iPad Case: Marware Eco-Vue for iPad in Review – ain’t no flower girl

If the iPad was a perfect device, a lean-to would have been magically embedded into its smooth backside. Instead, it is almost perfect and we, the heavy-walleted consumers, have to shell out for lean-to’s and keyboards for typing, cases, and other accessories of all sorts to protect its polished posterior. Ever faithful case manufacturer, Marware, have adopted the ‘leather’ Kindle Eco-Vue case for the iPad to help typing, presenting, travelling iPad users part with their money in the confidence that their metal investment is safe and sound.

The Eco-Vue is the typical clamshell design seen in the myriad day planners that litter the globe. Inside and out isn’t a shred of real leather, but good ol’ counterfeit-cowhide graces the back, sandwiching thick, forbidding cardboard walls. Soft velvety pseudo-suede lines the innermost sanctum. Your iPad slides nicely in into the Eco-Vue and out again in just a couple of seconds and all of its ports remain uncluttered no matter how hard you cram it into the Eco-Vue. Of course, the corners and top remain free of all protection, but what’re a few scratches in the face of pseudo-leather and Marware’s non-exclusive grey-on-grey aesthetic?

strapped in 'tight'! but not tight like a Moleskin

If you own a Toshiba, Dell, or Samsung laptop, you’ll feel right at home with Marware’s daily planner design that pays all of 5¢ homage to Apple’s slim and sleek iPad. Laying 55$ down for the Eco-Vue may be quick, but it won’t be painless. Marware send the design team to the dogs and tax you for it. Want something good-looking? Check out the homemade felt iPad case: ぞうのハナコ (The Elephant Flower Girl). Sandwiched between the cardboard and ‘leather’, your iPad will disappear in the Eco-Vue; it more than doubles its edge thickness. Again, Toshiba and Dell users, you’ll feel right at home.

On a more sour note, the Eco-Vue’s thickness impedes typing despite sporting a lean-to. Propped up for a day’s work, the iPad’s typing height grows 2-3x its original spec. This stretch makes long typing painfully reminiscent of acutely angled desktop keyboards, the sort that give out free passes to the Carpal Tunnel. Along the way, the flanged lip that aggressively hugs the outer rim of the iPad gets gets in the way of thumbs and can account for up to 50% of typing mistakes.

But if you weren’t sure about spending 55$ on cardboard and synthetic leather, I’m sure my last point will help you pass on. Given a couple of weeks of real-world use: typing, travelling, cramming, and showing off, your Eco-Vue will begin to show sumo-sized stretch marks. Its counterfeit cowhide inner holster loops up, allowing the iPad to slip comfortably out in a hurry and unexpectedly, providing very little protection anymore. Had I reviewed this case in the first week I had it, I’d probably have given it a TAP rating, but the Eco-Vue won’t stand up to the rigours of real iPad use.

Of course, design oversight, pragmatic misses, and unnecessary thickness aside, the Eco-Vue isn’t a bad case. If you don’t to use the iPad for anything productive, the Eco-Vue does offer decent protection – at first; and it can be propped up for landscape movies. For the odd email and web-address, it is perfectly okay. Marware, it seems, got the message: the iPad is for the consumer, not the creator.

The only thing is that I disagree. Since getting the oft’ maligned Apple iPad Case, my productivity levels have soared, my typing errors have dropped, and I’ve been able to comfortably cram my iPad into my camera case for a shoot. The iPad CAN be a great aide to productivity. But, Marware’s Eco-Vue isn’t up to the task. Besides lacklustre looks, the Marware Eco-Vue doesn’t really boast a lot. It doesn’t protect as well as a true book cover case, it isn’t good for typing, it isn’t slim, and I can almost guarantee that if you actually USE your iPad, it’ll last 2 months at most. And surprise surprise, the magnetic latch inside the lean-to plays hussy with the iPad’s gyroscope. For those with Toshiba and Dell computers, the Marware’s slovenly grace may work out just fine. Me, I’ll be kicking it with Apple’s tyre of a case. Ho hum.

iPad Accessory Summary
Title: Marware Eco-Vue for iPad Developer: Marware
Reviewed Ver: Eco-Vue for iPad Materials: pleather and cardboard
Price: 54.99$ MSRP
  • functional lean-to
  • strap holds iPad ‘in’
  • durability < 2 months
  • it grows!
  • Dell/Toshiba stylin’!
  • 100% synthetic


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