The Florence is Sena’s take on the original iPad case design, but fitted for the iPad 2 and wrapped in some very fine Napa leather. The fit of the Florence is absolutely superb, and the amount of protection offered is actually quite impressive. However, I do have some issues with its cover.
Like Apple’s own Smart Cover, the Florence has a magnet embedded in the cover to automatically sleep or wake the iPad. The case magnets work well enough when you lay the front cover over the iPad, but that isn’t how you’re supposed to seal the Florence. The cover is supposed to tuck into a small niche in the bottom-right corner of the case.
This mini pocket does a good job of keeping the case closed and it is more elegant than the metal clasp that most other cases use, but it simply isn’t secure enough to work with magnets. The fact of the matter is that you can never really count on the Florence to put the iPad 2 to sleep properly, nor can you rely on it to keep the iPad asleep, since the fairly loose cover will end up repeatedly awakening the tablet, even while the case is closed.
If Sena can address this issue in a future version of the Florence, I’d be much a happier camper. However, for purposes of this review, I turned off the sleep/wake functionality on my iPad and pretended that the Florence’s magnets weren’t there at all.
When seen as a thin and light full body case without any magnets, the Florence gets higher marks. Unlike the Sena Folio for iPad 2, the fit of the Florence is tight and straight. Most every part of the iPad lines up perfectly with the Florence’s cut-outs, with the exception of the FaceTime camera, which remains partially blocked by the raised leather around the screen. This is definitely a problem, but I’ll admit it wasn’t one that bothered me, since I seldom use FaceTime myself.
I don’t expect all that much from slim fit case protection department aside from the ability to ward off scratches, but the Florence was a pleasant surprise in this regard. The back of the case is soft, supple leather, but the front and all of the sides are quite rigid and should provide some decent shock protection in the event of a fall. A fitted Florence is no Otterbox, but it has kept my tablet safe, even in my crowded gear bag.
The front cover of the Florence folds and tucks neatly into the rear of the case to form a stand that supports the iPad and landscape viewing and typing modes. These positions are similar to the ones offered by the Smart Cover, albeit at far more comfortable angles. The typing position keeps the iPad higher and propped up at a steeper angle, while the media viewing position is higher compared to the Smart Cover, but at a shallower angle (which makes the tablet easier to view close up).
The $80 Florence has some undeniably good qualities—a great device fit, surprisingly good shock protection, and two good stand positions—but I can only recommend it to users that won’t miss the Smart Cover magnets and FaceTime camera.
I would also like to add that, having reviewed two Sena cases by this time, I cannot help wishing that the best parts of the Folio and Florence could be consolidated into one product. A Folio with the fit of the Florence, or the Florence with the versatility of a Folio would be an absolutely fantastic must-buy case, as far as I’m concerned.
The Sena Florence was provided by Sena for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.