New iPad, new case. As usual, though, there is a scramble for cases as soon as consumers get their hands on a new model. Even Apple Stores stock nothing more ambitious than Smart Covers for the new iPad. And I have a horror of dropping my shiny toy while waiting for the perfect case to happen along.
In the past I’ve spent top money on cases from the likes of Piel Frama. Recently, with the iPad 2, I was very happy with an iFrogz plastic backing case teamed up with an Apple Smart Cover. Sadly, I could find no suitable backing cases for the new iPad.
Since the Apple Store was bare, someone suggested trying the John Lewis department store just round the corner on Oxford Street. Here I was surprised to find a large display of cases suitable for the new iPad, mainly from Belkin and Targus.
After great ponderings I chose a Targus Vuscape Case & Stand for iPad 3.¹ I liked the look of it, in a black faux leather, and it was cheap at just under £35. This, I thought, will be a good standby until I can find just what I want.
What I hadn’t anticipated was that this Targus case would, in fact, be just what did I want. The iPad clips inside six padded holders, more easily than fixing the close-fitting plastic backing cases. The cover does not fold, unlike the Smart Cover, but does activate the magnetic on/off function) clips to the edge of the tablet with another padded holder.
The back of the case, which has a hole for the Apple logo, folds so that the bottom side of the iPad (in landscape) can rest in one of two grooves on the inside of the cover. The first, more upright position is ideal for viewing or for use in conjunction with a wireless keyboard. The second offers a more angled view but is also a good choice for viewing or keyboard typing.
What this case doesn’t do entirely successfully is provide an ideal shallow typing angle when using the virtual keyboard. You can move the iPad right to the edge of the where it rests against the fastener , but the angle is then slightly too shallow and the folded back underneath the iPad causes the computer to bounce while typing.
There is an alternative. By folding the cover the opposite way it is possible to achieve a flatter angle with the side of the iPad resting on the leather tab next to the elasticated pen or stylus holder (see photograph on the right). While this is a steeper angle than you will find with the folded Smart Cover, it is acceptable for virtual keyboard typing. I think I could get used to it; it’s just that I’ve been accustomed to the shallow angle of the iPad when used with a folded Smart Cover.
The back of the case folds flat and it is surprising comfortable when holding the tablet for reading. In fact, I now prefer holding the iPad with this case attached rather than holding the naked device.
I am surprised by this Targus case, especially for the price. It is compact, reasonably lightweight (although it is bulkier than a SmartCover twinned with a plastic back). The design is excellent. Above all, it looks good and is a quality product, unlike many of the cheaper leather cases on the market. At the moment it is a keeper and I will stop looking around.
¹ I have quoted the name of the case from the Targus web site. On my box, the case is called the “Premium Click-in Case for iPad 3rd Generation” but it appears to be identical to the Vuscape shown on the website. This could be something to do with variations for different countries but is more likely to be just some sort of marketing glitch.