iPad Case Review: Built 520 Sleeve for the New iPad 3rd Gen
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 5
What's Hot: Very protective, lightweight, good materials.
What's Not: Has extra space if you only store the iPad without any case or cover.
While we are waiting for form fitting cases for the new iPad 3rd gen to come out, Built has several sleeves and bags available for you to carry your new iPad in safe and stylish fashion. The Built 520 Sleeve is among the most protective sleeve cases we've seen with thick neoprene and EVA materials that are lightweight yet shock absorbent. The 520 Sleeve can fit the new iPad with or without the Apple Smart Cover, and the iPad 2 and the original iPad. The two-tone sleeve comes in two color combos: Jet Black/Graphite and Titanium/Black.
Many Built Neoprene sleeves are slim and light, but the 520 Sleeve looks like a soft armor and weighs 5.8 ounces. The sleeve has thick neoprene protecting the front and back of the new iPad, and ribbed EVA materials reinforced sides to help absorb impact shock and bumps in a backpack or luggage. If you've used Built's thin neoprene sleeves for wine bottles and other electronics, you will notice immediately how much thicker the neoprene on the 520 Sleeve in comparison. The 520 Sleeve closes with a heavy-duty zipper securely sawn to the neoprene. The top-loading sleeve also has an end-cover so that the zipper won't accidently scratch the iPad and to keep the tablet sitting more securely in the case since the case is a bit roomier to accommodate a Smart Cover.
The sides and bottom corners of the 520 Sleeve has EVA reinforcement that feels more rigid than the neoprene front and back. If you carry your iPad in your bag or luggage, this case will definitely protect the iPad from the bumps against other items in your bag or small impacts or short drops. The Built Sleeve has serious stitching linking the neoprene and the EVA inserts.
The Built 520 Sleeve for the new iPad is easy to use and fits all iPad models. The top-loading slot makes it easy to slide the tablet in, and the widened bottom grips make it easy to take the tablet out of the sleeve. The soft neoprene lining also helps keep the iPad's display clean and the end-cover keeps the iPad protected from the zipper. While the ribbed sides provide extra protection for the tablet, they also make the tablet easier to carry in hand thanks to the curved shape. Though it's not exactly form fitting, the sleeve fits the length of the iPad perfectly, which means it won't fit tablets that are longer than the iPad models.
If you are taking your new iPad 3rd gen or any generation on the road along with your laptop and other gear, the Built 520 Sleeve can provide more protection than most neoprene sleeves thanks to thicker neoprene and side and corner EVA inserts. The sleeve is still very light and reasonably slim for the protection it provides, and it's roomy enough for a Smart Cover or a very slim case with your iPad. We like the quality of the materials, strong stitching and smooth zipper. It might be overkill if you only use your new iPad in the office or at home, but if you commute with it or take it on the road, do check out the Built 520 Sleeve.