By Daniel Rasmus on Tue, 01/29/2013
Ten-97 has upped the game for iPad cases as far as I’m concerned. There 9701 series of leather and ballistic nylon cases provide a sense of luxury while offering very good protection for the iPad.
Ten-97 goes out of its way to differentiate from “pleather” cases “Made of genuine calfskin.” Underneath the well-stitched exterior lies what Ten-97 calls the P-TEK™ system of advanced layered-materials that further protects the iPad from impact. I haven’t subjected my iPad to the rigors that appear in Ten-97’s promotional videos (you can watch a particularly punishing one here) but I have felt its minor bumps or dips of concern while it wears the 9701.
I have evaluated a number of iPad cases, including full leather ones, but no case reminded me of a worn leather wallets, offered the well-appointed design of this case.
As for functionality, the iPad fits well, can be charged in the case and can still take pictures via a good sized opening in the top of the 9701 series case. The 9702, which is a zippered portfolio, does not allow for rear-facing images, but if unzipped, it does permit charging. Both cases include a stylus loop (on the 9701 only thinner styli work as the hinge doesn’t offer much room when closed).
The 9701 version, which comes in red or black leather, along with ballistic nylon, offers a unique fold out stand that positions the case well for video viewing. Although the case doesn’t come with a keyboard, I have used one with it several times and find the viewing angle well considered. The flip-out leather tab is out of the way when not being used, but once deployed from its Velcro closure, it stays put — better than most other built-in stands evaluated. The case doesn’t offer a keyboard input stand profile.
To secure the iPad, a leather tab fits into a loop on the cover. No snap or Velcro, but I haven’t experienced any issues with the case opening on its own—another feature, no doubt, of the strict design rules that make the 9701 not only attractive, but a solid iPad protective enclosure.
The 9702 folio, as mentioned above, places the iPad in a custom insert on the left side of the portfolio while providing a tablet of good-old paper on the right (separated by a couple of pen/stylus loops). The 9702 includes the same well-manufactured stitching as its cousin, with less ornamentation. It’s zipper is designed to heal itself, and the cases depth leaves plenty of room for documents and receipts.
Every case has its curb appeal and its audience. The Ten-97 cases will appeal to business people or anyone looking for a sophisticated case companion for their sophisticated device. Both cases add considerable depth and breadth to the thin iPad profile, but so do most cases that don’t snap directly onto the device. That depth and breadth offers a sumptuous, old-world feel while protecting the new-world iPad.
At $99.99 ($79.99 for the ballistic nylon 9701) these rather up-scale cases compete well with other case solutions for the iPad.
All Ten-97cases come with a limited lifetime warranty.
- 9701 Handcrafted Black/Red Leather Calfskin or 1680D Ballistic Nylon iPad Case
- 9702 Executive Zippered Pad Folio