Review: Sena Cases Folio II for iPad (3rd-Gen)
Sena Cases' Folio line stretches back to the original iPad, and now the company has introduced the newest member of that family: Folio II for the third-generation iPad ($100). The case carries over many of the same design elements, although some of the features have been rethought, particularly the stand mechanism. Made of genuine leather, it is currently available in black, red, and brown, with gold and orange versions shipping in early June 2012.
As its name makes clear, Folio II is another take on the folio-style case. The front and back are completely flat and unadorned, save for the snap-equipped tab that holds them together, and a hole for the rear camera. Not surprisingly, Sena chose to use a frame to hold the tablet, including almost complete bezel coverage—a little bit less than the company’s official photograph shows on its website, however. Compared to some similarly-styled folios, the edge buttons are easier to access, although we’re not thrilled that all four of the iPad’s corners are exposed.
Where this case really deviates from its predecessor is the front cover. The company kept the four credit card slots, ID holder, and pocket from before, although this time they’re vertical rather than horizontal. This orientation change seems to have been instituted so that Sena could build in two fold-flat stands, both of which are tethered to the cover by lengths of ribbon and held down with magnets when not in use. The narrower of the two, a 1.5” strip along the left edge, is intended for typing. Although the angle is fine, we found the stand to be unsteady; push back just a bit, and it collapses. This happened every single time we tried to use it. Thankfully, the viewing stand is much sturdier, and the tab that holds the case shut can be folded underneath in this position so that it’s not floating in front of the screen. Also built into the cover are display locking and unlocking magnets.
Folio II is a cleanly designed, nicely implemented iPad folio, albeit an expensive one. Its character comes from its outward simplicity, and it’s professional yet functional. The card holders and pocket on the front frame are useful, and we liked the concept behind the stands, even though we were disappointed by the actual performance of the typing stand; hopefully some sort of fix will be forthcoming. If you’re willing to put up with this issue, Folio II is a good choice by premium folio-style case standards, and earns our general recommendation.