I’ll come out and say this right at the beginning: I don’t like to put my Apple gear into cases. I went for years with an iPod Touch bareback in my jeans pocket, but with the iPad there was just too much easy-to-scratch screen on there. All the cases I tried were bulky or inelegant or just plain junk. I settled on Apple’s case, although that was a little like putting a supermodel in a wetsuit.
With the iPad 2, I have used the Smart Cover exclusively, with a rear skin sometimes. But now, I’m totally gaga over this hot little number from Skech. And here’s why.
The case is called the Porter, and it’s a kind of skeleton of a folio-style case. Here are the specs: The faux-leather cover is very stiff and light (278 grams on my kitchen scale, or 9.8 ounces), has a magnet to sleep-wake the iPad within, has a microfiber lining, can be used as a three-position stand and even has a little elasticated sleeve to tuck your hand into for easy holding. Finally, there is a hole so you can use the iPad’s camera.
I like it because it stays out of the way. The Porter grabs the iPad by its corners, along with a couple fingers that hook over the screen a third of the way across. The cover also hooks closed with a clasp, which is way more secure than the Smart Cover. If I had bought this case a year ago, I wouldn’t have so many scratches on the iPad’s screen.
So the case stays closed, wakes the iPad when you open it and grips so hard it will never fall off. This would be enough, but the clever stand makes it even better.
To use it, you unhook the two claws at the top and bottom left. The back of the case folds away, allowing the edge of the iPad to be rested in one of two grooves. This is way more stable than the Smart Cover, as the base is as big as the iPad itself. You can watch movies in bed without the thing falling over every five minutes.
But there’s more. Allow the iPad to swing past these grooves and it tucks into the little hook that also keeps the case closed. In this position the angle is perfect for typing.
So would I recommend it? Totally. Even at around $60 it’s less than a Smart Cover and rear cover together, and has drawn way more comments that even my Moleskine-style cases. I love that it provides just enough protection and yet still lets me steal glimpses of the nude iPad underneath.
And I’m very impressed by the clever stand system which doesn’t rely on adding extra flaps or kickstands.
But the best news? Skech has already announced a version compatible with the new iPad.
Pros Light, tough, good looking. Packs many functions without adding bulk. The ladies love it.
Cons Doesn’t make you coffee. That’s about it.