Since I got my iPad last spring I have increasingly moved toward working in a “paperless mode”. In fact, a few days ago I needed to write something down with a pen and it took me a good few minutes to find one to use. I am not, of course, in the majority. I know that most of the people who have iPads are not using them to displace pen and paper or reading “dead tree” books and magazines. For most people the iPad is another layer on top of the way they’ve worked previously. That’s where a case such as the Revena’s Elements Executive Folio might be quite appealing to many new iPad owners. It gives you a convenient way to carry your iPad and get the “best of both worlds”. When you open it you are presented with both the iPad touchscreen and a pad of paper one next to the other. In this way you can use both in conjunction with the other. For example you can look something up using Safari on the iPad and take notes as you do.
The company was kind enough to send me one of the Elements Executive Plus combinations which include the Executive Folio and two additional accessories. Let’s take a look.
Meticulously handcrafted from genuine leather in a variety of colors, the Executive Edition Folio increases the portability and functionality of the iPad™ through its ability to easily transform into a presentation easel or a complete business portfolio which includes 2 business card slots, document pocket, and full size writing tablet. In addition, the Executive Edition Folio provides unique stylish portability with its built-in adjustable and detachable shoulder strap.
Executive Edition’s Features include:
Stylish Contemporary Design
Genuine Napa Leather
Built-In Secure Closure
iPad Protective Case with Integrated Framed Holder
Easily transform your iPad into a Presentation Easel
Complete and Easy Access to iPad connectors and controls
Two Business Card Slots
8.5”x11” Writing Tablet
Detachable and Adjustable Carrying Strap
The ELEMENTS EXECUTIVE FOLIO Plus includes the folio PLUS two other accessories. More on the shortly.
If you go to the company website you’ll see that you can purchase the Executive Folio, the key fob and the stylus individually. What has not yet appeared on the website is the combination accessory kit that includes all three. That’s what we were sent for review. In its absence we will address each part of the set individually.
The Executive Folio is made from good quality leather. It is rich in color and uniformly tanned. The construction is excellent and the white thread that offers a nice contrasting highlight is straight and tight. They call this an EXECUTIVE folio and, as such, it gives off an air of class and authority.
A leather tab wraps from the back and snaps securely to the front of the folio. It’s a nice thick piece of leather that is sewn securely to the back. The button snap is heavy-duty enough that I would have no concerns about it opening by accident.
This is iPad protection that you can count on keeping your device safe.
If we look around to the back of the folio we see where the leather tablet connects to the main material. In the upper left-hand side of the case is a small piece of material that has the company name sewn into it. I get the need for companies to add their logo to their products but I could do without it.
More interesting are the two D-Rings that are sewn into the right-hand side of the folio. The case comes with a leather strap that hooks onto these two metal rings so that the folio becomes a carrying case unto itself. No additional briefcase is needed.
This is a picture of the leather strap connected to the folio itself. The metal used for both the clips and rings seems quite sturdy although the leather shoulder strap itself is quite narrow and I’m not quite sure how comfortable it would be if it rested on your shoulder for an extended period of time. Still, if you are a sleek and simple way to carry your iPad and some note taking material with you in the office or on the go the folio lets you do just that.
Moving to the interior of the executive folio you find that on the left-hand side there is a slot for a standard pad of paper. The company starts you off with one pad and when not in use doctor said we have to go buy a new one. (Although they are expensive I’ve always had a fondness for the various pads offered by Levenger.) In the middle of the case along the fold you’ll find a leather loop that is designed to hold a pen. (More on that in a bit.)
On the right-hand side you find the area designed to hold the iPad securely in place. The Executive Folio uses my preferred way of securing an iPad in a folio — the left-hand side is open and the iPad simply slides inside. Once there, it is held securely by the leather frame that runs along the entire vessel of the iPad.
It is the simplest way of securing an iPad in a case and it is, to my mind, the most elegant.
As you can see, it makes for a nice clean look that allows you to carry your iPad, a pad of paper, and attend all at once.
I like the folio quite a bit. It if well designed and well constructed. It is perfect for someone who is using their iPad more and more but still needs to take ink notes.
But this is the accessory pack and, as such, it includes two other accessories.
The Key Fob-
I really don’t get the inclusion of the key fob. It is heavy-duty and will hold lots of rings quite securely but I really don’t see the need for bundling it with the folio. It is, however, included to you can either use it or give it away. Just don’t throw it out since it is actually rather nice.
The key chain is sold individually by the company and can be found here.
Finally there is the inclusion of the ELEMENTS REMBRANDT Stylus Pen (MSRP $39.99) with the system. If you buy this product… And there are some excellent reasons to do so, my humble suggestion is that you open the plastic, take the three pieces (four if you could the shoulder strap) take hold of the included pen and… Throw it in the trash.
I’m not kidding. Here’s why…
The pen itself looks nice and has a decent enough balance to it. It takes the same approach as the HardCandy stylus we reviewed a few weeks ago in that it has an ink pen under the cap and a stylus for a capacitive screen on the other end.
The design makes particularly good sense with this folio since it includes incorporates both the iPad AND a paper tablet.
But as I mentioned a few sentences ago… THROW IT OUT.
See that tip? That’s the soft tip that registers on the screen the way a finger would.
See the exposed metal ring at the top? That’s the part of the stylus that can easily come in contact with your iPad’s screen if you hold the pen wrong or press down on it too hard.
Metal + Glass = Scratches on Screen of expensive tablet.
Seriously, you don’t want to be using metal, especially metal with a somewhat sharp edge, near glass.
THROW IT OUT.
So what do I think of the ELEMENTS EXECUTIVE FOLIO Plus? I like the ELEMENTS EXECUTIVE FOLIO a good deal but I find the “Plus” parts of the package to be throw-aways. I am not one of those people who would benefit from a folio like this since I don’t find myself needing to reach for pen and paper all that often. Travis, on the other hand might find something like this quite useful as he plans to repeat his winner High School football season. That’s why I’m sending the review unit to him Monday. 🙂
The ELEMENTS EXECUTIVE FOLIO from Revena is available directly from the company Web site.
MSRP: $259.99 but available from the company for $129.99.
What I Like:
What Needs Improvement: At an MSRP of $259.99 it is tremendously overpriced; at the current price of $129.99, while still pricey, it is far more reasonable; the key fob doesn’t make sense to me; the included pen is designed in such a way that it may well damage the iPad’s screen.