This is a quick look at a simple, exceptionally thin and
unobtrusive sleeve case we here at PCSTATS recently bought for the Apple iPad2 with
Now before I came across the Waterfield iPad Suede Jacket Sleeve Case that's
the subject of this review, a couple good hours were devoted to
browsing page after page of after market Apple iPad sleeve cases - there's a
lot of them out there. Rather annoyingly, most of these cases were
too bulky or thick for our needs, too silicon-rubbery, badly designed or as ugly as
a recycled scuba suit.
Isn't this always the case when you need the technological equivalent of "the
little black dress" for your high tech gear?
Anyway, we required something soft, thin and preferably black to protect an Apple
iPad2 which had been laser engraved from scuff marks.
Since the iPad2 would be travelling around in a computer bag with
everything else, padding wasn't a requirement but thinness was.
Enter the Waterfield iPad Suede Jacket; a slim sleeve
case made by SFBags out of San Francisco from the synthetic material Ultrasuede.
The Suede Jacket comes in a couple variations, each designed to fit the original
Apple iPad, iPad2 or iPad2 with Smart Cover. An optional outside pocket can be
tacked on, but this didn't fit our needs.
Waterfield iPad Suede
Jacket Sleeve Case
Waterfield's iPad Suede Jacket is essentially one
10" x 7.5" x 0.5" pocket made from a single piece of the slightly elastic
Ultrasuede material. Three 1.5" x 3/8" flush pull tabs are sewn to the edges of
this pocket to aid insertion and removal of the iPad2 device. Two tabs are
located on either side of the sleeve opening at the top, one pull tab at the
bottom center for removal.
One of the side tabs (there are two) to help slip the
sleeve cover on an iPad2.
The bottom tab to help remove the iPad2 from the Suede
Jacket sleeve case.
The black Ultrasuede material feels like the material
used on the underside of the Apple iPad Smart Cover and can
even be used to clean fingerprints off the screen. It's a soft material, but it's not
Ease of Use
The Waterfield Suede Jacket slips over the hinges of the Apple Smart
Cover and fits snugly so there's no chance of the iPad from sliding out if
accidentally held upside down. Without the Smart Cover installed, this particular
sleeve is roomy enough that the iPad will slide free of the sleeve, so be
mindful of this if you remove the Smart Cover and slip the iPad into the
Waterfield Suede Jacket sleeve. Waterfield offer another model made more snugly
for bare iPad / iPad2's.
To use the Waterfield Suede Jacket, slip the sleeve case
over the bottom of the iPad2 about 1/3rd of the way up, then re-positioning the
iPad2 against your stomach and using both hands, grip the pull tabs on either
side of the opening and pull the sleeve all the way up. When fully in, the
sleeve is about a 1/2" taller than the iPad2.
Grip from both sides and pull the cover back to slip the
To free the iPad2 from the Suede Jacket, grip the bottom
pull tab and the top of the iPad2, then pull apart. The Suede Jacket pulls free
with just enough resistance that you don't have to worry about the case coming
Bottom extraction pull tab.
Because these sleeve cases fit like a glove, the
key is to choose the right case for the model of iPad, or iPad2 + Smart Cover
you own. The Ultrasuade material isn't an elastic mesh, but it will stretch
a little beyond its at rest size to accommodate you. In other words, if we'd
have ordered the Waterfield case to fit the iPad2 + Smart Cover, but decided not
to use the Apple Smart Cover, the sleeve case would be just a touch too large.
We picked the sleeve case made for the iPad2+Smart Cover -
it fits like a glove.
For those that need to know, the synthetic
Ultrasuede material is a little over 1/32" thick. The sleeve contains no padding, it
simply offers abrasion protection. Altogether the Suede Jacket sleeve case, iPad2 + Smart Cover
assembly measures ~0.5" thick, so the sleeve case adds ~1/16" to the overall
I'm not sure what the water repellant qualities of Ultrasuede are, but after
spilling a bit of water on the case it seemed to be somewhat hydrophobic (water
resistant). Waterfields's iPad Suede Jacket is made in San Francisco and retails for $19 (with pocket: $25) via SFbags.com. The company was started started 13 years ago by Gary
Waterfield, a former bicycle courier.
The Waterfield iPad Suede Jacket sleeve case was
chosen specifically to protect this iPad2 and
its laser engraved aluminum back from scuff
There are many Apple case products on the market these days, but for
our requirements the Waterfield Suede Jacket sleeve case is just the right mix
of cost ($19), abrasion protection and sophisticated simplicity. Best of all, I know
their gear is well constructed and holds up. Recommended for anyone who totes
their iPad along in an existing laptop bag or laptop-partioned
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