X-doria SmartStyle

X-Doria is a relatively new comer to the Apple accessory arena. While they have been around for a couple years, they are still making a name for themselves. One of their key product features is a puffing ink that raises as it is heated in the production process. Almost any design you see in their product lineup, utilizes the 3D puffing ink, making it standout among other simply screen-printed competitors. The ink provides tactile feedback, offering an easier to handle case and a good looking stark color pattern.

The SmartStyle Patterns for iPad Air gets its name from the stylized printed patter and the Smart Cover technology. Using exactly placed magnets, SmartStyle behaves similarly to an Apple Smart Cover, waking or sleeping iPad as the cover is either opened or closed.

Notebook design

When I pulled SmartStyle from the packaging, I immediately thought “Moleskin,” which is a very popular line of premium paper notebooks. SmartStyle’s banded closure reminds me of the classic little notebooks. Like all Moleskin notebooks, an elastic band is sewn into the cover and stretches behind the back, making sure it will not open unintentionally. Also, the cover is akin to a thick canvassed material. Although not exactly canvas, SmartStyle’s cover is woven and solid.

Inside the main cover are notched slots to help keep iPad elevated at a viewing or typing angle. To pair with the notches, side bumpers are molded into the case’s left side. The slot and bumper system work surprisingly well, with a bendable cover, to provide the various angles. Although the slots run the inside cover length, iPad will not remain in pace with an extremely low profile. In the image below, the notches are apparent.

X-doria SmartStyle open

The iPad chassis is well built, assumedly out of TPU, based on the look and feel. iPad fits snuggly in place and slid-in without much pressure. Port holes for mute, speakers, lighting dock, camera and headphone jack are precisely measured, which I really appreciate. The power and volume buttons remain covered.

Conclusion

The smart cover’s inability to lay flat against the screen depreciates the overall design and form. While the elastic band holds the cover intently in place, the notched and bendable exterior cover does not sit flush against the iPad screen. When closed, it does detract from the aesthetic appeal of the experience, but my wife does not seem to mind. I will admit to having very precise standards and I can’t let this detail go without a mention.

Alternatively, I do like the canvassed feel, along with the Moleskin-esque elastic closure band. The whole package feels solid in your hand and the molded iPad chassis is well cut and manicured.

The case retails for $39.99, which is quite a steep price. However, the entry level pattern on Amazon is Blue Arrow Check, for a cool $7.87. With a myriad of styles and color 3D ink patterns to choose from, certainly there is something for everyone.