I’ve always been a sucker for quality leather cases and bags. I’ve owned and reviewed several over the years from high-quality brands like Vaja, Piel Frama, Pad and Quill and Twelve South. However, I never get tired of discovering new brands and products that I’ve never had the pleasure of trying out. I had just such an opportunity recently when a representative from Harber London reached out to see if I would be interested in reviewing one of their leather iPad cases.
As I looked at Harber London’s website, everything I saw and read made it clear that they know their stuff. The cases looked great, the presentation was professional and it was readily apparent that this company is legit. There was no way I was going to turn down this opportunity.
Initially, I selected the Carry-All iPad Folio in the Tan color option to review. Since I have the 12.9″ iPad Pro, I chose the Large size model, which comes in at 37.5 by 25.5 centimeters. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my homework and convert the sizing from metric to imperial units before ordering, as this comes out to a full 14.76 x 10 inches. While I was fully on board with getting an iPad Pro case with some extra room, this baby is actually big enough for my 15″ Lenovo Yoga C940 laptop. That’s a lot more than I bargained for.
All that said, this oversight was completely my fault, so I’m not going to hold the fact that the case is quite oversized for my iPad Pro against it or Harber. Just be aware that if you are ordering this case for a 12.9″ iPad Pro, the Medium sized version of the Folio is a more ideal fit unless you want a lot of extra room.
With that out of the way, now onto the good stuff. One of the great things about the Carry-All Folio is that it does offer more room than the average form-fitting iPad sleeve. Harber helps you take advantage of the room with some interior leather pockets. On one side of the case, there is a holder for the Apple Pencil or another writing implement, along with small pockets for a passport or small wallet.
On the other side, you have a general purpose leather pocket that’s perfect for charging brick and cable. You could also fit another small cable in there, as well. The best part about these pockets is that they are made from the same high quality leather as the exterior of the case. This exudes class and quality.
You also have plenty of room inside of the case to carry additional items along with your iPad. Whether it be papers, a book or two, a writing pad, or a small notebook, both the Medium and Large sizes give you enough extra legroom for more stuff.
Harber’s Folio is also the perfect bag for carrying an iPad that spends its time in a case. Two notable examples are Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio and their newer Magic Keyboard. There is still lots of room to spare inside the Folio when you use these or other iPad cases. Having a case on the iPad also allows you to carry other items loose in the Folio without worrying about scratching your tablet.
While we are still talking about the interior of the Folio, I wanted to point out the interesting material Harber chose here. The lining inside of the bag is wool felt.
It certainly isn’t the softest material in the world, but I still think it feels good in the hand. It also seems durable and should provide basic protection without scratching any surfaces.
And now for the star of the show- the exterior of Harber London’s Carry-All Folio.
From the moment that I pulled the bag out of its packaging, I could tell that this was a high-end leather accessory. The leather is soft but textured, which is exactly how I prefer it. The grain of the leather is easily visible but not over the top, adding detail and interest without being distracting. The stitching is even and clean throughout. The leather feels great in the hand. It’s just a very well put together product and I came away very impressed.
While the Black and Navy Blue options looked great online, I still prefer the more natural look of the Tan color. In my opinion, it shows off the natural beauty of the leather more than a darker color. It would be nice to have a one or two more “natural” looking leather options like red or darker brown, but I still really like this color.
The design of the Folio is as simple as it gets, with the only major landmarks being the large, heavy duty zipper and the embossed Harber London logo on the front of the case. The former looks quite durable and should insure a long life for this bag.
A high-quality leather bag or case costs real money and we should always expect maximum durability from expensive accessories. Only time will truly tell, but we are certainly off to a good start here. This zipper looks good and feels like it will last a long time.
I also like the embossed Harber London logo on the front of the Folio.
Embossed logos are the way to go with leather cases, in my book. This kind of branding doesn’t detract from the beauty of the material, which is the smart move. I also have to say that I appreciate it when a leather accessory maker understands the value of subtlety. When you have complete confidence in the quality of your products, you don’t need anything splashy for branding. You don’t even need an oversized embossed logo, or more than one across the exterior of the case. That one logo is all that’s required. People who appreciate fine leather cases will see this and appreciate it. Bravo, Harber.
The only real drawback that I found with Harber’s Carry-All Folio is that is doesn’t offer much padding. There isn’t anything superfluous here. This bag is nothing but the leather exterior with a thin wool felt interior. There isn’t any extra padding, so don’t expect a lot of built-in protection from drops or spills.
This thin and lightweight design will not be a drawback to all users. If you prefer a lightweight bag and you already have your iPad in a case, then Harber’s Folio may be just what you’re looking for. However, if you live or work in an environment where an everyday drop could spell real trouble, then this particular case may not be the best choice for you. Either way, this was really my only criticism of the Folio, but it is definitely subjective.
I came away from my time with Harber’s Carry-All Folio very impressed and eager to see more from them. This case is is a high-quality leather product that displays excellent workmanship. I can tell that Harber is among the best in the business when it comes to higher-end leather accessories and I hope to try out more of their gear in the future.
In the end, I don’t think the Folio is the right case for me, and even if it was, the Large definitely isn’t the right size. However, that doesn’t diminish what I think of it as a product at all. If you want a lightweight leather bag that will fit your iPad, with or without a case, along with some other items and accessories, then this is a great option. I only recommend that you do some measuring and make sure you choose the best size for your needs.
All that said, I will be looking further. I am preparing to send the Carry-All Folio back to Harber in exchange for a different case. While I love the leather and appreciate the design and construction, I don’t think I would get a lot of use out of it and it would be a shame for a great case to go to waste. I will return with another review of the case I get in exchange in a few weeks.