Review: Belkin Slim Folio Stand for iPad 2
Reminiscent of Apple's official case for the original iPad, Belkin's Slim Folio Stand for iPad 2 ($40) takes the basic flip-open folio design a little bit further. This two-tone neoprene case serves as both a protective cover and a stand for the device, and does a good job in each regard. While not without its flaws, the Folio Stand is a nice option.
As is common for the genre, Slim Folio Stand has a holder on the right for the iPad 2, and the tablet is held in place by a tuck-in flap that runs the entire length of the left side. The back and edges are fully covered except for the headphone port, microphone, Sleep/Wake button, side switch, volume rocker, and Dock Connector, which are all exposed and usable, although the holes are not quite precise. Rather than just a fold-in-the-middle design, Slim Folio Stand’s cover wraps around to the back and attaches at about two thirds of the way to the edge. This allows for a variety of stand angles; six series of ridges on the inside of the front flap can hold the iPad 2 in place, and the lid can also fold underneath, tucking into the back cover for yet another viewing angle, as well as one for typing. Not many cases offer such varied options, so these options are appreciated.
Imprecisions aside, the fit is good, even if the case is not quite as slim as the name might suggest—it’s actually thicker than Apple’s original iPad Case, but also feels better because of the neoprene Belkin chose to use. Two-tone colors make it look nicer than Apple’s design, as does the combination of flat and perforated fabric. Edges around the frame are melted together, and while this is kind of a cool design concept, it winds up looking a bit rough on the sides. We also noticed on our review unit that three of the holes over the speaker grill were not punched through all the way, leaving bits of neoprene where there should be none.
One thing that Slim Folio Stand is totally lacking is some sort of closure mechanism. We have seen everything from Velcro to magnets to elastic bands used in other cases, but Belkin did not incorporate anything to hold the folio shut, paralleling Apple’s original iPad Case. This is disappointing, especially because the extended front cover feels rather floppy and can easily come open unintentionally; most folios don’t have this issue.
Belkin attempted to make the most of a tried and true design, and for the most part it succeeded. While it is—literally—rough around the edges, Slim Folio Stand is otherwise a nice-looking case, does a good job of keeping the iPad 2 protected, and the sheer number of options for standing the tablet up is certainly of value. For $40 in its current state, Slim Folio Stand is a good option and as such earns our B rating. We hope that Belkin does refine this case in the future, as it has serious potential to improve.