Professional portfolio case supports your iPad Pro at any angle [Review]


STM Atlas has a strong Apple Pencil holder, and holds up the the iPad Pro at a wide array of angles.
STM Atlas has a strong Apple Pencil holder, and holds up the latest iPad Pro at a wide array of angles.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The STM Atlas portfolio case protects the latest iPad Pro models while also serving as a portable stand. This case can hold up the tablet at a broad range of angles, giving it an advantage over most of its rivals.

This device also comes with a slot to very securely store an Apple Pencil 2. Don’t miss our hands-on review of this handy accessory.

STM Atlas for 2018 iPad Pro review

At first glance, the Atlas doesn’t seem to stand out from the crowd. It appears to be a standard folio case for an iPad. But it has a very useful trick.

Laptop users are accustomed to being able to angle their display however they wish, but too many iPad cases offer just one or two options. The STM Atlas is an exception, as its design allows the iPad Pro to be propped up over wide range of angles: from 130 degrees to 105 degrees. And most importantly, anywhere in between.

The secret is a pair of “Friction Feet” that keep the tablet art your chosen angle surprisingly firmly. The iPad doesn’t move at all when we’re typing with the on-screen keyboard.

Alternatively, you can fold the flip cover up behind the screen to make a stand. This holds the screen at 120 degrees, but the device is held up even more firmly.

If that’s not enough, leave the Atlas’s flip cover folded up behind the screen and flip the whole combination around. In this arrangement the iPad Pro is held up at a 25 degree angle, very well suited for using the Apple Pencil.

STM Atlas review
These are just a couple of the many angles the STM Atlas can hold an iPad Pro.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple Pencil holder

Speaking of Apple’s pressure-sensitive stylus, the STM Atlas can secure this two different ways. The most obvious is a large slot built into the tray that holds the tablet. This is very secure, both ensuring this expensive accessory won’t get lost and giving it significant protection from damage. However, it won’t charge from here.

Fortunately, this case leaves open the side of the iPad Pro where the Apple Pencil connects to charge. You can carry the Atlas around with the stylus connected this way, but it’s not very secure.

As a case

All these extra features aside, the STM Atlas is a good portfolio case. It wraps around every side and corner of the tablet, protecting them from damage.

Most of the protection comes from a clear plastic tray. This has openings for all the iPad Pro’s ports, cameras, buttons and speakers.

The folio cover covers the screen, or flips around to the back to get out of the way. Opening or closing this cover automatically turns the tablet screen on or off.

The Atlas adds 1.4 pounds to the iPad Pro;. There are lighter cases for this slate, like the Dodocase Two Tone, but STM’s offering provides significantly more protection.

When closed, the version of folio case for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is 11.5 inches by 9.6 in. by 0.55 in., so it’s slightly taller than the iPad , about an inch wider to make room for the Apple Pencil holder, and bit thicker. The version for the 11-inch iPad Pro is 10.2 in. by 8.0 in. by 0.55 in.

STM Atlas for the 2018 iPad Pro review
The STM Atlas for the 2018 iPad Pro looks very professional.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The exterior is a textured fabric that looks quite professional. It’s also easy to hold on to. STM offers this folio in charcoal and aqua.

STM Atlas for 2018 iPad Pro final thoughts

By enabling the iPad Pro to be held up at a wide range of angles, the STM Atlas nicely deals with a vexing limitation of too many iPad Pro cases. And the very secure Apple Pencil case is a bonus.

The version of this folio for the 2018 iPad Pro 12.9 is $59.95 on the STM website, while the one for the 11-inch tablet is $54.95.

For comparison, similar OtterBox Symmetry Series 360 is $89.95 or $79.95, depending on the size.


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