As amazing of a device as the iPad is, I feel its usefulness is somewhat lacking without a good case. With a bare iPad, there’s no way to tilt it on a desktop to type/view photos/videos, and an iPad without a case is a delicate device, with its shiny glass and aluminum surfaces exposed. Fortunately, not too long after the launch of the most recent 3rd generation iPad, Incipio already had cases shipping for the new Apple device. Today we are taking a look at their latest and greatest offering for the new iPad, the Incipio Flagship Folio. Head past the break for more!
Out of the box, the first thing you notice is the Flagship Folio’s carbon fiber (CF) finish. This is a faux carbon fiber material, and despite not being authentic CF, is actually a good choice by Incipio. True carbon fiber isn’t very radio frequency friendly and would run a good chance of hindering WiFi/cellular reception of the iPad. The synthetic CF material is inset/overlaid into a very sturdy matte finish polycarbonate frame that comprises most of the case.
The Flagship Folio will fit the new iPad 3rd Gen only. Getting your iPad into the case is simple. It just snaps into the micro-suede lined back portion of the case, being secured by tabs that lock around the outside of the iPad’s bezel. Once secured in the case, everything has a nice flush finish, with nothing covering any of the iPad’s front surface in the open position. When the Flagship Folio is closed, it’s front cover (also micro-suede lined) has a locking tab that holds the cover closed around the iPad, wrapping it in a very tough, but yet still slim protective cocoon.
One thing to note is that the front cover of the Flagship Folio does make use of Apple’s smart sleep magnetic sleep function. This allows your iPad to auto wake/close as you open or close the case.
Taking a quick tour around the case, we find very accommodating cutout for all necessary controls/functions. The sleep/awake, vibrate, and volume button cutouts are all deep enough to protect the buttons in case of drop/impact, yet wide enough to allow easy operation. The same thing goes for the headphone and dock connector openings…deep enough for protection of said ports, but wide enough to allow for compatibility with all but the fattest of connectors.
Moving around back we find very tastefully done camera and rear speaker cutouts, and another signature characteristic of the Flagship Folio, its brushed aluminum (with faux carbon fiber inset) exposed hinge. Another nice little touch is the etched “Incipio” logo along the hinge itself. Back here we can also see the rubber bar-shaped pads that help hold the case in place when opened up to one of the preset viewing angles.
Speaking of those angles, the Flagship Folio’s hinge system allows the iPad to be placed into any one of 8 preset viewing angles (landscape orientation). The hinging mechanism allows the back, iPad-containing portion of the Flagship Folio to rest against the ridges formed into the inside of the front cover, holding the iPad in any of the angles of your choosing. With angles ranging from almost perpendicular to the front cover, down to a very low angle perfect for tabletop typing, there should be enough angle presets here for almost any situation.
All in all I think Incipio has another great product on their hands with the Flagship Folio. It’s a very modern looking, slim, sleek case for your iPad that has the added benefit of providing a surprising level of protection. The combination of carbon fiber texture and brushed aluminum give the Flagship Folio a high-end luxury look and feel. If I absolutely had to find some negative point about this case, I’d say that I’d like to see the aluminum hinging mechanism have a little tighter tolerance in manufacturing. During use, I did notice some ever so slight play in the hinge. Nothing at all to detract from the use of the case, just something I noticed in combing over the case during my couple of weeks of use. I’d also like to see a leather (in place of the faux CF) option on a future model. But those minor things aside, I definitely give the Flagship Folio ($69) a strong recommendation.