Incase Convertible Book Jacket for iPad

A peculiarity about owning devices is that we buy them partly because they are small and portable, but then we make them larger and bulkier to keep them safe.

The iPad is a sturdy device, more so than a MacBook Pro, I wager, because it has no external and few internal moving parts. There are no hinges, clasps, hard drives, or dvd players to stop opening, grabbing, spinning, or scanning. It’s just a pretty slab of aluminum and glass that wakes up almost instantly at the touch of a button, ready to do its digital duty.

The problem is that you’ll want to protect it, and in doing so you ruin its beauty.

Any case you put on your iPad diminishes it in both function and aesthetics. Take one of those neoprene covers, for example; to protect the iPad they must have thickness. If it’s thick then it adds bulk, making your sleek tablet chubby in all the wrong places. Hardshell cases are thinner than the neoprene models, but they tend to cheapen the classy brushed aluminum look, replacing it with colorful plastic. A slipcover case hides the iPad and you have to remove the device from the case to use it, thus negating the protection of the case.

Then there are the “clamshell” cases. These are the ones that fully encase your iPad and have a hinged cover to protect the glass screen. While these cases arguably do the best job of keeping your iPad safe, they also conceal your iPad the most, and add the most bulk.

Since it looks like we’re going to pad out our devices anyway we may as well get the best case we can. Unfortunately, the Incase Convertible Book Jacket for iPad doesn’t quite fit the bill.

At first glance the Incase Jacket looks like it should do a better than average job of protecting my iPad. The covering panels are thick and leather-like, it provides good corner and edge protection, every part that touches my iPad is covered with a felt-like cloth material, and when my iPad is in it the case makes the device feel even more substantive than it already does. Add to that the convenience of a built-in stand and you have a case that appears to be just what the doctor ordered.

Using the case for a week, however, revealed at least one glaring problem: My iPad tends to slide out of the case when in use. This is especially noticeable while using the case as a landscape stand. As you can see in the photo, the side of my iPad is peeking out of the bottom. Fortunately, in this setup, only the very edge of the screen is covered. It becomes a real problem when I’m playing games. I’m not sure why it happens, but after about five minutes of play my iPad is far enough out of the case that the side of the screen is covered enough to interfere with gameplay, and I must push it back in. If that wasn’t bad enough, because the iPad is not fully seated, all of the port openings in the case are off center and you have to push the device back in to plug in headsets or the sync cable.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Picard’s jersey would often ride up while he sat. When he stood he would use both hands and tug the jersey into its proper place. The Captain performed this tug so often that it became known as “The Picard Maneuver.” Such adjustments add depth to TV characters, but in real life it can be more than a little aggravating. Such is the case with the Incase Jacket.

The bulk of the case doesn’t help matters much either as I am now holding a device almost twice as thick and noticeably heavier.

It’s annoying, and for the sixty dollar asking price I shouldn’t have to keep shoving my iPad back in the case no matter what the situation.

The Incase Convertible Book Jacket for iPad looks good and does a good job of protecting your iPad, but in the end the added bulk and the insecure hold it has on my iPad diminishes it enough to where I can just barely Recommend* it.

Review ItemIncase Convertible Book Jacket for iPad
ManufacturerInCase Designs

List Price


Street Price

US$59.95

US$47.95 (Amazon)

Minimum Requirements

iPad

* Note: My rating system goes like this:

  • Get it Now! - Highest rating and an absolute must-have
  • Highly recommend - Minor flaws, but a great product
  • Recommend - Flawed, but still a solid product
  • So-so - Problem product that may find a niche market
  • Avoid - Why did they bother making it? A money waster.