One of the more substantial cases we reviewed for the original iPad came from a company whose wares were previously unfamiliar to us. Powis iCase reflects the company putting a great deal of thought into their designs. A close look at the original case revealed a company will to put in the small, easily overlooked, extras that add value and, in the process, created a case that had looks and functionality. Judie reviewed an early version of their iCase for the original iPad, gave the company some feedback, and then they sent updated versions of the case to both of us. (You can read that dual review here.)
Nowthat’s designed specifically for the current generation iPad. Is it also a winner? Let’s take a closer look.
Form and Function: An iPad case with so many cool features! A wipe cloth with secret storage. A movable hand strap for closure and easy carry. A convenient business card pocket. All in a sturdy iPad case inspired by the traditional book.
Sleek Design: Powis iCase offers protection that is worthy of your iPad. It maintains the iPad’s sleek design, weight and size while providing a stylish iPad cover of your choosing.
Snap In Case: Powis iCase offers a snap in frame to hold your iPad securely in place. Simply push down on the top edges to pop out your iPad (but why would your iPad ever leave?).
Wipe Cloth: Fingerprints and smudges on your iPad? Not when you have Powis iCase. It comes with a handy microfiber wipe cloth in a secret storage place.
Business Card Holder: Wish you had a place in your iPad case to store a few business cards? Well, wish no more. Powis iCase comes with a convenient business card pocket.
Hand Strap: The movable hand strap on your Powis iCase provides secure closure and carry. Take your iPad anywhere and know that it will never fall out of your grasp!
Eco-Friendly: Powis iCase has the environment in mind! Fiber content of our handcrafted leather is 100% recycled cowhide fibers. All cases are constructed with 100% recycled board.
Sleep/wake modes: Close the case and the iPad to automatically goes to sleep. Open it, and iPad instantly wakes up. Powell case keeps your iPad ready to go whenever you are.
Camera Ready: special cutouts expose the iPad camera so we can be used without removing your iPad from the case. How convenient.
Pick one: So many choices! Whether you want a luxurious, handcrafted Spanish leather iPad case for work or a bright patterned iPad case for fun, how case has the iPad cover just for you. And if you have a special photo or design, you can use that too!
iPad 2 Features:
Designed for iPad 2
Magnetic/Automatic Sleep/Wake mode
Easier, one tab snap in frame
Camera-ready: special cutouts expose the camera so it can be used while in the case
All the unique features of Powis iCase for iPad
Like the first generation case before it, the new iPad 2 version isn’t going for a minimalist look and feel. Rather, the company has opted to strike a balance between a case that adds a tremendous amount of functionality, good looks and added weight and bulk. As long you aren’t looking for the thinnest, lightest case possible you’ll appreciate their design choices.
The company sent a version of their new iCase in black leather. As they explain, the cover is made from “Spanish leather that is 100% recycled cowhide fibers”. I’m not quite sure what that means exactly, but I do know that it has a look and feel which is quite attractive and screams “this is a high-end case”.
The best way to describe the case is that it has the look, style and feel of a leather-bound book. That’s a great thing if you can’t choose between classic good looks and modern technology. To a certain extent, however, it does mean that you’re going to get a case which is a little bit bulkier than many we’ve seen.
When looking at the front of the case, you’ll quickly notice that it is almost entirely made from this “100% recycled cowhide fibers”, but along the outer edge is a rubber lip. This serves two purposes I suspect. On the one hand it creates an interior slot that is great for slipping a few notes or business cards. On the other hand, it ensures that this long edge, the edge that is most likely to get bumped and bruised with serious use, will remain looking clean and unmarked. Leather purists aren’t going to like it. I do.
Flipping over to the backside of the case one sees a design which is now familiar if you have taken a look at Powis’ first-generation offering. In the center of the back is a round oblong area of hard plastic. This has a combination of plates that flipped open and create nine different stand positions. (More on that in a moment.)
New to this design are slots for the hand strap to connect securely to the case, as well as an opening for the iPad’s camera. They are disruptive to the “flow” of the back but, then again, the big oval plates already do that quite successfully.
I have to note that pointing out a camera ready cut-out as a special feature for a device that has a camera seems a little bit ridiculous to me. I don’t think you get props for having a camera hole in an iPad 2 case. Slammed if you don’t have it? YES! Props? NOPE!
Opening the case, one sees a setup that is similar to the first generation Powis iCase but a bit more refined.
As previously mentioned along the left side you see the interior part of the hard plastic that comes through on the outside edge. It’s perfect for those note cards or business cards but if you choose not to use it, then it doesn’t detract anything from the look or function of the case.
On the right-hand side you’ll see the iPad holding mechanism. Previously there were four corner tabs that wrapped around the iPad. Now there are just three with the left side tab being significantly longer than the others. The idea behind this mechanism is that it will hold the iPad just as securely as ever while, at the same time, making it easier than ever to remove the iPad from the case. (In my case I actually found it a bit more difficult to press down on the long tab and release my iPad but, I suspect, it will become easier as the case wears in a bit.
One of the oddest things about the first generation device was that it had a plastic plate that sat underneath the iPad and held a screen cloth for cleaning the touchscreen device. While I appreciated the inclusion of a cleaning cloth, that mechanism for holding it in place when not being used was a bit cumbersome and added more weight to the case than needed. In this updated version of the case they have done away with this plastic holding mechanism while still including the screen cloth. Now it simply is held in place by the elastic band which is used for keeping the case closed. Good call.
The new clip system has “cupped” clips in two corners. They actually grab the corners of the iPad quite tightly.
I had no fear of the iPad popping out!
Here’s a better look at how the iPad is held in place. As you can see it is yet another example of a company that knows iPad-users want their iPads held securely but also want the mechanism for doing so to all but disappear. This one does!
A closer look at the new “quick release” tab design that was actually a bit MORE difficult for me than the older version.
To look at this case in isolation without taking note of the built-in stand one might come to the conclusion that it’s similar to the Dodo Case albeit with a different mechanism for holding the iPad in place. Unlike that case, however, this case has an unusual system for holding the iPad at a variety of different angles.
It’s difficult to describe how this multi-hinged mechanism works celebrity simply show you the pictures from the company website. It will give you a good idea of what this case is able to do and, in the process, likely give you a better sense of whether or not this is a case you would want to personally use.
Here it is in action.
And from the back.
In all, I like this case quite a bit. I love the fact that the company kept those aspects of the original version that worked and refined those elements that could be tightened up just a bit. I appreciate the fact that they built-in the current iPad generations sleep/awake functionality (any case without it is a huge FAIL, in my opinion), and I do appreciate the fact that this version is slightly thinner than the original one.
At the same time, however, this is one of the bulkier cases I have seen for the iPad 2. If that isn’t an issue for you this case is certainly worth serious consideration. It is both classy and functional–designed by people who clearly thought through how their customers might want to use their iPad. If, however, you are looking for a case that takes advantage of the iPad 2’s thinner design you may want to look elsewhere. While this current generation case is thinner than its predecessor I still wouldn’t describe it as “thin”.
Details and ordering can be found on the Powis web site.
What I Like: Looks and feels fantastic; made from recycled materials; holding mechanism doesn’t skewer the iPad screen at all; movable hand strap securely closes the case and keeps it closed; includes the magnetic sleep/awake functionality; thinner than predecessor; has a built-in standard that offers nine different viewing positions
What Needs Improvement: A bit bulky; iPad holding mechanism initially difficult to release; prices start at $60