bighugenerd
 
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*See our iPad 3 update here!" 
 
We take Yoobao's latest iPad 2 accessory, - the Executive Leather Case, out of its box, and suddenly it's 2010 again. It's like Apple's iPad 1 cover is right there in front of us, but leather-fied, and we do a little jig. But is it good enough? Is it? Well, yes. Yes it is. Read just how good, after the jump. 


Ahh, Yoobao. We don’t know what Yoobao means. Is it the name of the owner of the Yoobao company? Is it a drink? Is it a yummy food from China? Who knows? What we can tell you, though, is that it’s our absolute favorite iPad 2 case to date.

Bear in mind for this review: This is a revision 2 Yoobao case. For the love of all that is good and merciful in this world, – make sure to confirm you’re getting a revision 2 Yoobao case if you're not sure. If you don’t, you’ll be sorry, probably.

But let’s start at the beginning. Opening up the cardboard box treats you to one of three Yoobao cases, either in red, brown, or our office favorite – black.

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We had a little giggle when we took the cases out, because it treated us to our new favorite thing to say: “Quality Your Lifestyle.”

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You seriously can’t even make this kind of stuff up. 

Anyway, don’t let broken English put you off, because this case means serious business. For those that have followed our iPad case reviews, you’ll know we have a special place in our collective nerd hearts for the iPad 1 Apple case. It preserved the size and weight of the iPad perfectly, and while the material was prone to picking up all kinds of hand oils, we didn’t care, and loved it dearly.

Well Yoobao apparently decided it loved Apple’s case, too, because this case is a rip-off, in the very best sense of the word. 

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Yoobao took the original Apple case and made it better. Instead of the stain-gathering material that Apple provided in their first cover, we have a soft, comfy, warm-fuzzy-making leather. Yes, this case gives us that happy, snuggly feeling we crave in a case. By comparison to our feelings on the Speck PixelSkin HD Wrap, this is night-and-day better in our hands.

The black and red cases come with a grey microfiber interior, and the brown case comes with a brown microfiber interior which is very handsome (especially if you have a white iPad 2 to go inside it!). The black case features white stitching, whereas the brown and red cases have brown stitching. We think all the colors look fabulous. Black for the office-type peeps, brown for the more daring, and red for the flamboyant among us.

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Getting the iPad into the case is simple. Slide it in, and wrap the small flap of leather around the back of the iPad to prevent it falling out. There’s something to be said for a case that doesn’t make us wince as we insert the iPad into it. This is one such case. Once the iPad is situated correctly, no amount of rotating the iPad etc caused our favorite Apple device to move from its installed position. Good stuff!

Of course, the case folds perfectly into landscape for typing, or into movie-watching landscape mode. Interestingly, unlike the Apple iPad 1 case, this Yoobao case is remarkably stable in movie-watching mode. Heck, Netflix was enjoyed in bed last night in landscape mode with no trouble. It’s very solid.

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All ports line up very well, often a tricky situation when it comes to leather and its stretchiness, plus the usual inconsistencies from one case to another. Even the tiny microphone cutout is perfectly aligned here.

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And rather than expose the entire speaker grille as other case manufacturers are wont to do, Yoobao has decided that your iPad can never be too protected, and thus there are just little perforations in the leather to let the sound travel through to your ears. This causes absolutely no sound degradation that we can discern, and we prefer this to the huge speaker cutout. 

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But let’s move on to our favorite feature of the Yoobao. It’s a Smart Cover! Yes, you can close the case and your iPad 2’s screen will turn off (as long as you set the option in the menu!) For those who don’t know, when the iPad 2 detects a cover with Smart Cover capability, it adds an extra menu option in Settings to enable this feature. With this revision 2 cover, we had 100% success rate with the screen turning off and on correctly from the magnets in the cover. We really love this, a lot.

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We really can’t say enough good things about this case. But there’s always some reservations, if we are to be picky (which we are). It might be nice if there were a way to secure the front cover to the iPad. We appreciate the simplicity of the cover just resting against itself, but if somehow there were a way… 

Also, there’s a very slight chemical smell from this case when new. For those who had the rev. 1 Yoobao iPad 2 case, you probably noticed the incredibly awful smell. That’s 99% gone here in rev. 2, but be aware that all leather cases appear to smell a tad. Get used to it!

