With the announcement of the “resolutionary” new iPad several months back, also known by many as iPad 3, we did expect a flood of all sorts of new accessories for the new iPad to hit the market, but we really didn’t expect there any must haves besides what the Apple store has to offer.
Well, we found a must have with the Cooler Master Wake Up Folio – an “everything included in one” smart cover that’s made for the new iPad (3rd gen.). It’s also backwards compatible with iPad 2.
So what do we mean when we say it’s everything include in one? It’s a sub-$40 accessory from Cooler Master that does triple duty for the price of one product. Read on for the details.
The new Wake Up Folio is an extension of the original Wake Up Folio product line from Cooler Master. Besides addingthree new color options – red, purple and dark gray – it seems as if Cooler Master had gone a step further and redesignedthe Folio aroundthe “just-a-tad-thicker-than-the-iPad-2”new iPad, or iPad 3. In my tests, I found that it has a very niceglove-like fit to it.
Cooler Master’s website describes it as “a colorful and smart way to protect and use an Apple iPad” which “brings a touch of color to a sea of gray devices”. Gray devices could be an apt description – the light gray is one of the most popular covers for the iPad 2 and iPad 3, especially the white one.
But, I digress. Wake Up Folio is designed to be a seamless protective accessory, meaning it’s supposed to be a front cover, back cover and built-in stand – all in one. Now how neat is that?
Let’s take a look at the design, one feature at a time.
As a Front Cover
With a stiffshell on the outside and soft microfiber lining on the inside, the new Wake Up Folio keeps your iPad in tip top shape, ensuring that it’s safe, secure and not exposed to the scratches, scuffs, dings or dents thatjust happen with daily use, even if you’re the careful type.
The front cover features a strong magnet, similar to the original accessory from Apple, which helps the iPad to detectwhether the lid is open or closed. When the lid is closed, the device goes into sleep mode and when the lid is opened back up, it’s ready to for work or play again.
It“wakesup” or “falls asleep” on its own, which is great for saving power.
As a Built-InStand
Like Apple’s Smart Cover, the Wake Up Folio’s front cover can be folded back, tri-fold, into what is essentially a built-in stand. It’s a clever design that that conveniently reduces bulk, especially when traveling or just taking the iPad on-the-go. Not only that, but when folded, the stand can be used one of two ways – both of which provide an optimum viewing angle for anything that you might do.
On this end, there’s really not much new here. The built-in stand is pretty much the same as what you might find with other “smart covers”, whether you choose the original accessory or some other brand’s offerings. The good thing is that the quality is just as good, if not better, than everything else you can find on the market.
As a Back Cover
Now, this is a very nice touch – the integrated back cover.
Being a front cover, back cover and stand, all in one package, the new Wake Up Folio is a unique one-piece design. We really do feel that it is “more than just a smart cover.” The slim all-around fit offers complete protection, as the site says, from the front to the back.
Now, let’s check out the fit and finish.
It’s pretty evident that Cooler Master put a lot of thought into the fit and finish of this product.
As an upscale touch, the new Wake Up Folio features eco-leather on some of its most popular colors, and some of the new colors. The eco-leather, which is more durable and easier to maintain, is wrapped from front to back, except around the outermost edge of the back cover. That part is made out of what Cooler Master calls PC, which is a polycarbonate plastic material.
While this material along the back edge does add a tiny bit of a plastic feeling, since it is plastic, but it’s definitely not a deal breaker as it really doesn’t detract from the sleek look of the cover at all, and the product itself is otherwise very well-designed – especially the black and the white version.
On some of the other models, like the red one that we’re reviewing today, the PC material is a white color, resulting in a two-tone back side. By no means is this color scheme back looking, especially if you are one of those who enjoy this style. But, I do know some of you out there prefer the cleanest look possible and if that is you, I would highly recommend picking up only the black or white one, or both. On these two models, the PC material actually matches very closely to the color of the eco-leather material. It’s very sleek-looking that way.
The new Wake Up Folio has three new colors added for a total number of 10 colors available– white, black, pink, orange, blue, gray, green, red, purple and dark gray. (Check out all the colors here.)
Is the new Wake Up Folio from Cooler Master the must-have accessory for your new iPad?
Well, that’s a tough one considering all the other choices out there on the market now, but absolutely YES, I would recommend it, especially for the quality and most importantly, the value.
Just to compare, Apple’s Smart Cover starts at $39, and that’s before adding their new Smart Case back cover for $49 (nope, Apple doesn’t have a one-piece design – at least not yet). If you prefer leather, then add another $30 to the total cost. Before you know it, you’re at $88 to $118.
If you pick up Cooler Master’s new Wake Up Folio, on the other hand, you get the front and back cover combined into one, so you will just need to buy one accessory rather than two. The best part of it all – the new Folio can be hand for just under $40 at Cooler Master’s official online store.
Now, if you absolutely must get the original accessory because, well, it’s just Apple, it’s understandable. But, at the prices you’ll be paying for even one of the non-leather sets from Apple, you could instead be purchasing two sets of the eco-leather version from Cooler Master or three of the polyurethane models, with possibly some change to spare.
The new Wake Up Folio from Cooler Master is near perfect.
It gets a 9 out of 10, and an Editor’s Choice award that’s truly well-deserved.
– One piece design
– Eco-Leather, so it’s easy to clean,
– Quality Materials
– Micro fibers wrap all around the tablet.
– Great color selection
– Aggressive price point
– limited availability as only available thru very few channels
– Slightly thinker than other cases covers.