Taylor Smart Stand Sleeve for iPad review

When it's not providing sturdy protection, the quirky but clever Taylor Smart Stand Sleeve for iPad folds up to form a neat stand. Here's our review.

Previously available only on Korean import, this quirky but clever iPad sleeve can now be purchased in this country. The Taylor Smart Stand Sleeve for iPad is a refreshing take on a generally dry product category. It's available for £29.99 from Amazon.

It's a smart, robust and partially stiffened sleeve, turned out in dark grey corduroy-type material in the case of our review sample but available in brighter leathers online. (Like most sleeves, of course, it has the drawback of offering no iPad functionality when the tablet is inside the sleeve, and no protection when it's outside.)

But the Taylor Smart Stand Sleeve for iPad is also a stand: a stitched triangular groove on each side of the sturdy material lets you fold the sleeve into two neat tetrahedral structures: a shallow one for typing and a more vertical one for viewing videos and the like. In both cases, you lean the iPad against one side, and it's supported at the bottom by a leather-covered rubber lip, attractively disguised as a branding tag. This, combined with the friction of the sleeve material, meant we had no worries about the iPad falling off its support.

Taylor Smart Stand Sleeve for iPad

(Read more iPad accessory reviews.)

The design is cunningly conceived, but one thing we would point out is that the angular difference between the options is less than with most iPad stands.

The perkier of the two positions lifts the iPad to about 45 degrees from the horizontal, but that's not quite right for viewing video, somehow: it's ok at short range, but if you're trying to watch a film from more than a couple of feet then you start to feel like you're missing out. (The Apple iPad Smart Cover props the iPad up at 71 degrees - yes we did measure this using the Freespirit app on an iPhone - which is much nearer the perpendicular and therefore easier for film viewing.)

And the flatter 'typing' position is 22 degrees from the horizontal, which feels slightly odd - not better or worse, just odd - when you're used to the Smart Cover's almost-flat 13 degrees. These are small complaints, however, and it's pretty functional in both cases.

Taylor Smart Stand Sleeve for iPad - How to use

There are magnets strategically sewn into the mouth of the sleeve, in such a way that it clamps securely shut when the iPad is inside, and also holds itself together well when folded into a stand. A very nice bit of design, although one resultant quirk is that the magnets frequently wake the iPad 2 or new iPad (it also fits the first iPad, we are told, although we didn't test this) as they are being withdrawn from the sleeve - not a huge problem, indeed perhaps a benefit - or less commonly when they are inserted, which might waste a bit of battery power.

Taylor Smart Stand Sleeve for iPad - Flat

OUR VERDICT

Overall, we found this an appealing and unusual iPad sleeve and stand. It's strongly protective (when the iPad is inside, of course) and works pretty effectively as a stand; it also, as the editor of a rival magazine promptly discovered, makes an excellent human beak.

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