At a Glance
MonCarbone’s carbon fiber Portfolio Case has a sleek shell matched with a comparatively bulky folio that does nothing except cover the screen—and even that is not done entirely well.
Carbon fiber: it’s thin, it’s light, and it makes you feel like you are living in a hokey 1950’s projection of the future. If you believe the hype, you know that everything in the world would be about a thousand times better (and a million times cooler) if it were made of carbon fiber.
And MonCarbone is trying to apply that logic to gadget cases. Its $60 Portfolio Case for the original iPad is a form fitting and extremely light carbon fiber shell with cutouts for access to all ports and controls. The case and cover are textured with a checkerboard print, and are available in Carbon Fiber Black, Narcissus Green, or Twilight Blue. The shell has an opening for the iPad’s speakers and fits flush with the screen, which makes it seem like it’s an extension of the iPad itself. In fact, the iPad fits so well inside the carbon fiber shell that the device is very difficult to take out. The shell by itself would be a near-perfect iPad accessory, but the problem with this case is its portfolio cover.
Attached to the carbon fiber shell is a hard, plastic folio cover with a faux-leather exterior and faux-suede interior. The cover has only one use—to protect the iPad’s screen. The Portfolio Case doesn’t have any stand options and it has some difficulty staying closed. Even after several days of use and breaking it in, the folio’s cover still wouldn’t close all the way. When the case is laid flat on a table, the cover stays open at a slight angle—making the sleek, high-tech case look a little silly. Additionally, when the case is open and folded all the way back with the iPad resting on top of it, the cover sticks out awkwardly on the bottom and is hard to grip when hand-held.
MonCarbone’s carbon fiber Portfolio Case has a sleek shell matched with a comparatively bulky folio that does nothing except cover the screen—and even that is not done entirely well. Sure, it could match your carbon fiber hover-board (is it the future yet?), but at its price, there are better iPad folios.
[Lauren Crabbe is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. You can follow her on Twitter.]