Review: Urban Armor Gear Metropolis Case for 10.5-inch iPad Pro

UAG Metropolis Case for 10.5-inch iPad Pro (in use). Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

UAG Metropolis Case for 10.5-inch iPad Pro (in use). Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

Yesterday we looked at a minimalist case for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro -- the Moshi VersaCover. This case is great for those of us who work indoors, but it certainly wouldn't provide a huge amount of protection in the great outdoors. That's where the new Urban Armor Gear Metropolis Case for 10.5-inch iPad Pro is supposed to excel as it's apparently designed to take drops onto hard surfaces and keep your tablet safe. This case retails for $59.95 on both the UAG website and on Amazon (affiliate link - your purchase helps to support Apple World Today). 

Design

The UAG Metropolis is not only rugged-looking, it's versatile as well! The base design starts with a thick polycarbonate case that the iPad Pro slips into, with honeycomb indentations on the back side of the case to provide cushioning for the tablet in a drop. The corners are given extra padding as well. 

The well-padded backside of the UAG Metropolis. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

The well-padded backside of the UAG Metropolis. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

A thin flap covers the iPad Pro display, with soft microfiber actually touching the screen. That flap also acts as a stand for the iPad Pro when folded over. The interesting design tweak is that the entire flap can be removed, meaning that owners of the Apple Smart Keyboard or Smart Cover can continue to use those Apple products without compromising the drop protection of the Metropolis.

The thin, removable screen cover. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

The thin, removable screen cover. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

How good is the protection of the UAG Metropolis case? It meets the MIL STD 810G-516.6 specification, which deals with the functional drop of an electronic device. The standard requires that the tested item can physically and functionally withstand the frequent, repetitive shocks encountered in transportation, service, and handling. Note that the standard does not say anything about how high a drop the case protects against, and that there's no protection from dust or water. 

The Metropolis comes in three colors: black, Cobalt (blue) and Magma (red). As you can see from the photos accompanying this review, the Magma case really stands out! There's also a rubber grip for an Apple Pencil near where the flap magnetically closes.

A closeup of the Apple Pencil holder. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

A closeup of the Apple Pencil holder. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

Function

As I don't particularly wish to put my iPad Pro at risk, I didn't test the drop-proof standard. However, the Metropolis feels and looks like it could handle a drop without damaging the device. 

The iPad Pro snaps easily into the case, and it's easy to remove as well. As I do not own either the Apple Smart Keyboard or Smart Cover, I was unable to test the functionality of those accessories with the Metropolis case. 

I wasn't particularly impressed with the way that the cover attaches to the case. There are two small plastic pieces that need to snap into place into holes on the case, and one of the two had a tendency to pop out when I flipped the cover up despite my best efforts to push it in. I finally took the iPad Pro out, placed the case on a tabletop, and pushed down hard to get it to snap in.

Despite the thickness of the Metropolis case, the ports are very large and adequate for plugging in power, headphones, and so on. The case doesn't use pass-throughs for buttons -- instead, the openings leave the iPad Pro's buttons exposed to the outside elements, which seems to be somewhat counterintuitive until you realize that they're recessed enough to not be impacted by a drop. 

Conclusion

The UAG Metropolis case for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro seems rugged enough for travel in a car or truck, but I wouldn't use it in a situation where it would it could be exposed to real falls onto rocks, dusty air, or water. Something like the Lifeproof Nüüd would be much more protective, although at over twice the price. Still, this is good enough for daily "city use".

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★