Oct 24, 2011, 11:20 PM
I'm dying to know even first impressions. Spendy, but the typing mode looks awesome.
Oct 25, 2011, 06:08 PM
I ordered the Aura2 case for iPad 2 one week ago and it arrived today.
First, please note: if you "like" iSkin's page on Facebook, you'll get a 15% off coupon good for your entire order. I ordered the aura2 ($100) and two iphone 4 cases, so the 15% really made a huge difference.
Here are my impressions of the aura2, in case they might be helpful.
The materials are indeed high quality, and the case is attractive in person as in the photos at iskin.com. The brushed aluminum looks different from leather, but it is similar to and as nice as fine leather. The stitching is quite good, better than on cheaper cases I've seen. I would say the color of the case in the photos at iskin.com is pretty accurate (at least on my monitor).
The aura2 case weighs about 8.5 ounces. My previous case weighed only 2-3 ounces (a very thin leather case), so I definitely notice the added heft.
I would describe the case as having 4 main parts (securely attached to each other). First, there's the main part of the case: the back, which is a kind of envelope into which you slide the ipad2. Your ipad is secured into this part by a 1" narrow flap that securely closes with velcro.
Then there's the front cover, which has pockets on the inside for business or credit cards and slips of paper, such as memos. (They say the front cover is shielded to protect your credit card information; I nonetheless urge you NOT to store your credit cards in your ipad case!) Inside the front cover there are also two vertical ridges that are supposed to hold the ipad at two different viewing angles. These ridges don't stick out very far, and as a result, the ipad can easily slip out of the desired viewing angle. That's a minor annoyance.
The third part of the case is a piece of black material that looks like ballistic nylon that you might find on luggage. (Well, black on the outside, grey microfiber on the inside to match the inside front cover.) Though, it's a finer version of ballistic nylon, it looks good, and complements the look of the whole case. This black material connects the main part of the case (the back which holds the ipad) to the front cover. It's like the hinge of a book (for lack of a better way to describe it). It does not run along the entire left edge of the case; it starts about 1/2" from the top and goes to about 1/2" from the bottom. It flexes a lot. As a result, the front cover may not always line up perfectly with the main/bottom part of the case, especially when the front cover is completely folded around the back, like when you might be reading a book on the ipad. This is a minor annoyance to me.
The fourth piece of the case is a hard flap that normally folds flat against the back of the case, between the back of the case and the black ballistic nylon piece that connects the back/main to the front cover. This hard flap sticks out about an inch when extended, and runs vertically near the left side of the ipad (when in portrait orientation) or near the back side when in landscape orientation for typing. The purpose of this hard flap is to prop up the ipad for typing. You know how some USB keyboards lie flat on your desk, but have little feet on the back that you can fold down so that your keyboard will be at a more comfortable typing angle? That's what this flap does. When not needed, it lies flat against the back of the case, but underneath the black ballistic cloth piece, and neatly out of sight.
In typing mode, as shown in the iskin pictures, the front cover becomes what iskin calls a privacy shield. However, it only shields your screen from the view of people directly across from you, not people to your sides, such as strangers you're seated next to on a flight. So, this feature is of limited value, in my opinion. However, this shield also blocks sunlight from your screen, making the screen easier to see in bright daylight (provided the sunlight is coming from across from you, not from your sides).
When the case is closed (or open in whatever position), the camera and all ports are accessible, though the volume rocker switch and mute switch are hard to reach, hard but not impossible. Another minor annoyance. Remember that 1" flap secured by velcro that holds your ipad in place in the bottom/main part of the case? When the case is closed, that flap is cleverly positioned in the spine of the case, so there is absolutely zero chance your ipad will fall out of the case. (Besides, that 1" flap has a very secure velcro closure, which I'm sure will continue to be secure for years.) When the case is completely closed, the four corners of the ipad are somewhat exposed, but they are recessed, so even if you drop the ipad it's unlikely there will be direct impact to the corners.
The build quality is very good, for the most part. That iSkin emblem is slightly cheap looking (even if it weren't bent).
I really don't like how tentatively the case holds your ipad at your desired viewing angle - just a tiny bump and the ipad will slide to a lower viewing angle. Not great if you're laying in bed with the ipad on your lap or tummy.
I'm not crazy about the privacy shield. And the weight, I'm still getting used to the weight.
Maybe I'm being picky. I've seen a lot of cases, and this one looks and feels nicer than most. But then, this one costs $100. If it cost $50, I'd say get it in a heartbeat. For $100, I'm not so sure.
But maybe most cases have their own little quirks.
So, I still need to think about whether I want to keep it.
p.s. - sorry about the long length of this post, i'm not good at being concise. i hope for a few of you the extra detail is helpful.
Oct 26, 2011, 12:36 AM
I also got the aura iPhone case in navy blue, because from the is kin website it seemed like a matching item, I thought it would be cool to have matching cases for my idevices.
I am definitely returning the aura iPhone case. First, the blue is a different shade than the iPad case, it definitely looks different. Second, the sides of the aura iPhone case do not extend past the display, so if you lay the phone flat, front side down, it will be laying on the glass. Other cases have a slight lip that sticks out over the display, which offers some protection for the display.
(I know there's a separate item for iphone cases, sorry, but I posted this here in case anyone who is getting this case is considering the "matching" iphone case.)
Oct 26, 2011, 01:31 PM
drat. I had high hopes that they'd go all out to make a superior case (especially at this price point).
@roncron–thanks for your rather detailed review!!
Oct 27, 2011, 11:35 AM
this is a review of the Aura for iPhone 4(S): http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1264369
Oct 27, 2011, 02:59 PM
In the review I posted above a couple days ago, I said I was leaning toward returning the Aura2 case. One reason was that it seemed significantly heavier than my previous case. This was based on my subjective impression. I decided to obtain more objective information, which turns out to be different than I thought. I'll share it here, in case it might help someone make a more informed purchase decision about this expensive case.
Prior to purchase, I emailed iskin customer service and asked about the weight. They said 8.5 ounces. Now that I have the case in hand, I weighed it on an accurate scale and it weights 10.4 ounces. (Maybe the person who emailed me the 8.5 ounce figure was thinking about one of their other cases?)
My previous iPad 2 case, the Pyrus Electronics thin leather case (marked Yoobao, $30-40 at Amazon) weighs 7 ounces.
Therefore, the Aura doesn't weigh too much more than my previous case, though it looks a lot nicer and offers more protection and somewhat more functionality.
The other case I was considering instead of the Aura2 was the switcheasy canvas, which gets glowing reviews on the web and from many of you folks here at this forum. (There is a very long thread devoted to this case). While the switcheasy canvas case looks excellent for me in almost every way, I was concerned about the weight. I emailed switcheasy and asked how much it weighs, they replied back "1.5 ounces" and raved about how light this excellent case is. I quickly wrote back and said "1.5? Are you sure you didn't mean 15 ounces?" They replied "1.5". That's crazy.
In the long item here at macrumors on the switcheasy canvas, a few of you who own it reported that it indeed weighs around 14 ounces.
(What is it with case manufacturers misrepresenting the weight of their cases??)
The weight difference between the Aura2 and switcheasy canvas is therefore enough to make me inclined to keep the Aura2.
But then, I already have the Aura2; I'm liking the asthestics more and more, and disliking the prospect of packaging it up and taking it to the post office to ship it back. (I work 70 hours a week, like many of you, and I'd rather spend my free time on macrumors or playing with my ipad than waiting in lines at the P.O.) If I didn't already have the Aura2, I might be more inclined toward the switcheasy, because it's a lot less expensive than aura and has a lot of other positives.