Review: Sena Cases Magia Zip for iPad (3rd-Gen)
Sena Cases has worked to cement its position as the leading maker of premium professional leather tablet cases, and that desire is evident with Magia Zip ($120) for the third-generation iPad. The dual-zippered folio is clearly intended for use in an office setting based both on its looks and features. Unlike most of Sena's cases, however, Magia Zip doesn't have a pocket or frame for the tablet, instead relying on an adhesive pad to keep it in place -- clearly not the best option.
One thing we’ve always liked about Sena is the quality of its leather, and Magia Zip is no exception: the material covering the outside of the case is flat, glossy leather that looks and feels quite nice. It’s padded for protection but also reinforced to hold a folio-style shape. On the back you’ll find the only two elements that break the plain black surface: a camera hole and a landscape viewing orientation stand that’s held in place with a snap when not in use. The stand does its job, but falls behind rivals that also include a typing angle.
As mentioned, Sena chose to forego a proper iPad holder and instead went with a 3.5” x 4.75” sticky pad to grab the tablet. We’ve seen this before from a handful of other companies, finding the solution unimpressive both because it offers no protection for the device’s sides, and as it makes insertion and removal more involved than necessary. The adhesive does provide a tight grip, though, and the iPad can be removed and replaced when necessary without the pad losing stickiness. We found the best and arguably only proper way to properly line it up was by using the iSight camera hole as a guide; if you don’t do this, you mightn’t be able to use the rear-facing camera without obstruction.
On the opposite side of the case are four credit card pockets, an ID card pocket, and three more “multi-purpose” pockets—simple slits that can hold folded pieces of paper or similar items. The setup is similar to that of Sena’s Florence Portfolio and Folio II, and we can certainly see how these might be useful in a business setting. Included with the case is a pen/stylus and an elastic loop between the two covers to hold it. The stylus is pretty light and feels cheap, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s thrown in.
Magia Zip’s exterior design and inner front lid fit in with the rest of Sena’s lineup, but we still can’t get over our distaste for the adhesive iPad holder. There’s really no scenario where it’s better for the user than a standard frame or holder, apart from reducing the manufacturing cost—something that should reduce a case’s premium price. If you like the general style, we’d advise choosing one of Sena’s cases above-mentioned designs over Magia Zip. This one gets a limited recommendation, largely because its nice zip-closed setup earned it some extra points.