The iPad Pro (12.9″) is a bold move for Apple. Being a huge, thin slab of glass, and being a bit heavier than previous versions of the popular tablet means that damage from that ever-present enemy of all things technical – gravity – is a potential issue that needs to be taken into consideration. CaseMade has stitched a few different beautiful leather cases for this beast, and offered one to the Gadgeteer team for review. Being the only one on the team at the time with the Pro, I was easily the best (read: only) person for the job. I was sent the brown Thin version. There is also an UltraThin case. Both are available in Tan (Brown) and Black.
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The case looks like a legal pad holder from a fine leather shop. Unless they see the edges of the iPad showing through, or happen to glance the rear of the cover where the stand lock piece is sewn, no one will suspect it’s really a high-tech powerhouse.
The basic design and functionality are exactly like the Apple case for the original iPad: a thin cover that folds around and can lock into a piece on the rear side to form a triangular stand. The whole thing can then, in theory, be used while resting on the longer leg as a raised angle for easier typing, or, while standing on the shorter leg, stood up for FaceTime or Skype calls, or to watch a video. In practice, the typing mode works as expected, except for the Achilles’ Heel of having to place the side of the case that actually touches the screen flat down on the table. This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, and a common failing of many case designers. Do these folks never use their iPads at a coffee shop or a mall food court, where tables are, at best, unsanitary?
The video setup works somewhat, but with the greater top weight of the iPad Pro, tends to flop over easily. Perhaps if the hinge were more worn in, that rear side would sit down more fully. New, it’s a no-go.
As for “fit and finish,” this case is first-class all the way. Italian Cowhide on the outside with flat, even stitching all ’round. Soft suede on the inside, and a slightly springy but tightly clinging plastic inner frame to hold the iPad in place. The frame comes up just to the edge of the outer shell but doesn’t block access to swiping gestures by covering the bezels. All the ports, switches, and speakers are open and usable, but the iPad Pro itself is tightly held in place. The case’s opening for the rear camera/mic is neatly punched with no frayed edges and lined up perfectly with the opening in the frame.
I really like the looks and the weight of the case, but due to the cover being placed good-side down for use, I can’t use it. If your iPad use is more limited to boardrooms and offices, rather than restaurants, bars and coffee shop tables, you’ll more than likely be very happy with this case.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by CaseMade. Please visit their site for more info.