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Alongside the new MacBook Pro launch and Blackmagic eGPU, Apple also released a new Leather Sleeve for its flagship laptop, albeit to significantly less fanfare and/or controversy. The MacBook Pro Leather Sleeve follows in the footsteps of similar leather-based offerings for the 12-inch MacBook and iPad Pro.

Comprised out of high-quality European leather, the MacBook Pro Leather sleeve is available in one of three colors for both 13- and 15-inch models. Should you consider dropping $179 (13-inch) or $199 to protect your MacBook Pro in style?

Specifications

Designed for all MacBook Pro models between 2024 and 2023

Features 13-inch and 15-inch version

Comes in three colors: Midnight Blue, Saddle Brown, and Black

Made of high-quality natural European leather

Soft microfiber lining inside to protect your MacBook Pro

Price: $179 or $199 (13- and 15-inch respectively)

I’ve been testing the 13-inch version of the MacBook Pro Leather Sleeve in Saddle Brown. The sleeve costs nearly $200 after tax.

Like similar Leather Sleeve products for the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook, the MacBook Pro Leather sleeve comes in a white box that pops open when you pull on the tab connected to container housing the sleeve. From there, you’ll be met by the MacBook Pro Leather Sleeve neatly nestled behind two tabs on the inner enclosure.

Video walkthrough

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When you first touch the sleeve it becomes readily apparent that the leather is of a high-grade. A rich leather smell accompanies the sleeve, but it isn’t overpowering and doesn’t offer an offensive chemical odor like cheap “genuine” leather sleeves that you might find online.

A neat stitch around the perimeter of the sleeve keeps its two sides together, and on the inside you’ll find a microfiber material on the bottom half of the sleeve. This is an interesting design decision, considering that the microfiber will only come into contact with the bottom of the MacBook Pro.

On top of the sleeve is the obligatory debossed Apple logo, and on the bottom of the sleeve are four impressions that line up with the four feet on the bottom of the MacBook Pro.

I wouldn’t trust subjecting the Leather Sleeve to very rough environments, but it’s a well-put-together product that will protect your MacBook Pro during general day-to-day usage.

My biggest gripe with the MacBook Pro Leather Sleeve, outside of the obvious cost factor, is that it’s not designed to be used in concert with a USB-C charging cable. The stamped Apple logo on top of the sleeve highlights the way that the laptop should be placed inside, which means that the USB-C ports go in first, eliminating the possibility of charging the MacBook Pro while fully inside.

But even if you go against the grain (heh) and put the MacBook Pro inside the sleeve “backwards”, the USB-C ports would still be recessed too far inside the case to connect to a USB-C charging cable while completely inside. The conclusion is that this sleeve was simply not designed to be used while charging your MacBook Pro.

Apple may have its own legitimate reasons (potential fire hazard, etc.) for designing the sleeve this way, but I find it to be an annoyance. There are much less expensive third-party MacBook Pro sleeves that permit the laptop to charge while enclosed.

A secondary complaint is that the bottom edge of the sleeve can be uncomfortable to hold, because a hard edge is created where the two pieces of leather are stitched together. With a 3 pound MacBook Pro inside, I found it slightly uncomfortable to carry around with the edge pressed into my fingers.

The MacBook Pro Leather Sleeve is the product for those who desire a first party product, and will spare no expense protecting their MacBook Pro in style. The leather is indeed beautiful, and I don’t doubt that it will form a nice looking patina over time.

But not being able to charge your MacBook Pro while inside the sleeve is a big downside for me, especially when so many exponentially-cheaper third-party sleeves exist which allow you to do so.

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Harber London Leather Sleeve For Macbook Pro And Air

I prefer to use a sleeve for a couple of main reasons—to carry the notebook more comfortably and safeguard it from scratch. The one with classic design topped by rich workmanship has always been my favorite pick. That’s the prime reason why the Harber MacBook sleeve has fascinated me no end.

