Review: iPad Pro 12.9 UAG case

I don't know about anyone else, but when I buy a giant slab of glass, I immediately start buying cases to try on it. In this case, I found one pretty fast that I actually really like. It's the Urban Armor Gear composite case. I bought it at Best Buy for $79.99. I already had a Smart Keyboard and didn't realize that you can use them both, so, win.

It's supposed to be impact resistant and have some space-age materials, and you can read about all that on the company Web site. My liking for it is based on more practical considerations.

  • Weight and size. Whatever it's made of is super light, and it doesn't take up much room around the iPad. If you already have the aforementioned giant slab of glass, you becoming immediately interested in not adding much weight to it.
  • Grip. The iPad is slippery. All Apple devices are slippery. I like the skinny naked look for your average device, but it's only a matter of time before I drop them if they are unclothed. This case has grippy material and protects the back as well as keeps me from fumbling with it.
  • Built-in Apple Pencil clip. Talk about slippery. I love my Apple Pencil with a kind of deep panicked affection. In the same way I always know where my keys are, I have a kind of built-in radar for it. Still I fear losing it. It's both small AND slippery. This case has a rubber grippy clip on the side that it snaps in to.
  • Works with the Smart Keyboard. The case has a side on the smart connector side that you can snap off and hook up your Smart Keyboard, so it basically acts like a back case that allows a Smart Cover. I'm a big fan of the Keyboard, and this setup lets me just take it off if I'm reading or drawing or something and yet easily put it back on to type or cover the screen while it's in my bag.
  • Kickstand. Along those lines, the Keyboard gives you ONE angle for propping up the iPad, and it's a fine angle indeed. But if I'm not typing anything, the case has a kickstand that allows multiple angles. It's a flimsy piece of crap kickstand and I hope it doesn't snap off, but it does have a wide base to it and supports the iPad really well if I want it propped up low on a table, which I tend to do when I'm reading stuff that may result in some minimal typing, which I'll just do on the glass keyboard.

iPad, Smart Keyboard, and case weigh slightly over 3 pounds, which ain't light, particularly when my MacBook Pro weighs only half a pound more. It's all perception, though. The iPad setup FEELS much skinnier and lighter, and dragging it around without the keyboard shaves off weight and bulk.

More to the point, I'm not likely to pull out my laptop to do much of anything when I'm out and about, but as it turns out, I AM likely to pull out my iPad, even as big as it is. You never know when you'll want to sketch something or look at something on the big pretty screen. I do read a lot on my iPhone 6S, but if I'm going to be reading for a long time I prefer this big old two-column view. I know, that's weird, and it's just all a matter of personal preference. I'm probably as surprised as anyone else that I like this thing so much.

It IS big enough that my MacBook cases and bags are fine to chuck it in and tote it around without them looking silly and wasting a lot of space, but it's also skinnier enough that it goes in my regular (admittedly giant) everyday bag. It's like the size of a thick folder of paper, of which I have MANY in said bag.

I don't usually review cases, because I don't buy that many. They're a horrible ripoff so I'm a bit choosy. This one, however, is worth reviewing because it's so convenient, at least for what I want a case for. I recommend it despite the scary-flimsy-feeling kickstand on it.