Review: Spigen SGP Folio for iPad (3rd-Generation)
Folios have become the most common style of iPad case over the past two years, and depending on what you're looking for, one of the dozens of new designs might be an ideal fit for your tablet. A folio places your iPad inside of a fabric, leather, or plastic enclosure that looks like a folder, generally opening to reveal a holder for the iPad on one side, and screen-covering lid with a stand or stand support on the other. Today, we're separately rounding up three different categories of folios for the third-generation iPad -- updates to past iPad 2 models we've covered, "new" options that are highly similar to ones we've covered before, and then truly new models that are distinctive in at least a couple of ways. This review is part of the "new but highly similar" case roundup, looking at Spigen SGP's Folio ($68).
True to its name, Folio is one of the more predictable cases we’ve seen for the new iPad: virtually identical to many others we’ve reviewed in the past, it has a tilting iPad holder on the right side, two grooves inside the front cover for placement of the iPad in two video viewing angles, and enough coverage on the top, bottom, and right sides to be more protective than not on each; corners are all left exposed, as are ports and buttons, the latter a little hard to use due to the flat back of the case. While none of these elements is a surprise, they’re a very sharp contrast with Spigen’s Diary, which sells for almost the exact same price but has fewer assets—a far simpler design, with nothing more than real leather and a magnetic side clasp going for it. Folio mightn’t be particularly original or distinctive, but when placed next to Diary, it looks like a comparative feat of engineering magic at a similar price point.
The issues with Folio are in pricing and features. Despite the fact that it looks so similar from the outside to Diary, Folio is made with faux leather—nice enough that most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, but not enough to be fully worthy of leather-like prices. Similarly, at a time when many folios have shifted to magnetic front lids either for iPad locking and unlocking or holding the case shut, Folio lacks for these features; there just wasn’t a lot of effort made to evolve it from designs we’ve seen for the iPad and iPad 2. Overall, Folio is worthy of a limited recommendation; it’s well-executed enough to be good, and weighed down by a price that’s just a bit too steep given the materials.