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Case-mate iPad Traveler Felt Folio Leather Case

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating star
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What's hot: Neat two material design.

What's not: No cut outs for ports.

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Reviewed April 26, 2010 by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief

First iPod accessories were a towering industry, followed by iPhone accessories. Case-mate did well with their large selection of cases that even Apple themselves sells online and in stores. Now the iPad craze is here, and goodness knows its 9" piece of glass needs protection. Case-mate is ready with a new line of iPad cases in a variety of materials and styles. Today we're looking at The Traveler iPad Felt Folio case which, as you might guess, is made of felt. Not just felt though, it's accented with contrasting leather for an attractive look and to add strength to high stress areas like the flap, spine and iPad surround.

Case-mate iPad Traveler Folio case

Felt is strong yet soft, and that means your iPad is protected from scratches yet the case is strong enough to tolerate frequent use. The leather should help extend the life of the case and the felt adds easy flexibility so you don't have to fight the material to fold the front flap behind the iPad.

There are slit-pockets inside for business cards and other small papers and a loop outside the case that can house a pen or capacitive stylus. The slits' edges aren't bound so they tend to curl. For the $49.99 price, we expect bound edges, but all other exposed edges (front flap, iPad holder) are sealed.

Case-mate iPad Traveler Folio case

Flexible and soft felt.

Case-mate iPad Traveler Folio case

No cut outs for ports on the iPad's bottom (or anywhere else).

 

 

The Traveler Felt and Leather Folio is very light and that's a good thing since the iPad is plenty heavy. The case is mid-sized, obviously being more bulky than a gel case but not making the iPad + case combo overly large. The case offers protection from scratches and is very effective at the job. It's not a thick padded case and it's not intended to protect the iPad from serious bumps, thumps or drops (I doubt any case could protect the iPad from a 3 foot drop). The front leather flap has two magnetic closures that keep the case closed.

Our only serious complaint? There absolutely no cut outs or vent holes in the iPad pocket. You slide the iPad into the all-leather pocket from the top and the iPad's corners are exposed but the dock connector, power button, vents and other side controls are covered in leather with no markings or thin spots for the controls. This means you have to remove it from the case to sync and charge and you can't use headphones. The iPad's only heat vent is obstructed as well. Case-mate intends this case to provide "secure transport and dust protection", hence everything is covered. If you're bumping your way through the Mojave Desert in the back of a pickup, it's true this case will keep the sand out of your dock connector and headphone jack. But we question the use of felt for dusty conditions since felt holds onto dust while plastic and leather don't.

Case-mate iPad Traveler Folio case

Conclusion

The Traveler iPad Felt Folio Leather Case has an interesting and playful look that sets it apart from the usual brown and black plastic and leather cases. It's light and does a good job of protecting the iPad from scratches. We're not sure if the felt will hold up for years, but the leather reinforcements should help durability. If you want a case that you can keep on when using the iPad, the Traveler Felt Folio falls short since all ports and controls are covered.

 

Price: $49.99

Web Site: www.case-mate.com

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