Folios are a dime a dozen these days, and when it comes time to search for that perfect folio case for your iPad 2, you want to make sure you choose the best one available. SwitchEasy has long been in the case business and strictly makes cases for Apple mobile products such as the iPad. Like many of you, I've been a big fan of SwitchEasy's cases for a few good years now and I've loved almost every single case that has come out. Our good friends over at SwitchEasy have sent over the Canvas, the latest and greatest folio case in black for the iPad 2. The Canvas for the iPad 2 has come a long way since it was introduced for the first gen iPad. Will the new and improved Canvas folio be worthy of your iPad 2? That and much more in the full review right after the jump!
The Canvas folio case for the iPad 2 is going to set you back $49.99, and it's available in black, brown, charcoal and gray. As the name implies, the Canvas' exterior is made out of a matte canvas material that is also scratch and water-resistant. The canvas material feels very good in the hand and adds a whole lot of grip when carried around. The Canvas isn't your typical folio case for the iPad 2 as it has a dual layer design that features an inner polycarbonate shell that is both strong and durable that will keep your iPad 2 protected in case of an accidental drop. What SwitchEasy has done differently with the Canvas is that it used a NUDE-like polycarbonate shell as the cradle for the iPad 2 instead of a bezel covering frame that most other folios for the iPad 2 employ.
The Canvas is really a NUDE wrapped with a thick nylon canvas outer layer that feels both very durable and protective. This also creates a secondary layer of protection that is slightly padded and is lined with a velvety soft microfiber interior to keep your iPad 2's screen scratch-free. The low-profile form factor of the NUDE-like shell that houses the iPad 2 makes for a comfortable user experience when holding and using the touch screen. It feels very free and unconstrained like other folio cases that cover up the iPad 2's front bezel and create a frame around the iPad 2. The Canvas looks and feels like it presents your iPad 2 to you. I really like that in the Canvas.
The cutouts on the Canvas are just as good as any other SwitchEasy case with precise cutouts that make ports and buttons easily reachable thanks to the slim inner polycarbonate shell that makes the iPad 2's buttons and ports flush with the shell itself. The back facing camera is also fully usable within the Canvas. You can even create a hand grip using the front cover of the Canvas as a comfortable hand grip for when you want to take a few pictures and videos. SwitchEasy thinks about every little detail, which brings me to yet another point. The Canvas also comes bundles with the SwitchEasy care package of port plugs as well as a front screen protector.
The Canvas has that double-layer design, look and feel to it. Your iPad 2 is fully protected all the way around while it's inside of the Canvas. But with all of this layers of protection comes a price. And that is weight. The Canvas adds a considerable amount of weight to the iPad 2 while increasing its bulk. That isn't necessarily a bad thing for those who want that extreme amount of protection this folio has to offer. Not only is the Canvas one of the best protective folios you can buy, it has this very solid look that is very clean and streamline. The Canvas feels incredibly durable and solid in the hand. It's unlike any other folio case I've ever set my hands on. The build quality will take you by surprise once you touch it. I'm very impressed by what SwitchEasy has done with the Canvas.
What kind of a folio would the Canvas be without some sort of stand capabilities right? Well, the good news it that the Canvas does indeed have some stand features behind its back, and I mean literally behind its back. The Canvas utilizes a smart and discrete way of access its stand functions by releasing the left half of the polycarbonate shell that is held by a strong Velcro strip, apart from the outer canvas layer. The polycarbonate shell incorporates two kickstand-like pegs that dig into the grooves that are located on the inner side of the front cover of the Canvas, and act as the stand angle levelers.
The Canvas folds into a landscape viewing stand in 3 separate levels of angles using the grooves on the inside front cover. The first level I've tested out seems to be as steep as to what the Apple Smart Cover creates while the two lower levels provide a much better viewing angle and are very sturdy. However, the first, much steeper viewing angle isn't as sturdy and will tend to just out of its position and onto the following groove when using the iPad 2's touch screen.
Instead of using magnets to secure itself onto the iPad 2, the Canvas uses a good olf hinge clap closure that latches onto the hard polycarbonate inner shell instead of the actual iPad 2. You thought SwitchEasy will hold back on the iPad 2's magnetic on/off function? No way. The Canvas does in fact utilize magnets that perform as they should to wake and put the iPad 2 to sleep when opening the front cover without accidentally triggering the magnetic sensor while the front cover is flipped back. The only minor drawback I found with the Canvas' closure latch that is used to secure the front flap covering the front of the iPad 2 is that it take a bit of force to get the latch over the hard polycarbonate inner shell. Although this will insure that the front cover won't just open easily when you're traveling, it does take some getting used too. I've noticed that if you tug and pull the front cover to the side a little, you'll have a much smoother latch closure. I do wish that SwitchEasy would address this minor issue though.
After I've spent my time using the Canvas with my iPad 2, I can confidently say that this is in fact one of the best folios I've ever had for the iPad and iPad 2. Its form and function make it suitable for both casual and professional everyday usage. SwitchEasy has really created an impressive piece of folio with the Canvas for the iPad 2. It's both an elegant and up-to-date folio case that not only looks fantastic, but also feels and provide an incredible amount of protection for the iPad 2. Considering the very few drawbacks that the Canvas has, I would highly recommend the Canvas to anyone looking for a solid folio case for their iPad 2.