We have covered a few Mapi cases here at Gear Diary, and every time we’ve been impressed with their quality leather, craftsmanship, and style. Mapi offered me the chance to review their Mapi Cases Sia Leather iPad Sleeve, a leather sleeve with carry handles for the full size iPad. Is this a compact but professional way to transport your iPad? Read on for my full review to find out!
The Mapi Cases Sia Leather iPad Sleeve (pronounced See-ah) is incredibly well made. I don’t often gush about style, but this sleeve is absolutely beautiful. There’s a very small MAPI logo on the front flap, and their horn logo on the back. The stitching is impeccable, the zipper is nice and smooth, and the pull out handles are strong. Inside the case is a soft material, so if you keep your iPad naked it is still safe from scratches. I have both a Smart Cover and a back cover on my iPad, and while it was a very tight fit the first few days, the leather did soften enough that I can smoothly pull my iPad in and out now.
To make this more of a handbag than just a sleeve with handles, the Mapi Cases Sia Leather iPad Sleeve has a front flap pocket. It’s secured by a simple snap, which works fine, but can be difficult to secure when the pocket is very full. The pocket isn’t terribly big, but it comfortably fits a Toshiba Powerstick and a MiFi. I tried fitting my wallet in, but it was slightly too big for the flap to close. If you are more of a minimalist with what you carry, you might be able to fit everything, but it would be tight.
The Mapi Cases Sia Leather iPad Sleeve is a great looking and feeling sleeve, but it is expensive at $160. Yes, it’s genuine leather, and incredibly well built, but is it worth the cost? That’s where I think it depends on your needs. As a casual, carry your iPad around case, yes, it’s pricy, and you have to really like the style. Where I think this is great is in a business setting. I use my iPad heavily for business, and I often carry it to meetings for note taking and reference.
Years ago, long before the iPad was released, I went to a workshop on business etiquette. One bit of advice that really stuck with me was to never carry a briefcase into a meeting — that you should only bring what was needed for that meeting, because carrying a briefcase implied there were other meetings and issues taking up one’s time. By just bringing in a folio, it gave the impression that the meeting was important enough to be the only thing you carried with you at that moment. Now that the world is going more and more paperless, this is even easier to accomplish by simply keeping everything digitally on an iPad. But here’s the dilemma; you have more than what fits in a folio (charger, MiFi, stylus) but don’t want to carry a full briefcase. The Sia slots perfectly into that niche, and it does so with a significantly elevated style over a simple iPad sleeve made of neoprene or a similar material.
The Sia is excellent as it is, but I wish it had a few changes. One, the flap pocket is small, as I noted above. If it extended to the width of the sleeve, there would be more room to hold a wallet and keys. Second, if there were just an open pocket on the back, the case would be able to hold paper folded in half, or something the size of a boarding pass or passport. These are minor things, but having those would give it a bit more flexibility to truly be the only bag you would need.
Despite my minor nitpicks, this is a fantastic sleeve. It’s expensive, but you get what you pay for. The Mapi Cases Sia Leather iPad Sleeve Sia is a genuine leather, well crafted, stylish, and professional iPad sleeve. If you often find yourself walking into meetings toting your iPad, the Sia is an accessory worth considering both for functionality and appearance!
MSRP: $160 from Mapi Cases
What I liked: High quality leather; handles slide in and out, making the case more compact; very professional looking; pocket on the front holds emergency charger and MiFi perfectly.
What Needs Improvement: Front pocket could be bigger.
Source: Manufacturer provided review sample