For most of you out there, Spigen SGP has become synonymous with “high quality” when it comes to accessories for your iPhone and iPad. From their cases to their Glas.t screen protectors, almost everything they make seems to be at or near the top of their respective product categories. Today we will be taking a look at one of their cases for the iPad 3rd Gen, the Spigen SGP Folio Case Series. Does the Folio Case meet the lofty expectations set by Spigen SGP’s array of esteemed products? Head past the jump to find out!
There’s not much in the way of accessories and extras out of the box with the Folio Case…none, in fact. The only thing inside the packaging is the Folio Case itself. At this price point ($68), it’d be nice to see at least an included screen protector.
Once your iPad is inside the Folio Case though, it gets pretty easy to overlook the lack of screen shield. Even though the black (color we received for review) and brown models are faux leather, the case itself has a real high-quality feel. In fact, it’s hard (for me) to really distinguish it from real leather. The fit and finish is typical Spigen SGP, which is to say…flawless. When closed, the Folio Case has a truly classy look and feel, not too unlike a leather bound Moleskin journal.
Your iPad 3rd Gen slips into the inner frame from the side, and is held firmly in place by a fold over flap that is secured with Velcro. Once inside, there is virtually no risk of your iPad falling out. The interior of the Folio Case is completely lined with a suede-like material, preventing any portion of the case from scratching the iPad.
All of the ports (headphone and dock connector) and controls (volume, sleep/awake, vibrate, and volume) have generous cut-outs, which means you shouldn’t encounter many, if any accessory incompatibility issues when using the Folio Case. All charge/sync cables and headphones I tested worked well with the case.
One small issue I had with the case is that all 4 corners of your iPad are left uncovered in the Folio Case. I can understand the innermost (left side) corners uncovered as they are protected by the “binding” area of the case when closed, but the outer (right side of iPad) corners are still exposed when the case is closed, possibly subjecting them to bumps, scrapes, etc. Dirt and grit could also find its way to these areas, possibly getting behind the iPad itself and causing scratches along the back of the device. In the Folio’s defense, the front and back covers of the case are extremely rigid and extend beyond the edges of the iPad itself, so they offer protection from most impact scenarios when the case is closed.
On the subject of the covers of the Folio Case, I think it’s definitely worth noting that the Folio Case doesn’t have imbedded magnets in the front cover to utilize the Smart sleep/wake feature of the iPad 2/new iPad. You have to go old school and press the Home button to wake the iPad after opening the cover. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for me, but after being spoiled by this feature in many other cases, it’d be nice to see it in a case at this price point.
Moving to the rear of the Folio Case, the only breaks in the black leather look we find are the cutout for the camera hole, the crease that allows the case to fold into its viewing angles, and the small embossed “Spigen” logo near the bottom right rear of the Folio Case. Curiously, there is no cutout for the iPad’s speaker at the rear of the case. In use however, I didn’t find that sound from the iPad’s speaker was noticeably impacted, so no speaker cutout doesn’t seem like too large of an omission.
Referring back to the viewing angles mentioned above, the Spigen SGP Folio Case allows for 2 landscape viewing angles. These are obtained by the inner iPad holding portion of the case swinging outward and resting in one of 2 grooves on the inside of the front cover. The two stock angles are ok, but I would have liked the option of a flatter angle, as the lower of the two provided wasn’t the most comfortable for me to type in. A nice little side effect of the suede-like lining of the case is that if you place the swing out portion carefully, you can achieve more upright viewing angles, as the friction of the suede and the weight of the iPad will hold everything in place, without it resting in the most upright groove.
Even though I’ve hit on a few negative points, in daily use, I actually really enjoyed using the Spigen SGP Folio Case. It provides more than adequate protection for your new iPad 3rd Gen, and offers that in a very understated yet elegant looking case. It does have a few little quirks, but overall they don’t severely impact the case’s usefulness.
At the price point ($68), it would have been nice to see real leather used instead of a faux material, but if you just have to have genuine leather, Spigen SGP does offer that in the Folio.S series ($92), which is otherwise identical in every way to the Folio Case we reviewed here. For the business user looking for a way to make their iPad look right at home at the office or in the boardroom, I’d definitely recommend putting Spigen SGP's Folio.S Leather Folio Case Series on your list of cases worth checking out.