A vast selection of attractive and innovative cases are available to carry and protect your iPad, but virtually all of them hide the tablet’s good looks. That can be a good thing from a security perspective in some circumstances, but there are times when you would like to show your iPad off. The subject of this review is different. It’s a new iPad case from LapWorks released on January 16 that, instead of hiding the device, highlights and shows off the iPad’s industrial design from all sides, while encasing it for protection against bumps and bruises inevitably sustained with a mobile device in transit.
The LapWorks Crystal iPad Folio is essentially two contoured, clear, polycarbonate panels hinged together to open clamshell-fashion like a notebook, or close like a book to encase the iPad, with aperture cutouts for access to the tablet’s ports and controls.
Incidentally, while LapWorks makes no specific claim, no doubt prudently, it looks as if the Crystal iPad Folio case has been designed to accommodate any likely changes or additions in port positions with the iPad 2, which if it turns out to be the case, enhances the folio’s long-term value.
The Folio’s hinge can also be rotated 360° on a stainless steel pin, allowing the Crystal iPad folios top panel to rotate 180° and become a support arm that holds the iPad upright in either landscape or portrait orientation for comfortable viewing or use with an external keyboard.
Additionally, the Folio’s top panel can be folded completely flat against the bottom panel to permit uninhibited access to the touchscreen while the iPad is used in table or desktop mode.
There are four silicone pads on each panel respectively to protect them and the support surface from scuffing and scratching.
A pair of clip-action latches secure the two Folio halves in either closed or folded-back mode, but also allow instant, low effort opening and closing in either mode.
The latch clips and a pad on the Folio’s front edge are also coated with a rubbery material to do the same when the unit is in upright (stand) mode.
Speaking of that rubbery coating, the Crystal iPad Folio’s hinges are coated with the same traction-enhancing texture to provide a more secure grip on the encased unit then you get with the somewhat slippery bare iPad.
Polycarbonate plastic is the same material used in the white Apple MacBook’s molded enclosure, and is highly shattered–resistant, notwithstanding the thin section of the polio’s panels.
Our preproduction test unit was flawlessly clear, arriving protected by clear, self–adhesive protective shielding. You can see the level of transparency in this shot where the texture of the photo drop cloth is visible through the open lid.
The two case panels fit together neatly, and the hinges and latches worked smoothly and felt sturdy. The Folio is covered by a six-month warranty against manufacturing, materials and construction defects.
Offered at an introductory price of $39.95, the clever LapWorks Crystal iPad Folio serves dual-duty as an iPad case and stand, and should provide years of service, while keeping your tablet both protected and on display.
The Crystal iPad folio case/stand is available from the LapWorks website at: