There are iPad Air case that are minimalist, lightweight and designed for a benign environment. This case is not one of those. However, when it comes time to travel or move often between various offices with a complement of gear, and there's a requirement for serious protection, the Tavik Hemings Zipper Folio Case for iPad Air can do the job nicely.
This case is not designed to be particularly lightweight in order to preserve that airy feel of the iPad Air. Instead, it's a robust 14 oz. (382 grams), nylon, zippered folio case with room inside for papers, credit and business cards and even a pocket for a favorite pen or stylus.
The padding is sufficient that I'd feel comfortable traveling with it. The outer edge, nicely stitched, feels like it would protect the iPad Air well in a short fall.
The Hemings Zipper Folio case comes in black, "swell" (pale blue), gold, green, "grimes," grey, purple and red. It measures 10.5 x 7.75 x 1.0 inch (26.5 x 20 x 2.5 cm.)
I tucked the protective cover in a loop to show both sides at once.
- Full zippered edge.
- The zipper goes from bottom to top so the user can leave the last few centimeters open and attach a headphone jack.
- Several inner pockets. large and small, for papers and credit cards. Large pocket can hold slim headphones.
- Stylus or pen pocket in the spine.
- Microsuede divider to protect the iPad's display from items in the large side pocket.
- Anti-glare aperture for iPad's camera.
- Snap-in plastic shell to hold the iPad Air.
- Fold away flap allows for low angle typing. Front gutter allows for high angle video watching.
This case feels well-made and is clearly designed for the active business person, traveler or teacher. The zipper is of high quality and has a leather pull tab. This case is designed so that one can carry a lot of things in a secure, zippered case.
However, like many folio cases, the cover doesn't fold all the way around. That means that, in use, the cover will hang awkwardly out to the left. There's nothing that can be done about that in a design like this with ample padding and a spine pocket for a pen that prevent a complete fold around.
Low angle viewing mode.
I placed a pair of Apple EarPods in the large side pocket, but they made the case bulge noticeably, making it look odd, so one should probably stick to very small or low profile headphones.
The fold out flap and strap mechanism to hold the iPad in the low angle position is rather flimsy. Plus, the flap is rather rough in texture and does't feel or look that good.
I had my doubts about how well the microphone port would work when the iPad is nestled deeply and the zippered edge is in the way. I asked the developer about that, and they are still doing testing. I'll update when I hear more. Also, the inner plastic shell that holds the iPad AIr doesn't have a sound deflector at the botom like that of many modern iPad cases.
The nylon outer shell felt less than first-class. If Tavik were willing to go this far, then I would have liked to see leather used (or a leather option), even if it's faux-leather. Leather would add the ability to remain lint free add some style and, most importantly, feel better in the hand.
On the whole, the case is rugged and well designed. However, I felt the materials were not as nice as other cases that I've handled and reviewed, and the list of negatives got to be long.
Leather pull tab is nice. Items in side pocket should be thin.
The case was sent to me in a clear plastic bag because the product is so new, the packaging wasn't ready when it was shipped to me. However, Tavik says it will be properly packaged when sent to retailers. Currently, it is shipping from the website, and all colors are in stock.
Do I Recommend It?
I do with reservations. It's not rated a disappointing case; it's better than that. Given the features, the protection, the many pockets, the well thought out, sturdy zipper, the protective plastic snap-in shell and the price, this is a solid travel case for most anyone. But the list of negatives and the ordinary feel of the materials keeps it from being rated "great."