Sena Florence Rev3 for iPad Review – the Third Time’s a Charm

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Back in May we reviewed the Sena Florence for the iPad 2. It was a good-looking, slim folio-style case for the iPad that included the “Auto Sleep/Awake” functionality and served double-duty as a stand for viewing and typing. The original version was a good case, but I did encounter some issues with the Sleep/Awake functionality not working as constantly as I would have liked. It wasn’t enough of an issue for me to not use and enjoy the case mind you, but it was something that I noted in the review.

Last week we looked at the second version of the case. It had the same design, but Sena had added a line of thread around the leather surrounding the iPad’s bezel and used a slightly stronger magnet for the Sleep/Awake functionality. The new magnet improved this case over the first version, but I still found the Sleep/Awake functionality to be flakier than I would have liked.

Now we’re getting an exclusive first look at Rev3 of the Sena Florence and… I officially have a new favorite case. Here’s why …

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This is my iPad 2 in the Sena Florence. As you can see, the line of thread around the iPad’s screen remains. The reason for this is “to protect the case and keep it firm so that the leather will stay in place even as the case wears in”.

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The Rev3 Florence maintains the same slim profile as before and, as we will see in a moment, reminds me of the thin leather driving gloves that fit tightly and perfectly.

The rectangle of stitching that you can see in the middle lower portion of the back is there to secure the tab of material that holds the iPad inside the case. It adds a slight bump to that section that bothered me at first. However, it wasn’t long before I found that this actually created a great grip-point on the case when I was carrying it!

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The cutouts are, once again, perfect.

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And the case beautifully molds to the iPad 2’s curves.

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The leather tab with the Sena name remains and works perfectly to provide a great angle for typing once the cover is folded back and slipped into it.

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So what’s the key difference between the Rev1, Rev2 and this Sena Florence case? If you look in the lower right hand corner of the case you will see… nothing.


In the original version of the Florence there was a small pocket of leather and the cover was slightly cut in one place. The cover would slip into the pocket and, in the process, the magnet in the cover would put the iPad to sleep.

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The new version of the Florence won’t have that pocket. Instead the magnet in the cover has been made much stronger; now it has enough strength to secure the cover to the case and keep it closed. This new design results in the Sleep/Awake functionality being 100% consistent. In other word,s my one hesitation about the case has been resolved, and I can now recommend this case to anyone without reservation.

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I have heard from one or two Gear Diary readers who bought the first version of the Florence and have encountered issues with the Sleep/Awake functionality. Anticipating that they might express concerns over not having the new iteration, I reached out to Sena.  Here’s what they had to say:

We at Sena are always listening to our customers and improving our designs based on customer input and rigorous weekly testing on all our different cases / products for improvements.   We update our product management plan to implement the improvements, make them happen swiftly, and [we] promise to stand behind our product to offer the very best product for the very best community of customers, both online and retail worldwide.

Sena also offers a full one year warranty to cover any manufacturing defects and any issues with the fit, form or functionality of the case, and we encourage our customers to call us in our quarterly email blasts to contact us if they are not completely satisfied. “Sena products are created to ensure satisfaction and service during the natural life of the product. We warrant to the original purchaser that its product will be free from manufacturing defects for a period of one year from the date of the original invoice, if not we will exchange it.”

So in other words, if you bought one of the first two versions and you aren’t satisfied, there is no need to suffer from “early adopters buyer’s remorse”. You can contact Sena, and they will arrange an exchange!

I love a company that stands by their products and listens to feedback from customers (and reviewers!); it is that type of good attitude and open communication along with a commitment to quality that led to the updated Sena Florence. The first release of the Florence was okay, the second was better, but this new design is perfect! You can check out all of Sena’s cases on the company Web site.

MSRP: $79.99

What I Like: Sena style, quality and construction; Includes smart Sleep/Awake functionality; doubles as a two-position stand; gorgeous; Sleep/Awake function works perfectly now; leather frame around the screen seems thinner than before

What Needs Improvement: Nothing! If you are looking for a thin leather case that doubles as a stand AND includes the Sleep/Awake functionality this should be high on your list of options!

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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.

10 Comments on "Sena Florence Rev3 for iPad Review – the Third Time’s a Charm"

  1. Rodney St. John | August 11, 2011 at 7:27 am |

    Thanks, Dan. And thanks to Sena for standing behind their product. I’ve just sent them an email requesting a warranty exchange. This new revision sounds EXACTLY how I wanted the case to work when I initially ordered it in May. I’ll keep you posted on my exchange and feelings of the new version, if and when I get it.
    Thanks Dan, GearDiary, and Sena.

  2. Rodney St. John | August 14, 2011 at 7:07 am |

    WooHooo. 2 big thumbs up to Sena Customer Support. I contacted them via email about my concerns for the Rev1 version of the Florence I had….not acting ‘smart’ and they are sending me a new case right now. Then I have to send my old case back. I’m very impressed. I thought I’d have to be ‘caseless’ while I sent my old one in and then they processed the paperwork and sent me my new one. But no, they are sending it out first. That is Class 1-A customer service. I can’t wait to get this new version, the stronger magnets and magnetic closure sounds perfect.
    I’ll let you know what I think about it, after I get it.

  3. And THAT is among the reasons I love dealing with Sena whether I am buying a case from them, reviewing something they sent or sharing news about a new product. I would much prefer to give my hard earned money to companies that offer good customer service. Sena is one of them.

    Rodney- please do let us know what you think but I suspect I could write the comment for you already. 🙂

  4. Rodney St. John | August 17, 2011 at 9:44 am |

    3rd time is a charm. I just unboxed this version and slipped my iPad2 into it and I can say, “I LOVE IT!”
    *The Sleep/wake works perfectly.

    *The lid/cover now stays closed with magnets instead of that little corner tuck piece. The magnets are strong enough that the lid will stay closed when the iPad is held face down. (if you grip it by the back and shake it, it will open, but they seem very strong and I’m sure it will stay closed in my bag.

    *The frame around the face of the iPad lays more flat that the Rev1 did initially. Although, my Rev1 Florence eventually ‘broke-in’ and laid much more flat, this Rev3 version seems to fit better fresh out of the box, so I’m assuming it will get even better with time.

    *I LOVE that I can just flip the lid closed and it will shut off/sleep and the lid will be perfectly positioned and magnetically closed. No more shifting and sliding the lid into the little pocket and peaking inside the case to see if the iPad is indeed sleeping. Flip open, flip closed. Easy.

    Thanks you to GearDiary for reviewing these revisions, alerting us to the changes, and reaching out to Sena on our behalf. And Thanks to Sena for standing behind your product. I became a Sena customer with my HP Ipaq back in 2000ish, and I’m glad I’m a Sena customer today.

  5. Rodney St. John | August 17, 2011 at 9:45 am |

    I guess I could have should have said, Thanks to you Dan. Thank you for your reviews and your help.

  6. Awww, comments like yours make me wish that we had a “like” button on our comments. =)

  7. Rodney St. John | August 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm |

    I just wanted to add, I can’t stop opening and closing my Sena Florence just for fun. I love the way it magnetically closes and the screen turns off and on. It is fun to have this nice leather case work. Thanks again.

  8. I tried the Sena case for the iPad2 and found it to be ill fitting –surprising since it is the most expensive of the cases at $99. They appear to have taken the iPad1 case and made an insuffient adjustment for #2. Plus the closure tab gets in the way so it really does not stand up properly. On top of it they deducted $20 when I returned it which is highway robbery. I paid the return shipping, it was untouched in mint condition, and I packed it in the original packing materials. They said it is their standard policy.  Save your money folks and go with a different case. On top it

  9. I’m not sure which case you are referring to but it isn’t the Florence since that case wasn’t available for the original iPad. While the Florence did take a bit for them to get just right it is one, if not the, best cases I have used.
    As far as your return issue there must be something I am missing in the story since this is the policy on the site–
    We will be glad to refund or exchange any new and unused merchandise. If you would like to return a product that is in unused condition, you are entitled to a replacement, refund, or a credit within 30 days of the original purchase. Shipping and handling charges are non-refundable. A return refund will be made for the amount of the product plus taxes, minus all shipping-handling fees. Custom and engraved cases are not eligible for return or exchange. Customers are responsible for the shipping cost when exchanging their products.
    To return or exchange a product, you will need a Return Authorization (RA) number and instructions. You will need to properly follow the Return/Exchange instructions you are given after you contact us. Under no circumstances will a return or an exchange accepted if the instructions are not followed and/or an RA number is not included.

    Sent from one iOS device or another

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