The first thing you notice as you pick up the Incipio Premium Kickstand is how light it is. Weighing only 14.8 ounces, the Kickstand is one of the lightest professional iPad cases we have seen. The case fits both the new iPad and the iPad 2, and it boasts a folio design, much like a day planner.
The Incipio Kickstand is available in two styles, black vegan leather or rip-stop nylon. The nylon case come in black or gray and is smooth and easy to clean. The vegan leather is smooth and non-textured, and the interior is covered in a soft microsuede. This material protects the screen and back of your iPad from scratches and abrasions. Be aware that microsuede has the nasty habit of attracting lint, so it will require a little bit of upkeep if you wish to enjoy a lint-free case.
Your iPad is held in place by five rubber clips that do not obstruct your touch screen. This lets you play games or swipe without having to worry about hitting your finger or losing accuracy because of an intrusive clip. Installing a new iPad into the Incipio Premium Kickstand is easy, but you will find that the low profile clips hold your iPad better if you slide it in instead of trying to push it into the clips. Once installed correctly, the Kickstand will hold your iPad securely, even if you shake it.
All buttons and ports are accessible while your iPad is installed in the case, and the headphone jack and the speaker are unobstructed as well. While we enjoy the aesthetic look of the low profile clips and the slimness of the case, we are a little concerned with how the case protects the sides and corners of the iPad. The case only extends a few centimeters beyond the iPad and would not protect it very well if it were dropped from a high place, such as a staircase or loft.
The cover is unique in that there is a flap that opens up, revealing three ribbons that you rest your iPad on to type. Most cases that prop up your iPad in a typing configuration have a cover that folds into a triangle, but the Incipio Kickstand cover does not fold in any way, retaining a wide sturdy base. The cover flap is held in place by magnets. Also, there is an elastic strap that can be placed around the cover to hold it shut and help keep your iPad from opening. The cover will also activate the sleep/wake function of the iPad if you have that option set.
The Kickstand comes with the Incipio Inscribe stylus, and the loop that holds it is inside the case is out of the way yet easy to get to. You can use any of the three grooves on the inside of the cover to prop your iPad into a display mode. The grooves are deep enough that they hold your iPad safely without sliding down, even if you run into some turbulence on the plane or if you bump your desk. Unfortunately the Kickstand only safely supports displaying your iPad in landscape mode.
Overall, we are impressed with the Incipio Premium Kickstand. It is slim and, professional looking, it includes a stylus, and it is versatile in its display and typing positions. The Kickstand lacks complete protection from everyday use outside of safe environments, but it is a good case for office use, traveling on a plane or displaying your portfolio to clients.