Not everyone needs the heavy-duty iPad2 protection that we looked at these past few days. In fact, some want to feel more like they are just carrying a book or a pad of paper. If you are in that camp, we have found two excellent iPad2 covers that should fill the bill. These covers are stylish, functional, and will look right at home whether you are just surfing at Starbucks, studying at the library, or reading under a tree. The best part is none of these covers are shouting out to the world "Yes! iPad inside!!!"
There have been a few very good DIY articles (iBook, vintage, moleskine-ish) on how to construct your own "book cover" for the iPad. We even made one for the first iPad. The cover was a bit tight for the original iPad, but we think it would be perfect with the thinner iPad2. However, if you are not so DIY-inclined, M-Edge and Maroo both offer excellent book-cover style cases for the iPad2. Unlike most DIY book-cover cases, these covers have additional features which are difficult (as in "not worth the effort") to make from scratch.
M-Edge's Trip Jacket and the Incline Jacket differs only in the covering materials used. The Trip Jacket has a Scotchgard-treated canvas exterior and the Incline Jacket is covered with a microfiber leather material. Instead of a snap or a magnetic closure, the Trip Jacket cover is held closed with a Moleskine-style elastic band. We really like the contrasting color and the extra attention given to the finishing accents (stitching, labels, etc...).
Installation is pretty simple. Just slide it in and snap the upper coners into place. The tablet is held by the corners and all of the buttons and ports are fully accessible. The back panel folds in half to form the stand. The angle of the stand may be adjusted by catching the flap in one of the three ridges on the cover. As the frame holding the iPad does not rotate, the stand is horizontal only. Since we mostly type with the screen in landscape mode, we don't see it as a problem.
You love technology; you love design: who says the two can't coexist? This is the essense of Maroo. The most difficult part about getting a Maroo cover is choosing the pattern. They have an amazing selection of attractive designs. The Maroo cover we got is the Mana II. The tape cassette graphics and the lime green color just spoke to us. Maroo is constantly offering up new designs. Check out their new Fall line here.
The Maroo Mana II is also a book-like cover, but has a few more goodies than then M-Edge. The material used for the cover is made from high quality nylon. The binding and back are made of leather. The inside cover has a flap for holding paper and other bits. It has a one-position stand and is angled similar to the middle position of the M-Edge.
The cover may be held closed with the elastic bands discretely located in the upper and lower corners. There is also a large elastic hand strap for holding the case in the vertical position. It is an interesting feature, one which we have not seen anywhere else. We will let you know if it is useful after we've had some time with this case.
We'll pop iPads into these cases and use them for the next month or so. It should give us enough time to get a feel for what they are like. The FirstUse reports should be ready before the end of the Summer, just in time for any "Back To School" shopping which may be needed. Look for it in mid-August. [Permalink] - iPad2: Book Covers