STM Goods Dux Studio
It becomes harder with each iPad Pro case to find differentiation. I no longer collect any cases on the market. I look to those of significant quality that I have found particularly useful over the years, or emerging cases that offer some form of innovation that makes this better than the average iPad case.
I am reviewing the STM Goods Dux Studio because Australia’s STM consistently designs cases that fit the Goldilocks zone—not too much, not too little. Just right. That a few improvements might make it an even more universal choice.
What we like
The $79.95 semi-hard TPU and polycarbonate shell snuggles precisely across the iPad Pro’s body, leaving an opening for the iPad’s multiple cameras. The clear case comes with a black, red or blue cover. The cover attaches firmly to the back of the shell, wrapping around the display and securely adhering to it via magnets. When the case is closed, it wraps the iPad Pro completely. Opening the cover wakes the iPad Pro without touching a button.
A notch on the case holds the Apple pencil. I like that not only does the case include a spot for charging the Apple Pencil. Unlike many cases, which leave a gap for charging but don’t protect the pencil, this design conveniently covers the Pencil as well.
The Pencil protection design enables a use case of turning the iPad Pro upside down without worry that the Pencil will detach. If, like me, you read the iPad Pro in bed, and sleep on the left side of the bed, then turning the iPad Prop upside down allows for charging without crossing the cable across the iPad. I know this sounds like a very minor use case, but it makes for a more assuring experience. I don’t have to worry about searching my Apple Pencil when it falls off.
Most iPad cases convert to a virtual keyboard input configuration, and a video consumption/workstation configuration. The Dux Studio does both. Unlike many cases that rely on friction or magnets, this case places reinforced plastic on the edges of the cover that correspond to two tabs on the back of the case that hold the cover in place. The front flap does stay out of the way via magnets that adhere it to the back of the case.
What could be improved
It would be great if STM would consider the next level of magnet use. While the case protects the iPad Pro entirely, it can be unwieldy in use. When folded back it flops around, unattached unless put into stand mode.
Ideally, the front cover would be removable. This is not unique to the STM design. Apple, however, separates many of its covers from the cases. Mophie as well, with their keyboard cases, see value in a case that reduces down to its essence when needed, leaving the screen cover out of the way, leaving the camera accessible.
The second issue with the STM Goods Dux Studio also relates to the cover: the two tabs that hold the cover. While the TPU plastic is not overly rigid, it is stiff when molded into small things like tabs. My issue is the tabs can be sharp if the iPad in the STM case gets, well, rubbed the wrong way. Most of the time this won’t be an issue, but I have been prodded by these tabs a couple of times, and depending on velocity, this can get your attention.
STM Goods Dux Studio: The Bottom Line
The Dux Studio offers complete protection for the very expensive iPad Pro. They also offer several cases for other iPad models. The Dux Studio is light, well-made, and attractive. The clear back shows off the sleek iPad Pro design. With the Dux Studio open and not in a stand configuration, the cover flops around a bit clumsily. Other cases also suffer from this problem, though the flap that reaches over the top of the iPad to securely enclose it, adds additional material not found on cases like Apple’s Smart Folio. But with that caveat, the STM Goods Dux Studio will protect iPads well, and create stable platforms for typing, drawing, or consuming media.
STM Goods provided the Dux Studio for review. Images courtesy of STM Goods.
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