Review: Beyzacases Wave Series Sleeve for iPad 2
Beyzacases is a Turkish case maker known for very high-quality leather products, and has launched its first offering for the iPad 2: the Wave (€140/$196) series of leather sleeves. Available in 10 different color configurations, including single-color and dual-toned versions, this padded leather envelope custom-fits the newly thinned iPad 2, completely covering the device when placed inside, and like most leather products will benefit from being broken in. By the company's own description, it is a luxury case, which sort of explains the crazy high pricing.
Wave’s design is as simple as it gets, a sleeve for holding an iPad 2 when it is not in use with a flap to keep the iPad secure inside. As with past models, the sleeve’s body is composed of very rich full grain cowhide that looks beautiful and feels just as good. To be clear, this leather is of an obviously higher grade and thickness than what Apple’s using in the iPad Smart Cover, and what most companies use in competing leather cases. Stitching is even and straight, while the name and logo are both precisely embossed, and even the padded inner suede lining looks and feels appropriate to an expensive accessory. Like most sleeves, there is no access to any of the iPad 2’s ports or buttons while the device is inside. It is worth noting that what looks like a pocket along the back of the sleeve is simply straight stitching with no opening.
Visibly embedded magnets in the flap and body throw the design off-track; on the top flap, they protrude, and the two on the opposite side look as if they’ve recessed within the leather due to the magnetic force of attraction. It is worth noting that those magnets can inadvertently activate the automatic wake/sleep feature Apple has been touting as a benefit of the iPad Smart Cover, so disabling the iPad Cover Lock/Unlock setting is a good idea before using this case.
While the materials and build quality of Beyzacases’ Wave are certainly some of the best we have seen, the price tag and utility compel us to place this case in the “okay” ratings category. Sleeve style cases are from our perspective better suited to notebook computers than tablets or phones. Yes, they provide protection while the iPad is not in use, but once you go to use the device the sleeve loses all value until it is time to pack up again. Clearly, Beyzacases is marketing this product to a very specific audience: users who are willing to spend 40% of a base iPad 2’s price largely in the name of fashion, and surely while compromising practicality. For the nearly $200 asking price, this company—and anyone else who would think of offering something so expensive—needs to avoid the inelegance of protruding magnets, and offer something even more practical for the dollar.