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Entries in Marware (3)

Already have a Smart Cover? Marware Microshell Covers Your Back

Earlier we posted about Marware's alternative to the Apple Smart Cover which also protected the back of the iPad. But what if you already have a Smart Cover and want to keep it but are worried about scratching the back of your iPad 2?

Marware is one of the accessory manufacturers beginning to release (for pre-order) covers just for the back of your iPad 2.

The Microshell iPad 2 Case is basically the back part of the Microshell Folio cover we mentioned earlier today with camera, buttons and port cutouts as you would expect. But notably this is designed to be used in conjunction with Apple's Smart Cover. It has a specially designed cut-out for the magnetic hinge of the Smart Cover as you can see on the left side of the picture below. 

A Mismatch?

The big problem we can see is that the colours do not match the Smart Covers. The Black is probably acceptable and perhaps the Silver but the Red and Pink definitely do not look like they are going to match and there isn't even a White Smart Cover available, maybe this one is meant to complement your White iPad 2?

What about the other colours that the Smart Cover comes in? Maybe Marware meant the colours to 'complement' a different coloured Smart Cover so that you can make a statement, we're not convinced though.

If you have an Apple Smart Cover already, what do you think? Does this kind of back protection appeal to you? And what about the colours? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

When the Smart Cover is Not Enough Marware Has You Covered

We like Apple's Smart Cover a lot, but for many the fact that it leaves the back of your iPad 2 completely exposed is not so great. For those that want the Smart Cover functionality but more protection Marware is soon to release their Microshell Folio for iPad 2.

This Microshell case includes magnets in the front cover so that it puts your iPad 2 to sleep and wakes it again as does the Smart Cover. It also emulates the foldable design of the Smart Cover so that you can prop up your iPad in horizontal or vertical format.

But it also includes a rubberised polycarbonate shell to protect the back of your iPad in an attempt to keep it free from scratches and knocks, thus preserving its resell value (let's be honest, that's probably what you are concerned about too).

The back cover obviously has a cut out for the camera and allows access to the top and side buttons plus the dock so it can be charged/synced without removing the cover.  

From what we can tell, it looks like you have to use both parts together, so this only good for people who want to permanently cover their iPad 2 completely whilst using this case but you can always pop the iPad out when you need to. The disadvantage to this is that you can't then stand your iPad 2 up to watch video or type on a flat surface, but for hand holding the iPad this would be fine, until the kids get hold of it.

It is currently advertised in Black only, but one of the UK suppliers also has it in Silver or Pink for pre-order on their site, so we think new colours will be released soon.

What do you think? Would this sway you from getting one of Apple's Smart Covers? Or are you regretting your Smart Cover purchase? Let us know in the comments.

Guest Post: I rest my case, in search of an iPad case…

Today we have a special Guest Post from Paul Westlake, a Photographer and iPad user we have followed on Twitter and Facebook for a while now. Paul has just taken delivery of the Marware Eco-Vue iPad case, so we asked him if he would let us know what he thought of it. Paul's review, posted on his Tumblr, has been reproduced below with his kind permission.  Over to you Paul... 

I rest my case, in search of an iPad case

As lovely a design as the iPad is, from the first time I took it out of the box, I knew I would need to protect it in some way…

Not just from the inevitable bumps and knocks when putting it down, but with two over-eager sub-6 year olds wanting to play with Dad’s ‘Big iPhone’ 24/7 I knew that I needed some sort of case to offer my pride and joy a little extra protection.

Both the Apple Store and PC had a very small range of cases at first - The majority of which were slip-in envelope style cases, which were fine for transporting the iPad from one location to the next, but offered zero protection when in use.

I wanted something that would protect the device both in transit and also when in use.

After a little searching, and some very positive reviews, I decided to go for an Eco-Vue for iPad case from Marware - However, it seemed like I wasn’t the only one, as finding one in stock in the UK (I believe they are also on back-order in the US) was next to impossible.

