Review: JAVOedge Charcoal Axis Case for iPad

The JAVOedge Charcoal Axis ($40) is a stylish, fabric-covered iPad case whose killer feature is that, as a stand, it supports holding the iPad in both landscape and portrait orientation. But it’s also not without some big flaws, namely a bulky, awkward shape that makes it uncomfortable to hold in normal tablet use. The case is ultimately a series of tradeoffs, but useful for those who primarily use the iPad on desks and tables.

Javoedge Axis in portrait orientation.

JAVOedge Axis in landscape.

The most compelling feature of the Axis case is that, when used as a stand, the rear part of the case can rotate 360 degrees, creating horizontal and vertical views for the iPad’s screen. To create the stand, the case’s front cover has three rectangular ridges of rubber on the inside that allow you to tilt the iPad at 6 total angles—3 for landscape and 3 for portrait.

The Axis is made out three separate materials. The cover is a gray tweed-like fabric that is visually appealing. The inner part of the back cover that the iPad snaps into is made out of a cheap, hard black plastic—basically it’s a plastic snap case with a cover attached to it. Covering the back of that is a fake black leather material, which feels pleasant to the touch thanks to a buttery soft leather texture.

Other than the nice fabric covering, the case has some dubious build quality. The hard plastic interior displayed evidence of poor machine cutting with jagged edges and dangling plastic strings. And the rear cover gathered quite a few serious dents during our few weeks of testing.

But our biggest complaint about the Axis is that it’s uncomfortable to hold, especially in normal, two-handed tablet situations. Because of the pivoting rear, the two sections of the case move separately from one another, giving it a floppy feeling if the two sections aren’t held together tightly. When the front cover is pinned to its back, the case has an awkward feel thanks to its thickness, ridges for the stand, and unpleasant dry felt interior.

In terms of style, the case is quite impressive from the front, with its stylish gray fabric. It looks great closed and sitting on the table. But the back has an awkward look due to the strange angles created by the pivot point where the front and back covers intersect. If you’re not a fan of the gray fabric, the case is available in 10 other patterns, including 3 sports themes.

The case has a magnetic tab that holds the iPad closed, but tends to get in the way when not in use. When the front of the case is folded all the way back for normal tablet mode, the tongue can be tucked inside to help hold the two pieces together, but a small section of it still sticks out. When using the case as a stand, the tab simply sticks up like a disinterested dog’s ear.

The magnetic clasp can get in the way when not in use.

In the area of protection, the case is above average. The two layers of hard plastic and fake leather that combine to form the rear cover offer excellent shock absorption. And if the case is closed, the front cover’s fabric cover offers full protection. The only weakness is when the case is open with the front pinned back, as there is little to protect the front screen if dropped on that side.

The case offers excellent accessibility to all the iPad’s ports and buttons. It has large openings for the volume rocker, orientation-lock switch, USB port, speakers, sleep switch, 3G/Wifi Radio, headphone jack, and microphone. The case does not cover the iPad’s bezel at all, so there is no interference with the iPad’s light sensor that some cases unfortunately provide.

The part that holds the iPad is cheap, poorly cut plastic.

Jagged edges show poor build quality.


The JAVOedge Charcoal Axis ($40) case’s killer feature is that it doubles as a stand that supports both portrait and landscape orientation, a still rare feature for iPad cases. But for common two-handed usage, the case is merely average, as it feels awkward and bulky to hold. If your primary usage for the iPad is propping it up for viewing on tables and desks, we can highly recommend this case, as it’s the best toward that purpose we’ve seen yet. But, if you’re like most iPad users and carry the iPad from room to room while using it, it’s an average, sometimes awkward-to-hold case. We rate it a 7.5 out of 10, recommended.

Make sure to check out all of our iPad Case Reviews.


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