How to Buy the Best Quality iPad Pro Case (Expert Advice)
If Apple is going to do new hardware, MacCase will be looking to protect it. While being involved in the iPhone case market has proven to be an exercise in futility and financial suicide, we have found success in building some of the best leather iPad cases available. This will continue with cases for the Apple's newest tablet.
How Most iPad Pro Cases Are Designed
We are starting to get solicitations from Chinese suppliers for iPad Pro cases. They have the data set typically stolen from Apple's supplier and they create their sample cases off this data. The problem with the majority of these products is that they are engineered in the abstract but you use them in the concrete, in reality.
They're great when they first arrive but quickly deteriorate to the point where they are cracking, the fabric covers peel off and you are left with something headed for a landfill or your local recycling center.
After testing a few of these cases for a while, we have come to the conclusion that the problems are caused by poor engineering of the molded parts of the case. The molded parts are engineered and then molded in a non stressed state. Once you install them on the iPad Pro, the plastic is stressed with some areas under compression while other areas are under tension.
This never lets up as long as the cover is on the tablet. Over time the material gives way and the plastic begins to crack and fall apart. Of course as one areas fails, this puts even more stress on the other areas that remain, causing them to fail even faster. It's a downward spiral.
People buy these types of cases because they have been lulled into thinking putting the cheapest case you can find on the most expensive tablet computer made is a good idea. It's not. It's a bad one.
Recently a friend of mine asked what I thought of some "quality iPad Pro cases" she saw on ebay. They were Buy It Now offers for cases shipped to her door from China, for $10 a piece. "The shipping cost more than the case", I informed her. "But they're so pretty", she replied. She ordered both. These cases were the molded plastic type that clip onto the body of the iPad. The plastic was very thin and translucent. Both had covers that protected the screen as well.
20 days later the cases arrived and she was so happy. Yes they were pretty and initially they worked very well. About 2 weeks later I got a call from her frantically explaining that the corner of one of the cases had broken off. "I didn't drop it, I didn't do anything to it, it just cracked off!", she exclaimed.
I asked her how the other corners were holding up and as she was looking another corner fell off! Moreover, there were cracks in all the others as well as around each port and button. She was really disappointed. "How much did you pay for these again?", I asked. She got really quiet.
If you take the three pillars of product design: value, style and functionality, these cases proved to be a very poor value. Yes they were cheap to purchase but they were also cheaply made. Yes they had style, but for how long?
Any case should be designed to protect. That is the purpose of it's function. But if it falls apart so quickly it cannot protect and does not function. This is a shinning example of poor quality which resulted in a poor user experience.
How to Choose the Best Quality iPad Pro Case
The first way to insure you're choosing a good quality iPad pro case is not to choose a bad one. Like the story above, price will be a telltale sign of what your experience will be like and how well the case will work. At the opposite end of the spectrum from the plastic case above will be cases made by hand out of a material like leather.
With so many factories pumping our hundreds of thousands of iPad Pro cases, where do they all go? There are only so many store shelves. Sure, the virtual store shelves of online retail are endless, but with such over production, it always ends up as a race to the bottom. Shop smartly and avoid getting sucked down the drain during the race to the bottom.
Many of these low quality cases end up at your local discount store where they were sold as closeout items for pennies on the dollar. Many retailers have gotten burned and have grown very cautious about stocking an over abundance of case offerings.
Apple have put themselves on the same treadmill that Sony was on with their Walkmans thirty years ago and that Nike is still on with their sneakers. The product life cycle for the iPhone and iPads is so much shorter than for Apple's other portables, their MacBook Pro laptops.
The desktop computer life cycle seem downright glacial compared with the fruit fly cycle of the iPhone and tablet. This is one of the main reasons why making iPad Pro cases is such a mine field.
As the Apple's tablet enters yet another round of redesigns and next generations, I wonder if we will see a maturation of the market for protection solutions. Will tablet users grow tired of spending for low quality cases that seem fine out of the box, only to crack, peal, and fall apart a short time later, causing further spending to keep the tablets protected? This is what you want to be wary of.
I wonder if this time around some of the customers who have gotten burned trying to save a few bucks on cheap tablet cases will break from their past behavior. Will they realize that they purchased the most expensive computer tablet on earth? Do you really want to protect with the cheapest case you can find?
What's the old saying, penny wise and pouch foolish.
A Quality Case is Good Insurance
The thing that we suggest to many customers when they ask about our products is to think of the purchase as buying insurance. Apple products have some of the highest resale value in the tech space.
