First previewed just shy of three months ago, SwitchEasy has finally released its newest case Pelle ($60), designed for the iPad 2 and third-generation iPad. Somewhat interestingly spun off of the company’s earlier folio-style cases, it combines the look of a leather case with a hard plastic rear shell, while adding a unique metal stand support. Available in red, blue, black, pink, and turquoise, the latter two versions of the case are special pastel editions embedded with six Swarovski Elements crystals. Each of the five colors includes headphone port and Dock Connector port covers, a screen protector, cleaning cloth, and installation card.
Pelle’s shell is similar to a number of comparable models we’ve seen in the past, but it does have a few interesting features. Thankfully SwitchEasy continued its practice of offering full protection all the way to the edges and only having cutouts where necessary to accommodate the iPad’s ports and buttons. The speaker is exposed through two rows of alternating pill shapes, providing more protection than some fully open designs we’ve seen. Two indentations split the front lid into thirds, and a ridge along the right side comes into play when using Pelle as a stand.
Rather than genuine leather, SwitchEasy went with a polyurethane simulacrum for the front cover; it’s pretty nice, looking and feeling close to the original article. Like-colored stitching runs around the edges and down the lid, subtly accenting the material. Even though it appears that it might fold in two places, Pelle’s lid actually only bends in one, and this is where the key comes into play: a silver, gold, or black chrome metal slider is housed in a sheath sewn on towards the bottom corner right over where it folds. Pull it out—stitching keeps it from being fully removable—and it allows the hinge to bend.
The cover can then be bent into both viewing and typing angles. Despite our initial impressions, we found them to work pretty well after playing around with the positions for a few minutes. The viewing stand allows for a variety of angles, while the typing stand is a bit more precarious. It requires setting the edge of the cover into the shallow recession on the back closest to the iSight camera. If it were a little deeper, the hold would be better, but once you get it set up, it’s rather sturdy.
We give SwitchEasy credit for trying something new and being a bit more fashion-forward with Pelle, but despite how it works, the things it does aren’t that unique to folios. The $60 price would be justified if it were made from real leather, but it’s expensive by faux leather standards, and the metal key is novel but not really necessary. That said, Pelle offers plenty of coverage, and looks pretty nice. It’s a good case with plenty of extras, and worthy of our general-level recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPad 2/iPad (3rd-Gen)