When we were reviewing accessories for the iPad last year, we noticed that a few of the companies had products which were similar (clear case, stand, etc.). A little digging revealed that many of them were sourcing their products from a company called InnoPocket. InnoPocket has been making accessories for mobile devices for a long time and have consistently been an innovator and leader with their offerings. Their soon-to-be available EliteFolio, crafted using carbon fiber, is just one example of the continuation of this history. They have also announced an updated clear case for the iPad2 with an improved hinge/stand (more on this at a later date).
Carbon fiber is light, strong, but notoriously difficult to work with for those who don’t know what they are doing. Most of the finishing work has to be done by hand. It is one of the reasons why we have not seen a carbon fiber MacBook Pro from Apple or anyone else. No one has figured out how to ramp up the manufacturing process to mass production quantities to date.
When InnoPocket decided to make a carbon fiber case for the iPad2, they faced the same issues. So they decided to focus on quality instead of quantity and spent their energy in working out the following: how to attach it to the iPad, how thin to make it, how best to connect the top and bottom pieces. After a close examination of the EliteFolio, we think they did an amazing job.
InnoPocket’s carbon fiber EliteFolio is about as precisely hand-crafted as can be. Note the fit of the top/bottom shell in the close-up pics. There is just no gap between the pieces. Another hurdle (besides the fit) InnoPocket had to overcome was how get the shell to grip onto the iPad with as little of a catch as possible. The EliteFolio accomplishes this by having just enough of a curl at the lip to grip the iPad’s frame without protruding over. Now that is a tight tolerance. As to how thin to make the cover? Just see the comparison of the cover’s thickness with the edge of aluminum edge of the iPad2.
As to how to attach the top and bottom pieces, InnoPocket invented a mechanism which served as a grip, a hinge, and a stand. The hinge has a rubberized texture. When closed, it serves as a grip. Unlike a typical hinge, this patented mechanism allows the cover to swivel and rotate so it may be tucked underneath and out of the way when the iPad is in use. For a more comfortable typing angle, a piece of the hinge can swing down to act as a stand. Genius.
A carbon fiber case with this kind of fit does not come cheap, but if you are interested in a case that is as razor-thin and as high tech as your shiny new iPad2, then the InnoPocket EliteFolio should definitely be on your short list of candidates. As this is a highly desirable hand-crafted item, availability is going to be limited. So if you want one, you best get on InnoPocket’s waiting list…now.