Certainly more than their PC competitors. If you purchase a quality case to product your Apple portable, you are almost guaranteed to receive a much higher price once it comes time to replace the tablet or laptop.
Because the hardware will look brand new. Just like with a car, a near new looking used car will always command a much higher price than one that looks worn, abused and tired.
Buying a quality case will insure your investment in Apple's latest tablet will be protected. So this time next year with you've got your eye on an Pro 3, you'll be able to get the maximum amount for your pristine Pro.
When reviewing your options in iPad Pro cases, think about the following:
Leather or manmade materials?
Speed line manufacturing or handmade?
What about features?
A secure place for the Apple Pencil?
Think about the features you'd like and how well they are integrated into the design of the cases your are considering. Just because a design claims to have a "pencil holder" doesn't necessarily mean it's well designed or integrated into the case with any real thought. Many manufacturers are just sewing an elastic loop to an outside seam and calling it a day. "Yeah, we got a pencil holder...". It might not be one you'd really want to use.
In "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" Robert Pirsig's seminal road trip tale, his main character is a man driven to the point of madness by trying to define what is quality. It's a deep thing, completely subjective and relative to most people.
I'm sure the people who made all those low quality iPad cases I mentioned above thought that they were making something of quality. Does anybody really go to work everyday and think, "Awesome, I'm going to make some junk today! Real crap. Oh my God this stuff is garbage! Can't wait to put more of it into the world!".
But each and every one of us has brought something at some point in our life that would fall into the junk, crap, and or garbage category if we were asked to describe it. Did we make that purchase knowing the product was "less than"? Or did we make that purchase thinking the product was "good quality" only to have it fall apart, break or somehow not meet our expectations?
Have High Expectations
MacCase has been making quality iPad Pro cases since there have been iPads. We make them one at a time, by hand using methods that are centuries old and combine that with state of the art technology where it will be the most beneficial. We love designing them and we love making them.
There is a joy in picking out the hides and seeing them cut. The people who assemble them do so with such great care and real passion for their work. It's inspiring to be around it.
Unfortunately all this passion, craft and art gets distilled down to an image on a monitor and a price next to that image. It's hard to sell quality online. So the price sets the expectation.
If someone spends $150 on one of our Premium Leather iPad Pro 10.5 Folio with Pencil holder, my guess is that their expectation of what this case will be like will be very high.
Last week I accompanied a friend who wanted to go look at Rolls Royces and Bentleys. Arguably, two of the highest quality "things" made by other humans. For the most part, the cars were exquisite examples of the modern coach builders art.
Yes, each one of the revered British marques is now owned by the Germans but the cars are, for the most part assembled in the UK with that attention to detail that the British do so well.
I was sitting in the 2 door Rolls Royce model called the Wraith. The interior was done in black leather and the instrument panel had a row of white stitches sewn horizontally across the very front edge. The white stitches ran across the glove box door on the passenger side.
The thing was, there was an offset between where the stitching was on the instrument panel and where it was on the glove box door. It was completely obvious that they didn't line up. Not even close.
I mentioned this to the salesman and he mentioned something about it being hand made. As if that was an excuse for them not lining up. How much was this car again? $300,000? For that money, my expectation of what this car should be is very high.
That is one of the best things about making real things and putting them into the world: When someone creates something to a certain standard of quality and that thing finds it's way to someone looking for that thing executed at a certain standard of quality, it's a wonderful exchange.
Keeping Good Company
Our Premium Leather iPad cases have found their way on to the desks of some of the world's most influential people. Producers and directors in the television and film industry, managers and musicians in the recording industry, executives in the real estate, advertising and legal professions, the list goes on. We're proud that so many people who are trying to do quality work themselves choose our Premium Leather iPad cases.
Were getting into the fall which means it's time for Apple to start talking about new stuff. This starts next week with the Siri event and will carry on, we think into October with some sort of iPad update.
So as the next round of iPads hits the shelves and the next round of cases springs forth from the Chinese factories looking for homes, think about how you want to spend your money to protect that perfect new Apple tablet.
I say this a lot to customers: You bought the most expensive tablet on the planet. Do you really want to protect it with a $10 case you bought on ebay? Really? People want an Apple tablet because….drumroll please…. it represents a certain level of quality.
Quality in the manufacture, in the design and in the user experience. This fall, look for quality iPad pro cases that match Apple's tablet in the quality of the manufacturing, design, and user experience. You will not be disappointed.
"Making the best quality iPad Pro case is what we do"