We’ve come across some intriguing cheap generic iPad cases available online, and so far have been surprised at their quaility, especially in light of how much others are charging. Now we’ve found another, a case we’ll have to call Generic iPad Case #2 ($8) that was too good a bargain to pass up. Yes, we paid $8 for Generic #2 (it has a list price of $40, but we suspect it’s on permanent sale), which is cheaper than most iPhone cases. But can an iPad case this cheap be any good? Read on, my friends, read on.
Generic iPad Case #2 is made from a faux leather material similar to vinyl. Its surface has a soft texture and is pleasant to hold, with plenty of padding beneath its surface. The case has a professional portfolio design that will blend in at the office or school, camouflaging the iPad from scornful luddites.
But lets get the negatives out of the way. The case has only one major flaw we frowned at: a loose inner frame that covers the iPad’s bezel and surrounds the screen. This part of the case sticks up a few centimeters from the screen and is prone to bending and warping, giving that part of the case a cheap floppy look. The good news is that it doesn’t interfere with using the iPad.
The screen-bezel section of the case also covers the iPad’s light sensor, which is used to dim the screen’s backlight in certain lighting conditions and helps conserve energy. Covering the sensor did not have any noticeable effect we could note on the iPad’s performance, and we don’t think it’s a problem.
Our favorite feature of the case (other than the price) is that it doubles as a stand. On the back of the case is what looks like the stand of a picture frame. The stand is magnetized, so it will stick to the bottom of the the case when not in use. When in use, it can hold the iPad at several angles thanks to a series of ridges on the front side of the case. The design is surprisingly sturdy—we could tap and type on the iPad with medium pressure and not worry about tipping it over.
The case has a few design touches that, while not spectacular, add to the overall functionality of the case. First is a button clasp on the outside that helps keep the case closed. It can also be used when the case is open by folding the front cover under the back cover and snapping the button so the front doesn’t flop about. There are also two small magnets on the inner sides of the case that help keep it closed. The magnets seem redundant with the button, but they’re nice for moments when you’re in a rush.
Inside the case are three pockets. One pocket is big enough to hold small notes or credit cards, but not much else. Two small pockets at the bottom seem designed to hold pens, but we couldn’t close the case with a pen inside the pockets. We not sure how much use the pockets will be, but they’re there if you need them.
The case offers good protection thanks to its padding and overall good coverage. The iPad is sure to survive if dropped inside the case. The corners and edges of the iPad are tucked away well inside the case, protecting them from taking on any impact.
In terms of style, the case has a generic professional look to it. The matte black color won’t attract any stares, but for some, that may be a good thing. The visible stitching around the edges gives it a genuine leather look (even though its not), and there is a subtle sheen also reminiscent of leather. It should fool anyone taking a casual glance.
What we’re calling the Generic iPad Case #2 ($8) is a professional-looking case that, while not the best constructed case we’ve seen, gets the job done at a price lower than most iPhone cases. Only a loose-fitting inner frame and average looks and design caused us to deduct points. If you need an iPad case but don’t want to spend much, you could do a lot worse. We recommend the case with a rating of 7.2 out of 10.