Not surprisingly, the release of the third-generation iPad was followed by quite a few case re-releases, including many that are exceptionally similar to those we’ve previously covered. A majority of the updated cases are folios, designs that start with either a hard shell or soft frame to hold the tablet, with a flip-over cover attached to the frame. Most of these folios have a lot in common with one another, and range in price from $40 to a little over $60, with one notable outlier. In order to give you a sense of what’s out there now, we’re publishing brief reviews of over a dozen of these folios today.
Available in seven different colors of leather as well as a number of unique fabric patterns, RainDrop ($60) is Splash Products’ newest case for the iPad 2 and the new iPad. Unlike many of the folios we’ve recently seen, the tablet isn’t held in place with a hard plastic shell. Rather, Splash uses a less form-fitting frame on the right side, which leaves large segments of the iPad’s edges exposed and makes it just a bit harder to get at the controls on the device’s body. There’s only one opening on the back, an unusually oval-shaped hole for the camera. A small stylus loop is sewn along the outside edge, and inside, the iPad’s bezel is partially covered by the frame.
An elastic band attached to the back wraps around to the front to hold the case shut when it’s not in use. We found this band to be necessary, as the lid doesn’t stay shut without it, and the embedded magnets inside the front lid may unintentionally unlock the iPad if they’re too far away. There’s a tab on that band that fits into a slot on the back of the case to turn it into a stand, a less than ideal solution because it’s not very sturdy. The typing position is wobbly, and it doesn’t hold at all for video viewing.
RainDrop has some factors in its favor: several female-oriented prints, and the inclusion of screen protector film and a stylus as pack-ins. We only wish that Splash didn’t advertise stand functionality that doesn’t work well. It’s not a terrible case otherwise, although it strikes us as being about a year behind the design curve and a bit too expensive. For the money, you can do better. While the unique patterns and the inclusion of a cheap stylus might otherwise warrant a limited recommendation, this case’s functionality simply doesn’t match its price, earning it a C+.
Company and Price
Company: Splash Products
Compatible: iPad 2/iPad (3rd-Gen)