Nomad’s new iPad folios bring back the leather touch
Though Apple has ditched leather across its product lineups, third-party accessory makers are carrying on full steam ahead. Nomad’s latest cases for the iPad Air and iPad Pro, the Leather Folio and Leather Folio Plus, have a similar design and features as Apple’s Smart Folio cases but with a leather finish.
The Leather Folio cases attach to the back of the iPad with magnets and provide a sleeker profile than the company’s other iPad cases. They automatically wake and sleep the iPad when opened and closed, and the front cover can be folded back to use as a stand in landscape orientation, just like Apple’s cases. Inside is a microfiber finish to keep the screen protected.
The Plus model, which costs $10 more than the standard Leather Folio, adds a magnetic flap to hold the Apple Pencil in place more securely.
The leather on the outside of the case is quite thin, and it’s smooth to the touch — there’s no pebbling or texture. You can opt for either black or brown colors, and sizes are available for the iPad Air and 11-inch iPad Pro as well as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Aside from the leather finish, the Nomad cases are quite basic. Though the iPads they work with have been around for over half a decade now, Nomad isn’t doing anything different with these cases in terms of functionality aside from the basic Apple Pencil flap. There’s no way to fold the cover to support the iPad in portrait orientation, the amount of protection afforded to drops and spills is minimal, and the cases don’t provide much in the way of extra grip. It doesn’t take long to find other cases with a lot more features on Amazon, often for much lower prices.
On the flip side, the magnets are strong, the microfiber lining is soft, and the Nomad leather folios are easy to put on and take off the iPad when you don’t want them.
The biggest hurdle might be the price: the basic Leather Folio is $120 for the 11-inch size and $140 for the 12.9-inch version. The Plus model, which only adds the Apple Pencil flap, costs up to $150.
I have a feeling a lot of people are going to find it hard to justify spending that much on an iPad case, even if they are looking for something with leather, and it’s not hard to find much cheaper alternatives. A leather case by Torro has the exact same set of features and can be bought for as little as $70, for example. An imitation leather case from Pitaka is even cheaper and provides a variety of stand options, without compromising on thickness or weight compared to the Nomad.