Enter the Dallas iPad Easel case. The good folks at Kolobags sent over the Dallas as an example of the cases they carry. It is quite fancy on the outside (I wasn't kidding about the glittery faux snakeskin); the Dallas case comes in other high end faux materials: leopard, snow leopard (I'm sensing Apple fan boys), metallic tiger and, well, plain black leather (for the Audrey Hepburn in you).
One of my fav things about the Dallas is that it is small and streamlined - like the iPad itself. I've used some other cases that are much bigger than an iPad, adding bulk ostensibly for protection. But I say if you can't protect the iPad while maintaining its slim physique then what's the point? I don't want my iPad to look like it is wearing a parka!
The Dallas case opens like a book and the iPad slips into place on the right side - held in place by four subtle elastic corner bands. The interior of the Dallas is a very soft black felt - it feels very nice to the touch. I'm confident it will keep my iPad scratch-free.
The Dallas fits all generations of iPad. And there is a hole in the back of the case so you can take pictures if you have the gen 2 or later iPad. The case is held closed with a small magnetic flap closure.
The Dallas also has its hidden charms. A number of cases provide easel functionality by bending the cover. Not so with the Dallas. It turns out there is a clever interior easel panel that you fold out and anchor into grooves on the interior of the cover.
And while this design is subtle and smart there are two challenges. The first is in regards to the angles the easel provides. I was able to set up the Dallas comfortably for movie viewing and magazine/book reading. However, the third angle that is supposed to be for typing activities (email, etc) is too high to be comfortable or practical.
My second concern is one that may actually be solved over time. When I set the easel up for movie viewing, the closure flap naturally falls down onto the iPad. So you're watching your movie with this flap in the way. However, I was able to bend it backwards to keep it off the iPad. I think this will ultimately solve itself as the case gets more use, the flap will become more supple and will fall back naturally.
All in all, I found the Dallas to be a fine iPad case. It has slim sleek lines, doesn't add a lot if bulk, makes your iPad look even hotter than when it's naked and will fit into most purses. I also think the interior easel design is very clever. And if you mainly use your iPad as a hand held or movie-viewing device, you're golden. But if you do a lot of typing and need your case to support that activity, the Dallas may not be the best choice.
Thanks again to the folks at Kolobags who sent the Dallas over for review. You can find the Dallas iPad Easel Case on their site in a variety of materials where it retails for $98 USD.