The Microshell Folio Case for the new iPad $59.99 from Marware is a very nice, useful and protective shell. It doesn’t add much bulk, weighing in at only 6.2 ounces, but being made out of tough polycarbonate, it does a great job of protecting your iPad. The case only comes in black right now, but Marware says that a silver colored model will ship some time this month.
MicroShell Folio Case for the New iPad
The design does everything the Apple Smart Cover does by protecting the screen and making full use of the sleep/wake function since the polarity of the magnets are correct. (That’s a reference to another case that had a problem with magnet polarity on the new iPad.) But it also gives you a hard back with two ridges that serve a dual purpose. Firstly the ridges keep your iPad off the ground protecting both the camera and the speaker. There are cut outs over the speaker section so you won’t lose any sound, In fact by raising the speaker a bit I found a slightly louder sound output when using the case.
The second purpose for the ridges are to act as backstops for the tri-fold front case, allowing you to fold back the front panels and stop them at the ridges. This gives you three possibilities of viewing and typing angles, all of which are quite solid, even on a slippery glass table. The foldable lid has three positions, either 120o, 150o or 165o.
The 120o Viewing Angle
Both the 120o and the 150o display angles are great for viewing in landscape mode. The 120o was a bit too straight up for my liking but everyone has different tastes.
150o Viewing Angle
The 150o angle was the one I liked best for viewing. When the iPad is rested on a table, it’s a nice angle to look down upon and this angle makes it easier to tap buttons than the straighter up 120o angle. Each of the three angles can be accomplished by a bit of rear folding origami of the the three hinged panels on the front. Of course, just like the Apple Smart Cover, the angles only work in landscape mode. I guess you can’t have everything.
165o Viewing/Typing Angle
The 165o format allows a typing angle that you might find a bit high, compared to laying the iPad flat. At first it seemed a bit steep, but it didn’t take but a few minutes for me to get quite comfortable with it.
Cut outs are all in the right places giving you free access to the charging port, headphone jack, volume and orientation/mute switch, microphone and the power switch. The design of the cutouts was designed with care affording just enough play to allow your fingers to properly use everything without cutting things too close and making the options hard to get at by feel. I just wish the front cover were ⅛-inch larger so it wouldn’t leave a very slight bit of the front of the iPad uncovered.
To install the iPad into the Microshell Folio Case, a manual sheet is provided, which is quite adequate but there is also a QR code on the box taking you to a video showing you exactly what to do and how to fold the cover for the viewing and typing angles. This was a very nice touch. You slide in the iPad and snap the corners into the case hearing a satisfying snap. This really secures the case to the iPad, and there is no chance of your expensive device falling out, even if you hold it by the front cover and shake it.
Would I Buy it?
Yes I would. The only thing that might give me pause is the price. $60 is quit a bit for a polycarbonate case, but the design is solid and the protection is admirable. The viewing angles are a nice addition over the Apple Smart Cover. I would like to see it sold for $10 less, but most iPad cases are overpriced and this one is one of the strongest and best designed one I’ve had the pleasure to come across yet.