products, too – from bottle sleeves to electronics pouches to laptop bags. Built recently introduced some iPad cases. Julie knows that I have a deep and abiding love for cases, so she gave me the chance to review the new Built Envelope for iPad when they offered one to The Gadgeteer.
The iPad Envelope comes in solid black and in the Nolita Stripe design. I asked for the Nolita Stripe. You can see this is a very colorful design incorporating red, orange, purple, blue, green, brown, and yellow. It may be too “busy” for some, but this design makes me very happy.
The envelope is made of fabric-covered neoprene. The fabrics are jersey knits, and the lining fabric is a pale blue-gray color. The inside of the front is lined with a slightly fuzzy knit fabric to prevent scratches to the iPad screen. The neoprene used by Built is dense and feels very sturdy. Unlike some neoprene cases I’ve seen, the Built neoprene Envelope feels like it will protect my iPad from minor bumps and bangs.
The Envelope has a curvy outer edge. The cinched in areas “grab” the iPad and the bulged areas offer a little extra room and protection on the corners. As you would expect, the Envelope has a flap closure. The flap covers almost the entire front of the case, and it closes with two pieces of Velcro. The hook side is placed at the outer corners of the flap. The soft loop pieces are placed near the bottom of the front. The Velcro is strong, and it does make the typical riiiiippp! sound as you open it.
Inside, there’s a big pouch for the iPad. Naturally, the naked iPad fits inside easily. I was very happy to see that the iPad in the Belkin Grip Vue case fits, too. With a little effort, I could even fit the iPad in the M-Edge Flip Jacket inside. There’s also a smaller pouch under the flap that can be used to carry the USB cable and power adapter or your phone and some earbuds.
Normally I’d want a case with a hard panel to protect my iPad screen, but I feel that the double layer – triple in the area covered by the accessory pouch – of dense neoprene will provide good protection for my screen in the types of bags I use. I think the Built Neoprene Envelope for iPad would work well to protect your iPad in a gear bag or laptop bag. You might want something with a hard-shell structure if you throw your iPad in a book bag with heavy books or in something less structured than a laptop bag.