The iPad Air was one of the most popular tablets of 2013, and even since the release of the second generation iPad Air, we believe it will be one of the most popular this year too, especially with a fair discount on the first gen tablet.

Saying that, what good is an expensive, fragile iPad without a case on it? In perspective, it’s a lot cheaper to buy a case for your iPad than to end up paying for a repair or replacement.

But I’m not here to tell you to buy a case for your iPad, that’s old news. I’m here to tell you about the STM Dux, a truly excellent case which I recommend for any iPad user looking for a well-built, versatile case.

STM Dux

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The main part of the case is made of hard-wearing TPU style plastic and fits around the iPad snugly. It doesn’t stick out too much and has nice ridges for grip on it. The Power/Lock and Volume Control buttons are accessible through the case and aren’t as difficult to press as you’d expect.

The Mute/Rotation switch is slightly covered but still accessible through the case without any trouble. The camera has a cutout around it and since the iPad Air doesn’t have a flash, the case doesn’t cause any camera problems.

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The corners are slightly bolstered up for  support which holds the iPad in firmly and also to protect the iPad in the event of a drop.

On the topic of dropping the iPad in the case, I didn’t need to try it myself because STM did a military spec drop-test by dropping the iPad in the case 26 times from a height of 1.22 metres:

On the back of the case is a crystal clear plastic panel which shows the majority of the back of the iPad, such as the Apple Logo and ‘iPad’ branding. The purpose of this clear panel is to show off your expensive Apple product but also to allow you to put printed photographs, notes & reminders and business cards in-between the back of the iPad and the Case. This is a really cool feature and could definitely be useful for a lot of people’s daily lives, being able to store and check different things from the back of their iPad.

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The case also offers up a lay-on-table design feature, which means you can lay the iPad down flat on a surface, screen down, and not scratch the screen due to the slightly raised edge of the case, which in turn protects the screen.

Lay-On-Table ridged design

Lay-On-Table ridged design

Another cool but slightly disappointing feature of the case is the flip cover. This imitates the original Apple Smart Cover by locking and unlocking the screen using magnet technology, and on the Dux it keeps the screen covered and protected when the iPad is not in use. The flip cover has a nice textured plastic finish on the outside, and a soft microfibre lining on the inside to keep the screen clean and protected.

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The flip cover is disappointing because it’s flimsy and confusing, in the sense that it doesn’t stay up or hold the iPad upright on a flat surface like most flip cases do. The cover connects to the back of the iPad with a magnet but doesn’t hold unless you really press on it. It’s entirely possible to do it, just not as easy or intuitive as most users would like.

Other than that, I haven’t run into any problems with the case at all. It’s durable, has a great design, fits the iPad well and most importantly offers up great protection for a fair price.

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We recommend that you buy this case from here, and it’s available in Black, Red and Blue. The case costs £49.99 from Amazon and even though in proportion to most cases that can be considered a steep price, it’s really the most versatile and protective case you’ll find with such a high level of quality to it.