But as they say, “All that glitters is not gold,” it would be apt to take a close look at the sleeve before making a surefire conclusion. Hence, I’m going to weigh Harber on four crucial parameters: Design, Durability, Craftsmanship, and Convenience. It would be nice to see how well it stands up to these important aspects.

Harber London Leather Sleeve for MacBook Pro and Air Impressive Slim Design

Sporting a pretty slim profile, the sleeve looks really adorable. The handcrafted design further enriches its appearance, while also reinforcing the construction. Refined craftsmanship gives it an executive feel. Hence, you would love to carry it to your office or professional environments.

The smooth-exterior feels pretty nice to the touch, whereas the soft interior offers the desired care to the notebook ensuring it enjoys top-of-the-line comfort.

As for design, I would rate Harber very highly. The svelte design adds yet another feather to its cap. Moreover, it makes a form-fitting match with a laptop

As far as craftsmanship is concerned, the notebook sleeve is at par with the very best in the business. You can’t help admiring its urbane looking appearance

Full Grain Vegetable Tanned Leather

Harber has been carved out of full-grain vegetable-tanned leather. Thanks to the top-grade material; the MacBook sleeve has got enough strength to absorb shock. Incorporated with wool felt lining, it’s capable of resisting scratch. You can trust it to be a long-lasting match for your notebook.

While picking out a fine cover for my laptop, the one quality I never compromise is the quality material. I’m really charmed by the leather texture that will age gracefully. As a result, it will be able to retain its class for long.

The combo of high-grade leather and appreciable workmanship makes this sleeve such a great option. If you have a soft corner for the vintage profile, you will find it right on the money—from the very first moment.

About durability, the laptop sleeve is strong enough to last long. Besides, it can also withstand the impact of minor falls. For normal use, it may just be good enough

For convenience, it’s up to the mark. Due mainly to the enhanced grip and lightweight construction, you will be comfortable while carrying it

Available in Multiple Color Options and Sizes

With the availability of multiple color variants like tan, black, navy and deep brown, you can choose a more befitting companion for your laptop. Though I find all the color variants impressive, tan has instantly appealed me. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t adored the navy color.

Moreover, Harber comes in multiple sizes. So, you can pick it for your 11 or 12-inch MacBook Air. It’s also available for 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro.

The Verdict

To put it straight, Harber is one of the most elegant MacBook sleeves available in the market. Whether it’s excellent design or quality material, it ideally lives up to all the pivotal aspects. If you admire a vintage profile, you’d love to have it on your MacBook.

Pros:

Full-grain vegetable-tanned leather

Wool felt lining

Smooth leather texture

Rich craftsmanship

Slim design

Cons:

Bit expensive

Buy it from HarberLondon

Let me know what you think of this sleeve and whether or not you would like to pair it with your notebook.

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Author Profile

Jignesh

Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.

Best Ipad Pro Leather Cases For 12.9

Apple’s iPad Pro is undoubtedly a masterpiece in tablet computing. Thus, protecting it from normal shocks and falls is on top of the list for all of us. Taking this purpose in consideration, we have earlier given a list of iPad Pro cases, which consists of folio cases and keyboard cases. In today’s roundup, we have handpicked best Leather Cases for iPad Pro 12.9-inch , which will not only protect your iPad Pro but also leave a substantial impact of style wherever you go.

Apple’s iPad Pro is undoubtedly a masterpiece in tablet computing. Thus, protecting it from regular shocks and falls is on top of the list for all of us. Considering this purpose, we have earlier given a list of iPad Pro cases, which consists of folio cases and keyboard cases. In today’s roundup, we have handpicked the best Leather Cases for iPad Pro 12.9-inch, which will not only protect your iPad Pro but also leave a substantial impact on style wherever you go.

1. rooCase

Experience the rich feel of synthetic leather, which looks like supple pebble grain finish. This executive case captures attention in the boardroom with soft padding and strong stitches. Quality and refinement go hand in hand. To achieve high-level productivity, rooCase offers built-in hand strap on the back. This provides security to your iPad and you can efficiently operate your device single-handedly.

