Guest review by Howard Nemerovski
Travel Kit Plus
Reasonably priced at $59.95, the soft but sturdy Incase Travel Kit Plus provides a faux-fur lined, separate zippered external drop-in pocket for the iPad. The main case unzips and opens like a book, displaying two large, zippered internal pockets, a third deeper pocket, closed with a full-width Velcro flap for the keyboard referred to below, and a pair of elastic straps suitable to secure cables.
The large pockets are designed to hold papers and personal items, plus a variety of iPad accessories, including a charger, a USB drive, earbuds, an Apple Wireless Keyboard, and a stand for the iPad with a charger cord management tab. (The stand is included at no additional cost).
The exterior is black, grained nylon. The case has a small side strap for carrying by hand, and it has a single small nylon loop that might accommodate a carrying strap. I asked the people at Incase if they plan to add a shoulder strap or a set of D-rings to facilitate carrying the case as a messenger bag or shoulder bag, but they said they have no such plans. That’s a mistake, and they should correct it fast.
It’s a very well-designed, well-made and highly useful product at a reasonable price. Its only fault is the lack of a shoulder strap or a set of D-rings, and the Incase management is too savvy to leave that problem unsolved.
MyMac Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Convertible Book Jacket for iPad
The Incase Convertible Book Jacket is similar in construction and function to the Marware Eco-Vue for iPad that I reviewed last July 27. The Convertible Book Jacket has a padded black leather-appearing exterior and interior that are designed to protect the case and screen of the iPad.
The Jacket provides a sturdy slip-sleeve to hold the iPad and uses a Velcro tab to keep it from slipping out. That tab is hidden from view and doesn’t distort the frame of the sleeve, in contrast to the Marware Eco-Vue referred to above. The sleeve’s slots and holes provide access to the various iPad controls and connectors. It uses the same type of elastic strap as the Marware Eco-Vue to hold the case shut, with the same uncertainty about the durable life of that strap.
The Convertible Book Jacket contains three alternate case-wide slots to contact and secure the edge of the base, permitting the user to select three different viewing and working positions for the iPad in landscape mode only. In composing this article, I am using the flattest of the three positions to hold my iPad at a moderately comfortable working angle. Even this flattest of the three screen positions may be too upright for some keyboard users than would be the flatter screen position available using the Marware Eco-Vue; on the other hand, the Marware Eco-Vue permits only one position for viewing and working on the iPad. Neither case provides a mechanism to tilt the iPad in portrait mode.
The Convertible Jacket presents a bulky left edge when in portrait mode that makes it unnecessarily difficult to hold the iPad. Also, in a surprisingly short period of usage, the outside of the Jacket has warped out of its original flat condition, preventing the expected close fit over the iPad screen and permitting the iPad to sway backward and forward as the screen is touched. The three case-wide slots inherently weaken the cover. I’m surprised more reviews don’t mention it. I read one that did, but the user was so happy with the case that it didn’t seem to matter. If I paid $60 for a case, it would matter.
The problems discussed above cause me to give the Incase Convertible Book Jacket only a mild recommendation and a MyMac Review Rating of 6 out of 10. Other user comments are more positive.