Company: Graphique de France
Compatible: iPad 2, iPad (3rd/4th-Gen)
Graphique de France TheCover for iPad 2, iPad (3rd/4th-Gen)
Compatible with the second, third, and fourth full-sized iPads, Graphique de France's TheCover ($30) looks like some of the other book-style iPad cases we've featured in the past. It doesn't live up to the same high level of craftsmanship, but that's not totally unexpected for the abnormally low price; the genre-pioneering DODOcase and comparable models cost at least twice as much.
TheCover is covered in a printed paper with one of eight different graphic designs. Closed, it measures 7.5” wide, 9.5” tall, and 0.75” thick. Instead of the wooden frames we’re used to seeing in these cases, TheCover holds your tablet in a hard plastic shell that’s quite tight around the third- and fourth-generation iPads, but likely fits the slightly thinner iPad 2 well. For some reason, the shell is Smart Cover-compatible, which is clearly not necessary. It does a better job at covering the iPad’s bottom by running all the way to the metal’s edge, with gaps for the connector and speaker, whereas the iPad’s top is exposed all the way from the Sleep/Wake button to the headphone port.
The edge of the shell near the camera hole is permanently affixed to the inside of TheCover, while the opposite edge has a nice magnetic stand mechanism glued on. When the stand’s not in use, the shell lays flat. But if you need a surprisingly strong typing or viewing angle, it simply lifts up and snaps into place. There are also magnets in the front cover to lock and unlock the iPad’s display.
Rating Graphique de France’s case is a little challenging: we’re not huge fans of book-style iPad cases to begin with, and there’s no question that TheCover isn’t as fancy as its better-known predecessors—it feels more like a children’s book than a deluxe adult hardcover. On the other hand, it does the job it sets out to do, and at a far more reasonable price than a DODOcase: TheCover is only around $10 more than cheap name brand shells with less protection and no stand functionality. So if you’re looking for a book-style case that won’t break the bank, this is a reasonable option. For $30, TheCover is good enough to earn our general recommendation.