Company: Speck Products
Compatible: iPad 2, iPad (3rd-Gen)
Speck FitFolio for iPad 2/iPad (3rd-Gen)
Speck's latest offering for the iPad 2 is FitFolio ($40), and it's one of the more interestingly put together folio-style cases we've seen recently, combining a faux leather cover with a hard polycarbonate back shell. The company has earned a reputation as one of the premier case manufacturers for iPads, and lives up to it with this model. Available in black, red, or grey, the case is quite protective, and functional too.
The rear shell is a little thick, but has precision-cut openings for the headphone port, mic, Sleep/Wake button, rear camera, side switch and volume rocker, speaker, and Dock Connector. Speck notably extends FitFolio’s plastic all the way to the four edges, an attribute that is lacking from many of the shells we have seen recently; FitFolio is consequently more protective than most of the cases we’ve previously reviewed. While the fit is good, it’s a little uneven around the front: some of the aluminum edge is visible, though this does not effect use or overall protection at all.
Interestingly, the plastic shell only covers some of the back of the device; the rest is faux leather that wraps around to form the front cover. That material can lift away exposing about half of the iPad 2’s back, interrupted in the middle by a piece of plastic about three inches tall and half the thickness of the rest of the case. Like many folios, the reason for this is to let the case become a stand. A ridge on the left edge of the plastic frame fits into one of four recessed areas on the inside of the front cover, providing four different viewing angles. A little bit of origami-like maneuvering turns it into a typing stand. To hold the case shut, Speck took a different approach than we have seen from any other company: the right edge of the shell has a long plastic knob, and there is an elastic band on the front cover to wrap around it. This mechanism also works to keep the cover in place when it is folded behind.
Ultimately, FitFolio is a noteworthy folio-style option. We like that Speck took enough care to extend the shell to the edges, providing significantly more coverage than many other shells. On the other hand, we weren’t big fans of the iPad 2’s back exposure when the faux leather is folded away; while this does not put the device at risk for common types of damage, extending the thin layer of plastic would have looked a lot better. Similarly, while the faux leather is acceptable—particularly for the price—it doesn’t have any of the special cosmetic touches we’ve come to expect from Speck’s designs. Minor visual issues aside, FitFolio is a very good value for the dollar and worthy of our general recommendation.
Speck has revved FitFolio with a new edition designed for the third-generation iPad. The body is pretty much identical, but there are two notable updates. In addition to multiple colors of faux leather, the case is now available with several different fabric patterns on the outside. Secondly, instead of an elastic band to hold the case shut this version has a plastic clip that latches around the edge. They’re appreciated updates, but don’t significantly change the overall value of the case.