Company: Speck Products
Compatible: iPad Air
Speck StyleFolio for iPad Air
StyleFolio ($40) is Speck's first case for the iPad Air, and it's clearly inspired by past models from the company, including FitFolio for the iPad mini. The case combines a full plastic shell on the back -- an improvement from the previously less-thorough holder -- and a lid, with one of many different faux leather designs planned for availability. Like most Speck products, it's an attractive looking option, although it’s missing a degree of protection we appreciate in some of the company's other cases.
StyleFolio’s core is the tray-like shell, with the lid’s material continuing around to the back and covering almost all of the plastic. We received a black vegan leather edition for review, and it could pass for the real thing. To keep the case shut, there’s a plastic ring along the edge of the cover that snaps onto a post jutting from the case itself. What’s missing, however, is an embedded magnet system. Although almost every other folio-style case has magnets that lock and unlock the iPad’s display, Speck has chosen to skip them here. For many, this won’t be a huge problem, but it’s a strange omission.
Rather than protect the tablet’s buttons — something the company does very well with its CandyShell iPhone cases, among other products — Speck left them exposed. Just as with the magnets, it’s not a big issue, but the case would benefit from the extra protection. The port holes are large enough to accept third-party plugs, and there are a pair of openings corresponding to the dual microphones, sized properly and centered well.
The case can transform into a stand, with one setup for viewing, and another for typing. By leaning the left edge of the plastic shell against the inside of the lid in one of four grooves, you can move it from 52° to 65° angles. For typing, you must tuck the lid in on itself, creating a triangle that elevates the back end.
StyleFolio’s materials are nice, and the quality of the construction is solid. There’s nothing really exciting about it though, other than some of the designs. Leaving out button coverage and magnets aren’t deal breakers, but better cases have them. For the price, StyleFolio commands a general recommendation. It’s a good option, but we just can’t get too excited about it.