Joli Original’s Leather And Felt iPad Sleeve Is All Class [Review]

joli_original_002

Smooth Leather Sleeve by Joli Originals
Category: Cases
Works With: iPad
Price: $87 as tested

The biggest surprise about the Joli Originals iPad sleeve is how much I like it. I use my iPad just about as much as I use my iPhone, (which is a lot). Maybe more. And for this reason I prefer a case which I can flip open and get to the screen as soon as possible. In short, I have no time for iPad sleeves. And yet the Joli sleeve won me over.

What It Is

Look at that beautiful sandwich.

Look at that beautiful sandwich.

The Smooth iPad Sleeve (the companion to the textured version) is a leather pocket with a colored wool-felt lining. It’s tight-fitting, comes in versions to accommodate the naked iPad, the iPad with a Smart Cover, or the iPad with a Logitech Ultrathin keyboard. I tested the slimmest version.

The case is stitched from two sheets of leather, and the felt lining is sandwiched between, making a fetching (ultramarine, in my case) stripe between the (brown) leather panels.

The Good

The leather is soft, soft soft, and when you’re not running your fingers over the outside like a lover caresses her (dead, cowskin-covered) partner, you’ll be poking them inside the case to enjoy the fine felt lining.

Sliding the iPad mini in there is also a pleasure. The fit is tight, but not too tight. Kind of like the pants on an Italian suit. There’s no way this is ever going to slide off by itself, but equally you’ll never feel that you’re going to bust a stitch by forcing the iPad inside (unlike those Italian pants after you get started on the pasta).

The felt lining helps the iPad to slide inside, and also cleans the screen to a small extent. It’s nothing like as effective as rubbing the microfiber lining of Apple’s Smart Cover on the screen, but it helps more than it hinders.

The design is protective, too. The empanada-like ridge around the edge that’s formed by the stitching makes for a great impact cushion. Although it doesn’t protect the top two corners quite so well as those tucked safely away at the bottom.

Finally, there’s the look of the thing. This case is gorgeous, and ages well. Unlike my leather Apple Smart Case, which is starting to look rather filthy at the corners thanks to my finger grease, the Joli case seems destined to age gracefully. Perhaps it’s becasue the thing has been properly oiled and finished, but it looks classy, and seems like it’ll stay that way.

The Bad

The case rather lacks in utility. You need to get the exact fit depending on your use case: no cheating and trying to squeezer a Smart Cover into a non-Smart-Cover model. Also, not unlock magnet, no built-in stand, and you’ll even have to find somewhere to put it every time you take the iPad out, making it hard to use when standing up.

But these are all problems with the sleeve design in general, not the Joli case in particular. If you’re a fan of sleeves, then, you won’t care about these shortcomings. If you’re all about the utility, you should probably look elsewhere.

Snug.

Snug.

The Verdict

Like I said, I like this case a lot despite the fact that it’s not very functional. It’s good when you’re traveling, for example, and you want some extra protection while the iPad is sat in your carry on. And if you don’t regularly pull the iPad from your bag to use it in the street, then the sleeve design may suit you well.

If I was buying my own Joli Originals case, I’d go for the version that also accommodates the Smart Cover. But I would’t change the color. I love the classic brown leather paired with the bright felt lining. Recommended – if you like sleeves.

also in gray

Product Name: : Smooth Leather Sleeve

The Good: Beautifully made, will only get better with age. Good protection, great fit.

The Bad: It’s a sleeve.

The Verdict As sleeves go, this is up there with the best. Just don’t expect to use it as a stand.

Buy from: Joli Originals

Cult of Mac rating: Excellent

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About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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