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When the 10.5 iPad Pro came out, there was one accessory that was missing from Apple’s line up. The iPad Pro Silicone case which provides protection for the back of the device. The first generation of iPad Pros had seen apple take a different approach by not making a “smart case” but instead separating the case into two part, one the Smart Cover or Smart Keyboard and the other a silicone back case with a gap for the Smart Cover or keyboard.

Nearly a year later and there still isn’t a 10.5 silicone case and using the old 12.9” case on the new iPad Pro 12.9 can cause some issues. However, there are some third part offerings and I recently grabbed one from Khomo on Amazon. But is it any good and should you consider getting one?

What’s the point in a back case?

You may be wondering why I’m even bothering with a back case for my iPad? For a long time many within the Apple community lamented the trend in phone cases as the phone “was meant to be held naked.” Likewise, adding a case adds bulk to the iPad and no functional benefits unlike a screen cover which can protect the screen and prop it up. Well there are a couple of reasons I can identify and they are important for working out is a case is good or not.

  • protect the back of the iPad from scratches and
  • as a surface to cover in stickers (and not worry about the residue if and when you come to sell your iPad later.)
  • to enhance the design and look of the iPad
  • Additional functionality such as a pen holder or keyboard.

The Good

Starting with the good points, the Khomo case is very comfortable to hold. The texture of the material is akin to the material you find on the outside of the Smart Keyboard cover. This means it melds into the the Smart Keyboard and cover as well, feeling like it is from the same product line. This was one of the main reasons I chose the …, so that it would match my keyboard cover.

The raise lip of the case works well with the Smart Keyboard which when folded up doesn’t overlap but instead merges in. Forming a near flat layer across the top of the iPad. This also means you’ve got a little bit of protection if you happen to drop your iPad without the keyboard case attached as the case will hit the ground first and absorb some of the impact instead of the screen.

The bad

It’s not all perfect though, there are a couple of touches which are interesting design choices. Not having owned the last iPad Pro, I can’t compare these decision with the offical apple version. Regardless, they aren’t the most comfortable choices.

There is a gap at the bottom below the touchID home button and where the lightning port is. This helps for charging and is useful for locating the touchID sensor. At the same time, the absence of the lip of the case in this single location is a controversial decision. Now in defense of the case, if they left the lip here, I’m sure I’d complain that touchID would be uncomfortable, but perhaps a better alternative would be to have an groove there but still some material to keep the look.

While the last decision has some reasons to defend it, the second is much harder to justify. That is the difficulty in accessing the power and volume buttons in the case.

The case has cut out sections for the different buttons. These provide a clear indication of where the buttons are and can be found by sliding your finger along the edge of the case, except the buttons are deeply recessed thanks to this decision. As such, you have to move your hand round to a comfortable position to press the buttons properly. With the power button this is made worse by the size of the gap and slot for the speakers. This makes it harder to find the button and then press it.

The net effect is that I’ve change my habit from tapping the button off to closing my keyboard case to switch the screen off. This isn’t a great sign when someone changes their habit to adapt to your design decision.

A final comment that may be a disadvantage or advantage to you depending on your perspective is the lack of Apple Pencil support. Some cases do provide a slot to hold your Apple Pencil, but the Khomo case doesn’t. To fulfill this need, I stuck a Leuchttrum pen loop onto the side of the case. It holds the pencil well, but it will lead to the pencil’s power slowly draining. A problem with any case that holds a pencil due to its proximity.

What I haven’t been able to test

There are a couple of aspects of the case which I haven’t had the chance to check yet. These include how the case affects the temperature of the iPad (iPads can under some conditions get hot and turn off. When we walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain I was glad that my old iPad Air didn’t have a case to overheat.

I have no desire to intentionally drop my iPad Pro and see how resistant the case makes it. If you wish to make this test possible, the send me 1000 for a potential replacement and I’ll do the test.

Buy/Don’t Buy

Overall, I’m happy with the back case. It has set my sticker game back a bit but I like the look and the whole iPad feels a lot slicker now. The added protection is a real benefit too.

If you don’t care about a backcase, then don’t check this out. But if you’ve wanted some extra protection for your iPad Pro and bemoaned that Apple didn’t ship a silicone back case for the 10.5, you really ought to check this case out.

The back case was purchased out of my own product and the opinions expressed are completely my own.

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