iPad Case Review: Sena Florence for iPad 2

I am a huge fan of Sena’s gorgeous leather cases and have used them on pretty much every device I have owned going back many years. The reason for this is quite simple. Sena consistently uses the best materials, consistently constructs them with the greatest of care and consistently brings new designs to market that are visually interesting but also take into account that most of us actually USE the devices we want to protect. In other words, time and again, Sena seems to be able to strike the right balance between interesting style and practical use. Add in the fact that their catalogue is quite extensive and includes a wide range of devices and they are one of the first companies you should check when getting a new device you want to protect.

I was excited to see what the company would release for the iPad 2 and they did not disappoint. They are currently showing ten different cases for Apple’s latest creation. Some, such as the Folio, are updated designs of cases that existed for the original iPad and some, such as the Florence, are brand new designs. I’ve been using one of the Florence cases for the last week or so and wanted to show you around this stylish, and functional, case for the iPad 2.

From Sena:

The Florence is a great companion to your iPad 2 for those who enjoy creative versatility. It is made to work with comfortable angles while you watch movies, play games, type a out a novel or even create art like an Italian artist. This foldable genuine leather skin design is comprised of premium leather providing a soft layer to gently protect your iPad 2. The integrated 2 position folding cover provides the versatility you need. Offered in classic genuine leather, the Florence is perfect for any creative or elegant setting. The secure cover with simple corner tucking closure provides a snug fit to your iPad 2. It is individually handcrafted from the finest genuine Napa leather with Sena’s well-known quality and strong attention to detail. The Florence allows you the versatility you need for you to enjoy seamless function with your iPad 2.


Hand-crafted from the finest quality full grain, genuine leather

Slim leather book style design

Integrated 2 position folding cover

Use iPad 2 while in case

Watch videos while in case

Type while in case

Simple corner tucking closure

Soft velvet lining with light protective layer

Cutouts for play-thru functionality

Charge/sync port opening

Easy device access

Sena craftsmanship and quality

The leather on the Florence is gorgeous. I always love getting a new case from Sena because the smooth feel of brand new leather is truly something to enjoy. At the same time I love when the leather gets a bit marked up, starts to wear in and becomes softer and softer.

The Florence features a truly unusual system for keeping the cover closed when the iPad is not being used. The lower right hand corner has a small leather pocket into which the notched corner of the cover fits. It brings some visual appeal to the case while serving a truly functional purpose.

It took me a while to get used to using this particular closure method but once I got the hang of it worked pretty well. Precision is important with this case because it has the same sleep/awake function as the Apple Smart Covers and therefore turns off the screen when put in position but I found that I had to be careful how I closed the cover in order to make it shut off.  This is definitely a case of “practice makes perfect” and I do wish the tolerances for this functionality were a bit more forgiving.

The back of the case shows the clean lines that Sena built into it and the precise cutouts that make the case fit like a glove. Because the iPad 2’s back is tapered the case needs to hug it lest it turn the refined lines of the device into a boxy iPad 1 copy. The Florence manages to do that quite well. The cutouts are all as precise as can be and yield a case that, from the back, looks like a second skin to the iPad. This will only become moreso as the leather breaks in.

The tab in the center of the back has the Sena name/logo and serves to allow the case to function as a two-position stand.

This is a folio-style case so the iPad has to slip into it behind the leather “frame” that holds it in place. It does so with just enough resistance that the iPad, once inside, is going to stay put.

The extra tab of leather and velcro don’t hurt either.

Once the iPad is in place and the tab secured behind it the whole thing makes for a nice, clean package.

Of course the leather “dips” just enough to expose the home button.

Once the iPad is in the case you can get a better sense of what I mean with regard to the case fitting like a second skin. They just look, and feel, like they belong together.

Everything is exactly where is needs to be.

And if you fold the cover back on itself and slip it into the extra tab of material on the back it created a triangle and keeps the iPad at a nice angle for desktop use.

Here’s a look from the back.

And if you flip the case up on itself and let the whole thing rest on the small side of the triangle you get a far steeper angle.

This way it is perfect stand for viewing a movie, Facetime or whatever else you want to watch on your iPad.

And all because of this simple, but effective, extra tab of leather.

