Company: Bella Cases
Model: Smart Libretto for iPad 2
Compatible: iPad 2
Bella Cases Smart Libretto for iPad 2
Although Bella Cases uses both Turkish and Italian leather in its cases, we're not quite sure which went into Smart Libretto for iPad 2 ($100) -- a name that shouldn't be confused with Vaja's similarly-named case. Although it's rather slim, Smart Libretto follows the same model as most folio-style cases: there's a frame on the right to hold the tablet, the front cover connects to the back -- in this instance, with snaps -- to form a stand, and button coverage isn't great because the case is flatter than the iPad 2. Bella Cases did integrate a magnet into the front cover to activate the automatic locking feature, though, and sewed in a patch for holding four business cards on the inside. Smart Libretto is available in black, red, tan, and brown.
The big thing that Smart Libretto has going for it is the quality of the leather—it’s really nice stuff. Whereas many of the Chinese-made cases we see these days are obviously made from faux leather, or have you scratching your head over whether the material’s real or not, the high-end value of Bella’s leather is obvious from the look, touch, and smell. Other than that, though, it’s a pretty standard folio, albeit nicely tailored to an uncommon thinness that we appreciated. On the other hand, while Bella’s use of snaps to form a stand works, we didn’t like how the flap on the back hangs loose when the stand’s not in use, an unusual oversight in an otherwise nice case. Overall, if you’re looking for a sharp looking leather folio but not too concerned about additional functionality, Libretto is a pretty good option worthy of a general recommendation; a professional-caliber pick at a premium price.