My in-laws are currently in China touring for the next two weeks. For gear they took a point and shoot camera my mother-in-law’s new Kindle (well new to her thanks to judie) and… an iPad. Now this may not sound like a big deal to you but trust me… it is. You see, my father-in-law doesn’t even check his own email messages. Elana does. and when I got my iPad my father-in-law rolled his eyes and gave me a look that said, “Yet another Apple product Dan? You know there is a twelve-step program for that.” I proceeded to tell him that I thought it would be a perfect device for him. I got another eye-roll.
As the trip to China approached I mentioned that I thought he would love having an iPad during the interminable flights. With it he could read books, watch movies, check out a magazine and, while in China, use Line2 or Skype to call home and check in (assuming he wanted to). Then I made him an offer he could not refuse- I told him I would buy it for him to use and, when he loved it, he could pay me for it. I figured he would never go for it but to my surprise he actually said that it sounded like a good idea. So I picked up a 32GB WiFi iPad for him, set it up and showed him how to use it. Six hours after he got it he called and said, “I love this thing! Seriously I love it.” “So you’ll be keeping it I assume?” I said. “Oh yeah… for sure.” was the reply.
My job was almost done but there was one last thing to take care of… a case. Since they would be traveling from place to place he needed something that would afford a good bit of protection and could be closed and thrown in a bag. Fortunately the day before they left M-Edge was kind enough to send some of the iPad cases for review. I checked them all out and one of them fit the bill to a T. So now my father-in-law, his iPad and an M-Edge Latitude Jacket for the Apple iPad are somewhere in China.
Let’s take a look at this case and why it is a good choice for travel.
The Latitude Jacket for the Apple iPad is the must-have accessory jacket for the active tablet user. The Latitude Jacket, made of durable ripstop nylon, provides superior iPad protection and utilizes a four-point mounting system to secure your device. The M-Edge Latitude Jacket zips closed using a hidden double zipper, which allows users access to all ports and the ability to charge their device without removing it from the case. The Latitude Jacket offers full surface protection in a lushly padded case, while the soft grey polar fleece interior ensures your iPad will always be cushioned in comfort. In addition, the Latitude includes front and back pockets for storage of chargers and extra accessories, and has a built-in pocket for your iPhone. This jacket also features elastic tabs along the interior spine of the jacket for effective ear bud cable management; while eyelet on the top of the jacket allows for easy ear bud use while on-the-go. The Latitude allows for comfortable use of your device by folding back and zipping closed backwards. The M-Edge Accessories Latitude Jacket is the perfect, compact solution for the on-the-go user who wants their iPad and all its accessories within arm’s reach.
Lightweight jacket is made of ripstop nylon with grey polar fleece interior
Internal structural core material provides generous screen and unit protection
Large exterior zipper compartment contains a pocket sized for the iPhone and additional pockets for accessory storage.
Ergonomic elastic hand strap on front interior allows comfortable and stable single-handed use of iPad’s touch screen.
Double closure zipper allows access to charging port without removing iPad from jacket and folds back and zips closed backwards for comfortable use.
Elastic tabs are included along the interior spine of the jacket for ear bud cable management. Eyelet on top left corner allows for easy use of ear buds while jacket is closed.
Rear exterior pocket allows for additional iPad accessory storage
The M-Edge Latitude Jacket for the Apple iPad comes in five colors. The review unit we received was in black. The case zips closed (and open) on three sides. This means the case can open completely when using the iPad but, when zipped, the iPad is totally protected. Pulls on the zippers make them easy to grab. A zippered pocket it great for a few slips of papers or an iPhone but isn’t intended for holding a great deal.
A second pocket on the back of the case also provides some storage. Personally I tend to over-stuffing pockets and suspect I would be better off leaving them be. But they are there if you choose to use them.
The inside of the case is lined with a soft material that will help keep the iPad from scratches.
On the left side there is a black strap. At first I thought this was intended for keeping a few sheets of paper. Checking the M-Edge site however made it clear that the strap is intended for an entirely different purpose.
As the above image indicates it is intended to help you hold on to the iPad and case when using it on the go. It is a neat idea and shows M-Edge’s attention to detail although I am not sure I would actually use it. Also, if you look closely at the picture M-Edge is suggesting that you ope the case, fold it back on itself and zipper it closed. This will leave the iPad accessible while at the same time preventing the cover to flap around and get in the way. It is a neat idea and something they should highlight more in my opinion.
The other side of the case is where the iPad is connected to the case. M-Edge chose to use corner straps to secure the iPad in place. The straps are rather tight. This makes getting the iPad into place and secured a bit of a struggle but has the benefit of holding the iPad in place rather securely.
Personally I am not a fan of this method for holding the iPad in place preferring instead the style that has the iPad slip into a frame as on the Sena Folio. For me the corner straps get in the way at times and that annoys me. In addition, while the execution of the corner-straps is excellent on this case I just can’t bring myself to entirely trust it. Let me be clear however- I have no evidence to back up my concern and the iPad stayed in place even when I shook the case fairly vigorously.
In all, the M-Edge Latitude Jacket for iPad is a well-designed case that offers excellent protection to the iPad both when using the iPad and when carrying it from place to place. When open the iPad is easily used and when closed it is completely protected. It is a great case for daily use and especially for travel. When I was setting up my father-in-law’s iPad I tried to figure out which case I thought would be best for his trip and selected this one. He looked through the cases and chose the Latitude as well. After he used it for a few hours I asked him if the case would work for him and he replied that it was perfect for his needs.
The M-Edge Latitude Jacket for the Apple iPad has an MSRP of $49.99 but it is currently ( May 22, 2010 ) on sale for just $39.99. For details and to order check out the M-Edge site here .
What I Like:
Well made, thoughtfully designed and priced well. Zippers are studry and the pulls make it easy to quickly open and close the case. The extra hand strap is a good idea for those inclined to use it. Nice selection of colors from which to choose.
What Needs Improvement-
I’m not in love with corner straps for securing the iPad in place (aslthough the execution on this case is as good as I have seen), while you can charge and sync the iPad when it is in the case you cannot use either of the Apple docks without having to remove it.
Thanks to the full 360 degree protection it provides when zipped close this case is ideal for travel of for students who might be carrying an iPad instead of a notebook.