Based on the iPad mini case of the same name, Tek-nical for iPad Air ($50) is Incipio’s latest take on the folio. When we last saw it, the case was a less-than-impressive shell with a problematic lid. The company clearly sought to make real improvements this time around, addressing many of the issues we noted in our last review. While it’s still not at the top of our list, Tek-nical is a better case than it was before.
The most obvious upgrade to the case is the iPad shell. It’s still mostly plastic at the core, but instead of that material running all the way to the edges and leaving exposed buttons, there’s now a perimeter of rubber. This adds a level of drop protection, as well as button coverage, without blocking any of the ports. We always appreciate when case makers go beyond simple shells. Doing so helps them stand out from the crowded market, and almost always results in a better case.
While it may not look as different as the shell, the lid has undergone one big improvement, but still has a problem, at least to a degree. Split into three columns, it can be folded up like a Smart Cover for viewing and typing angles. For an alternative position, the right edge of the cover can be tucked into a raised segment of plastic on the back of the case. Unfortunately, doing so can tear the lid up a bit, as pictured. We’d recommend sticking to the triangular stand setup. The biggest improvement is that the lid stays in place, no longer accidentally triggering the iPad’s magnetic auto-lock feature. It’s actually a little surprising to see that the lid hangs over the tablet’s right edge a bit, but that’s not problematic.
Overall, we like the direction Incipio took with this version of Tek-nical. The case is now more protective, and won’t lead to unintentional battery drain. While using it as a stand can damage the lid, there are alternative positions that prevent this from being a problem. Ultimately, the fixes are enough to warrant a general recommendation, and our B rating. Tek-nical is now a good case that is worth consideration.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPad Air