Coming right after the Retina iPad mini version, Incipio shipped us its Lexington for iPad Air ($40) — now on its fourth iteration if you count the mini to Retina mini tweak. Once again, it’s a faux leather folio with a hard plastic shell to hold the tablet in place, and it looks more like the mini version than the one that shipped around the time of the third-generation iPad.
At Lexington’s core is a soft touch rubber-coated plastic shell, color-matched to the four faux leather finishes available. Instead of running all the way to the edges at the top and bottom, like the original version of the case, Lexington stops short between the corners at the top and bottom. Divots make way for the Sleep/Wake button, microphone, and headphone port, but extra aluminum is exposed as well. The same goes for the space outside both speakers. It’s disappointing to see this regression in protection.
Thankfully, one thing isn’t missing: magnetic locking and unlocking. For whatever reason, the feature has been absent from many iPad Air cases, so we’re happy to see it present in this one. Much like STM’s Cape, the case uses a tab system to stay shut, and to fold into a stand. It’s less than ideal compared to other options, and at this point, feels kind of antiquated, but it works.
We’ve seen Incipio iteratively improve so many of its products over time that it’s surprising to see Lexington as a step back, but that’s what it is. It offers less protection than earlier versions, and hasn’t seen any improvements to make up for that. For the same money, Cape has a nicer exterior — fabric, rather than faux leather — and greater protection. Lexington is still a good case, but only warrants a limited recommendation at this point.
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Compatible: iPad Air