As soon as the new iPad was announced on March 7, TUAW began receiving word of new cases designed specifically for the device. Since the new tablet is a bit thicker than the iPad 2, it was necessary for manufacturers to either figure out a way to hold both models securely in a case or to come out with a totally new case for the third-generation iPad. In this review, I take a look at two cases -- the Targus Versavu and the Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 -- that work with the latest member of the iPad family. At the end of the review, you can enter to win one of the two cases.
Targus was the first to come to market with a case for the new iPad. This case actually showed up before the announcement, with the box clearly marked "for iPad 3rd Generation." While Targus has a full line of cases specifically for the new iPad, the Versavu (US$59.99) is a multi-tasker that should please just about any iPad owner.
To start with, the Versavu is a sharp-looking iPad case -- it comes in a pair of two-tone models (white and gray, pink and gray) and two solid color models (gray, black). The exterior is made of a soft-touch material that is easy to clean, but feels almost like cloth. For Moleskine fans, there's a black elastic cord that keeps the case closed in transit. If you use a stylus with your iPad, Targus even includes an exterior elastic tube for holding it in place. If you're looking for a way to turn the iPad on and off with the case, that's not going to happen -- there are no magnets to do the task.
But the one feature that really sets the Versavu apart from other cases is the ability to rotate the iPad. You can choose to spin it 360° if you wish, but most iPad owners will just use the swivel to move the case between landscape and portrait orientations.
The iPad is held in place in a hard TPU shell. The new iPad was easy to install and remove from that shell, meaning that Targus had access to dimensions well in advance of the 3rd-generation iPad announcement. Once your iPad is in place, there are three tilt angles at which you can set the case.
Like most Targus products, the Versavu is well-made, reasonably priced, and looks good. Owners of the newest iPad can't go wrong selecting this case to protect their investment.
Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 (removable keyboard, case and stand)
While the Versavu was designed and built specifically for the new iPad, the Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 (US$99.99) works with both the iPad 2 and the newer model. It's a real multi-tasker, providing protection, a stand, and a removable Bluetooth keyboard in a folio-type case.
The KeyFolio Pro 2 is a bit thicker than the Versavu thanks to the keyboard. The exterior is made of what I believe is leather -- at least it smells like leather. Part of that exterior has a nice rough surface for gripping, which will be helpful to anyone who had an iPad slip out of his or her hand. As with the Versavu, there's an elastic band to keep the case closed. Using a leather bezel cover to hold the iPad in place, the KeyFolio Pro 2 has a soft backing to avoid scratching your preciouussss.
The keyboard is held into place in the case using strong magnets. The magnets that hold the keyboard in place don't work to turn your iPad on and off. When the keyboard is removed, you can use it in the most comfortable position for your needs. The case includes a USB to micro-USB cable for charging the battery.
As with the Adonit Writer 2 Plus keyboard, the KeyFolio Pro 2 keyboard is excellent for typing. While neither of the keyboards are as wide as the Apple Wireless Keyboard, both provide excellent typing feedback and within minutes I found myself typing at a surprisingly fast rate with uncanny accuracy. Check out the video below for some details of the KeyFolio Pro 2, and then be sure to enter the giveaway for one of these two great cases for your new iPad.
The Bottom Line
The Targus Versavu and Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 are targeted for slightly different markets, but both are well-designed cases from longtime Apple accessory powerhouses. Whether you just want a stylish case/stand to hold your new baby, or need a Bluetooth keyboard built in for fast typing, the Versavu and KeyFolio Pro 2 are there to fit your needs.
My personal choice of the two would be the Versavu. It's very good looking and since I don't use an external keyboard with the iPad, it would provide the stylish protection I want while acting as a versatile stand.
Of course, I don't keep the items that I get for reviews here at TUAW. Since I now have a way to do giveaways again, I'm going to let two lucky readers get their hands on either the Versavu or the KeyFolio Pro 2. All you need to do is fill out the form below, and we'll pick two random winners from the entries. Here are the rules:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, click fill out the form below completely and click the submit button.
Your entry must be made before Friday, March 23, 2012, 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
Two winners will be selected in a random drawing. One will receive a Targus Versavu case valued at US$59.99, while the other receives a Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 keyboard case valued at $99.99.