Our friends over at monCarbone have hooked us up with their newly released real carbon fiber cases for the iPhone 4 and iPad. The Magnet Force is monCarbone's updated version of the HoverCoat case for the iPhone 4 which we reviewed last year and it rocked my socks off. This time, the Magnet Force is what its name suggests, a magnetic carbon fiber case. monCarbone's Portfolio case for the iPad also bares a very similar form factor of the HoverCoat case for the iPad which we also reviewed last year, and it too got a spec bump. I've had some gripes about the glossy finishes on the HoverCoat cases and I hoped monCarbone fixed that issue when they release new cases. Check out the full review after the break to find out if monCarbone fixed all the kinks.
Nothing has changed since the HoverCoat case for the iPhone 4 with the Magnet Force case except for the obvious magnetic feature on the back. The fit is extraordinary and spot on. This case is a snap-on back case for the iPhone 4 and it will offer very minimal protection but at the same time it will give you the felling of an almost naked iPhone 4. It's so slim and ultra--lightweight thanks to the carbon fiber and thin form factor that even the very powerful magnet on the back isn't even noticeable. monCarbone did an awesome job designing a powerful magnet into the Magnet Force case. They managed to keep the slim and sleek looks without sacrificing comfort.
I can hardly even notice the magnet on the back when holding my iPhone 4 in the hand. The magnet on the back has a brushed metal finish that compliments the carbon fiber look and texture very well. Taking a look into the inside of the Magnet Force case you will see a patch of felt where the magnet resides. Not anything helpful but nice to have nevertheless. The Magnet Force case overall has rounded corners that make for a very comfortable grip when holding your iPhone 4 in the hand. Like I said earlier, nothing has changed since the HoverCoat case for the iPhone 4.
All the cutouts are precise and allow easy access to all the iPhone 4's buttons and ports. You can use 3rd party cables with the dock connector and slim 3.5mm headphone jacks including L shaped ones. Protection wise, the Magnet Force will only provide you with back protection for your iPhone 4 as it does not provide front protection what so ever.
I think the Magnet Force case for the iPhone 4 comes in handy in situations where you would want to use your iPhone 4 hands-free like at the gym. You can easily attach it to a magnetic surface and enjoy a secure hands-free experience. It works as advertised and I had fun exploring some possibilities using the magnetic feature.
The monCarbone Portfolio case for the iPad also bares the same snap-on back design as the HoverCoat case for the iPad but now has an added front screen cover that will give you more protection and will cover the aluminum bezel of the iPad. Unfortunately I do not have an iPad to fully test out the Portfolio carbon fiber case but from my past experience with the HoverCoat for the iPad, I can see that the fit and finish is similar if not exactly the same minus the folio feature. There are 3 types of finishes for the front folio flap including an all-carbon fiber front, blue and green nylon textures that are water-resistant.
The inside of the flap is lined with a felt material that will attract a lot of dust and lint quickly upon use. Like the HoverCoat for the iPad and the Magnet Force cases, the Portfolio is cut the same with precise cutouts that allow for an easy access to all the iPad's ports and buttons. It feels very comfortable holding the Portfolio in the hands and I really like the clean design and easy to use folio function. My only gripe about the Portfolio is that there is no way to secure and hold the flap in place. There are no magnets or latches to be found on the Portfolio case so it acts just like Apple's iPad Case. It's not a deal breaker if you're used to using Apple's iPad Case or similar folio type cases for the iPad.
Overall I think both of monCarbone's new cases for the iPhone 4 and iPad will satisfy anyone who seeks a real carbon fiber case for their iDevice. Sadly though, monCarbone did not fix their glossy anti-scratch coating with these new cases and they easily get scratched up. The Magnet Force will see far less scratches due to its slightly raised magnet hump on its back side. I would have suggested going with the matte carbon fiber finish instead of the glossy, however that is only an option with the Magnet Force and HoverCoat cases for the iPhone 4 and iPad.
The Magnet Force carbon fiber case will set you back $59.99 while the Portfolio will set you back $89.99. Not bad considering other real carbon fiber options out there are far beyond these price points.