Review: Tuff-Luv Clean-Pad for iPad (3rd-Generation)
Folios have become the most common style of iPad case over the past two years, and depending on what you're looking for, one of the dozens of new designs might be an ideal fit for your tablet. A folio places your iPad inside of a fabric, leather, or plastic enclosure that looks like a folder, generally opening to reveal a holder for the iPad on one side, and screen-covering lid with a stand or stand support on the other. Today, we're separately rounding up three different categories of folios for the third-generation iPad -- updates to past iPad 2 models we've covered, "new" options that are highly similar to ones we've covered before, and then truly new models that are distinctive in at least a couple of ways. This review is part of the "new but highly similar" case roundup, looking at Tuff-Luv's Clean-Pad ($50-$70).
Clean-Pad is available in faux leather (£40/$50) or real leather (£50/$70). If it looks like any standard folio-style case, functionally, it is, though there’s one key feature that the company uses to set it apart. On the inside of the velvet-lined front cover, you’ll find a screen cleaning pad that’s held in place by a magnetic snap. Pull it off, and you can wipe off fingerprints and dust from the tablet’s display. In addition, this case uses Velcro to transform into a stand, with strips along the edge of the cover and on the back joining together to hold the position. While Velcro isn’t necessarily a superior solution to the tab and magnetic systems we’ve seen elsewhere, it does work here to create sturdy angles, though with a little more user effort than the other alternatives. Automatic screen locking and unlocking are supported, and the lid’s stiff enough that you won’t accidentally trigger the iPad’s unlocking mechanism by tossing this case into a bag.
The single biggest virtue of Clean-Pad is Tuff-Luv’s approach to pricing: rather than attempting to charge a premium price for a design that’s substantially unchanged from the hundreds of other folios out there, Tuff-Luv has gone with faux leather and real leather price points that are entirely reasonable for cases of this sort and quality. Each of the distinguishing features here is a little bit unusual—the velvety cover lining, the magnetic screen cloth, and the Velcro-backed stand—but they all work pretty well individually and together. Our biggest issues come from the lack of corner coverage for the iPad, which is somewhat common for these folios, and the less than ideal access to the top and side buttons, also common to flat-backed designs like this. Clean-Pad has enough assets to be on the fine edge of B+ and B ratings, meriting a B solely because the overall fit and finish of the materials isn’t stellar, but this is a good, solid folio for the price with some unique design elements.