iPad folios and cases seem to always pick two of the three off of the feature menu of slim, tough, or adjustable. Case pioneer Speck is now shipping their new DuraFolio iPad cases for iPad Air and iPad mini (with or without Retina display), and it appears that they've managed to check all three boxes with the new products.
Price (iPad Air): US$69.95
Dimensions (iPad Air): 9.6" x 6.9" x 0.6" (24.5 x 17.6 x 1.5 cm)
Weight (iPad Air): 10.4 ounces (294.8 grams)
Available Colors (iPad Air): Black/Poppy Red, Deep Sea/Mykonos/Slate, Black/Slate, Fuchsia/White, Slate/Peacock
Price (iPad mini): US$59.95
Dimensions (iPad mini): 8.1" x 5.6" x 0.6" (20.5 x 14.2 x 1.5 cm)
Weight (iPad mini): 6.5 ounces (184.27 grams)
Available Colors (iPad mini): Black/Poppy Red, Deep Sea/Mykonos/Slate, Black/Slate, Fuchsia/White, Slate/Peacock
Available at speckproducts.com and Target
The first thing you notice is just how thin the DuraFolio cases are, adding only .3" of depth to your iPad Air or mini. That's a bit different from many protective folios that seem to be quite bulky and thick. But don't let the lack of bulk scare you away from the DuraFolio, as it meets or exceeds MIL-STD_810G standards. In addition, the DuraFolio passed temperature cycle thermal shock tests, ASTM3389 abrasion testing, chemical resistance tests, and force exerted tests. The mechanical design of the case provides a good basis for a one-year warranty.
The cover can be set up to prop the iPad display at a number of different angles including a typing mode. There are magnets in the front and rear cover panels to enable auto sleep/wake and also insure a tight magnetic closure of the case.
The outside of the case has a diamond pattern to it, making it easy to grip. There are open ports for the microphones, Lightning port, orientation lock, headphones and camera, while the on/off switch and volume toggles are covered by pass-through switch covers. Speck also built protective speaker grills into the bottom of the cases.
While the DuraFolios aren't exactly the most beautiful-looking cases I've ever seen, they are very functional and some of the color combinations are actually quite striking.
Putting the case onto an iPad Air or iPad mini is fast and easy. The tablet just snaps into a molded polycarbonate shell in seconds. If you need to take it off for any reason, the shell is just flexible enough to let you bend it a little and pop out one corner to start the removal process.
The stand that's built into the case is quite adjustable; there are a number of positions in the "video viewing" landscape mode, as well as a way to fold the cover back under the stand to put it into a sturdy typing mode. The inside of the cover is lined with a felt-like material, perfect for protecting the iPad display.
Unlike some folios I've tested, the DuraFolios both shut off the display when the cover was shut and turned the device back on when opened. It's apparent that Speck got that design detail right, when others who have promised magnetic on/off haven't been able to get it working well.
While Speck's DuraFolio iPad cases are rather pedestrian in design, they make up for that in terms of being thin and sturdy. Add a fairly reasonable price point to the mix, and you've got an above average line of cases that should last as long as your iPad Air or iPad mini.
Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible
Now's the time to protect that new iPad Air or iPad mini! We have one of each size Speck DuraFolio to give away to readers. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before April 7 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
Two winners will be selected. One will receive a Speck DuraFolio for iPad Air valued at $69.95, while the other will receive a Speck DuraFolio for iPad mini (and mini with Retina display) valued at $59.95.