As 2014 involves a detailed, there aren’t loads of iPad Air 2-specific circumstances in the marketplace, and a few builders are already taking shortcuts — slicing additional holes in previous iPad Air circumstances — simply to get “iPad Air 1+2” merchandise out. So when new circumstances are supposedly tailor-made simply for the iPad Air 2, I’m desirous about seeing how properly they really match and shield Apple’s newest pill, even when their designs are in any other case extremely acquainted. That’s why Skech’s Base ($45) and Skechbook ($40) are right here.
They’re each cloth folios with iPad Air 2-sized plastic arduous shells inside. Provided in black, blue, or pink, Base has rounded corners and looks like waxed canvas, whereas the black-only Skechbook has boxy, hardcover book-like edges and is wrapped in “vegan leather-based.” Similar to Apple’s costlier iPad Air 2 Smart Case, neither accentuates the Air 2’s skinny physique, however they work as primary protecting and stand options.
Base is concurrently the extra typical and but better-contoured of the 2 circumstances. Delicate-lined with cloth on the within and a vinyl-like materials on the skin, it’s stitched round its outer edges, and alongside a foldable seam within the again. The material intentionally ends roughly a half-inch in need of the highest, left, and backside, exposing the arduous plastic iPad shell, which itself leaves holes for the ports, microphones, digital camera, buttons, and audio system, plus an pointless 1.6″-long strip of steel on the Air’s edge. With out button, speaker, and full facet protection, it’s removed from essentially the most protecting iPad folio we’ve seen, nevertheless it’s enough below most circumstances.
Skechbook makes use of the very same iPad plastic shell, solely tucked inside a boxy folio that extends out to the shell’s furthest edges. The folio will not be tailor-made across the iPad’s facet or high buttons, which makes them a bit of troublesome to press, although the extension of the fake leather-based winds up offering a bit of additional protection for the shell’s open ports and audio system. Of the 2 circumstances, the book-like Skechbook is a bit more good-looking and distinctive, however the distinction isn’t enormous.
Each circumstances function in the identical primary means. Open the entrance lid and hidden magnets activate the iPad Air 2’s display, solely unlocking it if Contact ID is disabled; closing the lid all the time turns the display off. Fold the iPad shell onto the bottom and you may modify the display angle for video viewing; Base makes use of a skinny strip of Velcro to carry quite a few angles, whereas Skechbook makes use of anti-slip rubber to comparable impact. Each circumstances do a pleasant job of holding no matter panorama viewing place you like, however solely Base can help a typing angle.
The chief difficulty with each of those circumstances and most others we’ve seen for the iPad Air 2 is their thickness. Between the plastic shell, the entrance lid and the rear help, they almost triple the Air 2’s naturally skinny physique — bulkiness that can solely be mounted by rethinking the required thickness of the materials and cardboard generally utilized in folio designs. Nobody, even Apple, seems to have taken this step but; SwitchEasy’s markedly thinner but similarly functional Rave (reviewed here) is one of the best different we’ve seen at an identical worth level.
That mentioned, Base and Skechbook are competent iPad Air 2 circumstances at a time when good choices are few in quantity, and nice choices aren’t but accessible. They don’t have the little frills of the corporate’s iPhone 6 circumstances, such because the dock-compatible slider Hard Rubber (above left), utterly clear dual-material case Crystal (above center), or absolutely rubber-wrapped shell Ice (above proper), every armed with one unusual design asset that units it other than the pack. However for those who actually like both Base or Skechbook’s look, and don’t thoughts the majority, their construct high quality and pricing are cheap.
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