The £30 Apple iPad Case offers decent protection from small knocks and bumps and keeps the iPad away from spills and grime – except those on your fingers, of course.
However, all the dirt that the Apple case keeps off the iPad ends up on the case itself, and it quickly becomes pretty mucky itself. And it’s not so easy to wipe back to its original pristine self.
Built with faux leather the £49.95 Incase Convertible Book Jacket for iPad is easier to wipe clean, and so beats the Apple iPad Case on maintenance.
It’s also better than the Apple case for knock and bump protection, being sturdier with more padding.
The elastic closure that keeps the case covers tightly shut gives the Book Jacket the feel of a giant Moleskin notebook, and the whole effect is classy and professional. It's a bit like a giant Filofax.
Once opened the Book Jacket offers access to all the iPad’s ports and switches just like the Apple case. You can sync and charge the iPad while it’s in the sleeve, but it won’t fit in an iPad dock while inside (but that’s common with most iPad cases).
The really neat feature of the Incase Convertible Book Jacket is its built-in three-position convertible stand, enabled by simply folding back the cover and resting it in one of three interior grooves.
The third, almost 90-degree position is a little odd but the two softer angled positions offer comfortable viewing. In fact, I found the "hidden" fourth position almost best of all – with the cover in none of the grooves but just resting semi flat.
While these landscape viewing positions are marvellous the Book Jacket’s portrait orientation is again too upright at 90 degrees. Even holding the iPad upright in portrait mode is a little awkward.
Another benefit the Apple case has over the Incase model is its slimness, as the Convertible Book Jacket is as bulky as its name. If you want a slim case for your iPad this isn't it. However, this is the trade-off for having a nifty built-in stand and the case offering better protection.
The Sena Folio iPad case is a much slimmer, real-leather alternative but offers fewer viewing positions and is more expensive.
The Incase Convertible Book Jacket is available from the Apple Store
Until I find an iPad case with as great landscape viewing options in as professional a package as the Incase Convertible Book Jacket I’ll put up with its extra protective bulk.