The Griffin Elan Sleeve, iFrogs Envoy and Tuff-Luv Veggie cases are all vertical pull-tab cases for the iPad. They are designed to be used inside another bag or case, and have a pull-tab at the top for easy removal of the iPad from the case.
Ultimately the Griffin Elan Sleeve separates itself from the other two based on superior materials, additional protection, visual styling and a more practical fit (less snug, easier in and out).
The Griffin case made the best first impression. It was well packaged and just felt nice coming out of the plastic.
The iFrogz made a good impression as well. The embossed design is nice looking and the white is very bright. The realization that it closed with velcro was the only negative.
The Tuff-Luv was not as positive. It didn’t look bad, but my initial concerns about the design of the ring were not put to rest, and the case opening was a bit wavy and uneven.
These cases are intended to be used for protection while being carried inside other bags, backpacks, etc. and provide moderate protection and quick access to the iPad.
Features, Design & Fit
These cases are all slim to avoid taking up much space and provide a pull-tab to make it easy to remove the iPad from the case. The pull-tab feature lifts the iPad out of the sleeve case so that it can be easily removed without requiring you to squeeze against the screen and pull it out forcefully.
The iFrogz case was the tightest fit. I assume it will have loosen a little over time, however I didn’t use it long enough to notice too much of a difference. Using the pull tab is a requirement to remove the iPad from the iFrogz case.
The pull-tab of the iFrogz case is secured with velcro. I’m not a fan of the sound velcro makes when you separate it, so I wasn’t keen about this design decision. The strap is a thin nylon that had to be pulled rather hard – it was a little uncomfortable to be pulling so hard, though the case never showed any signs that this was a problem.
The Griffin case fits a bit more comfortably. It’s easy to slide the iPad in and out of the case. Without having the pull-tab closed the iPad would fall right out of you held it with the opening facing downward. The
The pull-tab on the Griffin case is quite nice to use. It’s more substantial than the others, and returns to it’s retracted position once the iPad has been removed from the case (I assume, via elastic). The straps on the other cases are returned to their retracted position when the iPad pushes them back down on its insertion into the case. The Elan’s strap doesn’t extend the iPad as far from the case as the other cases, however the looser fit makes it just as easy to remove.
The Tuff-Luv case fit pretty well, but had an odd wave at the top which I tried to show in the photographs. It just didn’t sit flat against the top of the iPad, which makes it feel somewhat cheap and unrefined. The ring that holds the strap in a closed position is a real pain in the arse. It is difficult to open and close without the strap snagging on the nub on the closing arm. Like the iFrogz case, the nylon strap that lifts the iPad from the case is returned to it’s contracted position by pushing it back down when you re-insert the iPad into the case.
Craftsmanship, Material & Protection
The Tuff-Luv and the iFrogz cases are available in other colors besides the ones shown here. The iFrogz case is also available in black, and the Tuff-Luve case is available in an attractive pink/brown combination.
The Tuff-Luv “Veggie” gets it’s name (I assume) because of the faux leather material used for the body of the case. This material feels quite nice, and in causal use or observation I’d imagine most people would think it is actual leather. The interior of the case is somewhat soft, but not particularly plush. There is little padding in the case itself – a trade-off for size. The case provides good screen protection, but should definitely be used inside another bag.
The iFrogz case appears to be faux leather as well, and is fairly rigid. The interior is cloth, but is not very soft (perhaps nylon?). If a pebble or other hard material were to get inside the case and the iPad screen were to slide against it, I think it could scratch. With the snug fit and rigidness of this case, this is the only one of the three I’d have this concern about.
The Griffin case is faux leather as well with a microsuede interior. The interior is markedly softer than the other cases and there is more padding in the walls of the case than the others as well. The exterior material is very soft and feels like leather – it also feels like it will pick up scratches easily and is a serious dust magnet.
Order Process & Delivery
Each of these cases was ordered from Amazon, with the iFrogz and Elan qualifying for Amazon Prime 2-day shipping. The packaging and delivery of each was standard – everything arrived in good working condition.
Value & Conclusion
It’s interesting to me that at the time of this writing, two of these cases are available for significantly less than I initially paid for them. The iFrogz case can be had on Amazon for $13.20 (a 41% discount) and the Elan is available at Amazon for $25.23 (a 44% discount from what I paid on Amazon and a 50% discount from the price on the Griffin website). I thought that the ~$25 price point on the iFrogz and Tuff-Luv cases wasn’t too bad, but for under $15, I definitely think the iFrogz case is a nice deal.
I wasn’t a big fan of the Tuff-Luv case, and since it’s now the most expensive of the three, there is really no reason to recommend it (unless the other color combinations really sing to you).
The Griffin Elan is the nicest case of the three to use, and given the choice at the current prices I’d grab the Elan and not look back.