Switcheasy’s exec folio case in Review – A pretty and uniquely thin case for the new iPad / iPad 2

iPad cases are a dime a dozen and finding the perfect one for your precious iPad is no easy task. Personally, I’d been content with simply using the Smart Cover with my new iPad while at home (and the ZaggFolio with Keyboard case when traveling). Well that was until I’d carelessly dropped the iPad while picking it up, no thanks to the magnetic cover that detaches itself just a bit too easily. Thankfully, the screen didn’t crack, though it did get several visible scratches. Needless to say, it was time for a real case, one that provides enough protection and functionality, yet looks sexy at the same time. Meet Switcheasy’s exec iPad case.

In the box

The exec for iPad 2/ new iPad comes quite fully loaded to keep your device protected. Here’s what you’ll find in the package:

  • One exec for the new iPad
  • One anti-static Screen Guard
  • One Microfiber Wipe
  • One Squeegee for Screen Guard application
  • Two Headphone Jack Protectors
  • Two 30 Pin Connector Protectors

Most cases don’t come bundled with a screen protector (which can go for $20 or more), so it’s definitely a bonus to have it included.

Design

Switcheasy’s exec is a folio styled case made of textured polyurethane material on a matted finish outer shell. It’s water resistant, shock absorbent and provides a nice feel and grip when held. Meanwhile, the inner frame is made of microfibre to protect both the iPad’s back and glass screen and houses a hard plastic frame that holds the iPad in place.

As for its design, Switcheasy calls the exec the thinnest folio on the market. While I can’t vouch for this claim, I certainly got the impression that it was indeed thin the first time I picked it up. At only a quarter of an inch thick, it’s the slimmest folio case I’ve tried to date. According to the company, this is achieved thanks to the (patent pending) latch design that utilizes a snap frame, instead of a traditional full plastic shell (more on this later). And as with many cases nowadays, the exec supports the On/Off feature that wakes your iPad up when opened, and puts it to sleep when closed. These very magnets found within the front cover also help it stay closed against the iPad screen.

Using the exec

The most unique feature found in the exec is the aforementioned snap frame, which helps give the case such a thin profile. It quite literally is just a frame that surrounds the iPad’s sides. To insert the iPad into the frame, there are several ways about it, though the easiest method I’ve found is to snap the right side of the iPad/frame together first (where sleep and volumn buttons are located). With one half of the iPad in place, simply push the rest into left side of the frame until the edges are flush.

Once secured, you’ll find the appropriate cutouts for the earphone jack, microphone hole, sleep/volumn buttons, the dock connector and a grill for the bottom right speaker. A pair of headphone jack and 30 pin connector protectors can be used to help keep the dust out.

To make use of the exec’s generous five viewing angles, you first need to unsnap the left half of the iPad from the frame. This is achieved by pushing down on a protruding lever that’s part of the left frame. Now bend the back of the folding case and slide the iPad’s edge towards one of the five mircofibre grooves on the inner-front cover. This method of propping up the iPad is very similar to the one found in the ZaggFolio, and while it works well for the most part, I did find that it was rather difficult popping the iPad in/out from the left frame initially. Thankfully, after several days of use, the edges of the case softened up just enough so that subsequent snapping motions became significantly easier (yet it still holds the iPad securely in place when both sides are snapped in).

And like many Folio cases on the market, the exec works as a stand only in horizontal mode. For most, this probably won’t be an issue. As for the screen protector that comes packaged with the case, it works well – you can hardly tell that one has been applied, though you’ll definitely notice the fingerprints.

As for those who plan on typing a whole lot using the iPad’s virtual keyboard, the one downer is that the case doesn’t provide a dedicated angle for typing. You can technically place a small object between the front and back sides of the case when opened up for a make-shift keyboard angle, but that’s a step that shouldn’t really be required.

Final Thoughts

With the exec, SwitchEasy has made an iPad case with an executive feel to it. It’s slim profile and ridged outer polyurethane shell make it extremely pleasant to hold and handle, the magnetic cover works flawlessly, and as an actual folio case, it provides the iPad with ample protection. It’s not perfect and has a few drawbacks, like the lack of a typing angle and initial difficulty in popping out the iPad from the left frame.

At $60, it’s priced higher than the run-of-the-mill folio case, but bare in mind that it’s also thinner than most and comes bundle with a screen protector. It’s been several weeks since I started using the exec and already it has become one of my favorite folio-styled cases. And with the recent accidental dropping of my iPad (which Apple has graciously replaced for me), you can bet that the Smart Cover won’t be replacing my exec case any time soon.

grab

App Summary
Product:exec iPad 2/3 CaseManufacturer:Switcheasy
MSRP Price:$59.99
  • Slim profile
  • Magnetic cover works flawlessly for sleep/wake
  • Includes screen protector
  • iPad held securely in case
  • Multiple grooves for viewing angles
  • No typing angle
  • Slightly difficult to pop iPad in/out of case during initial use
  • Screen protector a magnet for finger prints
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