Lately, I’ve gone for a more minimal approach with cases and covers for my iPad. I even tried using it completely caseless for a while, but I finally went back to the snap-on back cover after I dropped my iPad. I still haven’t added back the Smart Cover, but I wanted something to protect the screen while the iPad was in my purse. I stumbled upon the New iPad/iPad 2 Flex Sleeve Case from JAVOedge that looked like exactly what I wanted. It was a sleeve case with a bonus, because it could fold up into a stand when I wanted one. JAVOedge was kind enough to send a sample to The Gadgeteer for review.
Click on any image in this review for an enlargement.
There are several fabric choices for the Flex Sleeve Case. I asked for and received the Paisley (see link in first paragraph). Most of the colors will probably appeal more to women than men, but there are a few unisex possibilities. The other fabrics are: gray tweedy Austin, Strawberry Jeans, Bandana, Wine Glass, Fish, and Flora.
The Flex Sleeve Case measures 10″ long X 7.85″ wide X 0.25″ thick at the flap; it weighs 3 ounces on my digital kitchen scale. The exterior fabric appears to be a lightweight canvas-type fabric. Stitching is done with a matching thread and is even and straight. There seems to be a light interfacing between the interior and exterior fabric layers, but it doesn’t seem to have any padding.The front is plain, except for the flap closure. The only branding is the black leather tag embossed with the JAVOedge name sewn into the center of the flap. The flap is held closed by a magnet – there are no Velcro nor snap closures.
If you click for the enlarged version of the above photo, you can see stitching patterns on the back of the case. Pieces of cardboard or plastic for stiffening are within these stitched areas. The areas between the cardboard pieces feel just like the fabric on the front of the sleeve. If you feel the surface of the stiffened areas, you can feel magnets buried into the cardboard in a few places. These magnets will allow the Flex Sleeve Case to be folded into a stand.
The interior of the case has a light gray suede-like fabric. You can see my new iPad with the snap-on back cover fits handily inside. I can also fit the iPad with the Smart Cover on, but I can’t fit the new iPad wearing both the back cover and the Smart Cover.
Here’s the Flex Sleeve Case folded into a stand. The tab seen at the front is sewn in the middle so it can be lifted up on the free sides. This tab serves as a “stop” to keep the iPad from sliding off the front of the stand.
Here’s the iPad in the horizontal orientation. I can reach all the buttons and connectors when I have the iPad in with the Home button on my right. You can see the tab in position to hold the iPad in place.
I find this orientation is very stable, even when I pushed on the iPad much harder than required to operate the touchscreen. You can’t adjust the viewing angle, but I found it comfortable to use.
Here’s the vertical orientation. This is again steady and stable. Of course, with the Home button down, you can’t use the 30-pin connector. It seemed to me that the sound from the speaker that was resting on the cardboard stiffener sounded just a bit better, perhaps because the cardboard reflected some of the sound back to me.
I’ve been using the JAVOedge Flex Sleeve Case on my iPad since the day I received it a few weeks ago. The only problem I experienced was that laying the iPad down on the Sleeve caused the iPad to switch off even though I hadn’t hit the power/sleep button. I finally realized that I had left the Smart Cover sleep/wake function enabled, and the Sleeve’s magnets were turning it off. I turned off that function since I wasn’t using the Smart Cover at the time, and I’ve had no problems since.
The case fits in my purse handily and keeps my iPad protected while I’m toting it around with me. I have used the case’s stand function to hold the iPad on the bed beside me as I read. I even lay the empty Sleeve on my chest as I prop the iPad there, and the cardboard inside the Sleeve spreads the weight of the iPad out so that the narrow edge of the iPad doesn’t press painful grooves into my skin.
I really like the JAVOedge Flex Sleeve Case with my iPad, and I can’t imagine anything I’d change about it.