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Hardware Design

The STM team has done an excellent job with this iPad case, you can read detailed specifications and product information here. I must say this is one of the best designed cases for the iPad I have seen. It not only looks great (especially the back), but it also provides excellent protection. If you don’t believe me, just click here to see their drop test, You can’t help to cringe a little through the video.

STM Dux Back Side

The Dux offers two positions: standing mode and typing mode. They both provide good support thanks to the use of magnets in the lid tongue which firmly secure the lid to the case’s back when folded. However, I would have preferred the writing position to be a little less steep. It’s not a big deal, though and it doesn’t produce wrist discomfort of any kind.

STM Dux Standing

The case covers the on/off button and the volume controls. I was concerned about this at the beginning since cases that offer this “feature”, usually don’t give enough button feedback and you end up either pressing to hard or not pressing at all the covered buttons. That’s not the case with the Dux, buttons work just as they are supposed to.

Hardware Quality

Materials are quite nice for this price range. The inner part of the lid has a felt-like lining which both protects the screen from scratches and keeps it clean. The outer part of the lid is made of textured plastic, really nice to the touch.

Here is one of my favorite features: the actual part of the case holding the iPad is made of rubber which is clearly reinforced in the corners, providing just the right amount of flexibility to get you iPad in and out easily, but without being “too soft” like some of those silicone cases. All this without adding any significant bulk to the iPad air. That’s not easy to accomplish.

General Performance

As indicated above, the case looks nice and provides excellent protection. The lid has magnets which allow it to automatically turn the iPad on and off. However - and this is where one of the few criticism I have towards this case comes into place - the lid behavior can be erratic, at least that was the case with the first review unit I got. When closing the lid, I was able to hear the “clicking sound” of the iPad turning itself off more than once, and sometimes I couldn’t hear it at all. The iPad would always wake when opening the case, but sometimes I found it already on when doing so. There seemed to be a problem either with the location of the magnets in the lid or with the lid not closing completely flush against the case. Granted, I don’t think the iPad would eventually drain its battery completely as a result of this, but it definitely had a detrimental effect on the device’s battery level.

STM was nice enough to send me a second review unit. And although it behaved much better than the first one, I was able to notice the same issue at least a couple of times. This may not be a big deal for many, but I just wanted to point it out.

Price

The STM Dux for iPad Air sells for $50 in Amazon at the moment of this writing, which seems appropriate for the quality and protection level this case provides.

What Others Are Saying

As part of the Quarks Rating System, I include ratings from other reputable websites such as Newegg and Amazon in order to provide a more objective rating scale (more information [here][0]). The Dux is not sold in Newegg, but it has a 5 star rating in Amazon at the moment if this writing.

STM Dux Back Side