When it comes to a Sena product it is unusual for me to have a complaint but I do with this case. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Sena Florence and think it is a beautiful, elegant and useful case but… The leather that rings the iPad’s screen is rather thick and, as a result, not as flexible as the leather used on the back. The result is that the leather “frame” rises off the iPad’s screen. I don’t love the way it looks and I have found that it can get in the way of tapping the upper-most part of the screen unless I am conscious of it. Personally I think I would have preferred if they had used the same thinner, more flexible leather as the back on the front since, were that the case, I suspect the leather would hug the screen instead of rise off of it.

Still, in the scheme of things this is a relatively small complaint with regard to an otherwise awesome case that is well worth the $79.99 Sena is charging for it! The Florence looks great, protects the iPad well and enhances its usability in a variety of ways.

The Sena Florence for iPad 2 is available in Black, Tan, Red and Brown and can be ordered directly form the company website.

MSRP: $79.99

What I Like: Sena style, quality and construction; Includes smart Sleep/Awake functionality; doubles as a two-position stand; gorgeous

What Needs Improvement: Sleep/Awake function requires a fair bit of precision in order to activate; leather frame around the screen rises off the screen

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

9 Comments on "iPad Case Review: Sena Florence for iPad 2"

  1. Rodney St. John | May 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm |

    Thanks Dan. I just now ordered mine. I can’t wait. PS, I found a 20% off coupon that worked too. Saved me almost $16 off. The code I found was PCWIPNK11

    Thanks for the review.

  2. I love the quality… the leather feels great, and the stitching is clean. My leather frame around the screen smoothed out after a week or so of the leather “relaxing” with the iPad in it. There still is a bit of a gap, but it doesn’t interfere with my usage.

    Unfortunately, I’ve found the “smart” functionality nearly useless. Sena only uses one small magnet to trip the sensor, and no additional magnets to hold the cover aligned and in place. Since the closure method only uses one corner of the case, the cover easily moves around, and the slightest movement causes the iPad to wake. I hope they revise the design and correct this!

  3. Eek! Sorry to hear. As I noted in the review I do find the tolerances to be a bit tight with regard to the smart cover functionality but certainly not to the degree you are encountering. As I said, Eek!

  4. Rodney St. John | May 26, 2011 at 11:15 am |

    I’d agree with Shawnb. The lip around my screen has relaxed, but the smart cover is very hard to get lined up. I have to deliberately close the cover while sliding the lower corner under the tab and press the top right corner down towards the screen while making sure it shifts left and right to the right spot. I’ve gone to leaving the sound on so I can hear the click. Also I like to place my iPad screen down on my table and sometimes the cover shifts or flaps open at the top and wakes up. 🙁 it is definitely not as easy and painless as the apple smart cover.

  5. Rodney St. John | June 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

    After another week or so with this case, the lips are more fitting to the iPad, and I do love the looks and feel, but the smart functionality stinks. It is a major pain to get the magnets to line up just right. 🙁 I’ve given up and went back to using the power button and sliding to unlock. 🙁

  6. That is a bummer… Very sorry to hear. I agree though, that aspect needs improvement.

  7. Quick follwup, I ordered a second Florence case in mid-June for another iPad. In general, the stitching did not appear as “clean” compared to the first (and other Sena products I’ve bought). Also, they added a single row of stitching all the way around the display opening. I haven’t noticed any useful purpose for it, and it makes the transition from case to screen stand out more visually. I’m not sure if it was an intentional design change, or if they just added a second (cheaper) manufacturer (there was no month-long backorder for this one).

    Sadly, the “smart” functionality was not changed, and is still just one small (too small?) magnet in the flap. Sadly also, after a week with the first case, I contacted Sena support via their website regarding the poor functionality of the “smart” functionality. Zero response.

  8. Eek!! I just wrote up a post on a slightly revised Florence and it should be live in the next day or so. I do find that the sleep/awake is better on the new case.

    Sorry to hear about this experience.

  9. Rodney St. John | July 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm |

    I ended up cutting the old little magnet out. It was about the diameter of a pencil erasure. I then stuck in my own piece of magnet. It is better, but still not as perfect as the Apple Smart Cover.

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