You can adjust your iPad Pro and use this case as viewing stand to watch YouTube videos, movies, and other visual contents. Use its hook-and-loop fastener, and you will enjoy that picture-perfect portrait mode.

2. Ztotop

The honeycomb grid pattern is a notable feature of Ztotop’s iPad Pro leather case. This pattern releases more than 80% heat and keeps your iPad Pro cool. The air cushion not only enhances your device’s performance but also protects it from shocks. For full body protection, Ztotop has used durable PU leather exterior.

The auto sleep/wake feature saves the battery of your iPad; its magnetic smart cover automatically wakes your device and puts it sleep when you shut the lid down.

3. ProCase

ProCase leather case for iPad Pro features four different colors and crafted from premium composition leather. A soft interior assures protection from scratches; also, it also has multiple slots to view on your iPad Pro with different angels. Other feature consists of magnetic closure and auto wake/sleep feature. Lastly, precise cuts give you access to all ports and functions quickly.

4. FYY

FYY always brings something new for iPhone and iPad users. This iPad Pro case is made of genuine leather, but this real leather is used only for the exterior. For the interior, FYY has used PU leather. The powerful design is a glaring feature of this case; the two-in-one structure is unique and practical.

You can use this case for office and traveling as the case boasts large capacity to store your iPad accessories like charging cable, hands-free, AirPods and more. Explore its multifunctional design, which allows you to store credit/debit cards and currency. The case is available in four vibrant colors: black, brown, red, and cyan.

5. VORI

The strap design of this iPad leather case is a perfect example of intelligent design. When you are not using your device, put the strap on the front cover. The strap will tightly hold the cover so that your iPad Pro is protected against dust and accidental drops. Precise cutouts allow you to access essential ports and buttons on your tablet.

Vori’s iPad Pro case gives you three slots to adjust viewing angle while watching videos and movies. There is a remarkable level of sophistication in the design; this sophistication is achieved by excellent craftsmanship on premium synthetic leather.

6. iVAPO

iVAPO brings simple design in this iPad Pro leather case, which flaunts uni-body design. This lightweight and slim iPad case is your best friend wherever you go. Its classic texture enhances the beauty of your device. Check that magnetic closure that enables auto sleep/wake feature to save battery life of your iPad Pro.

Keep your Apple Pencil close at hand by using the built-in pencil holder on this case. You will never lose your pencil as the holder firmly grabs your Apple Pencil. When you want to use the Pencil, just push your pencil out from the holes.

7. Alston Craig

One more joining the premium club of cases; Alston Craig has been handcrafted from vintage genuine leather. It boasts a magnetic closure feature that also supports auto wake and sleep option. If we talk about accessibility, it supports many different viewing options. It isn’t just a case; it ‘s a luxury. This is one of the best leather cases for iPad Pro.

8. COCASES

COCASES presents a smart case cover, which is perfect for your iPad Pro 12.9 (2024). Adjust the kickstand of this case and you can use it hands-free. To reduce strain, COCASES has designed this case for easy typing, emailing, gaming, and video watching.

This executive case has card slots to store credit cards, SD card and some cash inside the pocket. You can also insert bills and documents in this case. A pencil holder firmly grabs your stylus.

Author Profile

Dhvanesh

The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

Is ‘Vegan’ Leather Really Better For The Planet?

One of the only things that seems more timeless than a leather jacket is the debate over the ethics of its iconic material. Leather, mostly made from the hides of cattle and calves, is highly contested in the fashion industry, along with real animal fur and feathers. 

Veganism and using fewer animal products, whether in food or in fashion, is often touted as a sustainable solution. However, some industry experts and environmentalists argue that leather is a difficult material to find a high-quality sustainable dupe for. Though consuming less meat and dairy and having a more plant-focused diet has been proven to be better for the environment, consumers can be misled to assume that all things vegan, including pleather, are sustainable.

