The Griffin Elan Folio case was my go-to case for iPad 1. So I was very pleased to see that they redesigned the Elan and even slimmed it down for iPad 2. The Griffin Elan Folio Slim for iPad 2 is an elegant every day portfolio case which props up iPad at the two essential angles, one for typing and one for viewing.
The case looks like it’s leather, but it’s actually made of textured polyurethane and lined with a soft micro-suede. There is white stitching that runs around the case. All ports and buttons are very accessible, and there’s also a cutout on the back for the camera. There are cutouts for the volume button & toggle, lock button, microphone, headphone jack, and the dock connector. There are 21 (7 x 3) holes cut out behind the speaker. The Elan Folio Slim cover is creased and will fold into the back of the case to create a workstand ideal for typing or watching videos in landscape orientation.
With the folio opened, iPad will slide into the frame that houses it. After it’s in the frame there’s a flap that tucks under the iPad and prevents it from sliding back out. Portfolio sleeves are by far the most practical type of case for iPad, as they offer all around protection while you’re storing it and while you’re using it. The problem is, they usually quadruple iPad’s thickness. The Griffin Elan Folio Slim stays nice and sleek, and is no thicker than a standard spiral notebook. It also adds some nice protection, as iPad is almost entirely covered. The case is a few millimeters larger than iPad on all sides, so if it fell corner first the Folio would take the brunt of the force. With all that being said, no case is perfect and the Folio Slim is not an exception. The exterior is pretty quick to show greasy finger prints. Some of the edges of the case are slightly freyed, which isn’t attractive on close inspection. The case cover feels like it’s enforced with a thick piece of cardboard, which could crease if improperly handled. The last gripe is that there’s no seal or strap to keep the case closed, which isn’t 100% necessary, but I became accustomed to it on other portfolio cases.
Even though the Griffin Elan Folio case is not perfect, it’s definitely one of the best cases out for iPad 2 right now. Sure, it doesn’t have magnets and automatically turn iPad 2 on, but it offers all around protection and practicality in a very slim package. The Elan Folio Slim case is currently available from Griffin.com for $39.99, the same price as Apple’s smart covers. You can also find it for as low as $19.99 on Amazon.
The Good: All-Around Protection, Good Cutouts, Slim, Light, Props up iPad at 2 angles, Seals iPad inside case
The Bad: Shows grease, capable of creasing, edges will slightly fray, no seal or strap to keep folio closed
Update 04/25/11: Griffin has told us that our issue with the edges being slightly frayed, was an issue that only affected the first batch of cases that were shipped. That said, more recent shipments of the Folio Slim do not suffer from the slight fray.