We liked the functionality of Apple’s iPad Smart Cover, but really wanted something with more protective coverage. Beyzacases must have been thinking the same thing, as it has released Executive II Case for iPad 2 (€130/$193). Made out of the same authentic leather the Turkish company is known for, this folio combines a Smart Cover-like front flap and substantial protection for the iPad 2’s metal back and sides. Unfortunately, what Beyzacases brings to the table in protection, it counters with a high price that may scare some otherwise excited customers away.
As always, the leather used by Beyzacases is very high quality. By comparison with the iPad Smart Cover, it is important to note that the material here is significantly better than the extremely thin leather Apple selected. Lining the inside of the case is a soft synthetic material, which feels nice, and the pocket that holds the iPad 2 in place has a reinforced rear, providing some structure. Around the edges, all of the buttons and ports are left exposed, as are the two left corners—all pretty standard stuff.
What is most notable about Executive II Case is the front cover: it is almost identical to the iPad Smart Cover. There are four articulating sections that fold into a triangular stand. When positioned underneath the iPad 2 it creates a typing angle, and tucked underneath, it becomes a viewing stand. Magnets in the cover not only hold the triangular shape, but also activate the automatic screen locking feature, and hold the lid shut. As with previous leather products from Beyzacases, the magnets on the inner flap are visible through the material. This is one of our biggest criticisms of the company’s otherwise spot-on construction; it’s less than attractive, which just isn’t acceptable at this sort of uber-luxury price.
With this folio, Beyzacases was able to achieve what Apple couldn’t do with Smart Cover—provide a full, proper leather case with highly useful integrated stand and lid functionality. From a conceptual standpoint, there’s no question that this is a winning formula, and though the visible magnets are a small downside, they’re not a deal breaker. Our biggest problem with Executive II Case is the price: there’s no question that it’s simply too expensive. You could nearly buy an iPod touch for the cost of this case, an outlay that only a small number of users would be willing to consider. Because of this, we offer a limited recommendation. If you can afford it, go for it—Executive II is what some iPad 2 users have been looking for since Apple first debuted Smart Covers, and fairly luxurious on its own physical merits. But there are sure to be lower priced and more practical options available in the near future.
Company and Price
Model: Executive II Case
Compatible: iPad 2