Review: Moshi Concerti for iPad 2/iPad (3rd-Gen)
Almost every folio-style case we've seen -- and there have been hundreds -- has either a fabric cradle or a hard plastic shell to hold the iPad in place. At the same time, they all open like books, with a spine on the left edge. Moshi decided to shake things up a bit with its Concerti for the iPad 2 and third-generation iPad ($55). First, it flipped the whole thing upside down, and then instead of the frames we're used to seeing, it went with a totally different tablet holder. The result is a pretty cool case, but the setup does have its own unique drawbacks.
From the outside, Concerti looks like a lot of other folios, with no real signs that it has a flipped orientation. The exterior of the black model is covered with a linen-textured plastic; purple and grey versions with microfiber exteriors are also available. There’s an elastic band to hold the case shut, and a metal Moshi logo badge along the open edge. Otherwise it’s quite plain from the outside, and there’s not even a camera opening.
Open the cover—magnets will automatically unlock the iPad when you do so—and you’ll find a silicone rubber case attached to the left half of the microfiber-lined interior. It’s an interesting choice, but actually works out pretty well. Like many of the playthrough cases we’ve tested, inserting and removing the tablet is really easy thanks to the totally pliable body. The sides wrap around to provide some bezel coverage with scoops for the camera and light sensor at the top, and the Home Button at the bottom, while laying flat against the display. They’re just the slightest bit off-center, but nothing is obscured because of that. The edges are fully covered, except for the openings for the headphone port, microphone, side switch, and Dock Connector port. We appreciate the button coverage that Concerti provides. Moshi should consider releasing the holder as its own case, as those who like playthrough designs would be well served by it.
The choice of silicone allows the case to stand at a very wide range of angles against the microfiber interior, ranging from just about straight up and down to about 45° relative to the cover; there’s also one very flat typing angle. One issue the flipped design raises is that the volume buttons are on the edge that rests against the cover. To change the volume when you’re watching video, you must either lift the case or use the on screen controls. It’s not a big problem, but something to be aware of in comparison to other folios.
Because there’s no camera hole in the back cover, Moshi set up Concerti so that the back cover can be doubled back to expose the lens. It’s not an absolutely ideal setup, but it works well enough; Apple’s movement of the Camera app’s shutter button to the right side of the screen is complementary to the setup. We also appreciate that slots on the inside of the front cover can be used as a hand pocket—it’s an unobtrusive design that works well.
If you’re in the market for a folio but the multitude of virtually indistinguishable options out there now doesn’t excite you, Concerti is definitely worthy considering. It’s original, but also a pretty good case on its own merits. The silicone holder is protective and functional, and the overall feel of the case is quite nice. We’d like to see some improvements—the inclusion of a typing angle and a camera hole in the cover itself are the big ones—but overall, we like what Moshi has done here. Concerti earns our strong general recommendation.