The Maroo Mana II is a classic folio-style case for iPad 2 and iPad with Retina Display models (i.e. iPad 3 and iPad 4) but with a bit of a twist. It has a simple design in terms of function but is anything but when it comes to styling.
Maroo offers a wide range of iPad and Kindle cases, from the sedate to the splendiferous and the Mana II sits somewhere in the middle. On the front is an intriguing cassette tape design printed on green nylon fabric while the back and binding are finished in black leather, and the whole lot's finished off with orange stitching. Open the case up and the bold colour continues with a green faux-suede lining.
It's not really to our taste but it's certainly different and the build quality is top notch with genuine leather and tough nylon in use, with sturdy card sides and a generous amount of padding below the fabric finishes. The pliable plastic frame that grips the iPad by its corners also feels very robust and grips the iPad very firmly.
In terms of features, the Maroo Mana II doesn't have too much up its sleeve but you do get an elastic strap on the inside cover that acts as a handstrap when holding the case open, which is quite a useful trick.
Another couple of elastic straps at the corners can be used to hold the cover closed when you're on the move and there's also a slim pocket on the insleeve which rather cleverly has a cutout section that's just the right size for business cards. Rounding things off are the hole on the back for the camera and a small fabric strip under which the cover can be jammed to prop up the case, which can be done either at a very shallow or near vertical angle. The shallow angle aids readability when the iPad is laid flat while the vertical one is useful for sitting back and watching video or such like. Neither is a patch on the ingeniously secure let perfectly angled design of the Pong iPad case, though. Shame it costs £100.
So although there's nothing much here that isn't offered by a myriad of other cases, equally there are few obvious features missing. Also, it's worth noting that this case does offer a reasonable degree of damage protection thanks to its sturdy padded front and back and tough plastic corner grips.
The Maroo Mana II is a case that's sole appeal really comes down to its design. While it offers a competent set of basic features and good build quality, you're either going to love or hate the black and green styling. That said, Maroo does offer plenty of other style choices so it's worth checking out its website to find a style that suits. At £50, the Mana II is reasonably priced for a well-built case but technically there's nothing that puts it above the many, many alternatives.