Most mainstream vegan leathers are largely made from polyurethane leather (PU leather) which is not sustainable or even biodegradable. Tanja Hester, environmental activist, writer, and the author of Wallet Activism says that the idea of “vegan leather” is just greenwashing. 

“It’s truly just plastic, which is rarely recycled and in vegan leather form it’s impossible to recycle—there’s essentially no sustainable vegan leather,” she says. 

PU leather is a thermoplastic polymer and is mainly used in vegan shoes and furniture. Other vegan leathers are polyvinyl chloride aka PVC leather. Both often come with the threat of micro-plastic pollution due to the amount of energy, water, and chemicals used to produce fake leather materials. The plastics release harmful toxins during manufacturing that can get into the air and into water. Some of the plastics can even release some toxins later when worn down. 

[Related: Thrift shopping is an environmental and ethical trap.]

Vegan leathers, especially PU leather, are littered all over fast fashion websites, including brands like Shein that are consistently lambasted for being low quality and unsustainable. The material is easier to make and cheaper than genuine leather because genuine leather requires finding the right animals with the right skin and multiple stages of artisan processes. 

Hester says animal-loving consumers should instead search for second-hand, high-quality leather items like boots or bags that can last for years. She says that long-lasting materials are better than cheap vegan leathers that will sit around in a landfill for centuries. 

“It’s understandable that many people are drawn to vegan leather because they care about animal welfare, but they’d certainly make a different choice if they understood that it’s really just plastic made from petroleum,” she says. “It’s a product that poisons workers involved in its production.” 

Ana Kannan, the founder and CEO of Toward, an ethical and sustainably-minded luxury shopping marketplace, argues that there may not be any truly sustainable leather option. One is fast-fashion quality and filled with plastics, while the other comes from the pollution-heavy livestock industry. There is no perfect solution to alternative leather, she says, if what’s most accessible on the market is made up of plastics. However, some brands have already begun developing solutions to keep pleather out of the landfill once a jacket or purse is no longer used.

“Stella McCartney is a great example. They’re using KOBA, which uses [about] 40 recycled polyester,” she says. “There’s also the option of regenerated leather—basically [animal] leather that’s been used before.” 

[Related: What actually happens to the clothes you donate depends on where you live.]

Kannan says she is also excited about plant-based leather. There are several companies including one called Piñatex that takes the long fibers of pineapple leaves and felts them together to create the leather-like material. Since pineapple plants are only grown for the fruit, the pineapple-based leather uses up parts of the plant that would otherwise be thrown away. 

Libie Motchan, the co-founder of Fulton, a company that makes insoles for shoes using sustainable cactus leather, says that customers often respond to the product with wanting to learn more about the environmental impacts and quality of the sustainable materials. 

“I didn’t realize how much consumers care about it and how much they’re willing to prioritize and ask questions and understand where their products are coming from,” she says. Consumer inquiries have led Motchan to test materials for biodegradability and compostability, unlike real leather products that don’t biodegrade if processed with chrome or other metals. 

“We’re starting a life cycle analysis of the products I think that’ll give us more insight into its end to end of life and impact,” she says. “We felt there was an opportunity to innovate.” 

When in doubt, start by shopping in your own closet or buying second-hand before heading out for a new leather jacket, fake or real. If you really need something new, do your research to find something that fits your style and moral code—demand for more sustainable products is the ultimate fuel for better, more environmentally-friendly products. 

Macbook Air Vs Macbook Pro: Which Should You Buy?

Apple’s MacBook lineup offers impressive performance and at first glance, the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro seem quite similar. They have the same CPU/GPU, same ports, same FaceTime camera, and more. However, the more powerful 2023 14-inch MacBook Pro may complicate your decision. Let’s take a closer look at the MacBook Air vs Pro to see what differentiates these MacBooks and help you decide which to buy.

Update: With the arrival of the M2 chip, we have a new comparison of the 2023 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro:

Beyond the larger screens, the all-new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro notebooks feature a refreshed design, mini-LED display backlighting, the return of I/O including HDMI, SD card slot, and MagSafe, and the removal of the Touch Bar.

