Sure, pretty much every accessory maker has a take on the popular folio case for the new iPad. But Sena isn’t your normal manufacturer, and it shows in the products.

Unlike many other case manufacturers that have only popped up after Apple’s iOS devices rose to popularity, Sena has been around since 1999 – which is an eternity in the consumer electronics kingdom.

The company began by making cases for the popular gadgets of the time, like the Palm and Pocket PC PDAs. But now, Sena produces high-end leather cases for pretty much every gadget you can think of – including the iPad and iPhone 4S.

And with the introduction of the new iPad earlier this year, Sena has recently brought to market a slate of new cases, including the Folio. Just as the simple name implies, the case is a book style with front and back covers that can be closed.

The Good

To start, the Folio is probably one of the most beautiful cases of any style I’ve seen to date for the iPad.

Made of handcrafted, full-grain Napa leather the case screams luxury from the moment you take it out of the package. While there are tons of lower-quality or fake leather cases out there, Sena shows how the material should be presented.

To insert the tablet into the case, there is a Velcro strap that needs to be undone to allow for full access of the pocket. It’s easy to do, and in seconds your iPad is snugly secure and protected with a velvet lining.

There are cutouts for all of the buttons and ports on the iPad. The speaker remains totally uncovered, which is something I definitely like in a case so any sound from the iPad won’t be muffled.

And unlike some folio-type cases, the case does have a cut out from the camera lens.

I also enjoyed the multiple stand options of the case. Along with the usual landscape view, the case can also easily be put in portrait mode with the integrated stand that works like a picture frame. While there is only one angle option in both orientations, it really does hit the sweet spot.

With another integrated stand, the iPad can also be set up in a typing orientation.

Next to the stands is a set of five cutouts for business or credit cards. While I wouldn’t use the slots, I can definitely see situations where they would come in handy. And it does help add to the business-like appearance of the case.

The Bad

Even though I liked the three different stand options, there were some drawbacks. Especially with the typing angle, the iPad was very unsteady. In the midst of trying to do some emailing, the iPad swayed back and forth very substantially – enough to impair my typing speed and accuracy. That being said, the portrait and landscape options were much steadier.

While other folio-type cases that I’ve recently reviewed, like the Canvas from SwitchEasy, offers full protection of the iPad, I was a little disappointed that Sena’s Folio did not. All four of the corners are uncovered and there is still a chance your iPad could be damaged if dropped.

And after using many cases with the magnetic cover option, it was a little hard to go back to using the strap system that keeps the Folio secure. But, if the strap is a deal breaker for you, Sena’s Florence case does feature the automatic on-and-off capability.

Verdict

The Folio case is designed for the new iPad and is available in black, orange, red, or brown. It can be purchased for $99.99 at Sena’s site.

And if you’re willing to pay that extra money for a luxurious and fashionable way to clad your iPad, the Folio is a great option.