Apple’s Smart Case for iPad Air is a wonderfully constructed and designed case. It combines the elegance and design of the thin leather and microfiber with the practicality of the Smart Cover with great effect. But it’s not cheap, and it is hard to justify spending $80 on a thin case, no matter how well designed it is. And that’s where third parties come in.
One manufacturer that I’ve had a hit and miss time with in the past is Skech. Some cases are great, others not so much. From its most recently launched range for iPad Air, the Flipper cases follow in the footsteps of the Smart Case and combine a thin magnet-equipped display cover with a harder, plastic outer shell.
Like the new Smart Case and Smart Cover, the Flipper’s front cover is divided in to three segments, and folds back on itself to form a stand for both upright viewing and slightly raised typing angles. The outside is covered in a thin, vinyl-type material, whereas inside is lined with microfiber/felt, which spreads to cover the inside of the rear shell as well. The plastic shell is your typical snap on style shell that clips easily and snugly to the body of your iPad Air. Like many other cases these days, the outside is coated with a soft touch finish to make it nicer to hold than the raw, rough plastic.
I was very surprised by the build and design quality, if I’m honest. I’ve found in the past that ideas and features are always great on Skech’s part, but execution has been left wanting, with build/quality control issues. Cutouts are all in the right places, and the microfiber lining is positioned really nicely. Now, I wouldn’t say it was perfect. There are tiny gaps in the corners between the lining and the plastic, but you’ll not notice them unless you get really close. I also noticed that around open exposed areas, like on the right and bottom edges, the right angled plastic was pretty sharp. Again, it’s not something you’ll notice when your iPad is installed.
Durability is fantastic. The “hinge” holding the front cover to the case is really strong, but flexible enough to ensure that moving the cover isn’t ever an issue. What I really liked though was that when I folded it back to form the stand, it was so much stronger than Apple’s Smart Case. I never once felt like it was going unfold and give way. For some instances, like gaming, cases can often get in the way. And I have to admit, I’d rather grip the actual iPad when playing Real Racing 3 or FIFA 14, but the Flipper does a decent job of getting out the way. The front cover folds all the way back on itself, and because it’s lined with a soft microfiber lining, it’s comfortable too.
My only real complaint is that the Flipper feels a bit plasticcy. When you pick it up and feel the inside of the case, or feel the way it bends, it doesn’t feel like a premium product. It feels like a run-of-the-mill iPad case, but it’s one of the best regular cases I’ve used.
Overall, I’m impressed. It’s a solid offering from Skech, and one that anyone should consider when looking at buying an iPad case. It’s available on Amazon.com for $40 (£27) now, and I’d say it’s easily worth the money. Just think, you’d pay double for a Smart Case, and you definitely don’t get double the product for it. To find out more, and check out other colors (there are 6 options in total) head on over to the feature page on Skechit.com.