While I love a leather case, there are times when device protection comes first. If you take your iPad Pro with you to work every day like me, this may be the case. In my case, sometimes using my iPad Pro at work means putting it in harm’s way. That has a way of changing your priorities when it comes to cases.
One of the reasons that I’ve been a fan of Urban Armor Gear for a few years now is because their cases offer great protection at a reasonable price. However, it goes further than just taking great care of your devices. UAG’s cases also manage to do it with style and good design, as well.
I was pretty certain that UAG would update the Metropolis for the new iPad Pro’s design soon after release, so I was ready to go as soon as it was announced. They sent me both the 12.9″ and 11″ versions to try out, and I have been using both off and on over the last few weeks. After plenty of time spent with them both at home and at work, I have to say that I am very impressed with the new Metropolis.
Attention to the little details
As you can see, the Metropolis is a full-coverage case that includes an integrated cover for the screen. One thing I always look at first with a full-coverage case like this is how all of the buttons and cutouts are handled.
I’ve owned and reviewed several cases from UAG, so I wasn’t at all surprised that everything lines up just as it should. From the opening for the camera lens, to the covered Sleep Button, to the exposed Volume Buttons, to the openings for the four speakers on both sides, everything was just as it should be.
The Metropolis also works perfectly with the new Apple Pencil.
The Pro’s magnetic charger is exposed, so this case doesn’t get it in the way when it’s time to dock and charge it. The Metropolis also has a rigid backstop for the Pencil, which is a smart addition. The case has a small magnetic closure flap that holds the front over the screen while you transport your iPad Pro.
That closure folds over the location where the Pencil docks, so it was important for UAG to include something to stabilize it while the case is closed. Add the backstop and the closure flap together, and your Pencil is nice and secure while you carrying your iPad Pro around.
The Metropolis also incorporates the same industrial design elements that you will find in other UAG cases.
The raised edges and grooves along the edge and back. The tasteful UAG branding both inside and out. The alternating smooth and rigid and textured composite material on the back.
The Metropolis is unmistakably UAG and that’s a good thing.
A stand up case
Just like its predecessors, the new Metropolis also doubles as a stand for the iPad Pro. The soft-lined front cover acts as a base, with three sets of notches to secure the iPad Pro in landscape orientation.
The back of the case has a flexible hinge that connects the front cover. This gives you plenty of flexibility to use the Metropolis as a stand, or to position the front cover when you open it while holding the case.
This stand mode works perfectly on a hard surface. While the front cover and the hinge that connects it to the back of the case are both pretty flexible, I also found that I could also use the Metropolis in my lap without issue. In fact, I typed most of this review in my lap with a Bluetooth keyboard.
You can also fold the front cover of the case behind the Metropolis if you want to hold the case at a more steep angle.
This setup is good for drawing on the iPad Pro or typing on the screen. It is also very stable in the lap.
When its time to use your iPad Pro on the road, just fold the front cover behind and you’re ready to go.
Because the front cover is hinged in the middle, it is a little on the floppy side in the back. To prevent this, just fold it in half and you can hold it behind with one hand.
There is one major difference between the 2018 iPad Pro version and the previous generations of the Metropolis. Because of how Apple relocated the new Smart Connector and redesigned the new Smart Keyboard Folio, the Metropolis is no longer compatible with it. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any way around this now that the Smart Keyboard is a case unto itself, so there’s no fault on UAG’s part. If you want to use a keyboard with the Metropolis, just get an Apple Magic Keyboard or Logitech K811 Bluetooth keyboard and call it a day.
Hitting the right balance
The biggest drawback to most protective cases is the extra size and weight that they usually add. This was always my big objection to the classic Otterbox iPhone case design. However, I’m very impressed with how balanced the Metropolis design and construction is. The outer shell and the coverage the case provides inspires confidence that the iPad Pro can survive a fall, but it is still thin and light enough that it doesn’t needlessly alter the device’s new, slimmer design.
I think this stems in large part from UAG’s use of lightweight and flexible materials. While the frame of the case is thick and rigid enough to provide protection for the Pro, it doesn’t add unnecessary weight and thickness. This flexibility also makes getting the iPad in and out of the case quite manageable.
Combine the more flexible than it might appear frame and the slim and very flexible front cover, and you have a case that keeps the 2018 iPad Pro experience thin and light while still providing a lot more protection than your typical Smart Folio-inspired cases. While I still love my 12.9″ iPad Pro the most, and the 12.9″ Metropolis is great, the 11″ version shines a little brighter in this department.
It is just a perfect mix of portability and protection. The Metropolis and the 11″ iPad Pro are a perfect match.
UAG’s use of lighter and more flexible does mean that the Metropolis isn’t bulletproof. No case can remain this thin and light and pretend to be indestructible. So, if you use your iPad Pro in situations that put it at constant risk from water damage or drops from more than 10 feet, you might want to look elsewhere. However, if you need enhanced fall protection and all-over coverage, the Metropolis definitely fits the bill.
As for me, I am carrying my Pro all over a sports arena full of hard floors as part of a project I’m working on. I am using it for job notes, quotes, and to pull up all of the vast amount of blueprints and documents required for the job. The Pro is the perfect tool for this, and the Metropolis is a case I can trust while I am using my Pro on this job day-to-day.
The Metropolis for the 2018 iPad Pros is exactly the kind of case I’ve come to expect from UAG. It provides protection without sacrificing portability and does so at a reasonable price. It is versatile, allowing you to use the iPad Pro however you want without getting in the way. Oh, and it still looks good doing it, as the industrial styling fits this case perfectly.
At $59.95 for the 11″ iPad Pro and $89.95 for the 12.9″, the UAG Metropolis is reasonably priced for what you get. Just compare it with Apple’s own cases or others from well-known case and accessory brands. Again, this mix of protection and portability is rare in an iPad Pro case, but the Metropolis still stacks up nicely against other quality cases in terms of cost. The Metropolis is also available in Red and Blue, if Black isn’t your thing.
At the end of the day, UAG’s Metropolis is a great match for the 2018 iPad Pro. When you factor in the rampant stories of this iPad’s unintended flexibility, it’s important to use a case that can stand up to a little abuse. The Metropolis is my choice for added protection when it’s time to go to work and I heartily recommend it.
The Metropolis cases for the 11″ and 12.9″ iPad Pros were provided for review on iPad Insight by UAG. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the About page.