Pitaka FlipBook Case for iPad with Magic Keyboard review

Add a convenient handle to your iPad with this unique case [Review]

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Add a handy handle with Pitaka FlipBook Case for iPad★★★★☆
One of the few features an iPad Pro is missing is a handle. FlipBook Case has that handled.
Photo: Pitaka

The Apple Magic Keyboard is a great way to get work done on your iPad, but it’s not a particularly secure way to transport the tablet. The Pitaka FlipBook Case wraps around the Apple Magic Keyboard and iPad Pro or iPad Air to both protect them and add a handle. It even includes a pocket.

I took the leather-and-carbon-fiber case for a spin. Here’s what I found.

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Pitaka FlipBook Case for iPad with Magic Keyboard review

I love the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad as much as anyone. But it has limitations. Apple’s keyboard case makes a great keyboard but it’s not a very good case.

Pitaka’s FlipBook Case adds some features Apple’s lacks when it comes time to tote your tablet around. First and foremost, there’s a pair of handles. And there’s also a pocket so you can carry around items that aren’t your iPad.

The design uses the absolute minimal amount of bulk to add these. There are plenty of cases to put Apple’s tablet and keyboard case in, but they’re all much bulkier than this one.

Better way to carry iPad Pro/Air with Magic Keyboard

Pitaka FlipBook Case for iPad with Magic Keyboard in use: When you're ready to use the iPad's Magic Keyboard, the Pitaka FlipBook Case is (almost completely) out of the way.
When you’re ready to use the iPad’s Magic Keyboard, the Pitaka FlipBook Case is (almost completely) out of the way.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Pitaka FlipBook Case wraps around the front and back of the Magic Keyboard. Two carrying handles come together when the keyboard is closed, converting the computer into a briefcase. It’s grab and go: flip the case closed and grab the handles and you’re on your way.

I find carrying the computer like this easier and more secure. The exterior of Apple’s keyboard case isn’t slick but it’s not all that grippy either. The handles make a world of difference.

My least favorite aspect of Pitaka’s sleeve is that it attaches to the Magic Keyboard with adhesive. It’s designed to be permanently attached, though you can peel it off if you really need to.

To me, that means the case must not interfere with using the iPad and keyboard. It passes this test… mostly. The problem is the bottom handle. If you fold it under, the keyboard tilts back slightly, which isn’t ideal. So it has to be left out in front of the trackpad.

When I’m typing, I generally set the iPad up at the edge of the desk so the handle can hang downward. Whether I do that or not, the handle feels slightly in the way, though it does not actually interfere with typing.

Lookin’ good

Pitaka FlipBook Case for iPad review: Pitaka's iPad case  adds a pocket, looks both professional and functional.
Pitaka’s iPad case looks both professional and functional.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Pitaka’s sleeve is assembled from leather and Carbitex CX6 Carbon Fiber. I like the look, but I also think the exterior of the Magic Keyboard for iPad is butt ugly so anything that covers part of it up is good with me.

And that raises an important point: the FlipBook Case leaves about half the Apple keyboard case exposed. Look at the images to see that part of the front and back of the accessory is leather, part is the zippered pocket and the rest is two straps. Everything else you see is the exterior of the Magic Keyboard.

But what there is of the case, combined with Apple’s case, looks very professional. I wouldn’t hesitate to carry the setup into a board meeting.

Obviously, matching Pitaka’s product to Apple’s is important. Both cases come in either black or white.

This accessory is called a “case” but its minimalistic design limits how much it can protect the keyboard and the iPad inside. There’s a bit of extra protection on a couple of the corners and that’s about it.

That said, there’s a flap to cover the exposed camera lenses. Flip this aside when/if you want to take a picture or video.

A pocket for the little things

Review: The Pitaka FlipBook Case adds a pocket to the iPad as well as a handle.
The Pitaka FlipBook Case adds a pocket to the iPad as well as a handle.
Photo: Pitaka

A nice addition to the Pitaka FlipBook Case is a zippered pocket. I’m testing the version for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the pocket is 11 inches wide and 5.25 inches tall. It’s not very deep though.

Still, it’s a good place to store the little things you might need or collect when on the go. It’s just right for business cards or an airline boarding pass. You might even make it into your wallet.

The first thing I put in it is my Apple Pencil. I don’t travel around with this stylus clinging to my iPad, so I’m happy to have a secure pocket for it.

Pitaka FlipBook Case for iPad with Magic Keyboard final thoughts

The back of the Pitaka FlipBook Case shows that it's mostly a way to attach a handle to an iPad.
The back of the Pitaka FlipBook Case shows that it’s mostly a way to attach a handle to an iPad.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

I give Pitaka credit for thinking outside the box – this is a very non-traditional case. Clearly, a designer set out to attach a handle to the Magic Keyboard for iPad while adding the minimum of bulk. The result is not so much as case as a handle holder.

And the FlipBook Case does that job well. I just wish it could be easily removed when the time comes to type on the iPad.

As it is, I recommend the accessory for people who frequently carry their iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard around and only occasionally type on it. On the other side of the coin, it might not be right for those who frequently type on the tablet/keyboard combo around but just occasionally carry it around.

★★★★☆

Pricing

There are separate versions of the Pitaka FlipBook Case for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 11-inch iPad Pro. The smaller one also fits the 10.9-inch iPad Air. The cost is $89, no matter the size.

Buy from: Pitaka

Buy from: Amazon

Pitaka provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.