I have a new favorite case for my iPad 2 and, to be honest, it comes as a surprise to me. The case isn’t from a brand name. It doesn’t have a striking style. Isn’t one of the many luxury cases we have the good fortune of reviewing here on the site. No, this iPad 2 case is a relatively inexpensive, unassuming case for my constant companion and yet it has, for now, risen to the top of the heap. The case in question is the Yoobao Executive Genuine Leather Case for iPad 2 and it comes to us via our friends at Xengadget.
So why is this the case I am currently leaving on my iPad? Read on to find out.
Here’s what Xengadget’s site has to say about the case:
Version 2 of Yoobao Executive Genuine Leather Case for iPad 2. It features fully functional hibernation/smart cover feature, and is made of stylish, luxurious and high quality genuine leather in black, brown and red colors. The case is tailored just right and fit your iPad 2 perfectly, and allows easy access to the ports, switches, speakers and sensors, etc. The built-in stand allows you to use your iPad 2 horizontally and vertically, and to view movies or type on the iPad 2 comfortably.
Design and made specifically for Apple iPad 2, ultra light weight (6.3 oz)
The case supports the hibernation function just as the Apple smart case.
100% genuine leather – top quality first layer of natural cow leather
Perfect fit – full screen touchable and precise cutouts allowing easy access to charging
port, speakers, microphone, headphones jack, Volume control, etc.
Built-in kickstand allows you to operate your iPad 2 with ease
Innovative design allows you to install and remove iPad easily
Provides perfect protection to your iPad 2 against shock, damage, dust and scratch
The case comes in a simple box which, when opened, reveals the case stored in a sealed clear plastic bag. This is a packaging scheme we have all seen numerous times and it is often associated with lower end cases. That fact, combined with the light weight of the case, made me immediately suspicious.
That suspicion got a bit worse when I removed the case from the plastic. Sure, the leather had a nice deep color to it and the accent-colored stitching was straight and tight but the leather had a bit of a smell to it that is, once again, often associated with lower end leather products.
Note: if you are about to stop reading because I have scared you off please refer back to the opening sentences of this review. This is currently MY FAVORITE iPad 2 case.
The case is styled similarly to the familiar folio cases which have been common to both generations of iPad. The best way to describe the case is that it is the Apple brand case for the iPad 1, made out of leather and designed to fit the iPad 2.
Like the original Apple case, it has a cover that flaps closed but remains loose.
Like the Apple case, the iPad slips in from the center.
Like the Apple case, there is an extra flap of material that goes OVER the iPad…
…and then tucks behind the iPad to hold it securely in place.
Like the Apple case, there is an edge that runs around three sides of the iPad where the front and back portions of the material meet.
And like the Apple case, there is a bit of extra material on the back into which the cover can slip in order to create a built-in stand.
In short, I would argue that the inspiration — and perhaps even the actual design for this case — came from Apple’s now retired version.
That isn’t a bad thing mind you, since the only thing I really didn’t like about Apple’s case was the cheap materieal from which it was made.
Yes, unlike the Apple case, the Yoobao is made from leather that looks and feels great. This stands in stark contrast to the cheap material Apple used … and Apple charged the same price!
The case does a good job of maintaining the iPad 2’s sloped back. The result is that when you use the case you are adding some thickness and weight, but you don’t lose the nice feel of the iPad 2 as compared to the original iPad.
The leather is soft and textured just enough to make holding it quite comfortable and secure.
The cutouts for the camera, microphone, headphone jack, dock connector, rotate/mute toggle and volume control are all done quite neatly. For the most part they are precise. (I only say “for the most part” because the headphone jack is a bit off-center on my case.)
As noted, the case does not add significantly to the heft of the iPad. That’s a good thing since the device, while thinner and lighter than it’s predecessor is still not as light as I might like.
A key draw of the iPad 2 is the “smart cover functionality” that allows Apple’s Smart Covers to put the device into sleep mode and wake it up once again simply by opening and closing the cover. Thankfully Yoobao built the same technology (ie accurately placed magnets) into this cover as well. The result is a folio case that no longer requires you to press the Home button when opening the cover. In other words, with the flap open the iPad is on. With it is closed it is put into sleep mode.
And that is where this case goes to the front of the line. I love the Smart Cover design. It brings a level of convenience that I have quickly grown to rely upon. And I would LOVE Apple’s Smart Covers if they were not so ridiculously overpriced and if they did not leave the sides and back of the iPad completely exposed. I take my iPad with me pretty much everywhere, and am using it constantly. I NEED something that truly protects it. Apple’s Smart Covers don’t. This case does. Better still, this case does so for the price of the non-leather version of Apple’s cover.
That says it all and is the reason this case remains on my iPad… For now.
The case comes in Black, Red and Brown and can be ordered from Xengadget’s Website. At the current price it is a STEAL.
What I Like: Quality leather case; looks and fits beautifully; workmanship is excellent; maintains the Smart Cover on/off feature; doesn’t add a tremendous amount of bulk or weight; looks good; a great price
What Needs Improvement: Had a less-than-good smell for the first few hours; headphone cutout is not perfectly aligned