Every iPad since the original has had a SwitchEasy Canvas case, a series of folio designs that hit their apex back in 2013 with an uber-protective version for the original iPad mini. The formula’s always the same: a canvas lid and mostly canvas back, plus a plastic iPad-holding shell and a fabric lining. SwitchEasy always tosses in some goodies to sweeten the package, too, including screen film and a cleaning cloth. There aren’t many surprises, but a Canvas case is always a good case.
Arriving at a time when iPad Air 2 cases are still scarce, Canvas for iPad Air 2 ($50) doesn’t stray far from the formula. With an MSRP nearly $30 lower than Apple’s $79 iPad Air 2 Smart Case, it’s available in three color options, each with the standard three materials, and does a nice job of protecting Apple’s latest tablet. Read on for additional photos and details.
This version of Canvas follows the design cues of the second-generation iPad mini case, which dropped somber red, green, and brown color options in favor of brighter green and blue tones, retaining a black version. Although there’s no side or top button coverage, which has been missing since its brief (but welcome) introduction in the original iPad mini case, so much of the iPad Air 2 is covered that the omissions aren’t fatal to the design.
SwitchEasy continues to include screen film, a cleaning cloth, and a bubble-removing card in the package. Given that the folio-style design covers the entire iPad Air 2 screen when it’s not in use, you needn’t apply the screen film at all, but it’s there if you want additional protection.
While this is the first Canvas to drop port covers from the package, there’s not a lot of surface area exposed thanks to the tailor-made rear plastic shell. Precision holes align well with the ports, buttons, speakers, camera, and microphones.
Continuing prior designs, the front lid and part of the rear chassis fold open to create a platform for multiple video viewing angles. By combining the soft but grippy fabric inner lining and the plastic iPad shell, Canvas keeps the iPad Air quite stable regardless of the angle you pick. Additionally, magnets inside the lid automatically unlock and lock the display, this time with ample reinforcement to prevent accidental activations and deactivations of the screen, though no clasp to completely hold the lid closed.
If you’ve been following the Canvas series, Canvas for iPad Air 2 won’t come as a shock to you in any way: it’s more of the same, with the wraparound canvas adding a bit of added thickness compared with the most narrowly-tailored folios we’ve recently tested. Unlike SwitchEasy’s same-priced Rave (review), it’s a conservative case, particularly in black, where it blends in rather than sticking out from the crowd. But the protection is quite good, and the price point unobjectionable given the quality of the case and its included parts. Canvas is certainly good enough to broadly recommend.
|Manufacturer: SwitchEasy||MSRP: $50 (Amazon)||Compatibility: iPad Air 2||Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½|