Folio stands have always been something of a mystery to me. They try to do two things, and do neither of them well. The sturdiness required to make them suitable stands often means there’s a compromise in thinness and weight. Then again, they’re often not very sturdy due since the stand isn’t fixed, and often relies on shallow grooves to hold your iPad at an angle. Compromise in my mind is never a good thing.
So, needless to say, I was skeptical of Belkin’s Cinema Stripe Folio before I’d even used it. On aesthetics alone I wasn’t thrilled with the materials used. The plasticcy fake leather is a huge turn off, but, at $30 I couldn’t exactly expect the finest hand-stitched cowhide. The thing is, with Belkin’s case, if I ignore my snobbery and desire for perfect looks, the case itself is fantastic.
The rubber feet that grip the iPad’s corners keep it in place very securely. The material used inside the case is perfect. It’s soft, and really grippy, which means when you’re using it as a stand it holds the iPad up without slipping. The only time I managed to make my tablet lose balance was when I deliberately pressed the display hard to see how much force it needed to topple. It baffled me, the really shallow grooves on the flap’s inside seemed like they would be completely redundant, but they work. An even bigger positive is the use of magnets, both to keep the fastener shut or out the way, and to make use of the iPad’s auto-wake function.
As with most Folio’s, it does add a little bulk, but it’s just about right. A folio case can’t be super slim, for practical reasons. I’d happily slip this in to a bag. It protects, and it works. It may not look brilliant – despite the go faster stripe – but it’s incredibly good at what it does. Typical Belkin product. It works – but it’s not pretty. Maybe the light pink or black options would appease my dislike. You can order the case by handing over $29.99 at Belkin’s site.