Product Review: Hands On With Incase Notebook Case
If you have listened to any of the recent episodes of our podcast or visited this site after April 3, 2010 you know that I am the proud owner of an Apple iPad. You also know that i have an addiction to accessorizing my peripherals and the iPad is no exception, I've used two cases for my lil buddy from the same company and would like to share my experience with you now.
Before I start this review with this disclosure: I love Incase products. The "easy out" for me would be to blame my affliction on the time I spent working at Apple Retail, but I'm not an easy kind of gal so the simple fact is I dig Incases's style. I have owned several of their slider cases for iPhone and have two of their bags designed for laptop computers. When I can come up with an excuse to get one of their new messenger bags I will probably buy one much to the chagrin of my husband. I wanted to get all that nice stuff out of the way, because I'm about to slam the he'll out of their newly released notebook style case for the iPad.
I had been researching iPad cases shortly after the device was announced. I knew I was going to take this thing everywhere with me and that protecting my iPad from the ills of the world from it's delivery date was a high priority for me. I knew I did not want just any old rubberized pice of crap on my baby. What ever I purchased had to protect the back from scratches, the front needed it's glass shielded and it would have to offer some kind of kickstand option. The bonus would be to get all these features in one option that looked like something and not like ass. This is when I cam across the Incase Convertible Book Case for iPad.
First, the attraction
The case is made out of leather and is styled after a Moleskine notebook so it does not look or feel cheap. It's stitching is strong and barely noticeable most of the time and unlike the "notebook" case that Apple themselves created and sells, this case has four total viewable angles to offer its owner. The notebook lid has an area with three depressions in it that allow you to alter your current viewing angle quickly and when reversing the lid you gain the lowest degree angle for typing comfort (which I use to do most of my lengthy typing adventures on the iPad.)
This case has style. With its looks, the Incase Convertible Book Case aesthetically pleases both the business professional and the hipster alike. It is well padded as well so those who travel with their iPads will feel at ease chucking it (with love) in their backpacks, messenger bags and the like knowing their beloved net-buddy is comfortable and the Incase logo on the "binding" of the book is a nice touch.
The inevitable divorce
After the lust and love are gone, if there is no substance love is lost and this is where I am now. This case would be a slam-dunk for mobile iPad users if it actually worked. The slots cut out of the leather case that are meant to expose the dock connector slot, your volume and screen rotation buttons as well as the microphone and headphone jack simply do not line up properly with the device... no matter which orientation that you use it with. I find myself shoving the little corner flap back so I can get my headphones plugged in properly and worrying about the stress the case puts on the jack while it's the hole and the same can be said for the dock connector slot.
The multiple viewing angles this case offered was the main reason I purchased it over Apple's case, and those don't work properly either. The high angle works just fine as does the angle you get when you flip the lid over, but the other two angles fail miserably. Either the wells are not deep enough, the lip of the case that is supposed to catch in it is too short to stick, or the iPad is just to heavy but the damned thing just won't stay up when I try to use those wells. It just slips to the table like I fall on the couch after a long day at work. On the odd days where I can get the case to catch in the middle well, the iPad itself starts slipping out of the case itself as the edge with the lip that is to catch in the well is also the open edge that you slip your iPad into the case to begin with.
If this case had been $30 I may not be so upset but the Convertible Book Case will set you back $59.95 plus shipping, and with a price tag like that, and new notebook and even book style cases for the iPad hitting store shelves more and more today, Incase should really address these issues in this case before they get left behind. I wish I could recommend this case. I want to be able to recommend this case, but I really can't.
Beauty without function is just a waste, and buying this case at this time would be a waste of $60. Save your cash, and buy Alan Wake next week.
You can peep some pictures of the case in action here