There are two kinds of iPad case. Utility cases, which add a keyboard, or prop the thing up, or stick the iPad to the fridge with magnets. And case cases, which do little more than cover and protect your tablet, hopefully in a stylish manner.
The Lacambra case, from leather bag supremo Cristina Lacambra, manages to be both. The canvas-lined leather sleeves are all business, with a splash of glamour — zipper-closing folios with plenty of pockets for business cards and even the camera connection kit.
But a new update brings a few utility-style features to the brightly-colored cases.
Lacambra gave me a case to review, and I made a few suggestions. Maybe it could have a hole so you can reach the volume controls, I said. And Cristina wondered if the case should stand up for movie watching and typing, like the Smart Cover.
v2.0 has the volume hole, and a rather inventive solution to propping the thing up. The cases — leather and lined with canvas — now come with a leather strap and a canvas widget. The widget is like a miniature Smart Cover, folding over on itself to make a Toblerone-like triangular tube. This wedges inside the open case and props it up for typing purposes. When not in use, you can stow it in an internal pocket.
The strap is even cleverer, and once you have gotten used to it, easy to deploy. The case now has magnets under its skin, and the strap has them too. Thus, you let it click into place when the case is propped up and the whole thing holds together like a big letter “A.” It works better than you’d think.
What I like most is that you can just leave these parts at home. In fact, the case is roomy enough to fit your Smart Cover in there, too, so you could always just use that for typing and movie watching. Thusly, the Lacambra case manages to be simple, and yet can be extended with these add-ons.
There are a couple things to watch for if you decide on one of these cases. The first is that the retention straps come very, very close to the screen edges, which might make you feel cramped. The second is that there is no magnet to lock and unlock the iPad 2 when it opens and closes. Cristina says that they had trouble making it work consistently, and so left it out.
Finally, the quality is great. The case is one of the best made I have tried. Whether you want it is down to your tastes, then, and you don’t have to pick the shocking pink shown here. You can even choose boring black.
The Lacambra case is available now, for €125/$174. Photos on the site should be updated soon to reflect the new design.