Waterfield iPad Smart Case Review

I’m starting to lose count of the reams of iPad cases that are slowly, but surely burying me under a mountain of silicone and leather, but it doesn’t stop me looking. Every once in a while something unique and really interesting comes along, and the Waterfield iPad Smart Case is one such example.

Many may be forgiven for thinking it just another basic slip case, but it’s ample padding, choice and placement of materials, toned down, earthy colours and high production quality make it something a little more special than first appearances might allude. Indeed, the iPad Smart Case is a fine example of something a bit different from the norm, expertly executed and carefully thought out.

I was sent the Flame Red variety to give a once over, it’s almost terracotta in colour but a little darker and is much more pleasing to the eye and far more neutral than the exciting and vibrant Ferrari red of the Vaja iVolution. Perfectly complimenting the toned down fabric of the front, back and bottom of the Smart Case are leather sides and a pull tab to help in the removal of the case from your iPad without applying too much pressure to your screen.

Despite the contrasting exterior materials, and the contrasting black interior, the Waterfield iPad Smart Case really focuses on simplicity and minimalism. It has almost no visible stitching and thus appears to be extremely well made and durable, in addition to separating itself even more clearly from your regular leather iPad case.

The effect of invisible stitching on the bottom edge is an interlocking pattern where the front and back panels of Flame Red fabric join. This effect, I think, is slightly detrimental to the look of the case, but many might consider it as much a valid aesthetic detail as the more traditional visible stitching.

The contrasting black interior is, in the designers own words, an Ultrasuede Scratch-Free Liner. It’s definitely soft, and it’ll not scratch the iPad itself, but any significant bit of dirt or grit working its way into this case could, as with most slip cases, be your iPad’s undoing.

The iPad Smart Case will add a lot of bulk to your tablet, but this bulk comes in the form of extremely ample padding both on the front, back, bottom and sides. The front and back of the case protrude just enough above the iPad to provide protection to the top edge, and the sides fall over an inch short of the front and back, allowing you to easily grasp and remove the iPad. It’s easy to be concerned about this exposed-top design, but the case seems ridged enough to afford the top of your iPad ample corner protection.

To round off an already brilliant slip case, the Waterfield iPad Smart Case comes with an elasticated mesh pocket into which you can fit a USB charging cable, MiFi, Bluetooth GPS and other small, slim things that you might want to carry about with your iPad. If you live in a country with sane mains plugs (unlike our three pin British monsters) then you’ll also be able to carry the mains adaptor, but the pocket definitely wont birth a UK plug without ruining the case.

In short, this is a great case, particularly if you like a simple design, lots of padding, earthy tones and slip case. I was warned that Waterfield produce premium quality cases with premium prices, but the $59 that the iPad Smart Case will set you back isn’t a patch on the prices of some high-end cases out there. It’s almost a designer bargain!