First off I've spun myself dizzy doing research and I come to you know begging for help. With all the experience here surely you can narrow down the possibilities that will suit my needs.
I've already got a Targus Versa-vu (got it for free when they first came out cuz the magnets didn't put it to sleep) Way to bulky, and I don't need the portrait stand mode, at least not if it's going to add any bulk. My wife had some other Targus I forget the name of it but we ended up giving it away because they way it closed was to mechanically clip to the ipad which I didn't like.
I have an I-skins solo smart and smart cover. I went this route because I love the port dust covers, and I ABSOLUTELY love the lip that borders the screen. I have a screen protector on there anyway, but what I'm talking about is if I was to put the ipad screen side down the screen wouldn't touch anything because of that lip. I really want that lip. I really dislike the smart cover though, everything about it. The only redeeming feature was being able to magnetically stick my stylus to it. I much prefer the folio style cases that have a single flat surface like the Ifrogz summit. Also, the back covers about 1/3 of the speakers outlet. Audio engineering is one of my forte's and while I can't see how the speakers are set up internally (which could make all the difference) having that area blocked can actually damage/kill the speaker.
I have an Ifrogz summit case as well. If I was able to combine this and the above I could make the perfect case. The size is not too bulky, the ipad is secure, it has a stylus holder. It feels quality. Things I didn't like about it is it doesn't stay closed. I wrap an elastic around it to keep it shut, but as you may have guessed by now I'm a perfectionist and OCD so for a permanent solution I can't handle that. I also liked the speaker holes it left the speaker holes open w/o having a huge open rectangle in the case. But there is no lip to wrap around the front. The reason this is important to me is that I have that expensive steinheil/spigen screen protector on the ipad and its thick and also intentionally a bit undersized. I would really like something with a front lip that can cover that gap. I have another question about the screen protector in the moment. Also, the hard back shell has no lining in it.
Lastly I have a cheapo poetic cover from Amazon which is actually a great case for the money, I was impressed. The whole thing is covered inside with super soft suede, in that regard it was better than the Ifrogz summit. But I don't like that style of stand, where half of the ipad pops out of the case and rests in a designated ridge.
So money is no object (under $200) and I can order it and wait but would prefer something that is in stock and ready to ship. And I don't want something cheap. i.e. the speck pixel skin fits a number of my needs but gets bad reviews. In order of priority what I'm looking for
1. Has that front edge/screen lip and covers all possible edges. I bought port plugs so that is no longer a concern, but I see many cases that leave large portions of the iPads edge exposed. As much coverage as possible, though I don't mind leaving the volume or sleep buttons exposed, the Iskins made using those a bit of a pain.
2. The less bulk the better, I understand you have to give a little to get a little. But the ifrogz summit size was fine, also the dodo's/portenzo's etc would be fine, but not the otter box or targus versa vu or any of the awkward looking/shaped cases. I find myself drawn to the classier looking options.
3. It has to be a folio style that I can open and close, preferably like a book cover, not the multi-faceted smart cover. Also, staying closed would be nice whether it's through an sewn in strap or magnets.
4. I would love something with one of the sound channel ports to make it essentially front firing, but that is only in a few models that I have seen.
5. Stylus storage of some sort I would really like, but I can live w/o it or fashion something
6. Something that will last i.e. I hear the dodo's need frequent replacement
Things that are pretty unimportant to me
1. The different stand options. They would be nice to have but I don't find myself using them a ton
2. The material it's made out of. So long as it doesn't scream "cheap" I'm fine with it. Function is more important
This seems to be the case that would fit most of the bill but it can't be ordered right now, and the company is also not responding to my emails. Perhaps they were just gone the holiday week
Apparently I can't post links yet, but it's the Zero Chroma Chamelio Anyone know if that has the sleep wake magnets?
The other options that I think about (they don't have the front lip I'm looking for) is the Pad and Quill or Portenzo. Any opinions on the sound performance improvements they claim?
Is there any that I'm missing?
Lastly about that expensive spigen screen protector. I tinted windows for almost 10 years in one of the hardest climates to do it. I'm beyond expert, so applying all these invisible shields etc is cake for me. Well this spigen doesn't even use water, there is a silicone base that is the adhesion. That base is fairly thick. Well, it certainly wan't me, but it appears that somewhere during the process something was dropped or placed on that silicone layer denting it. So when applying it all air bubble were easily removed, but that is beyond an air bubble. There is physical space between the ipad screen and the silicone. It's physically impossible to remove it, but I finished the process anyway hoping the heat from the ipad (we use small propane torches on cars) would soften it or whatever. But it's been almost 3 weeks now and its the same size it was when it started (I measured it) I emailed Spigen a few times now and sent them pictures of it and no response. I'm going to call today. It explicitly says they will not take returns once the box is open. But not only was the dent in the silicone layer imperceptible, but I wouldn't have been able to catch it until I opened the box anyway. Since it's a manufacturer defect they should fix it no? The non-responses is just very weird.