The Cygnett Alumni canvas iPad case ($50) may look pretty, but you should know by now that you can’t judge a case by its cover.
If the Cygnett Alumni was a cocktail in a glass, it’d be a Cosmo — it’s just that pretty. The Alumni is wrapped in a cute blue canvas fabric with a bit of pretty pleather here and there. And I’m sure its fun bright color will be adored by high school schoolgirls everywhere.
The Alumni also has a pocket on its inside flap, like those folders you used to use in school and probably covered with doodles of unicorns. The pocket is nice if you want to carry some papers along with you.
I also like how lightweight the Alumni is. I get that a case is supposed to protect your iPad, but too many are rubber and plastic monstrosities weighing in at 1-2 lbs. The Alumni doesn’t add a lot of heft to your iPad, and that’s refreshing.
I just cracked my knuckles, and I’m ready to get down and dirty.
Let’s start with the fit of the Alumni: it sucks. It’s so much larger than my new iPad, I wonder if the Alumni was constructed for the iPad at all. While sitting in the Alumni, my iPad will shift to the left, to the right, up, down, or a fun combo of multiple directions! This annoying shifting makes it hard to reach the volume and power buttons, and often made it so that the home button would be half covered by the case itself. Doesn’t Cygnett own a measuring tape? Why isn’t the Alumni constructed to actually fit my iPad?
And why don’t the Alumni’s built-in auto wake/sleep magnets actually put my iPad to sleep or wake it? Maybe it has something to do with the loose fit—who knows—but it only works one out of ten times at best. I actually had to check Cygnett’s site to confirm the Alumni does indeed possess sleep/wake functionality — that’s how infrequently it works.
If the Cygnett Alumni wasn’t fifty dollars, I could look past its flaws and recommend it on its aesthetics alone; it is a good-looking case. But the Alumni is far too costly to have as many flaws as it does. Unless your daughter is Veruca Salt and she’s demanding a cute iPad case for her sweet sixteen, I’d pass.