First let me show you my current cover-setup for my iPad 3:
- Apple Smart Cover on front.
- Targus clear case for the back.
I like the Targus clear case on the back because it’s see-through so you can still see the iPad’s nice design, but even more because it protects the iPad from scratches and it adds a lot of extra grip compared to holding the iPad completely naked.
However, as you can see from the photos, this case has outlived its stay with me. It’s just not durable enough. Yes, that’s super glue and duct tape you are seeing…
Although I’ve been happy with it, I decided to go a different route this time and went with a “MicroShell Folio” from Marware, at £24.95 from UK.
Marware Microshell Folio offers:
- Durable, shock-absorbent polycarbonate shell
- Camera hole cutout on back
- Speaker protection without interference
- Automatic sleep/wake lid
First impressions after unwrapping: The smart cover part (the front) of the case does not feel as nice as the Apple one does. The material is different, there’s no soft-materials on the inside and there’s no metal hinges. The rear though, has a nice rubbery feel to it, it feels durable – but so does the front smart cover. The black version of this case mostly reminds me of how the Batman suit appears in recent movies…
Snapping the iPad into place was a breeze and it feels very secure. Overall, this case does not add any significant bulk compared to my old iPad setup, a little, but nothing to worry about. It feels great because of how slim the case is and how durable the case is, plus you have a really good grip on the case because of the rubbery materiale it’s made of.
The MicroShell Folio offers cutouts for camera, speaker (including protection grille), volume buttons, headphone jack and dock connector.
Typically for a [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]case for iPad[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]case for iPad[/tp], this one also allows you to turn it into a stand, that supports basically two modes, that I like to call “typewriter” and “watching”-mode. Typewriter mode is when the iPad is slightly raised in the rear (1st photo below), which makes it a bit easier to type on it, compared to when lying flat on a table. Movie-watching mode is when the rear is raised even more (2nd photo below).
It took me a few tries to convert the case into a “watching”-stand, but once I read the manual and figured it out, it was no longer a big deal. You will fold front cover into a triangle and make it rest on one of the two ridges on the rear, depending on what kind of stand you want to convert it into. Just make sure that it’s “secure”, ie. that the triangle has “snapped” into the ridge, as it might otherwise jump over the ridge when you let it go, and the iPad will fall over. It’s not the best system in the world, but I’ve seen worse. Compared to the Apple Smart Cover, this method is more solid and secure – once you get it setup properly, this especially applies to the “watching”-mode, as it provides less support to hold the iPad upright, than the typewriter mode.
One downside to the whole deal about folding the front cover into a stand, is that you are exposing the “screen-side” of the front cover, to whatever dirt is on your table/tray. The Apple Smart Cover is smarter about this, it is designed so the inside of the cover only ever touches the screen. The iPad screen itself is rather durable, but if you are going to use this case on dirty tables or public trays that might not be super clean, you might just want to wipe over the front cover with your hand to get rid of any small debris, before you close it over your precious touchscreen.
Like the original Apple Smart Cover, the MicroShell will also not “hold on” if you turn your iPad upside down, because the magnet(s) is just slightly too weak to keep up with gravity. But this is a minor nuisance, after all, we don’t usually carry around our iPads upside down without having a finger or two on the bottom, so the cover does stay closed.
Also like the original Apple Smart Cover, the MicroShell has “automatic sleep/wake lid”, so it will turn on the screen as you lifts the cover and automatically sleep the screen again, once you put the cover back in place. Nice!
That’s it for my review of this iPad case, MicroShell Folio from Marware. I’ve used it a week now and I’m happy with it. How it lasts long-term, I can’t say yet, but if anything unexpected comes up, then I will add an update to this review, but this feels like a durable case that will last for a long time – especially if you, like me, takes care of your gadgets 🙂
Price, value for money, features etc. taken into consideration, I will give this iPad case 4 out of 5 apples: