8 Things to Consider When Shopping for a 2021 iPad Pro 11 Folio

Updated: May 2021 -

When Apple launched the 2nd generation of their 11" tablet, they once again created confusion as to which folios and covers fit what models. While this article focuses on how to choose a 2021 iPad Pro 11-inch leather folio, the ideas presented can be applied to any leather tablet cover. 

In this piece we'll go "Behind the Design" and speak to MacCase Chief Creative Officer Michael Santoro about the top 8 things to consider when buying a protective cover for your Apple tablet.

Michael invented the Apple-specific case market in 1998. If you're looking for insight into what to look for in a 2020 or 2021 iPad Pro 11-inch folio, he's someone you'd want to ask. 


link to 1st generation ipad pro 11-inch leather folio


Shopping a 2020 or 2021 iPad Pro 11-inch Folio - What to Look For

JKD: Apple releases the new 2021 M1 11-inch Apple tablet and someone orders one. They are probably going to want to protect it in some way. What should they look for when shopping for a folio for their new 2021 11-inch iPad Pro?

MS: The first thing anyone might want to do it sit down and make a list of what they want in their folio or cover. Ask yourself what you need your case to do. The more time you spend on figuring out exactly what you want on the front end, the more successful and time efficient your search will be once you begin. 

JKD: Can you give us a list of what someone should look for when shopping for a new leather folio for 2021 iPad Pro 11-inch? What would be on your list? 

MS: Yes, that is a good question. Here's a list:

• Materials

• Protection

• Aesthetic Design

• Functionality

* The Company Behind the Folio

• Quality

• Value

All of these factors plus the "X" factor should go into analyzing any cover you're looking to purchase. 

For anyone looking for a quality iPad Pro 11 leather folio, the first thing you want consider is the materials. If you're going to pay for leather as opposed to "genuine imitation leather" or PVC, plastic, vinyl or vegan, make sure the hides are of quality. 

Look for full or top grain. You don't want a case made from bonded leather at a full grain price. If you see a leather cover and the price seems to good to be true, it's pro balky bonded leather. There are plenty of them out there.

All leathers are not created equal. They may all start out wrapped around a cow, but a lot can happen to them before they end up wrapped around your iPad. In the case of bonded leather, it actually doesn't start our wrapped around a cow. Well, at least not all of it. 

Bonded leather is made from scrap leather, scrap vinyl, polymers and fillers. It's ground up into a paste, smoothed out very thinly onto large tables to dry and then cut like any other fabric. Is it leather? It doesn't smell like it. It doesn't smell like anything really. Again, don't pay a full grain price for a bonded leather cover. 

Educate yourself. 

leather stacks

A Leather iPad Pro 11-inch Folio Needs to Protect

JKD: After materials, what else should someone look for?

MS: There are several things that can be put in the order that is most important to you. Let's start with the most basic. You're buying a cover to protect your Apple tablet. Ask yourself, how much protection do I need? What kind of protection to I need? 

Do you want a hard plastic case that can drop from 2 stories and survive? Do you need to professional level, leather folio that has excellent protection but hides it in a clever way? 

Do you work in a law office or on a construction site? Those environments will have different needs regarding protection. Choose a cover that will meet the protection needs of the environment you'll be moving through and spending time in. 

How does the folio you're looking at provide said protection? It is through the materials, the design itself or a combination of the two? What are some of the details that are specifically about providing protection? These are all good questions to ask. 

How the cover protects will often affect how it looks. If how the cover looks is important to you, than choose a design that is most appealing to you. The world you live in and the world you work in combined with your own personal sense of style will dictate the aesthetics of the cover you'd like. 

Again, someone who works in a law office will want a cover whose design works in that environment. So will the person working on a construction site. But those 2 designs are probably not going to be the same aesthetic design. If you're going for a leather folio, you'll be paying a bit more so the design should be at a certain level. 

What I mean by that is a relatively expensive leather model should not look like a child's toy or look like a child designed it. It should look like the professional iPad case that it is and have an air of luxury about it. 

If functionality is important, find the cover that does the most to meet your needs. If features are important, find the folio that has the features your looking for. Ask yourself if the cover will meet your needs on a functional level. If you need a place for the pencil make sure there is a provision to store the Apple pencil? 

Is there a place to store papers, some business cards or even the AC adapter? Maybe you care about those things, maybe you don't. The best leather iPad Pro 11-inch folio will be the one that checks all the boxes that are important to you.

link to the worlds best 11-inch ipad pro folios

Who Makes Your 2021 iPad Pro11 Cover?

JKD: Are there other things that someone should have on their list? 

MS: Yes, the company who's making the case is important. If you're buying a serious leather folio, it will not be cheap. The world is full of cheap covers for Apple tablets that no one stands behind because they won' last long. 

If you've been down that road, buying case after case, you know what I am talking about. If you're ready to move up, purchase a folio from a company that's been around a while.

How long have they been around? Have they designed products for Apple portables before? Or did they start last week? Is there a number to call to ask questions? Is there a number to call if I have a problem? If I call, does a human answer? If I send an email, do I get a quick response, or any response. All these things matter. 

Lastly, it's important to think about quality. Most people making leather goods try to do a good job. Again, you have products flooding in from China, made on speed lines claiming to be leather (they're not) and are absolute crap. These people are not trying to do a good job at all. 

A quality leather product will not be going for cheap on Amazon or eBay. People need to think about the value of their time. How much time do you spend buying one cheap cover after another because the quality is very low and they fall apart after a short time. 

Buying one excellent quality (and more relatively expensive) folio once is actually a better use of your time and a much better value in the long term. If you keep an Apple tablet for 3 years and are buying a new cover every 3 months, that's 9 covers!. Plus the time it took to find them. You'll never get that time back. How much is that worth to you? 

JKD: How does the leather 2020 or 2021 iPad Pro 11 Folio fit into the legacy of what MacCase has built over the last 10 years with the Premium Leather Collection?

MS: Over the years we have remained very committed to our design principles and the protection our covers provide. Our customer base has grown worldwide. This is for a reason. As much as I'd like to spend the time talking about that, I'd like to stay focused on helping someone choose the right case for them. 


Finding a Quality Leather iPad Pro 11 Folio

JKD: Your mentioned quality and value when looking for a cover. Can you speak to what people should be looking for when seeking a quality folio?

MS: This is a tough thing to describe because in many ways it's like art. What represents quality to one person might not to another. I think one thing that everyone can agree on is answering the question, did the product deliver on the promise?

When you spend $1500+ on an Apple tablet, you have high expectations. It better perform at the highest level and do everything you want it to near perfectly.  It's making a pretty substantial promise to you. 

With a $15 cover, you have to ask yourself what was the promise? What was the product promising to do? How long did you expect it to last? If you're expectations are low, but you invested a lot of time to come to that conclusion, ask yourself how much is your time worth?

When you spend $150+ on a professional leather folio, you have different expectations than you might for a $15 cover. That's to be expected. But the $150 cover should have a much higher expectation associated with it and it should deliver. It should make good on that promise in a way the $15 cover can only dream of. 

So what to look for? Look how the product is being presented. Is the website nicely designed? Would you buy an expensive luxury car if the dealer was a shambles? Read the text and features list. Are you saying, "yes", "yes" as you read through the features and description? This is a good sign. 

Ask yourself if you like the design. Does it work for you? Can you see yourself living with it? What about the price. I spoke about it before but when shopping online, price will probably be indicative of the overall quality and durability. 

Look for social proof. Rear the reviews. Ask someone who owns one. Talk to them about the ownership experience. Did that product deliver on the promise? Find out. Another way to do your due diligence is to call the company. Talk to someone who knows about the product, not an intern. 

Lastly, look at the long term. How long has the company been around. In this market, you will not last long if you're not delivering quality and value long term. This is important if you're looking a professional leather folio. 

Link to leather ipad cases

The "X" Factor of a 2021 iPad Pro 11 Cover

JKD: You mentioned the "X" factor as being part of what people should looking for. What does that mean? 

The "X" factor is what all the other things add up to: Your Experience. 

If all the things on the list are done to the best of their ability they should add up to something greater than the sum of the parts. If I tried to explain it in mathematical terms, it would be like saying 1+1 = 3. How can this be?

Because it's not math, it's poetry. The two things you are adding together are greater than 2. What the sum represents is your experience. I had a customer call and tell me the Folio he received was the best computer accessory he's ever owned. 

Not the best tablet cover, not the best iPad folio, not the best case. The best accessory of any kind for anything in tech he's ever owned. This was a guy who was in his 40's so he's been buying tech and computer accessories for over 2 decades. He's seen some stuff. 

When I asked him why he felt this way he didn't say it was the materials, or the details, or how a certain thing functioned. To be the best means to provide the best user experience. The best leather iPad Pro 11-inch folio should provide a user experience so great, the user can't even tell you why it's the best. They just know it is. That was his experience. 

That's the "X" factor. 

This is very, very hard to do. 

Apple 10.5 tablets

In Conclusion

JKD: Could you summarize the key points that someone who is looking for a quality iPad Pro 11 cover should look for? 

MS: Sure. And again, the oder of importance is dependent upon the priorities of the individual. Remember. while price is a good place to start, price is not an indicator of value. How the product meets your needs in the long term based on the price paid should determine the overall value. 

So the first question to ask after seeing the price, is what materials am I getting for my money? Is the price congruent with the materials used? On protection, how does the case protect? Will it protect in the environment I move through?

What does it look like? How important is this to me? For some people, design will make or break the purchase. For others, it's not that important. Figure out how important that is for you. 

What is the range of it's functionality? Does the cover do what you need it to do? If you have questions, call or write the company. What is that experience like? How were you treated? Was the person knowledgable? Did you hear a passion for the product in their voice? How long has the company been around?

Lastly, all of this due diligence should add up to a quality feeling about the product and company. I have already talked about value and then the "X" factor. With the "X" factor, that only comes into play after the purchase. What is your experience like? A good quality folio or cover will deliver on that promise. 

JKD: Once again, thank you for your time. 

MS: You're very welcome. 

If you found this article helpful or have a question, please leave a comment below. 

 "For a 2021 iPad Pro 11 Folio, these are the 8 things to look for..."

link to best ipad back covers 


Additional Posts on Similar Topics

How to Choose the Best Leather iPad Cover

What Size is My iPad?

How to Buy the Best Quality iPad Pro Case



Q: Will My 2020 iPad Case Fit My 2021 M1 iPad Pro?

A: Under most circumstances, yes. A case designed to fit the 2020 2nd generation 11-inch iPad Pro will fit or be compatible with the 2021 M1 11-inch iPad Pro. The changes to the 2021 model were internally based and did not directly affect the overall dimensions. 


Q: How do Folio cases work?

A: Folio cases work by securing your tablet inside a front and rear cover. Folios provide protection for the rear panel and screen face. Most Folios have a section of material along the binder edge that allows the case to open and close.


Q: What is a Folio case?

A: A Folio case is a book-like cover that a tablet computer is stored, transported and used in in order to provide protection for the rear panel and screen. Most Folio cases have a section of material along the left long axis that joins the front and rear covers like a book.


Q: What does Folio case mean?

A: When someone speaks about a folio case, they are referencing a type of tablet computer case. Unlike a sleeve style case, a folio case usually allows the tablet to be stored, transported and used while in the case. Most provide basic protection and can include a keyboard.


Jody K. Deane
by Jody K. Deane June 14, 2017


future Customer

future Customer said:

Trying to understand how the iPad Air 10.5 folio infinite viewing/typing angles work. Seems to me that the iPad would slip all the way flat without having ridges or something to stop/secure the angle chosen? I’m skeptical of the video? Please advise. Thanks!


jody said:

Future C-

The genius of our Folio design is choosing the right materials to do the right jobs.

The infinite viewing angle adjustability is achieved by using 2 materials in unison that create a great deal of surface friction. This surface friction prevents the slippage.

This advanced use of such materials negates the need for unsightly grooves or ridges found in so many inferior designs.

This type of innovation is found throughout our folio designs. Thank you for your question.

John S

John S said:

The folio cases look fantastic. Please let me know when you make one for the 2020 iPad Pro 11" with Magic Keyboard as I would like to order one.


Gloria said:

I ordered a leather case. With pockets for paper ,pens etc. I had to return it cause the rubber bands on corners held the off and on button down so I couldn’t shut it off. I liked it with all the compartments, great for class.
Hope someone comes up a design that won’t do that!


Jody said:

Gloria: It sounds like the case you ordered (which was not a MacCase, just to be clear) was poorly designed. MacCase Folios are designed and engineered by professionals with nearly 25 years of experience in keeping Apple portables safe. We’ve been around this long because our designs work.

If you’re looking for a folio style case with added functionality, be sure to check out our Folios with our Magnetic Accessory System. You can add options to carry the Apple pencil (or writing pen), papers, your charger and business cards. And I promise there are no rubber bands to mess things up! :-)

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