SGP is the underdog when you think about leather cases and not particularly the first brand one would think about when wanting to get a quality leather case. SGP's leather cases have impressed us time and time again due to their quality and price. There's a lot of very similar folio cases made for the iPad 2 to choose from like the Mivizu Sense, and this time we're going to take a look at the Leinwand leather folio case for the iPad 2 our friends over at Cretouch sent us over. It might look like another Smart Cover-esque leather folio case, but it's designed a bit differently from the rest boasting four different types of angles to position your iPad 2 in. Full review after the jump!
At first glance, the Leinwand has that executive look with a strong pebbled leather texture exterior and Smart Cover-like front cover flap protecting your iPad 2's large glass screen. We should note that the iPad 2 does not incorporate a Gorilla Glass screen to the contrary to what people might think. I haven't seen another folio case like the Leinwand that its front cover flap is as thin as the one on the Leinwand. Despite its slim nature, it performs just as well in protecting the screen and even incorporated magnets to trigger the magnetic on/off features of the iPad 2. But we expect that to be in every folio case of this type by now. Because of the thinner than usual front flap of the Leinwand, it is much easier to handle and fold.
The iPad 2 easily fits into the Leinwand's shell and is secured snugly without any of the bezel nor screen being obscured. You'll also be able to use any screen protector and vinyl back skin as well.
We can see SGP's finishing touches with the nice pattern found on the inside of the flap adding a bit of extra detail. Typical SGP right there. Flipping the front flap backwards for when using the iPad 2 as you would normally do is much more comfortable to hold thanks to the thin nature of the flap and overall slim form factor that the Leinwand has. It's one of the more comfortable iPad 2 folio cases I have ever tried. I didn't notice any issues with the flap's magnets accidentally triggering the iPad 2 even though SGP warns that might happen once flipping the flap behind. The entire interior is lined with a nice soft micro material that will do a good job keeping your iPad 2 protected.
Turning to the back of the Leinwand, we see a more of an unfamiliar concept of how a run-of-the-mill folio case works. Instead of using a flap tab to anchor it down for when using the folio in its stand positions, the Leinwand has been designed to fold up in half. This results in a much cleaner back surface that I really like, but without sacrificing any functionality of a proper folio and its stand functions we all love. We also see a mesh grille over the speaker cutout to protect it and add more of a finish to the overall visual appeal. We've seen this on many of SGP's iPad 2 offerings like the leather Griff back cover.
As far as port and buttons cutouts, the Leinwand does not disappoint. All buttons remains easy to access while cutouts are wide enough to not interfere with ports. Most of today's 3.5mm headphone jacks will fit just fine using the Leinwand. No issues using the back facing camera, are you even going to be using it? Come on.
To start using the Leinwand in one of its four stand positions, you'll need to pop your iPad 2 out from one half of the Leinwand.Surprisingly it's easy to do and it has been designed to easily pop out at one end. Of course there are much more simple solutions out there and SGP has many similar leather folio cases that don't require you to go thru these steps.
The four stand positions are noted to you with the included instruction sheet and include a steep landscape angle, a not so steep landscape angle and two different typing angles. It might look straightforward but as it turns out, it isn't the most effective when actually trying out each position.
The first stand position is the least stable and most step out of the bunch. Getting into this position seems like it will never hold its form, and you'll quickly find out that that's actually quite true. Folding the front flap to create a level-stop to the iPad 2 to anchor in is how you're supposed to do it. It might work after a few tries, but you should expect the next result almost each time you try to use your touchscreen.
This is what happens when using that angle. None of the stand angles of the Leinwand actually use magnets to keep hold and only rely on friction. In this case, friction lost. But on a bright side you just got secrete fifth stand position.
The second position is much more reliable and stable. It's just like using a Smart Cover only without the magnets. Friction surprisingly holds the angle steady and has never let me down while using the touchscreen. The third typing position isn't pictured but also works in a Smart Cover fashion creating a triangle based on friction. It too holds its place and is as steady as a rock which is great for typing away.
Last but not least, we get to the final stand position that is really just a matter of folding up the front cover into itself to create a MacGyver-like stand for your iPad 2 to lean against. I can't help but be under the impression that SGP made the Leinwand without really designing any of its stand positions and decided to advertise each by discovering different types of angles as they were using it and calling each a feature.
Although the leather is of good quality, there seems to be some imperfections which might just be a case with our particular review sample. SGP's Leinwand is one of the most comfortable to use leather folio cases for the iPad 2, but it falls short with its over complicated concept of stand functionalities. It's also not the most affordable leather folios at $89.99. For someone who wants a slim leather folio with an easy to manage folding front cover, the Leinwand is one that you should consider.