Quirky is a company started by the founder of Mophie in response to inquiries from people who had an idea for a product and who were asking him if he could help them get their product made. Quirky lets people submit an idea for a product, and then information about the idea is put on the Quirky website so that people can give their opinions and influence the design. After a period of development, a product may be submitted to the public for pre-orders. Once a specified number of pre-orders are placed, the product will proceed to production. The “inventor” and the people who significantly contributed to the development and refinement of the idea will be compensated for each product sold in an amount that’s related to their contribution. The Cloak iPad Case and 3-Position Stand is a product created “by committee” from Quirky. Julie chose me to give a closer look at the Cloak iPad case sent to The Gadgeteer.
The Cloak case is currently available in black, pink, and a light blue. A sage green case will begin shipping October 15th. I received the black. The Cloak case is a book-style case.
It’s made of silicone, and the back part of the case seems to be a typical silicone cover except for the spine of hard gray plastic along the left side. Two plastic hinges, top and bottom, connect this spine to the front cover. The front is made of hard, thick plastic and is covered with a textured silicone on the outside. The Quirky logo is embossed into the silicone on the bottom right corner. On the flipside of the front are two gray plastic pieces that will act as stands.
This is a substantial case. My kitchen scale says it weighs 19 ounces by itself – that’s 1.2 pounds empty, and 2.7 pounds with the iPad in place! It’s 0.875” thick and 7.875” wide X 9.623” tall. The front is very hard and should protect the screen quite well, but there’s no closure that will keep it closed over the screen when transporting the iPad.
The back cover that holds the iPad is very soft and so flexible it’s “floppy”. Because it’s so flexible, putting the iPad in is a snap. You just slide the left side of the iPad in until it sits on the ledge of the gray spine, then you can very easily pull the other two covers over the rest of the iPad. There are cutouts that make all buttons and controls on the iPad very accessible. I had no problem using any of the controls.
The hinge arrangement allows you to bend the front to the back to fit completely flush. Except for the extra thickness and weight, holding the iPad with the front folded completely back feels much like holding the naked iPad. The plastic on the back of the front cover has a bit of texture, but it didn’t seem to improve my grip on the iPad. The extra heft made it hard for me to hold the iPad for long reading sessions.
While the front cover seems designed to protect your screen from hard knocks, it seems the back part will only protect the sides and back of your iPad from scratches. The back cover is thin, and there’s no extra thickness around the sides or edges to cushion the iPad if it gets banged against something. The back cover is so flexible that it pulls away from the iPad very easily. It pulled almost completely off the side of my iPad when I attempted to pick it up while the front cover was folded to the back. I had picked it up with my thumb on the screen near the home button and the rest of my hand supporting the back. The silicone slipped – and allowed my thumb to slip – almost completely off the side of my iPad. You’ll be able to see in one of the pictures below that the back cover doesn’t fit very tightly to the iPad screen. You can see gaps between the screen and the silicone, and I’m sure this loose fit contributes to it pulling away when you pick up the iPad. I’m afraid this case wouldn’t work very well as a hand-held case for me.
The Cloak seems to be designed more as a stand than a case. It can be used three different ways as a stand. The hinge arrangement at the spine allows you to use the Cloak as a horizontal stand. You fold the front to the back in an A-frame and stand it on the table. You can adjust the angle of the screen by adjusting the spread of the A-frame shape. I found that it’s more stable if you don’t go too far to either extreme. Spreading it open too far made the case try to flatten completely out. Trying to make it stand too close to completely vertical wasn’t stable, either.
There are two easel stands built into the front cover. These stands are made of gray plastic, and they snap into depressions on the front cover so they are flush. There’s a U-shaped stand that pops out and holds the iPad in the vertical position. You can’t adjust the angle of this position, but it is fairly stable for use as a viewing stand.
The rectangular stand found near the spine pops out to form a typing stand for the iPad in landscape orientation. This is a very useful stand. It holds the iPad at a comfortable angle for using the virtual keyboard. The iPad is tilted enough to allow you to see the top of the screen, so you can see what you’re entering as you type.
Both of these plastic stands are hinged by thin pegs molded as part of the gray plastic piece itself. These little pegs fit into holes molded in the hard black plastic portion. Hopefully these pegs are sturdy enough not to break easily under normal use.
The typing position was most stable when you touched the screen. I was very careful touching the screen when the iPad was standing in either horizontal or vertical position. The vertical plastic stand is a bit narrow and seemed wobbly when I would use the screen. I was afraid the whole thing would flatten out if I touched the screen too hard while it was in the landscape position. I wish there had been something to lock the landscape position. If there had been some sort of closure strap, it could have been used to stabilize the case in landscape.
Some silicone cases I’ve seen feel slightly sticky, but the Cloak case does not. It feels very smooth and slippery. Just like most silicone cases I’ve seen, the Cloak is a dust-and-dirt magnet, and the black color seems to show this off to its worst advantage. You can see the amount of dust and lint the Cloak picked up in a few days of use. During those days, my iPad stayed in my house. I only used the iPad in my living room and while I was reading in bed at night. The rest of the time, the iPad and Cloak stayed on my night table.
If you want a stand for your iPad that can be used for viewing at various angles and both orientations and as a typing stand, the Quirky Cloak case may be for you. If you are looking for something that can also be used as a hand-held case, I can’t recommend the Cloak. It seems that perhaps more time was spent coming up with ideas and too little time was spent actually trying out a prototype. For about the same price, I bought my Belkin Grip Vue cover and the GroovyStand Dual wooden stand.