Hex has been making accessories for Apple products including the iPhone and the iPod nano for a little while now, but Code Folio ($80) is its entry into the folio-style case market for the iPad 2 and third-generation iPad. As is true with most of its products, this one takes a classic style and puts a bit of a spin on it — not crazy, but different. The genuine leather case comes in black, tan, and red.
The first thing we noticed about Code Folio is its atypical thickness. It’s not due to the flat cowhide cover, but rather the bulky soft-touch-coated plastic frame unlike any we’ve come across in the past.
Measuring it at half an inch around the edges, the hold is secure, but we’re just not sure why Hex didn’t shave a few millimeters off of the bottom to slim it down. Overall it’s not an empirically bad thing, and it looks and feels nice, but it’s certainly strange in the current ecosystem that promotes device and accessory thinness. The plastic is molded so that there’s still easy access to the ports and buttons, and a waveguide improves the audio performance in a small but discernible way.
We like the extras lining the inside of the front cover, but were slightly disappointed by what’s missing. There are three credit card-sized slots with somewhat rough edges, a cleaner document pocket running all the way across, room to stuff small papers between the layers, and a pen/stylus holder.
Three sets of bumps allow the plastic holder to stand at different viewing angles, although none of them are as low we prefer for typing. The one surprising absence is auto-locking magnets; most iPad folios these days have the feature, making this case feel somewhat incomplete. There is, however, an elastic band to hold it shut.
We’re not in love with Code Folio, but it is an OK case. The plastic is thick, but the iPad is well protected, and unlike some folios there’s no issues reaching the buttons.