One of XtremeMac’s first cases marketed for the new third-generation iPad is its Vintage Sleeve ($50). Although it has a pretty basic sleeve setup, the materials and overall build quality are all quite nice. The total appeal of sleeves is limited due to their extremely limited functionality, but this is one of the better looking ones around. iPad 2 users, you’re in luck too: even though the company doesn’t mention it, the slightly thinner model still fits just fine.
Vintage Sleeve is made of reinforced waxed canvas, offering an earthy, military look. The outside is olive green while the inner lining is tan. XtremeMac went with the less common vertical orientation with an opening and flap along one of the short edges. It’s held in place with a metal snap connected to a faux—but very real looking and feeling—leather tab, and magnets underneath. We’ve taken issue with embedded magnets that show through the material in the past, although that’s generally been with leather cases; it’s not as bad with this material. Also underneath the flap is a pull out tab that makes removing the iPad easier; simply tug at it and it tablet rises right up.
Rather than extending all the way across, Vintage Sleeve’s flap stops just about 1 3/4” short of the left edge. This allows for access to the iPad’s headphone port even while it’s encased, and does so without exposing too much of the aluminum edge. Right above that opening is a faux leather loop, something we haven’t really seen in the past. It can be used as a handle, although we don’t think we’d want to walk around with the tablet dangling at our side.
We really like the look and feel of Vintage Sleeve; XtremeMac’s designers deserve credit for their work. However, as we concluded in our review of Spigen SGP’s Illuzion, sleeves have such limited functionality that it’s difficult to offer a strong recommendation. Better cases that protect your device full-time and have additional features can had for the same price. As sleeves go though, this is a really nice one, earning it a flat B rating.
Company and Price
Model: Vintage Sleeve
Compatible: iPad (3rd-Gen)