CaseCrown Omni for iPad Air
We've seen plenty of cases that look like CaseCrown's Omni for iPad Air ($35) in the past, but the coverage, functionality, and price make this particularly option intriguing. The folio combines a soft touch plastic shell with a folding, fabric-covered lid; it’s essentially a third-party take on the iPad Air Smart Cover, with an integrated case. Black, blue, gray, and purple covers are available, each of which are paired with a black back.
Although it’s not the absolute best shell for an iPad we’ve ever seen, Omni presents one of the better early options for the iPad Air. Sized so that it fits just right, each port and button is exposed through a properly tailored hole. This means that rather than the shell leaving any edges exposed, or using one long opening to provide access to the speakers and Lightning port, there’s a greater level of protection. Button coverage would be appreciated, but it’s already pretty rare when it comes to shells.
As for the lid, it’s divided into four columns, much like the original iPad Smart Cover, rather than the three of the new one. The cover properly covers the face of the tablet, and, thankfully, locks and unlocks the device with embedded magnets. For some reason, this feature has been absent in many early iPad Air cases, so we appreciate it even more here. When it comes time to use the case as a stand, the lid folds into a triangle, and securely holds its shape, with magnets. Both viewing and typing angles are supported. The former takes just a little bit of force to break in, but otherwise works just fine.
What Omni offers is a substantially more complete solution than the iPad Air Smart Cover, for $5 less. It includes quite a bit of body coverage — buttons being the only real exception — and a fully functional folding lid, all in a slim package. While it may not be stunning to look at, there’s really not too much room for improvement at this price level. It’s a strong enough solution to warrant an A- rating. If you’re on a budget and want the full package, this is a great option.