In the days leading up to the iPad 2 launch, a handful of cases arrived at our offices, including packaging that looked to have been manufactured even before the device was formally announced. The first folio we saw was Targus’s 360° Rotating Stand & Case ($60), with a somewhat unique rotating inner shell that allows the iPad 2 to spin into portrait or landscape views.
Imitation leather is used to cover the majority of this case’s exterior, running from the entire front of the device to a little more than halfway up the back. The inside is a soft blue fabric that includes a reasonable level of padding. An elastic band is located on the right-hand side of the front cover. The iPad 2 is secured within the case using a form-fitting hard shell, machined precisely to fit the body of the device. While in the shell, there is ample room to access all ports, buttons, and switches; in fact, we would have appreciated a bit more protection along both the top and bottom edges. Targus chose to leave the Apple logo on the back of the iPad 2 exposed, a design feature that we dislike on both looks and unnecessarily limited protection. 360° Rotating Stand & Case also roughly doubles the iPad 2’s thickness at all points, and triples it in some places.
Like many folios, the inside face of the front cover has recessed ridges for holding the device up at one of two angles. What is unique to the 360° Rotating Stand & Case is the titular feature—that the hard shell rotates all the way around, allowing the iPad 2 to stand on a recline in either portrait or landscape orientation. Few cases offer this feature. We did find the angles formed by the portrait orientation to be less useful than those in landscape, with the larger angle actually wobbling quite a bit. In addition, there’s no great typing angle, omitting a feature commonly seen in other folding iPad cases.
Targus is to be commended for innovating somewhat on the standard folio rather than pumping out another purely derivative iteration. While the implementation is not perfect, being able to use an iPad 2 in either orientation is appreciated. The addition of a ratcheting mechanism to hold the iPad 2 in place while in portrait mode would be of value, and ideally, the case would further cover the top and bottom edges and the Apple logo, without bulking it up quite as much. For those looking for an early iPad 2 folio with a little something extra, 360° Rotating Stand & Case is a solid choice, though it will surely be joined by many other, similar options soon enough.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPad 2