The aura2 For The New iPad & iPad 2 is a Mixed Bag

| In-Depth Review

The aura2 for the new iPad and the iPad 2 is an extremely elegant, attractive, and well built leather folio. The packaging exudes class and professionalism, which is well aligned with the product. Inside you’ll find a small micro-fiber cloth, an anti-static cleaning wipe in a pouch, a few iSkin stickers, a card asking you to friend iSkin on Facebook  and another card with a URL of instructions for all iSkin products. Getting the manual is more trouble than it needed to be and this confused me a bit. Since the instructions are a one page .pdf, why not just include it in the package? The manual is full of wasted space and doesn’t fully print on a standard inkjet printer, but there is enough information to insert your iPad and use the display and typing mode.

The aura2

The aura2 envelopes your iPad entirely. To insert the iPad, a velcro tab is flipped that allows the iPad to easily slip into the luxurious, but a bit weighty, brushed blue metallic folio. Replace the velcro, snap two metallic snaps and you’re ready to go.

aura2 opened

Cutouts in the case allow full access to the camera, speaker, side, buttons, 30 pin power receptacle and everything else you would want to get to while cushioning and recessing the usable parts for protection. 

Open it up and the cover, sitting to the left, displays two ribs for the typing and display mode. A sewn in blue pocket provide space for a few business or credit cards. The cover can be folded behind the iPad to get it out of the way and there are two other modes that can be used.

Left Panel of aura2

The landscape display mode requires you to unsnap the spine and rest the screen on the lowest rib just above the card pocket. Doing so provides a good viewing angle perfect for viewing pictures, videos or some light button tapping. Unfortunately since it’s landscape only, it’s not my preference for reading which I only do in portrait mode. However, the aura2 in this mode is quite stable.

Landscape Mode

To enable the typing stand mode, once again the snaps come off the spine and the cover is folded under the iPad. A flap unfolds and sits right in front of the snaps providing a sturdy and fairly comfortable typing angle. You also have the option of folding the cover with the card holder over the iPad for, as the manual states — additional privacy — but the real virtue is that it can be used as a light shade. A light or sun shade is something that is sorely lacking in most cases and at least gives you a fighting chance of using your iPad outside on a sunny day. I like this feature.

Typing Mode with Sun Shade

Some Problems

When iSkin sent me one of these a about a month ago, they were advertising its sleep/wake cover for the new iPad and the iPad 2 as a feature. It didn’t work for me on my new iPad, and in fact the first one they sent didn’t sleep or wake on an iPad 2. I’ll chalk it up to a dud unit.

They did send me another one and changed their web site to state:

“Due to an inconsistency with the new magnet polarity in the new iPad (3rd Generation), the auto-sleep feature may not function on some units of the new iPad (3rd Gen.). The iPad 2 remains unaffected.”

The second unit I tested didn’t sleep or wake on my new iPad, but those functions worked fine on an iPad 2 just as iSkin said. If you have a new iPad, do not expect the sleep/wake function to work. Also don’t expect to get any use —outside of holding it in your hands— in portrait mode, which, unfortunately, I use about 80 percent of the time, but this is a personal preference. I also thought that the folio was too heavy adding a good deal of heft to your iPad. 

This folio might suit you like a glove if your use is different than mine and if you have an iPad 2, but for my purposes, although it’s amazingly well built and great looking, I can’t recommend it for the new iPad.

Product: aura2 for the new iPad and iPad 2

Company: iSkin

List Price: US$99.99

Pros:

It looks great, well made with great detail to fit and finish, provides sturdy protection, recessed openings in all the right places, a typing and display mode, made in soft elegant leather. A solid product for the iPad 2

Cons:

Only useful in landscape mode, a bit heavy, instructions should have been included, sleep/wake function doesn’t work for the new iPad. 

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