And of course, they have more power than ever with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. If you’re on the fence between the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro, check out our detailed guide.

But if you know you want a compact 13 or 14-inch MacBook, read on for our in-depth Air vs MacBook Pro comparison. Also, keep in mind there is a new MacBook Air in the works that could arrive as soon as summer 2023.

Initial reactions to Apple unveiling the new M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in late 2023 included confusion about the point of continuing to offer both since they appear so similar.

While it is impressive and somewhat confusing that the $999 base M1 MacBook Air has the same CPU/GPU and neural engine as the $1,299 and higher M1 MacBook Pro, there are some notable differences that are worth considering before making a decision.

And with the 14-inch M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pro available there are even more differences.

MacBook Air vs Pro hardware comparison

You’re getting the powerful and efficient M1 chip with 2023 MacBook Air and Pro machines with 4 high-efficiency cores and 4 high-performance cores for the CPU. But interestingly enough, it’s actually a 7-core GPU on the base MacBook Air models instead of the 8-core on the higher end Air configurations and all the MacBook Pro models. My colleague Ben Lovejoy wrote an explainer on what’s happening with that.

For the 14-inch MacBook Pro, you get the M1 Pro or M1 Max chip with the option for more CPU and GPU cores, increased RAM, full HD 1080p FaceTime camera, and more.

13″ MacBook Air (2024)13″ MacBook Pro (2024)14″ MacBook Pro (2024)ProcessorM1 – 8-coreM1 – 8-coreM1 Pro or M1 Max – 8 or 10-coreStorageUp to 2TBUp to 2TBUp to 8TBRAM8 or 16GB8 or 16GB16 to 64GBGraphics7-core8-coreUp to 32-coreNeural engine16-core16-core16-coreFaceTime camera720p720p1080pSpeakersStereo speakers with wide soundStereo speakers with high dynamic range6-speaker high-fidelityMics3-mic arrayStudio-quality 3-mic arrayStudio-quality 3-mic arrayThermal managementFanlessActive cooling with fansActive cooling with fans

Maybe more minor in the big picture, but both MacBook Pro models features high dynamic range with stereo speakers and the mics are “studio-quality.”

It’s great to see Wi-Fi 6 support all models. However, it’s just a 720p FaceTime camera on the 2023 MacBooks. Apple says it’s improved the image quality with its image signal processor. But to get the full HD 1080p FaceTime camera, you’ll need to buy the new 14-inch MacBook Pro.

You’re going to see awesome performance for everyday computing with all three of these computers but if you lean toward heavier workflows, the new MacBook Pro is the winner.

If you have medium to light workflows, the MacBook Air is a great choice for portability and those who are more price sensitive.

MacBook Air vs Pro display comparison

If screen brightness is important to you, chalk up another point for the MacBook Pro with its 500-1600 nits brightness vs 400 nits on the MacBook Air.

The new MacBook Pro’s up to 1,000 sustained nits brightness (1,600 peak) may be just for HDR content, but you’re still getting up to 120Hz refresh rates with ProMotion, mini-LED backlighting, and even thinner bezels.

13″ MacBook Air (2024)13″ MacBook Pro (2024)14″ MacBook Pro (2024)Actual screen size13.3″13.3″14.2″Resolution2560 x 16002560 x 16003024 x 1964Aspect Ratio16:1016:1016:10 + notchPPI227227254Nits (brightness)400500Up to 1000 sustained, up to 1600 peakRetina display✅✅–Liquid Retina XDR display❌❌✅ProMotion (up to 120Hz)❌❌✅mini-LED backlit❌❌✅True Tone✅✅✅P3 wide color✅✅✅

The new 14-inch MacBook Pro display does include a notch at the top center of the display for the 1080p FaceTime camera. But unlike the iPhone, the notch doesn’t include Face ID hardware/support on the new MacBook Pro notebooks.

