Review: Incase Book Jacket, Folio + Maki Jacket for iPad mini
Given three separate names due to small distinctions in their designs, Incase's Book Jacket ($50), Folio ($40), and Maki Jacket ($35) are all folio-style cases for the iPad mini. The three cases use the same kind of holder for Apple's 7.9-inch tablet: raised faux suede sewn onto the inside of the back cover, with a Velcro tab along the left edge. All four corners are left exposed, as are the ports, buttons, and speakers. It's a style that used to be more prevalent, but most companies have moved past it at this point.
The simplest of the three is Folio, shown here in white with gray topographic fabric lining; it’s just a faux leather folio with a pocket for small documents on the interior left side and an iPad holder on the right. Rather than any sort of decoration or design, the exterior is flat, with the small exception of the Incase logo in the bottom right corner. We’re thankful that the material is nice enough to pass enough for real leather, rather than the cheaper-looking alternatives many companies incorporate into their cases. An elastic band is used in place of magnets to hold the lid shut, and this omission also means that’s there’s no automatic locking feature built-in. Altogether, the case is about 3.5” thick.
One step up in complexity is Book Jacket. Our review unit was black with a color-matched faux leather and microfiber lining, adding basic video stand functionality by enabling the iPad mini to change angles relative to bars inside the front lid. You can simply lift the left edge up, and then position the tablet at the desired angle for viewing or typing. The iPad-holding frame’s the same, as is the elastic band.
Last is Maki Jacket, shown here with a camouflage fabric exterior and a gray microfiber interior; it also comes in a black version with pink polka dots. Maki Jacket’s lid is segmented somewhat like Apple’s iPad Smart Cover, but doesn’t use magnets to hold its one video viewing or two typing positions. Instead, it relies on the weight of the tablet. Thankfully, it holds these positions well despite the lack of magnets, and they’re all well suited to their tasks.
None of Incase’s iPad mini cases is a real “wow” design; they’re largely more of the same, with no innovative design elements or features. Of the three, Maki Jacket is the most useful as well as the most affordable, a nice combination on paper, though this design could benefit from a more universally appealing pattern—camo and polka dots aren’t for everyone. Otherwise, it’s a good case, and worthy of a general recommendation. Neither Folio or Book Jacket lives up to that level of value. They both offer very limited functionality when compared to other iPad mini cases of the same price, and don’t even have real leather on the outside. Some people will like the cases for their simple designs, but other cases we’ve tested offer the same minimalist looks and features at lower prices. As such, these last two options earn limited recommendations.