Lisso by Skech Category: Cases Works With: iPhone 5 Price: $40-ish
Regular readers will know how much I dislike iPad cases, and that I only ever subject my iPhone to the confines of a miniature straitjacket. They’ll also know that I’m a big fan of Skech cases in general. So what happened when Skech sent me some leathery iPhone covers to try out?
The SkechBook case, from master iPad case-maker Skech, was one of the things that drove me to buy and iPad mini, so slim and cute and retro-tastic is its tiny form.
Since succumbing to the mini’s charms, though, I have come to believe that it really needs no case other than the Smart Cover, and the Smart Cover is only really needed to lock and unlock the screen quickly. Why? Because the iPad mini weighs just 307 grams on my kitchen scale, making even the 68-gram Smart Cover a significant addition to its weight. And apart from the glass screen, the little iPad is so light, tough and compact that further protection seems like unnecessary coddling.
Some say that the iPad is almost unusable without a case. I actually love the feel of using mine bareback, but The Lady literally refuses to pick up an iPad if it isn’t protected in some way (she has a history of dropping the things).
But whatever your view, one thing is certain: a case can add all sorts of functionality to your iPad, or keep it safe in more dangerous situations. Here’s our pick of the best cases out there.
Now also available for the iPad 3, the Zagg wins for its compact size, light weight and clever design which allows it to double as a case (complete with sleep/wake magnets). It also has a great-feeling keyboard which is as good as Apple’s own.
The new Sure-Lock bumper system keeps Pad&Quill’s Contega ahead of the competition, and keeps the iPad safely inside the tough baltic birch and leather Moleskine-Style case, while the sleep/wake magnet and clever articulated rear cover (which turns the case into a stand) mean it’s anything but old-fashioned.
I have had this slipcase since the iPad 1, and it’s still going strong. The PadCover is made from leather and wool, with a soft lining and handy pull-tab which ejects the iPad from within. If you’re using the iPad 2 or 3, you can fit in a smart cover, too. Discontinued by the manufacturer, but still available to buy in various places.
The impact-absorbing material of G-Form’s cases is also used to make padding for professional athletes. The Extreme Portfolio will soak up the power of a bowling ball dropped onto its face, and yet remains flexible and comfortable to use. It’s the case we turn to when we really need to protect our iPads.
The Skech Porter offers all the protection of a fat folio case in a slim, great-looking package. A clever crease in the rear panel lets it work as a multi-position stand without adding extra bulk, an elastic handle is surprisingly handy and it packs a full compliment of magnets and camera holes.
This thin shell adds bulk at the corners where it’s needed, and has cutouts for everything from the camera through the speaker to the Smart Cover that it is designed to compliment. The plastic is smooth but grippy, and the little lozenge-shaped metal panel holds the Smart Cover in place when it is open.
The original, and in many ways still the best. Apple’s Smart Cover works in concert with the iPads 2 and 3, offering protection and a stand with minimal materials. It set the standard for every iPad case since, and is still the one to buy if you can’t bear to hide your beautiful iPad inside a heavy folio.
Our full review is waiting until we see a newly tweaked version of Thomas Fulton’s felt and leather case, but the Don’t Panic is already my favorite iPad case to use around the home. It’s light, offers some protection, and a clever arrangement of straps and magnets lets you prop it up on your bed, type, wrap it around your thigh, or just about anything you like. I think of it as my iPad’s favorite pair of slippers. It would be great out of the house, too, but the magnet in my prototype likes to zap my credit cards.
If you’re traveling around the world or to-and-from work, the Lacambra case has your iPad covered. Made to order in Spain from leather, the case zips closed and keeps the iPad safe inside. There’s a cut-out for the volume switch, pockets for business cards and boarding passes, and some extra tabs and straps to make typing or movie-watching easy. Don’t leave home without it.
Having trouble finding a stockiest for a gadget you want? Try contacting customer service
Here’s a win for customer service: Several readers have written in to ask about the excellent Skech Porter case for the iPad, which I reviewed a while back, but which is all but impossible to actually buy. Cult of Mac reader Chris decided to get in touch with Skech and ask just what was going on. The result will warm your cold little hearts.
It might look like leather, but no animals were harmed in its production. Photo Charlie Sorrel (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
Until I took delivery of the Don’t Panic iPad case this week, this Custom Jacket from Skech has been my new favorite iPad case. It looks like leather, but is in fact artfully textured (and fully vegan) plastic, it holds the iPad tight and safe, and it weighs next to nothing. It also look pretty damn good.
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.