gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

SENA Leather Folio iPad Case

With so very many folio-style iPad cases on the market at the moment, you might think manufacturers would lose all hope of grabbing their piece of the pie. SENA, however, have not only entered the iPad case fray, but they’ve done it in full force and produced a Folio case that combines the best of the competition into a single, polished whole.

SENA’s entry is sleek, sexy and sharply designed with every opening cut to an unparalleled level of precision and perfection, an inviting, softly-lined interior that effortlessly accepts the iPad, and a trio of satisfyingly snappy closures not only for the front cover, but to cleverly secure the iPad in and hold the stand closed too.

SENA have included all the trimmings, bar the ever-elusive-in-folio-cases portrait display mode, which I’m starting to become convinced is a feature nobody wants anyway. The stand is beautifully disguised as a wrap-around detail that starts at the flap which snaps shut over the front cover, and runs around the back of the case where it’s secured with a second popper before finally ending in a hinge right at the far left (or top) of the back cover. Like the Noreve case, this strip of leather is reinforced and held in place with a strip of ribbon, allowing it to open just far enough to become a comfortably angled stand for the iPad.

As is common with many leather iPad cases, folding the back cover behind the iPad affords a shallow desktop typing angle, the Folio is a little too shallow for my liking, however, and it’s clear that this isn’t designed in as a feature. A shame, as this is one of the SENA Folio’s weaknesses.

The other weakness is a lack of corner protection. This is a common problem in Folio style cases that I’ve only seen address in Oberon Design’s quite epic caes, where the leather of the front and back cover is so thick that it would absorb any shock to the corners or sides of the iPad long before it was translated into your precious gadget itself. The SENA iPad Folio is all exposed corners, however, which is a shame, because the edges are exceptionally well covered and the cut-outs for the dock, speaker , volume rocker and rotation lock are daringly small yet perfectly well aligned.

The soft velvet lining is delicate to the touch, and is a positively excessive and luxurious treatment for your iPad, which really isn’t going to scratch that easily. The clasp to secure the iPad loops through the edge of the case and clips shut, becoming part of the continuous strip that runs round the back of the case and becomes the clasp for the front cover. It’s all very elegant, very well thought out and very attractive. Concealing all of the functionality of the case in one simple, contiguous detail.

Finally, the inside of the case, which doesn’t offer the screen of your iPad the same luxurious velvet treatment, instead offers 4 credit card slots, and a little windowed ID card slot, in addition to a pocket for stuffing scraps of paper and other such nonsense. These don’t personally appeal to me, as I have no desire whatsoever to be the “guy who pulls out his iPad to retrieve a credit card” and, as I’ve said before, do not readily practise the dark art of handwriting, but they’re handy for keeping business (or Magic: The Gathering) cards at the ready. For those who care, the credit card slots are the perfect depth for securely holding a credit card without losing it into the depth of the case cover.

Actually getting a credit card into the slots the first time is quite a challenge, however, they seem to be exceptionally tight and need to be “broken in” before use. This does mean that they stay an unobtrusive detail if you never use them, however, rather than becoming dust traps.

Overall, this is a brilliant example of a folio case which, if you don’t mind the lack of portrait mode, the not-so-great desktop typing angle, and the missing corner protection, you’re bound to love for its clean design, near perfect fit and the really, really nice almost deep burgundy brown colour that’s clearly the best of the three colour choices: Black, Brown and Red.

Saturday, August 14th, 2010, iPad.