STM Cape for iPad Air
Although it goes by a different name, STM's Cape for iPad Air ($40) is highly similar to the company's previous Skinny, itself a pretty standard hard folio. In fact, there are no obvious differences between those editions, other than the necessary size changes, that make it clear why there’s a new name. Regardless, this is a more attractive option than many folios, due to its really nice fabric-covered exterior, coming in blue, red, gray, and black. The plastic beneath matches the color of the fabric.
You’re not going to find too many surprises with Cape. The iPad Air snaps into the hard plastic shell, leaving the buttons and ports exposed. They’re all well-sized, and the collection includes an opening for the rear microphone. Button protection would be preferred, but we don’t find it as important a factor with iPad cases as with iPhone cases. Both the back of the shell, and the entire front lid, are covered in the colorful fabric. It extends to form a tongue, sticking out from the right edge of the front cover. You can use the tongue to hold the case shut, or keep it in a standing position, something of an inconvenience relative to the easier to use iPad Smart Cover-style lids we’re seeing on more cases every year. Unfortunately, like STM’s earlier Skinny for iPad mini, screen-locking magnets are absent here, too.
Cape is a solid folio for the iPad Air in these early days of the tablet, and if you liked Skinny before, you’ll be quite happy with it. We’d love to see STM take the next step with tweaks and improvements, though, as other designs have caught up to Cape and in some ways surpassed it. The biggest detracting factors from a higher rating are the missing magnets and tongue-dependent lid system. On all other counts, this is a good case, and earns a general recommendation.