First Look: I-nique Tuff-Luv Bi-Axis, Multi-View + Pull-Tab Leather Cases for iPad
We're not accustomed to being utterly confused by new case arrivals, but I-nique's new Tuff-Luv series of iPad cases managed to pull that off by arriving straight from China with nothing but really small, "what's that?" logos to help us trace their identities. The best of the bunch is the so-called Tuff-Luv Veggie Leather Pull-Tab Case (£20), a sleeve that uses a unique carabiner ring and tab to lock closed with an iPad inside, opening with a pull that brings the iPad out for use. I-nique's stitching and the "high grade artificial PU leather" on this case look quite nice, even if we're not huge fans of sleeve-style designs. By comparison, the Multi-View Napa Leather Case (£37) and Bi-Axis Napa Leather Case (£43) both looked pretty rough coming out of the package: they're the same flip-open case with only one difference, a split front flap on the Bi-Axis version. Both open like books to reveal an iPad inside, and feature a pop-open rear stand for reclined landscape video viewing, but the Bi-Axis one can also be propped up with the iPad in portrait mode. The leather in each case is soft and padded, but the cases arrived looking like they'd been really beaten up.
On May 13, 2010, iLounge published The Complete Guide to iPad Cases and Protection, a multi-page comparison of over 70 different iPad cases and film protectors, sorted by genre. The following details were added to this piece by that comparison article; please click on the link above for additional comparative discussion of similar protective options.
We typically steer clear of recommending sleeves for iPods and iPhones, but iPad users may find that they make more sense. The concept is to totally envelop the iPad inside protective material, using a flap or zipper to open and release the device when it’s needed. In almost every one of these cases, the designs speak for themselves—you either like how they look, or don’t—so we’re sorting them by price and focusing our brief notes on fit and scope of protection, with bare opinions otherwise.
Does Tuff-Luv Pull-Tab fit? Yes. Is everything protected? No, the iPad’s top edge is fully exposed, as are its upper side corners, and the case opens a bit such that other items could slide into its front or back.
Unlike Sleeves, which keep an iPad inside for slip-out use, the Flip-Style collection of iPad cases has been designed to split open and reveal the device—generally for use while still in the case. There are such similarities between these cases that we’ve put them into groups solely for the purpose of indicating which we think are standouts, and which basically blur into each other.
Bi-Axis and Multi-View Leather are Weak Picks. Strictly speaking, these two cases aren’t bad, providing ample protection and either one or two ways of mounting the iPad for video and other purposes, depending on which version you choose. But the cheap-looking, plasticy-feeling leather could really use some work. The absence of interior pockets may also be an issue for some users.