The design is pretty familiar, with a hard plastic shell and a folding front lid, both covered in faux leather. That shell runs almost edge to edge, leaving very small but still noticeable portions of the top and bottom exposed. On this version, the headphone port opening is much wider than before, and instead of a separate speaker hole, there’s one exposing both speakers and the Lightning port. On the back of the shell is a flap to hold the cover for viewing or typing positions. While it doesn’t hold quite as well as a tab and buckle system, it’s less obtrusive.
Our big concern with previous AirCoats has been in the magnetic locking system. Built into the lid, the magnets lock and unlock the iPad’s display, as has been a feature of Apple’s tablets for years. The lid on those earlier editions, however, moved up and down too much, enough that the feature could be triggered accidentally while in a bag, and lead to unintentional battery drain. Now, that’s not an issue, and it’s a very welcome improvement.
It’s not the most exciting case around, but AirCoat for iPad Air is a good option, and worthy of a general recommendation. Coming in a range of colors, it should offer enough appeal to most users, and the $40 price is certainly reasonable. We tend to prefer folios with Smart Cover-style lids, but can’t find too much fault with this one. The improvements to the lid cement the solid B rating.
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