MacBook Air vs Pro I/O comparison

The difference between the 2023 Air and Pro with the rest of the I/O not covered above is the Touch Bar coming on the MacBook Pro and dedicated row of function keys (new ones too for dictation, spotlight, more) on the MacBook Air.

One downside with the 2023 MacBooks is support for just 1 external display up to 6K at 60Hz.

In contrast, the 14-inch MacBook Pro offers much more I/O including 3 USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, SDXC slot, MagSafe, and support for up to 3 external displays.

13″ MacBook Air (2024)13″ MacBook Pro (2024)14″ MacBook Pro (2024)Magic Keyboard✅✅✅Touch ID✅✅✅Touch Bar❌✅❌USB-C/Thunderbolt ports223HDMI❌❌✅SDXC card reader❌❌✅MagSafe charging❌❌✅Bluetooth5.05.05.0Wi-FiWi-Fi 6 (802.11.ax)Wi-Fi 6 (802.11.ax)Wi-Fi 6 (802.11.ax)External display support1 external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz1 external display with up to 6K resolution at 60HzUp to 2 external displays with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz (M1 Pro) or Up to 3 external displays with up to 6K resolution and 1 external display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz (M1 Max)

Size, weight, and finish comparison

As you’d expect, the MacBook Air is the lightest machine with the 13-inch MacBook Pro weighing a touch more, and the 14-inch naturally being the heaviest.

The MacBook Air is also the thinnest notebook from Apple with its tapered design. And if the gold color is appealing, keep in mind it’s only available with the MacBook Air.

13″ MacBook Air (2024)13″ MacBook Pro (2024)14″ MacBook Pro (2024)Weight2.8 lbs. (1.29 kg)3 pounds (1.4 kg)3.5 pounds (1.6 kg)Thickness0.16-0.63 in. (0.41-1.61 cm)0.61 inch (1.56 cm)0.61 inch (1.55 cm)Width11.97 inches (30.41 cm)11.97 inches (30.31 cm)12.31 inches (31.26 cm)Depth8.36 in. (21.24 cm)8.36 inches (21.24 cm)8.71 inches (22.12 cm)Display size13.3 in. (33.78 cm)13.3 inches14.2 inchesFinishesSilver, space gray, and goldSilver or space graySilver or space gray

Battery life comparison

Real-life use shows massive battery life gains for Apple Silicon MacBooks compared to the old Intel models. However, keep in mind you probably won’t see exactly the Apple ratings of up to 15-20 hours without compromises like turning down display brightness, etc.

But in any case, the power efficiency and battery life improvements are big with Apple Silicon!

13″ MacBook Air (2024)13″ MacBook Pro (2024)14″ MacBook Pro (2024)Wireless web battery15 hours17 hours11 hoursVideo playback18 hours20 hours17 hoursIncluded power adapter30W USB-C61W USB-C67W or 96W USB-C + MagSafeBattery capacity49.9Wh58.2Wh70WhFast charging❌❌✅

Pricing comparison

Across the different configurations, it’s a $300-$1,000 difference between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

Stocked models are the 256GB/8GB RAM and 512GB/8GB RAM configurations for the 13-inch Air and Pro. Models with 16GB RAM for the 2023 Air and Pro are custom orders.

And the 14-inch MacBook Pro base model starts at $1,999 with M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD.

Model/price13″ MacBook Air (2024)13″ MacBook Pro (2024)14″ MacBook Pro (2024)256 / 8GB$999$1,299–512 / 8GB$1,249$1,499–256 / 16GB$1,199$1,499–512 / 16GB$1,399$1,699$1,9991TB / 16GB$1,599$1,899$2,4991TB / 32GB––$2,899Custom buildsUp to $2,049Up to $2,299Up to $5,899

MacBook Air vs Pro wrap-up

Meanwhile, if you have light to medium performance needs, and prefer the lightest machine with great battery life, the MacBook Air is the choice starting at a really reasonable $999.

