Skech Booklet for iPad 2
We have to give Skech some credit: the company has managed to incorporate a semi-unique feature into its otherwise average Booklet ($45), a new folio-style case for iPad 2. It's unfortunate that this one nice feature is balanced out by a lazy way of holding the tablet in place. Available in two different styles -- one fully covered in faux leather, the other mostly made of quilted nylon -- Booklet zips closed to protect the tablet when it's not in use. We expect that some people will like that full coverage, but they'll likely be less than blown away by the way it's accomplished.
Inside, the iPad 2 is held in place at its four corners with faux leather and elastic bands—in the same way that M-Edge’s MyEdge Custom Jacket works, far from our preferred way of mounting any Apple device—over a lining of soft fabric. Because the device rests against a flat back and the sides are not formed around it, access to ports and buttons is limited. The side switch and volume rocker are blocked even further by one of the elastic bands, a major limitation of this style of case. Bookley’s rear camera hole is larger than most, but because the tablet can move around a bit under the bands, it’s actually a bit of a benefit. There’s a small loop at the upper left side for use as a stylus holder.
The inside of the front cover has quite a bit going on. Along the right edge are two groups of three sewn-in credit card slots. Booklet also features two different types of stands. One is a standard fold-down typing angle stand that’s held flat by a magnet when not in use. The other is different from any that we’ve seen in the past; it’s a 13.5” long rubbery band held in place with an elastic strap, folded in thirds. When unfurled, it serves as an anti-slip mechanism for the Booklet in multiple video viewing angles. We appreciate the novelty of the idea, and it does work pretty well, but we wish that the band looked a bit more refined.
In the end, Booklet’s closest direct rival for the iPad is the MyEdge Custom Jacket—a folio that received a limited recommendation solely because its custom printing was done so well. Thanks to the less than impressive elastic corner holder design, Booklet winds up sharing MyEdge’s problems when it comes to button and port access, but has a couple of advantages; it’s nice to be able to zip the whole thing up, and the addition of stands helps too. While we’re not totally in love with the implementation of the band, we’d like to see how it evolves over time. Our overall impression of Booklet is that it’s not a bad case, but just an OK one; there’s little to make it feel iPad-specific besides from a hole or two, and the design is largely me-too. We’d prefer to see better attention paid to the iPad 2’s curves—thankfully there are many other folios out there that do just that.