The Tech 21 Impact Leather Folio for Samsung Galaxy Tab review is similar to Samsung's own Leather Book Case, comprising a leather wallet that opens like a book, offering protection and access to the touchscreen.
Both benefit from D3O - a shock absorbing polymer material - in spines that stiffen the case without adding to the bulk.
In fact, Tech 21 (the exclusive supplier of D3O-equipped cases in the UK) also makes the official case for Samsung.
The Tech 21 case is nicely designed, with holes over connectivity points and the camera lens. By folding back the cover you can set up the tab in landscape mode as a monitor, for watching movies or using with a keyboard. The clasp-free design of the Tech 21 case works beautifully, without affecting the overall look.
But whereas Samsung's own case (currently £30.61 from Tesco, for instance) has a leather buckle to keep the cover in place over the screen, the Tech 21 has none. If you hold the device up horizontally, it flaps open. This isn't a problem when you drop the Tab – the device has a catlike tendency to land with the case closed – but it allows dirt to get at the screen. Over several months with the Samsung case, our Samsung Galaxy Tab's screen rarely got dusty. With the Tech 21 case in tandem, it's a regular occurrence.
And yet we choose the Tech 21 over the Samsung-branded case. Simply, it's noticeably slimmer (and 4g lighter). The benefit of a 7in tablet device over, say, the 9.7in-screen Apple iPad 2, is that it slips into your suit pocket. With the Samsung case we never felt comfortable doing this, and we used to take the Galaxy Tab out of its case to use it.
The Tech 21 Impact Leather Folio for Samsung Galaxy Tab is more snug and slim, and also wins by opening to the left, like a book.
When we used the Tech 21 case over a month or so, a small amount of the trim started to fall away. You could cut it away, but it was a small imperfection.