But don’t forget about the possibility of a refreshed MacBook Air in the coming months. If you know you’d like an Air but don’t need it immediately, it could be worth waiting to see if a new model arrives this summer or fall.

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Review: Burkley Leather Smart Folio Cover For 12.9

All Apple offered this year, however, was a silicone Smart Folio. This has a back as well as a front, and the rubbery material really isn’t pleasing at all.

No-one has yet offered a third-party version of what I really want – a simple leather Smart Cover – so I decided to try the next best thing: a leather Smart Folio case …

Burkley’s Turner Smart Leather Folio Cover isn’t quite a leather version of Apple’s own product, so let’s start with the differences.

Apple Smart Folio

The Apple version is a Smart Cover on the front with a rear protector. It leaves three of the sides of the iPad exposed, along with the corners.

The iPad attaches to the Folio magnetically, which makes it very quick to snap on and off.

The Apple cover is available in a choice of charcoal (dark grey), white, and Pink Sand (light pink).

Cost: $99.

Burkley Turner Smart Leather Folio Cover

The Burkley cover, in contrast, is an iPad case with Smart Cover. It has four corner protectors, and the sides are recessed, meaning that it offers good all-round protection.

Against this, however, it is fiddlier to insert and remove the iPad. Once you’re used to it, it only takes a few seconds, but it does feel like a bit more effort and is a little less convenient.

The Burkley cover is available in brown (polished mid-brown), distressed brown (matte coffee), khaki (polished tan) and black (also polished).

Cost: $119.

Look & feel

There’s no substitute for leather, in my book. Comparing the look of the Burkley cover with the Apple one, they are just night and day. The Burkley one looks like a far more premium product. Plus, you know, that lovely leather smell.

The exterior of the cover is 100% cowhide leather, which resists moisture better than other leathers, so offers a little reassurance if you ever find yourself caught out by rain when carrying the iPad without a bag. The exposed sides mean you wouldn’t want to rely on it for more than a few seconds, but it’s certainly better than nothing

I normally prefer matte leather to polished, but in this case the polished brown matched my cycle bag, so I opted for that.

The interior is micro fiber leather, which also looks good and protects the iPad from scratches when inserting and removing. Between the two is a thin plastic case.

There’s a small magnetic leather flap that wraps around the front/bottom – more on this in a moment.

In use

I’ve mentioned the main difference between this and Apple’s version: greater protection versus a slight loss of convenience in attaching and detaching. It’s also noticeably thicker than the Apple cover.

The four speakers and three buttons are all exposed, so usability isn’t affected at all.

The Smart Cover snaps closed magnetically just like the Apple one, but there’s also that magnetic flap. This is primarily there to offer a bit more security for the Apple Pencil, but it does look good too.

However, it’s a little inconvenient in use, as you have to tuck it under the back of the iPad to avoid it getting in your way when using the iPad in typing mode. If I routinely carried the Pencil, I’d be glad of it, but as I don’t I’d on balance rather not have it. I’m a little tempted to take a sharp knife and remove it.

The Smart Cover is a little stiffier/springier than the Apple one, so doesn’t fold quite as neatly. However, it works well on both lap and desk in typing orientation.

It’s also secure in vertical stand aka movie mode, though that flap is a bit of a nuisance at first, as it can flop forward over the screen. This was only an issue the first time I used it in that mode – after that, bending it back a few times saw it stay put, though it is still a little visually distracting standing up above the screen like that.

Price and conclusions

Given that Apple charges $99 for its silicone Smart Folio (less on Amazon), just $20 more for a leather one seems a no-brainer.

As someone who only uses the Apple Pencil occasionally, I’d prefer it without the front flap, but that’s really my only complaint – and those who carry the Pencil around with them will definitely appreciate it.

The Burkley Leather Smart Folio Cover for 12.9-inch iPad Pro is available from the company’s own website for $119. The 11-inch version is available for $99/119 depending on color. Other versions for older iPad models are also available.

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