So What's to Like?

iPad fits cleanly, consistent stitching, Smart Cover (!), very light weight, maintains the iPad shape, gives us that snuggly feeling with its soft leather. Easy to use in landscape modes. 

So What's Not to Like?

Slight chemical smell out of the box (if you have a sensitive nose), front cover isn’t secured, not as rugged as a hard case.

Verdict:

We love, love, love this case. If you loved Apple’s iPad 1 case, this should be a no brainer. We at bighugenerd believe you NEED to "Quality Your Lifestyle" with this Yoobao. We give the Executive Leather Case a stonking 4.5 nerds out of 5.


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*September 8, 2011 UPDATE*

Please see the updated revision-3 review for more Yoobao awesomeness!
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Thank you to Kay at AYL for providing these samples for review. Link is below!

Dado
4/20/2011 02:58:02 pm

Thanks, prob gonna buy this now!

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bighugenerd
4/20/2011 03:41:32 pm

Glad this helped. :)

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Joy
4/20/2011 03:55:39 pm

Great review!

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Steve
4/24/2011 12:45:57 am

Thanks, I found your site via MacRumors and ordered the Yoobao case as a result. I have white iPad 2 and ordered the black case. If the case is 80% of what you say it is, it will be good value. I considered the Treegloo (too big and bulky) and also the skins (carbon, plastic, leather etc.). I would really have liked a Piel Frama but the wait was too long and they are a bit pricy - over $200 delivered, that is a bit ridiculous!

But I think the Yoobao offers the protection and look that I want for a good price!

BTW, very good review - you should do some more

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bighugenerd
4/24/2011 05:29:54 am

Thank you! More is coming. :-)

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Niclas
5/10/2011 05:47:05 pm

Thanks for the review! It made me order one :)

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Robert
6/3/2011 02:40:40 pm

Thanks for the great review on the Yoobao iPad 2 leather case (Version 2). Just received my new Yoobao black leather case today and it looks and fits great! However, I must say that my version 2 case still really smells. It is so strong, I wonder if this smell is somewhat toxic? Remember the toxic issue with drywall from China a few years back? Do you have any more information about this strong smell? Thanks for any info you can provide. Best Regards, Robert

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bighugenerd
6/3/2011 04:36:41 pm

Robert, there's still going to be a chemical/leather smell from the rev. 2 case, and it's definitely one of the negatives with this case which is why I pointed it out. It shouldn't be REALLY strong. Everyone's nose is different, though, so if you find it too strong, I might get it exchanged.

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Nick
6/15/2011 08:17:11 am

The smell is from unregulated amounts of formaldehyde used in the curing process of many chinese leathers (particulary the PU bicast leathers). It is considered toxic (the reason why so many FEMA trailers shipped after hurricane Katrina were uninhabitable). Sunlight (UV) and heat will speed breakdown of volatile aromatics to tolerable levels. Leave it outside for a few hot, sunny days and it should be fine.

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Irregular Shed
7/5/2011 09:43:00 am

I've got the red version of this case. Love the style, and the leather (and its grain) is lovely, but by Christ the smell is over-powering. I hope it fades quickly because I don't want to get a headache every time I pull out my iPad!

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bighugenerd
7/5/2011 12:10:51 pm

If it smells pretty bad, you may have got a rev. 1 case. You may want to contact your seller if you're not sure. The rev. 1 smell is indeed ghastly. The revision 2 (and now 3) case has a very, very faint smell, - certainly not headache-inducing!

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waterson1986
8/9/2011 12:52:30 am

The 3rd version has no bad smell at all. Xengadge.com also is a Yoobao dealer.

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sophie
8/25/2011 01:31:32 pm

leather case is just so so.it's more business than fashion. i prefer dsstyles bling cases.

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Cynthia
9/29/2012 12:58:41 am

will it fit a first gen ipad?

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bighugenerd
10/2/2012 06:15:40 pm

Sadly it won't. The first-gen iPad is too thick to fit in the cover.

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7/3/2013 05:37:16 pm

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10/20/2013 08:53:46 pm

nice one

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