BlueLounge is calling its first foray into protective carriers for Macs and iPads the “Bonobo Series,” and included in the line is this little fellow, the Sleeve for iPad + iPad 2 ($45). Note that the packaging for Sleeve refers to it as part of the “Underground Series,” suggesting that there was a late name change to the family. While blueLounge has previously been known for clever yet overpriced accessories, Sleeve offers a stylish design at a price that is only a hint higher than what we’d expect from most of its competitors.
The black holder is made of 100% recycled PET fabric, with a large main compartment inside to hold your tablet—even with a slim case and/or a Smart Cover. There’s also a zippered pocket on the front for accessories. It’s not large enough to hold an Apple Wireless Keyboard, but cables, chargers, and earbuds fit just fine.
Sleeve’s closure mechanism is kind of cool; it uses both a pair of magnetic snap closures and a nice-looking aluminum buckle to hold the front flap shut. We found the magnets to be plenty strong, so the buckle is, strictly speaking, unnecessary. It’s not difficult to undo it, but the process does add an extra step that some users may find frustrating, while other users will love the style it adds to the sleeve. It’s a choice of form over function, and we certainly like the form.
BlueLounge deserves credit for putting together a very nice sleeve here; the only real problem is that, like any iPad sleeve, the functionality is limited. This one adds the benefit of carrying some of your peripherals, but serves no real use when the device is taken out. Because it is large enough for encased iPads, and thanks to that pocket, it will definitely have fans. Considering that some sleeves go for the same price without as much versatility, the price doesn’t strike us as particularly unfair, either. Considered in totality, blueLounge’s Sleeve earns our general recommendation—we’re not huge sleeve fans, but this is definitely one of the better sleeves available for your iPad or iPad 2.
Company and Price
Model: Bonobo Series Sleeve
Compatible: iPad, iPad 2