Logo

Amazon had them available for pre-order, so I placed an order with them (my ‘Prime’ account means that postage was free). The lead time was initially 4-5 weeks, which then moved back to 8 weeks at one point (although it actually arrived yesterday which was 5 weeks in the end). I paid £29 for mine, I see today they are available for £34.99

Compared to the Apple iPad Case

I knew I couldn’t wait 5 weeks with no protection, so I bought Apple’s case whist I was waiting for the Eco-Vue to arrive - As it turns out, this gave me an excellent ‘benchmark’ item to compare the Marware with.

The comparison between the two is like night and day… Remember that BOTH cases retail for £30 (although some Amazon marketplace sellers are selling the Marware for £55 + delivery, so be aware!).

I never really loved the Apple case to be honest - I thought the edges were not very well finished, I hated the fact that the cover material looked filthy all the time (a baby wipe cleans it up well by the way), but it was very slim, protected the back on the iPad, and made typing much easier.

Open Case

Then the Eco-Vue arrived… Wow!

I am very much quality oriented, so paying a few £s more for a product doesn’t bother me if the quality of the product warrants it - As it turns out, the Marware WASN’T extra over the Apple Case.

The feeling of ‘quality’ is really important to me - I am using the iPad to show potential Wedding clients my Photo Portfolio… Having the iPad in a tatty (dirty) looking case doesn’t portray the initial impression I am after.

The Eco-Vue portrays a feeling of ‘Class and Quality’ - That’ll do for me!

The case has a very solid, durable feel to it and the workmanship is fantastic - From the initial embossed logo and stitching on the ‘sustainable’ leather exterior to the lovely ‘suede effect’ internals.

It is a really nicely engineered case -  It’s fit is absolutely PERFECT. All the ports are accessible without even a hint of poor fit.

Ports

The iPad itself slips into the case from the top - It is then held in place by folding a strap over the top, which slips down behind the iPad.

I must admit I was sceptical as to how this would stop the device falling out it you tipped it on it’s end, but when testing (holding it upside down and shaking it!), I have seen no movement at all.

As a ‘belt and braces’ measure I have added a bit of velco to the inside of the case where the strap meets it - Perfect.

It is the little details that give you the impression that this was designed by someone who actually thought about how it would be used, (which is not always the case) for example;

The kick-out stand to raise the iPad for typing is ‘held’ in place when not needed by magnets - nice touch.

Stand

The addition of an elastic strap that you put your hand through when using in portraits mode - Gives you far more confidence that you aren’t going to drop the iPad.

Strap

As you can tell, I am more than happy with the case so far…

The case is ‘strong’ enough to support the iPad in Portrait and Landscape modes, which makes it great as a photo frame and for watching movies:

Portrait

Landscape

What would I change?

I wish it had a small pocket in which you could place a micro-fiber cleaning cloth or business cards, but that is a VERY minor thing.

It does add a fair bit of weight to the iPad - Personally I don’t mind this all that much, but should be something you should think about if you are considering the case.

When fitted, the case is about 1/3 thicker than the Apple Case - This does obviously offer more protection, but also makes the iPad look far more ‘bulky’.

Bottom line, if you want a perfect fitting, beautiful leather case that shows off your iPad to the fullest, this is the way to go.

For the same £30 you will spend on Apple’s own case, I think it is a no-brainer… I would even go as far to say even when I factor in buying the Apple Case as a ‘for now’ solution (essentially meaning the Marware has cost me £60), it would be worth it.

I know a number of resellers say they will have stock from the start of August - I suggest you get yourself on a waiting list now. 

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Paul is a Bedford based Professional Wedding/Portrait Photographer and Apple nut.

His background is working as a Training Consultant, which taught him how to deal with the most difficult part of being a Photographer... Influencing people with absolutely no authority!

We recommend you check out Paul's Professional portfolio at SmugMug but he posts some great photos on Flickr too.  You can also check out Paul's blog here.