HEX Code Portfolio - a review

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by GerritV, May 18, 2012.

  1. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    See the case on the HEX website

    This is my first product review - so hopefully I do this right.
    Don't hesitate to ask questions, I can post pictures if needed.

    Unpack the box

    I am preparing for some good old leather smell when I unpack the Hex Code Folio.
    But right after the clean rectangular box slides out from it's clean rectangular cover, it's all about… rubber - right, it's the case's bottom shell.
    Oh well, this little sniff of Formula 1 will undoubtedly soon fade, but not so the wonderfull - in my case, black - leather with black stitches all around it. Can't wait for it to take over the odor.

    Many "front cover - iPad - back cover" cases have an open, layered view from the side, while the HEX is a moleskine-like rather boxy thing.
    I love it - the looks, as well as the allround protection of it. And last but not least, that wonderfull artisanal touch of the elastic - to firmly close the case. This thing has style.

    Since the front cover has some document pockets and card slots, it's thick and sturdy. It looks very trustworthy as the soon-to-be protection shield for the device inside.

    Install the iPad

    Installing the iPad couldn't be easier, and right away the sturdiness of the case is nicely compensated by the added weight of the iPad. Everything is nicely balanced. Only now, the bulbs on the front cover inside begin to make sense: they will hold the iPad into three viewing angles.
    By the way, once passed the most outward bulbs, don't hesitate to let the iPad come out even further over the rim of the front cover - and you'll get a nice typing angle.

    The case doesn't feature the automatic Wake/Sleep. I've read about many cases that do have it, and lead to unintentional On/Off switching. It's not a priority to me anyway.

    The cutouts in the rubber shell are all perfectly in place, nothing to add here. Except perhaps that they are slightly tapered and rounded. Very elegant indeed, and using p.e. the Wake/Sleep button or the Volume switch is therefor very confortable.
    While at these cutouts, I remember reading that HEX "did something with the sound". Well, they did - seems like they shaped this particular cutout perfectly. So the sound is indeed wonderfull, what an "ear for detail".

    I'm an architect, and I draw. My iPad has a few drawing apps, and I use a stylus. Of course, I want to store it in my HEX case, like they advertise it on the product video. So into the little elastic loop goes my Arctic Architect stylus, and down the front cover… only to come to a stop at about 30°. The stylus body is now squeezed against the left side of the iPad and prevents the front cover from closing all the way.
    OK, what if I were to lay the stylus loosely into that back canal without using the elastic? Aha, the cover goes down a little further, but still stays up at about 10°.

    Sure I can force the whole case to shut, but I don't want to push it - remember, there's an iPad in there.
    Not to mention, go and try to imagine the nasty bulb that now shows up on the outside of the back. Think "boy-with-banana-in-pants"…
    I think this is a design failure, and only the #1 feature that finally got me to choose the HEX over many others.
    So yes, I'm disappointed here.

    OK, the pros

    Quality leather, exquisite finish all around, highly detailed and flawless craftmanship.
    Good value for the money.
    High degree of protection, both by the rubber shell and the sturdy front cover.
    Storage inside for paper, business cards.
    Compatible with iPad 2 and the new iPad (3).

    and the cons

    Unlike the advert, it won't store a stylus or a pen.
    Probably not the slimmest case out there.
    No auto-wake-sleep function.
    Need to use the elastic to close the case.
  2. longdrive34 macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2012
    It mentions it has a custom angled speaker channel? Do you notice it pushing the sound more towards you while its in landscape in one of the viewing angles?
  3. GerritV thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    Here's a picture from the inside of the rubber shell, where you can hopefully see the channel in detail. The vertical side is perforated through and through.

    I'd say the iPad speaker is somewhat directed downwards (away from the user), but in the HEX case the sound is bouncing into this cavity and finds it's way through the perforation and exits from the vertical border - so indeed, inclining more towards the user.

    Perhaps it's the combination of all these things (rubber, cavity, sound angle), that makes for a really good, full and solid audio quality.

  4. longdrive34 macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2012
    Thanks for the reply. That is one of the things I dislike about the iPad, is how the sound is projected away from the user. This sounds like it helps, which is what I was looking for.
  5. serendip macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2008
    How is the case when holding it in portrait mode, does the cover fold all the way back and behind?

    From the photos on their site, it looks like the back remains covered, even when using the stand angles. Is that correct?

    Thank you!
  6. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    I like it.....still using my incipio flagship, but like the saddle leather version on the hex site
  7. GerritV thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    The case has a book mode where you can fold the front cover to the back. Please note:

    1. The central "hinge" of the case being two layers of good leather, it's not exactly folding thin like a sheet of paper. This leaves you with a small stroke at this side, which actually provides some kind of grip for your left hand while holding the device (see red arrow on picture below).
    2. At the same time, when laying the case on a table top, you get a bit of a typing angle. Not much though, and in time the leather may give in a little more. So let's not proclaim this workaround as the official HEX typing angle.
    3. While folding the case bookwise, you can use the elastic to fix the front cover 'round the back, keeping it from flapping around. It's easily manipulated really.
    4. When you're holding the case in your hand, you might even consider to slip your fingers underneath the elastic to secure the grip. But I'll be honest - the elastic is too tiny for that, and I'm sure not even designed for the job. But just in case you'd wonder...

    While using one of the stand positions, the back of the iPad remains covered indeed.
    Once the back cover folds outward to make for the stand support, the rubber shell is still there and keeps the iPad covered (see the part marked in red on picture below).

    I hope this answers your questions.



    The Flagship is gorgeous IMHO, but it's rather high-tech look is very different from the somewhat artisanal style of the HEX. To each his own ;-)
  8. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    Cases are never "either or" for me, like business suits, I have about five or six that I use and change out. Sometimes I like high-tech, sometimes more business formal, other times I use ones that travel better, etc...
  9. serendip macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2008
    This was great, and the photos really helped. Thank you so much! :D
  10. GerritV thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    Glad to be of help!

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