BY IMTIAZ FAROOQ
Like many things here at TekTalk towers, it takes something very special for us to review something which would otherwise be a very ordinary accessory. The FreedomCase is indeed that very special thing. Before we get into the meat and bones of the review, I’d like to talk about its origins.
A rarity amongst accessories
The FreedomCase is a case for the Surface Pro 2 which allows for all-round protection as well as enhanced flexibility in regards to kickstand usability, essentially adding more positions to the Surface Pro 2 to enable it to be used at similar crazy angles widely seen on Surface Pro 3. The case is a rarity amongst accessories because
- a) it isn’t made by a Logitech or a Belkin (a big case manufacturer) and…
- b) it is one of very few third party accessories for the Surface line of tablet PCs.
I came across it when browsing Kickstarter and after being struck by its usefulness, I went ahead and pledged my $59.00 with the hope that by April, my 3 month old Surface Pro 2 could get some much needed protection. Things didn’t pan out that way at first; I ended up receiving the product mid July 2014 but seeing as it’s a problem most Kickstarter projects have, I overlooked that and dived right into testing.
Little touches set it apart
At first glance, the FreedomCase in PU Leather finish looks very plain but peel behind that initial viewpoint and you see little touches that set it apart from any of the inevitable knock-offs. The magnets that are housed in the case are INCREDIBLY strong, enabling a very secure fit. All the creases are of the highest quality and the material itself is very nice to the touch, exuding a premium quality that justifies the price tag. As the product expands to retail stores across the world, I’d imagine there will be more colours available or at least the same colours Microsoft offers with its Type covers.
At first, I felt that the case was very fiddly and cumbersome in a ‘home’ environment. In this situation, I tend to use my Surface Pro 2 in the second kickstand position, comfortable enough for viewing and pretty easy to type up work such as this review. The FreedomCase then is very much the opposite of its name when using around the home. However, take it outside and it starts racking up the points in the general use category.
Extra positions are a godsend
On a coffee table in a café, the extra positions are a godsend and in a Costa/Starbucks, having the ‘super sharp incline’ mode as I like to call it as one of the folding options is so unbelievably good. As someone who frequents cafes and uses my time there to get work done, the FreedomCase enabled that exact thing whilst eliminating the shortcomings the Pro 2 comes with. It is a mark of a truly excellent accessory that it can take a product already very good and make it just that much better and it is a mark that the FreedomCase earns with flying colours in this category.
Overall, after a couple of weeks of testing the FreedomCase, I am qualified to say that this is one of the essential accessories you can buy for your Surface tablet. The price might be a little steep at $59/£40 but considering what you get for the price; the quality of finish, the looks which are in keeping with the Surface design philosophy and not to forget the extra positions gained from shelling out such an amount of money. It is a hell of a deal and one of the few times when I have bought a product and have had nothing negative to say about it once truly used to how it works. The wait was well worth it.
I wonder how the company plans to adapt the design for the Pro 3 seeing as that beast takes all the useful addition added by this case to the Pro line and builds it into the design of the device. That is one for the guys behind the FreedomCase to answer but for now, they deserve a pat on the back for this. Well done.
If you want to purchase a FreedomCase, you can do so via www.freedomcase.com for $39 plus shipping. If you own a FreedomCase and want to comment on my thoughts, feel free to do so via our social media channels.