Maroo is a relatively new brand name that makes folio cases for the iPad and iPad 2. You may be familiar with these folio cases if you've heard about Cyber Acoustics, which are the same guys behind this new venture. Granted Cyber Acoustics wasn't a very appealing name to brand an iPad case from the get go. Not much has changed since I've reviewed the Cyber Acoustics iPad folio case a while back. The Maroo folios have the same great mounting system that Cyber Acoustics have created with their first generation iPad folio. We're going to take a look at Maroo's two different series of folios for the iPad 2, the Nylon and Leather Series. Will the new Maroo brand be worthy of your iPad 2? Go past the break for the full review to find out!
Maroo was kind enough to let me pick 2 folios for this review. I really wanted to try outs the best of both worlds, so I naturally went with the Kaumata 2 which is out of the Nylon Series, and the Maunga 2 from the Leather Series. While Maroo is a new brand, it isn't totally new when it comes to creating very trendy and current designs that I think are what really sets these folio cases apart from the rest. Lets talk about what has changed since we last reviewed the older Cyber Acoustics version, starting off with the Kaumuta 2 for the iPad 2. First of all the exterior of the Kaumata 2 looks fantastic. The colors are incredibly modern and compliment each other. Whether you like this particular design or not, Maroo has a slew of different designs and patterns you can choose from with their Nylon Series including a few with some leather thrown into the mix. The nylon material feels great in the hand and feels really durable.
On the inside you'll see the flexible mounting system, what Maroo calls the SG Bumper. It lets you easily insert your iPad 2 without scratching the aluminum like some other hard plastic cases.
What has changed a bit since the last iteration is the much welcome addition of a business card slot and a small document compartment that will hold a few small documents, not full size A4 letters and papers. What hasn't changed in the Maroo folios is the hand strap and elastic closure bands. I wasn't a fan of these elastic bands from the get go, but Maroo seems to have improved them quite a bit. They're now much easier to handle, however, I would much prefer if magnets were used as the closure mechanism instead. At least they do their job very well in keeping the folio securely closed. It can still be a little annoying to open and close those elastic bands. Especially when they get caught up on the corners of the SG Bumper. Magnets are built into the front cover to take advantage of the iPad 2's magnetic sensors to wake it up upon opening, and put it back to sleep when closed. A super soft suede-like material is used for the interior lining to keep things unscratched. But at the same times, it's a lint magnet.
I really love how the front graphic/pattern extends and ends around the back of the Maroo Kaumata 2 folio. You'll find the cutout for the iPad 2's terrible back facing camera, as well as the stand anchor that you can slip the front cover into and have a nice camera grip out of that to take videos and really bad quality photos should you so desire.
I really love the SG Bumper mount and how it presents the iPad 2 to you without covering the bezel like most other folios out there. I don't like it when my iPad 2 is constrained inside a case with the touch screen surrounded by unnecessary material.
Like any other folio case, the Maroo folios will add a significant amount of bulk to your iPad 2. Bulk isn't such a bad thing though as it adds more protection. The more bulk you've got, the more your iPad 2 will be protected against some nasty accidental drops. Maroo's internal flexible TPU SG Bumper mounting system also adds a whole lot of back and corner protection against shock besides the padded form factor. Because of how slim the iPad 2 is, all this bulk isn't so bad and the Maroo folios are very manageable. Further more, the elastic hand strap does help a lot when holding the iPad 2 with one hand. It adds a comfortable grip that eliminates the feeling of dropping your iPad 2 at any moment. My only gripe about this elastic hand strap is that it should be tighter.
As we get into the stand capabilities of these Maroo folios, you can set your iPad 2 in the landscape orientation for some video watching and internet browsing while the Maroo folio is as stable as a rock on almost any surface. Especially on a desk.
As with any other folio case for the iPad and iPad 2, the Maroo folios can be positions so that you can comfortably type on your iPad 2 at an angle that isn't too steep to the point where your wrist will eventually start to hurt. Maroo might be a new brand name, but the guys behind the name sure do know what they're doing. And it shows in these folio cases. While not perfect, I simply love the way the Kaumata 2 looks, feels and performs as a folio case for the iPad 2.
There isn't a whole lot to say about Maroo's leather Maunga 2 folio case for the iPad 2. Other than being made out of leather with a pebble texture, it's identical to the rest of Maroo's iPad 2 folios. If you've got a good eye for attention to details, you'll notice that the inside lining here is a but different. It feels more rubbery than a suede-like material and attracts fingerprints. Nevertheless, both are great. You would want to go with the Maroo Leather Series of folios if you want that elegant and sophisticated look over the more hip, Nylon Series. The price however, is much higher.
The Maroo Leather Series folios will set you back a whopping $100, while the Nylon Series are at a more reasonable price of $49.99. For the kind of cash I wouldn't want to see anything of the stitching fraying apart. Certainly not in a few places like I've found with my particular Maunga 2 folio. I don't think the leather is worthy of the $100 price tag. Unfortunately, it seems too pricy for the quality you get. I do like the way the leather looks and the soft padded feeling, but I don't seem to get the impression of high quality leather, nor build quality.
Ultimately, my choice would be Maroo's Nylon Series for the iPad 2. They're just awesome! If you're looking to get a folio case for your iPad 2, I would highly recommend the Maroo Nylon Series over the leather offerings. Maroo has it all, trendy looks, fantastic protection and usable features. You can find the Maroo Kaumata 2 for the iPad 2 for $49.99, and the Maunga 2 for the iPad 2 for $99.99.