We all know that handheld gaming is not limited to dedicated consoles. While I love playing on my Nintendo Switch or PlayStation Vita, I do not always have them with me when I have time to kill. For those moments, I always like to have a few games available on my phone or tablet. I recently purchased a 12.9″ iPad Pro for work (and for some occasional gaming, of course), and one of the first accessories I looked for was a protective case. There are a myriad of folio cases, silicon cases, armor cases, and keyboard cases available for the iPad lineup, so it can be difficult to find the perfect case. I can tell you that I have found my perfect folio case in the ZUGU iPad Pro case. For more information, or to see some of the other cases that ZUGU offers, please visit their website at https://www.zugucase.com/.
In this review, I will cover the following aspects of the ZUGU iPad Pro 12.9 case:
- Power & Volume Buttons
- Apple Pencil Options
- Viewing Angles
The packaging here is simple and direct. You can see here that ZUGU cases come in a plain white branded box, but the little details go a long way in my book. Inside the box is a letter from the founder and CEO Tim Angel, thanking you for the purchase and briefly explaining the company’s philosophy. It’s a nice touch, and was noticed and appreciated.
ZUGU offers this particular case in black, red, executive brown, slate (blue), berry (purple), taffy (pink), and pine (green). I went back and forth between the black and executive brown colors, and I’m glad I chose the executive brown. The combination of brown and black gives the case a classy, professional look, and I feel like it suits the synthetic leather material best.
The inside cover of the case features a soft microfiber interior to protect your iPad from scuffs and scratches. The inside of the case and folio cover also feature a very attractive yet subtle design. Overall, the look of the case is very sleek and professional.
Installing your ZUGU case on your iPad Pro is a breeze. Like many folio cases that completely encompass the iPad’s frame, this case features a single-piece design, and the iPad just pops into it. I would recommend starting with the camera corner, and slowly working the case around the edges of the iPad. Once installed, the case fits very securely on the tablet and feels very solid.
Protecting Your Investment
The first thing I need to address here is the most important, and that is protection. I had originally planned to buy and use an Apple Magic Keyboard with my iPad Pro, as I have read so many positive reviews. My hesitation to using that case was entirely due to the lack of protection it provides the iPad. The edges are always exposed, the Apple Pencil is not secured and can fall off fairly easily, and the magnet that holds the iPad to the case, while strong, can still fail if dropped. In my mind, the investment of a $1,500+ device necessitates a more protective case.
The ZUGU case protects every part of your iPad, and this is its strongest selling point. The synthetic leather protects the largest surfaces while providing a really nice grippy surface on which to hold. This grip also serves to secure the iPad when you have to place it on a non-level surface. The leather is raised enough so that there is no chance your cameras will be scratched when you lay your iPad down.
In addition to the front and back surfaces, the entire frame of your iPad is protected by a hard grippy rubber material. I’ve read that this case meets military 5-foot drop standards, and while I can’t confirm that (and won’t be testing it intentionally), I would believe it. I will still likely panic the first time I drop my iPad, but I’m confident it will survive the fall in this case.
Power & Volume Buttons
The button cutouts work perfectly on this case, being raised and tactile to where you don’t need to turn the iPad to find them. They are flexible enough to allow the buttons to function as intended. You can see a power, plus and minus symbol etched in the front of the case where those buttons are, allowing you to more easily find them. I really appreciate those little attention to detail kind of things.
The ZUGU case is designed to fit the iPad model that you specify, and this particular case fits the 5th Generation iPad Pro very well. The USB port has a wide opening, which is handy if you are using a larger adapter. The speaker and microphone cutouts fit the device perfectly, allowing the iPad to function as intended.
Apple Pencil Options
In my opinion, the Apple Pencil should come in the box with every iPad Pro. I purchased the pencil, intending to use it with one app only, and I find that it improves the function of nearly every app I use. It is probably the single-most useful accessory you can buy for your iPad. The fact that it charges magnetically to the side of the iPad is a really cool design. That said, one of my concerns has always been that it might fall off and get lost. The ZUGU case alleviates that concern completely with a soft rubber caddy at the Apple Pencil charging spot. This secures the pencil while still allowing it to charge as intended. In my week of heavy use, the pencil never fell once.
I have read some negative reviews concerning the pencil caddy feeling flimsy if you don’t own an Apple Pencil, and to be fair, it does. If I didn’t have the pencil in there, that rubber caddy might have bothered me, but again, I feel the Apple Pencil should be a standard accessory with every iPad.
ZUGU gives you the option to store your pencil in the back of the case as well in a stretchy fabric slot. I never used it, as I wouldn’t want to lay my iPad down on the pencil, and I didn’t see a need to store my pencil in a spot other than the charging location. This might be a good option for those who use third-party styli that don’t fit in the Apple Pencil charging caddy.
So Many Angles
One of the big selling points for this case is the flexibility it provides in terms of viewing angles. On the front cover, you will see ten parallel recesses. This allows you to use your iPad from a more vertical angle (for content consumption) to a more flat angle (which works well when typing on-screen or taking notes with the pencil), and every angle in-between. When this case is being used in this angled, landscape mode, it is solid! It doesn’t wobble or feel like it might fall apart while typing or drawing. The magnets are so strong that when you pick up the device, the case holds together quite well, and at the same time is very easy to collapse.
Visit ZUGU’s website at https://www.zugucase.com/ to find more information on this case, and to see some of the other products they offer.