Ten months into the iPad Era, we have a pretty good idea of what we want in a case: tilted typing mode, highly angled video mode, and secure coverage of the screen during transport. The venerable memory and Mac upgrade maker Newer Technology has entered the market with their Pad Protector, and it easily checks through these basics. What does it add and what things keep it from being the ultimate case for your iPad? Let’s take a closer look.
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At first glance, this is a beautiful, well-made leather case, with top-stitching in the same color as the case. (It’s available in black or red. I was sent the black version.) While it follows closely to the Apple case, there are departures. First, there are magnets that seal the cover closed ever so lightly. Not a firm latch, but enough that you have to give it a good little tug to get it open. There are also small magnets holding the tab on the back closed. This tab, like the one on the back of the Apple case, holds the case into a wedge that can be used for typing at a low angle, or watching video at a high angle. The Newer Tech case has an extra hinge on the front, which provides a bit flatter side when in video orientation, but also makes it less stable in typing mode.
Another difference in the Newer Tech case is the iPad holding frame. On many cases, the iPad is inserted from the long hinge edge, which prevents the device from sliding out when the cover is closed. Some of these cases also incorporate a tab of some sort to hold it in place as well. The Newer Tech case has, instead, an open side at the “top” of the case, leaving the entire device free to slide out without disturbing the magnetic latch. After having my iPad slip out over halfway twice in as many days of use, I took it off and went back to a more secure case.
With leather cases, the case is as tight as it’s going to ever be on the first day of use. If it’s sliding out of the case while it’s under your arm on day one, that spells trouble to me. It’s a lovely case, and may weather well, but with this fatal flaw, I’m not willing to risk the safety of my iPad to test it further.
Included in the package is also a screen protector. While I’m not a fan of putting one on my iPad, some folks think this is a good idea. I tried showing what the clear screen protector would look like with some photos, and could see the difference, but I’m not sure you’d notice if the whole screen was covered. There is a color difference, from what I can see.
I give the case one star. It’s well-made of quality materials, and very attractively priced at $25, but the design is flawed sufficiently to prevent me from recommending it to anyone. Add a strap to secure the iPad in the case, or move the insertion point inside the fold of the case, and you’ll have a solid four- or five-star case, but as it stands, this is a no-go.