Like most people, I thought the iPad Smart Cover was pretty cool, but it bothered me for two reasons. First, I think it's too expensive, especially in leather, and second, it didn't really protect the iPad, just the screen.
I knew it was a matter of time before there were options, and this week I was sent a Yoobao Products Executive Leather case from US distributor Xengadget. The case sells for US$34.95, which is a reasonable price given how the case works.
The case is real leather, protects both the back and front of the iPad 2, and it even has the magnets that allow the iPad to shut down or turn on when the case is closed or opened. The case comes in three colors: black, red and light brown. It has a built in kickstand, and you can orient the case for a low or steeper angle for use.
I thought the build quality was good; all the ports you will need are uncovered, and it is easy to get your iPad in and out of the Yoobao. I have a couple of little nits to pick, however. First, at the steepest angle, the case is a bit tippy. It needs a bit more weight at the bottom to counteract the heft of the iPad 2. It was fine on a flat table, but unstable on a bed or a couch when in the tallest orientation. Also, the screen cover with the magnets seems easy to dislodge from the screen. I didn't see any problem with this while actually carrying the case around, but a strip of Velcro might be a good idea. Lastly, I noticed that a few times when the screen cover folded around to the back of the case, it sometimes triggered the iPad hibernation mode. The manufacturers are aware of this, and a fix is already in the works. The case is currently sold out, but updated cases will be here in a few days.
I liked this case and found the price very sweet. With the update to fix the hibernation issue, and perhaps a bit more weight at the bottom, this case will be a first class solution to using and protecting your iPad 2.