Review: Beyzacases Folio FR for iPad 2, iPad (3rd/4th-Gen)
Officially licensed by Aston Martin, Beyzacases' Folio FR (€249/$338) fits the iPad 2 as well as the third- and fourth-generation iPads, although the version for the newest iPad is notably split off on the company's site with four color options, double what's offered for the other models. The all-leather case is quite nice-looking, and is supposedly based on the design of the automaker's vehicles. Other than the Aston Martin logos, though, you may have a hard time telling that that's the case -- it looks like any number of folios we've seen over the past few years.
Folio FR comes in black, tan, camel, and brown variations. As usual the quality of Beyzacases’ leather is really impressive; there’s no question that it’s high-class material. It’s flat, rather than some of the textured leathers we’ve seen from the company, and lined with a suede-like material called Alcantara inside. The iPad is held against the inside of the back cover, in the kind of frame we’ve seen time and time again. It’s inserted through the open left edge, with a tab getting tucked in underneath to hold it in place. Leather covers the bezels, but stops just shy of reaching all the way to the screen. A teardrop-shaped hole exposes the camera and ambient light sensor at the top, while a scoop provides access to the Home Button below.
While the edges are mostly covered, the corners are not. All four are exposed, whether along with the headphone port and Sleep/Wake button up top, or by themselves along the lower edge. There are also necessary openings for the side switch and volume buttons, speaker, and Dock Connector or Lightning port. We were surprised to find that the opening for the iSight camera is misaligned, enough so that we noticed a slight obstruction of the lens when taking photos. To turn the case into a stand, one simply tucks the front cover into the long flap sewn along the back’s left edge. The lid also has magnets that correspond to raised circles of metal in the leather covering the bezel, to hold it shut and wake the iPad when it’s lifted away.
At a reasonable price, Folio FR would be a fine case. While the design isn’t original or special in any way, there’s nothing hugely wrong with it, and the leather is great. Beyzacases usually demands really, really high prices for their products, but even by those standards, the price of this one is ridiculous. Sure, if you can afford an Aston Martin, you can afford this case, but even by luxury standards, it’s too costly to merit even a limited recommendation. For $338, you’d be better off keeping your iPad bare and spending the same dollars on an iPad mini as a backup.