A veritable explosion of cases have hit the market since the iPad released. Marware, a leading manufacturer of iPhone cases and skins, has joined the growing market with its Eco-Vue folio-style case for the iPad. The case is designed to give a professional impression while protecting your iPad, but does it actually fit the bill? Read on to find out.
The first impression I got of the Marware Eco-Vue when I received the review sample Marware sent me was luxury. The case just feels nice to touch. The exterior of the case is black leather, and the interior is a gray microfiber to provide some protection to your iPad.
The interior flap of the case provides an arm band and a stand. The arm band works perfectly when I’m using the iPad in either portrait or landscape mode, allowing me to use the iPad without worrying about dropping it. It’s also nice not having to grip the iPad all the time; I can just put my hand and wrist into the arm band, and the iPad almost becomes an attachment to my left arm.
The stand is sturdy and elevates the iPad nicely in landscape mode. I found it easy to type either with the built-in iPad keyboard or my Bluetooth keyboard, and I was able to see the screen perfectly even at the low angle. It might be nice for the stand to raise the device up a little bit more than it does, but it’s perfectly usable as it is. Besides, if you want to stand the device up more than the built-in stand, the flap of the case serves as a nice stand on its own.
The iPad fits nicely in the Eco-Vue, and is easy to insert and remove. A leather strap folds behind your iPad to keep it in the pocket. While the band doesn’t snap or attach to anything to hold it closed, I’ve found that the length of the band provides plenty of friction to keep it from sliding out from behind the iPad.
While the iPad is very well covered in the folio, the ports and buttons are still easily accessible.
Jeff Gamet reported that Apple’s iPad case shows dirt all too well. While I haven’t tested Apple’s iPad case, I will say that I noticed very little dirt showing up on the Eco-Vue. Even after having the case in a plastic bag with a bit of leftover drywall dust, the case barely showed a smudge. A quick wipe with my microfiber cloth got rid of even that, showing that the case is pretty easy to clean.
For the green-minded, the Eco-Vue is made of “eco-leather.” According to Marware, with eco-leather, “the tanning process used to make this leather uses fewer toxins than traditional leather tanning. This minimizes toxic runoff into the ground and water tables. Throughout the entire process, the leather remains RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliant. No chlorine, no sulfuric acid, and no petroleum/chemical based dyes. This is real leather, without the environmental impact of standard tanning and dyeing processes.”
All of this luxury does come with a couple of admittedly minor caveats. First, the elastic strap Marware has sewn onto the case that allows you to secure the case either open or closed detracts a bit from the executive appearance of the folio. It just looks…cheesy is the best word I can find to describe it. I’m not sure what they might have done differently to maintain the executive appearance while providing the functionality they were looking for. Maybe a slightly wider strap or a different color?
The other problem I have with the Eco-Vue is the lack of any storage pockets. If I’m carrying my iPad when traveling, I like to carry along headphones, my USB sync cable, and the AC adapter. Unfortunately, I can’t do that with the Eco-Vue, as the folio lacks any sort of pockets for storing accessories. I’m forced to put those items in another bag, which isn’t the best for air travel when you can only have one carry-on at your feet and can’t store anything in the seatback pocket during take-off. That said, the Eco-Vue adds very little real bulk to the iPad, and provides plenty of protection for carrying the device in a backpack. So while it would be nice of the Eco-Vue had a pocket for accessories, this definitely isn’t a deal-breaker for such an otherwise wonderful folio case.
The bottom line, though, is that the Eco-Vue is the Mercedes Benz of iPad cases. It’s an excellent protector, and is feature-packed with handy little conveniences in a simple, elegant, and professional design. Of the cases I’ve looked at so far, the Eco-Vue is definitely my favorite so far.