Most iPad cases these days come from major, well-established manufacturers or dedicated case-designing companies; Professional iPad Briefcase ($60) from ProTabStuff.com is a bit different. It was actually developed by a medical resident looking for a way to transport and use his own iPad in a professional setting. Marketed as a solution for both generations of Apple’s tablet, the case offers a lot of storage in a pretty small package.
The leather enclosure looks like a small briefcase, complete with a handle and a detachable shoulder strap. Twisting the front lock open exposes a flap with card pockets, plus a main body with zipper-down sides. In the very center is a frame for the iPad, which sees its left, right, and bottom edges left mostly exposed. While the iPad 2 does fit, its thinner body moves around quite a bit in the compartment, there’s no rear camera hole, and its front camera isn’t particularly well-provided for—all issues impacting our overall rating of this product. The first-generation iPad, on the other hand, fits much more securely, and its ambient light sensor and Home button line up properly with the openings. Additionally, the right side of the case features two accordion style pockets large enough for folded pieces of paper.
We like the look of the case for the most part, but it does feel somewhat cheap. Though it’s billed as genuine leather, it looks, feels, and sounds more like vinyl than real cowhide; it’s not terrible, but noticeable. On top of that, the locking mechanism on the front of the briefcase grinds; you can hear it and feel it. They nylon strap also feels thin. None of these facts are deal breakers, but they do take away from the overall appeal. On the other hand, we do like the use of solid metal for the zipper pulls, D-rings, and clips; similarly, the stitching looks nice all the way around.
Overall, Professional iPad Briefcase is a pretty smart solution that many people could find handy in working environments. Users will be pleased to discover quite a bit of storage space, alongside a clever design. It’s a particularly good solution for the original iPad, unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that the iPad 2 simply does not fit well, and while the case doesn’t make it unusable, the newer and increasingly popular tablet hasn’t been accommodated properly by this design. Taking that into consideration, we offer a limited recommendation and a combined B- rating. Users of first-generation iPads should consider it; iPad 2 users should wait for a revised version.
Company and Price
Model: Professional iPad Briefcase
Compatible: iPad, iPad 2*