The Incase Convertible Book Jacket for iPad is a polyurethane case that protects the iPad, much like a book cover. It has the feel of leather, even though it’s not, and it has some nice features, including notches that allow the iPad to rest upright at various angles.
This case has a frame on the inside. You slide the iPad into the frame, and it’s very secure there. Then you can open and close the book-like cover around the iPad. A band that stretches can be brought from the back to the front to keep the book cover from opening.
Viewing Angle Notches
One of the nice features, seen in the photo below is the set of what Incase calls “Viewing Angle Notches.” The bottom of the frame rests in these notches in order to rest the case upright in the landscape mode.
Laying flat, showing Viewing Angle Notches
Below is a photo of what the Convertible Book Jacket looks like when resting in the most reclined position. Sometimes, I place an Apple Aluminum wireless keyboard on the exposed section of the case. That, in effect, keeps the edge of the frame from slipping out of the notch, but I’ve never had a problem with any slippage.
The most reclined position
I chatted with a representative from Incase Designs Corp. who mentioned that a few customers have complained that when using the virtual keyboard on the screen, heavy finger pressure can knock the frame out of the notches. Incase says that the upright position in these notches is really designed for viewing, not typing. I agree. If one is going to type when the iPad rests upright like this, a real keyboard is the right way to go.
Detail of notches
At first, I thought the material was leather, but I confirmed with Incase that the material is polyurethane. However, it feels almost exactly like the NewerTech iFolio that I reviewed recently. Incase says that leather protection products like creams and sprays probably won’t harm the product, but neither are they needed. Mine has remained clean and good looking ever since I bought it on April 3.
By the way, in contrast, the NewerTech iFolio is designed to be a travel case. While the Incase Convertible Book Jacket is certainly travel worthy, I think it’s real strength is when it’s used in a local environment, around the office or the house, where some protection is order. That said, the elastic band will certainly keep the iPad cover closed, and one could travel with it that way, but the logistics and rules of air travel these days probably dictate throwing it into a travel bag or briefcase so that other items can be carried along with it — like the charger — and it then doesn’t count as a carry on all by itself.
Without a zipper to worry about and with minimal but sturdy, recessed stitching and polyurethane construction, the case appears to be ready to last a long time.
When the case is resting in your lap, you can either leave the cover open and rest the iPad in your lap, like an open book, or you can wrap the cover around the back. The case is flexible enough to do that. When wrapped around the back, the iPad can also be rested on a table, in landscape mode, just like the Apple case, but I don’t think the height of the spine and the angle are as large as the Apple case. I think it’s better to use it in the most reclined position of the viewing notches.
The interior frame is designed to keep all ports accessible, so there’s no problem connecting ear buds, accessing the power switch, or connecting the 30-pin cable when the iPad is inside this case. I don’t foresee a problem with the 3G version and its antenna and GPS system near the top of the iPad.
An Open and Shut Case
I was attracted to this case because I liked the texture and feel of the material, because of the viewing angle notches, and because I use the iPad mostly around the home office — so I wanted a book-like cover that would protect it from our cats and daily scuffs from various table surfaces. It’s doing that very nicely, and I highly recommend this case for those who plan to use it as I have.
Considering what similar cases are going for these days, I think this case is appropriately priced. The only negative I could find with this case is that routine use and pressures can slide the iPad inside the frame a few millimeters, and occasionally one needs to give the iPad a slight push to realign the opening for the headphone jack.
The Incase Convertible Book Jacket is available only at the Incase website or Apple retail stores. Due to the popularity, it is currently on 3 to 4 week back order.