LGND Hard Shell Convertible Case
Platforms: iPad 2-4
Price: $34.49 Get it Here
The LGND is a nubuck suede folio case with a hardshell back. It comes in four colours, red, pink, gray, and black. The case distinguishes itself from other folio cases with its unique origami style cover that provides a surface to prop the iPad up in two different viewing angles.
Installing the iPad into the LGND was extremely easy. The iPad simple snaps into the hard shell case where it is held into place by two lips running on the long sides of the iPad. The grip was perfectly balanced with holding the iPad tight with requiring herculean amount of strength to pry the iPad out of the case.
The LGND’s nubuck suede holds up to serious wear and tear decently. Through some extremely rough handling bouncing around in a backpack, I managed to break in the front cover. It emerged with some minor friction wear on one of the corners of the front folio, some stray threads on the edges of the case, and lines on the suede from where it was scratched. Although the lines were slightly darker than the rest of the suede, the blemish on the finish could be barely felt. Unfortunately, these lines are pretty common with suede materials, so if you are extremely religious about having your case hide every bump and scratch, the LGND may be a poor choice.
The front cover has magnets to activate the Smart Cover features of the iPad. The magnets in the cover are completely hidden. They are not noticeably poking out underneath the interior cover like some cheaply made cases. When closed, the cover aligns well with the iPad and does trigger the Smart Cover function unnecessarily.
The front cover folds with the help of several indentations on the cover to create a stand. It is held closed with the same magnets used to trigger the Smart Cover features of the iPad. This provides for a relatively stable platform for viewing and typing. The hands free viewing angle is perfect and for the most part stable. Its only weakness is an accidently push down and outwards can cause the magnets holding the origami fold together to disengage. Unfortunately, the typing angle was a little too steep for comfortable typing on the iPad. It was great for putting beside the breakfast cereal in the morning to catch up to the morning newspaper, but for regular typing I found myself propping the case on a thick book to make a more comfortable typing experience. My only other quibble with the origami folding system was every once in a while, I have to fix the fold or else one corner will fold in and the other will fold out. It’s an extremely minor annoyance, but when it does happen it interrupts the smooth movement to prop the case up.
The interior of the case is a soft microsuede material that Incipio uses for all their folio cases. It is a very fine suede material that is suitable for iPads without screen protectors. Short of catching some sort of grit between the cover and the screen, it should not scratch off the oleophobic coating used for the iPad. It feels a little sticky which will improve the grip on your iPad when having the folio cover completely opened.
The back is a hard plastic shell with most of the back covered in the same nubuck suede that covers the front of the case. The hard shell case has great coverage on the bottom of the case, even having an extra piece to protect the gap between the speaker and the bottom edge of the iPad. In contrast, the top of the harshell is completely open. There is one large cut out for the microphone, headphone jack, and power button. I found this choice to be curious considering the high level of protection on the bottom of the case. I would have preferred for separate cut outs for each part of the iPad on the top. However, this is a minor issue considering the corners, which are the most vulnerable to damage, are fully protected. It would require a good amount of terrible luck to drop the iPad at the perfect angle to hit the exposed portion. The cut out for the volume and mute switch is one large hole which is a good balance of size and protection. It does not interfere with the operation of those two functions. The camera hole does not interfere with the camera either.
Nubuck suede covers the whole back portion of the hard shell that comes in contact with a table when laid down. The suede further extends as a joint to the front cover. The coverage on the back adds a lot of scratch protection for the hard shell case. However, due to the grippy nature of nubuck suede, the case does not slide well when rested on a table. This could be a good or a bad thing, depending on your preference. I personally prefer a case that slides around easily because I have a habit of sliding my iPad into my bookshelf built into my headboard at night.
Size wise, the LGND is one of the slimmest iPad folio cases I have worked with. Due to the edges of the folio being glued down versus folded in and stitched shut, the profile is very thin and feels great in the hands. The materials used are light and will add very little noticeable weight to the iPad.
The LGND is a good case if you do not mind your case bearing the battle scars of life. Although the case holds up relatively well, it shows the wear and tear its experience rather obviously. The edges have minor fraying that appears as small threads and the nubuck suede clearly shows every ding and scratch that has ever touched it. However, after all the abuse, the case still held up. This case will put up with a large amount of wear and tear, but will look beaten. The design of the hard shell back is a little confusing; the bottom of the case is incredibly well protected while the top’s protection is a little anemic. However, overall the case provides excellent protection for the iPad. The angles provided with the case are fantastic for viewing, but most people will find it too steep for typing. Even with the noticeable battle scars, the LGND is probably one of my favourite cases for the iPad due to its excellent balance between its small size and the level of protection offered.
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