I have had Targus Versavu cases for various iPads I have owned in the past, and they were always sturdy workhorses which got the job done. Not glamorous, perhaps, but practical. So when I got a new iPad Air 2 from Best Buy as an early Christmas present, and the Targus Versavu for iPad Air 2 was fortuitously on sale, I immediately snapped one up. Now, the iPad Air 2 is a graceful and delicate device, with breathtaking lightness and thinness. It is a thrill to hold. But when I inserted my lovely Air 2 into the Targus Versavu, it became…blah. Side by side with my daughter’s iPad 2, in its trusty Versavu case, there just wasn’t that much difference in appearance. Don’t get me wrong–the Versavu works perfectly well. The only defect that it has is its lack of a sleep/wake feature upon closing and opening the case, although I had one person comment to me that her Versavu for iPad Air 2 had that feature, so perhaps Targus has added it in. That aside, everything works fine on this case. The iPad fits fine, although the material of the cradle to which you insert the iPad is a bit hard and unyielding, making me worry about scratching the iPad when taking it in and out of the case. It seems to me that my old iPad 2 Versavu case had a softer plastic cradle for the iPad, but perhaps this new version provides more impact protection. At any rate, it works fine and holds the iPad Air 2 securely once it is in. The front cover, which doubles as a stand, is nice and strong, and the stand function is very stable in a horizontal orientation–perhaps a bit less so in the vertical orientation. But overall, the case works fine. It just takes all the magic out of your iPad Air 2. Why buy a super thin iPad, if you are going to smother it in a case like that? And…my biggest beef with this case is that there is no information in the case packaging about the level of protection offered by this case. You would think that a case this thick would offer good protection for your device…and it might…but Targus is keeping it a secret from you.
So, frustrated with the Targus Versavu, I went the exact opposite and got an Apple SmartCase for my iPad Air 2. Putting them side by side is quite illuminating:
The Versavu is just clunky next to the graceful SmartCase. And yes, it is cheaper, but it is not cheap by any means. The MSRP for the Versavu is $49.99, versus $79 for the SmartCase. If you are going to spend $50, what’s another $29 on top of that? And the SmartCase is just so much nicer. It takes up much less space in its stand position (and looks more elegant, although it could be argued that it is less stable):
And the SmartCase is made of top grain leather, while the Versavu is some sort of PU leather, at best, and it has sleep/wake functionality which works flawlessly. Is it less protective than the Versavu? I would certainly think so, but I have no plans to drop it 🙂
So, in closing, I can think of no compelling reason to choose the Versavu unless:
* it is on a major sale; or
* you really need the vertical stand functionality (which admittedly the SmartCase absolutely lacks, but I found I never used in any of my previous Versavu cases); or
* you like the clunky look?
Anyway, thanks for reading my review/rant. For more information, you can check out my YouTube review on this case: