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Love it or Hate it – Apple iPad Case

As I am getting ready to film some OWC TV spots on our offerings of iPad cases, I decided to ask my Twitter followers, as well as a few people in person, what they like/dislike about the iPad case Apple sells.

Simply named iPad Case” by Apple, it sells for $39.00. I purchased the case at the same time I pre-ordered by 32GB WiFi iPad. I knew I would want a case of some sort, and I thought the Apple offering would be a good place to start.

The Good

The case is soft, but not supple. It has a strange feel, like a cross between felt and rubber. It does fit the iPad perfectly, and is comfortable in hand. I like the fact that I can close the case to protect the screen. The iPad Case is thin, very form-fitting, and seems to be very durable.

The Bad

That felt/rubber stuff? Picks up smudges if you even look at it. I didn’t have mine for two minutes before it picked up a smudge mark that I can’t remove, and I honestly have no idea how it got there.

The side of the case has an edge that would be perfect to chop onions with. That is to say, while not razor sharp, there are places that it is uncomfortably sharp-edged.

This is the question I asked my Twitter followers:

The iPad case Apple sells. I have one, do you? If so, what do you honestly think about it? Worth $39.99 to you? Likes, dislikes?

Here are a couple of the responses I received I purchased the Apple case on launch day. Returned it Friday. Too thin, too cheaply made for $40. Not bad design just bad materials.

@GlennClatworthy Nice for its functions, but there’s a design flaw: it doesn’t work with the dock, and The iPad’s too tight a fit to come out easily

@Flargh Feels and looks cheap and show scuffs and marks excessively. OTOH, it has an Apple logo imprinted on it.

@sandrocuccia I like Apple case. Can grip better. Like that I can set up for typing and viewing (via tab) and no bulk. Also use Waterfield sleeve

@sandrocuccia also like the flap for screen on Apple case. Cons: feels like cheap material. Will wait and see. Costly. Should have included with iPad!

I found the replies interesting. But the odd thing is this: I still don’t know if I really like the iPad Case or not. My iPad has not left the tight confines of the case since I got it, save for a couple hours when recording some video for the Newer Technologies line of iPad cases. And while I like the Newer Tech branded offerings a lot, none offered the one thing I really wanted: a flip open/close screen protector. The iPad Case from Apple does. I should check to see if the iPad with the Apple case will fit into the iFolio, which is a very nice carrying case for the iPad. I like the red version personally.

While filming last week, I talked with OWC Mike H, who also has an iPad and the Apple iPad Case. He really liked it, more than I did in fact. I thought I would give Mike the final say:

Apple iPad Case – OWC Mike H

It’s an odd thing online. People either hate something or love it, with hardly any middle ground to be found. I’ve read numerous articles about Apple’s iPad case, and I find it funny that while the “pro reviewers” pan the case, the reader comments reveal that many actual users actually really like it. I’d guess it’s 70% “like” versus 30% “don’t”… that’s a hugely non-scientific guess. That doesn’t make it a good case, as there’s more than enough times in history where a majority of people have liked something that sucked. Power through numbers doesn’t always make it right.

Why do I like the Apple’s case for the iPad?

I like using my iDevices in their naked form. With Walkmans, MiniDisc Players, mobile phones, Palm Pilots, iPods, and iPhone I’ve tried many cases over the years, and almost always ended up eschewing the case within a month or so and used the device naked. With almost all those devices the case just ended up making the device harder to use or bulkier.

Apple’s iPad case is different. It actually “enhances” the product while offering protection to the most important item… the screen. The flip-around screen protector reminds me a bit of the screen protector that came on the Palm V, (which I did use until it eventually ripped off after two years use).

Yes the Apple Case actually enhances the iPad by accomplishing the following:

  • It has a rubbery outside surface that provides a confident grip that makes it so much easier to carry / transport with one hand all while keeping my hand off the screen
  • Screen protector with easy access flip around design
  • Thin and light. This case hardly adds anything to the weight and dimension of the iPad coming as close as possible (for an enclosing case) to using naked.
  • Lays flat: without it the iPad rocks around on a table
  • Shock absorbing outer edge
  • Cover flips around flat and out of the way
  • Cover flips and folds to provide a perfect and solid angled reading / typing surface
  • Cover flips and tucks into a flap for near vertical display
  • Snug custom fit

That’s a lot of enhancements for just a mere case. For what’s available out there at the $40 price point I think the Apple iPad case is the case to beat. Would I have liked  color and material upgrade options? You bet! Also, I thought like the Palm V, the case should’ve come with the iPad. I bet there would be no complaints if everyone got this case for free… or priced at $20 with purchase of iPad.

Honestly, when I looked to see what else was available for $40 as far as fully enclosed cases go, the closest I could find was a neoprene transport wrap that didn’t enhance anything. I think the challenge is on for case-crafters and creators out there to best the Apple iPad case at features and price. With a hyper-competitive market, I bet there will be a “go to” case aside from Apple’s in the future. Just not right now. Attention case makers: I like Saturn Orange Leather.

Granted if you want something luxurious with a lot of protection I like the NewerTech iFolio in red. Not just because OWC sells it. Because it’s a darn sharp case IMHO, especially for a more “executive” feel, AND especially if you need a little security wherein you don’t want to broadcast to the world that you’re carrying around an iPad!

I was surprised Apple didn’t come out with iPad Socks in a multi-color 5-pack. I’d like the orange and the grey socks please :-).

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  • I agree with Lou, I really like the case and it makes using the iPad much easier. The feel of the case is strange, but it gives a very secure grip.

  • The Padova case has a very 1970’s vibe going for it. I can’t see myself using it, although it does look sorta-kinda cool. A little on the expensive side, especially when you consider you could get both the Apple iPad case AND the iFolio and still have enough left over to buy a ton of apps.

  • Count me among those who love it. After a week with my iPad and it’s Apple case I have found that the case has one other advantage – when holding the iPad with one hand in bed for reading, you can slip the case’s cover between two fingers – it’s hard to explain, but this gives you a kind of fulcrum that makes holding the ipod in one hand MUCH easier for extended periods. you just apply light pressure with those two fingers and rest the iPad in the crook of your thumb. It works great!

  • When I first received the Apple case for my iPad, my first impression was that it seemed a little thin (as in … I wondered how well it would protect my new baby) it also just seemed a little cheap looking and I agree with the previous comments regarding how easily it picks up scuff marks.

    As a result … I actually was overcome in my hyper iPad excitement and ordered one of the $209 Padova cases from Orbino, which has not shipped yet.

    However….. Now that I have used the Apple case for a while, I am beginning to appreciate it more. My biggest discovery is that I use my iPad in landscape mode most of the time and the Apple case’s ability to lay at just the right angle for both typing as well as viewing books and videos on a plane … is really starting to make me wonder if I don’t want to keep it after all. obviously the Padova case looks like a dream, but I don’t get the impression in will be configurable into the same convenient “typing-viewing” position.

    I’ll let you know how I feel after the other case arrives.