Since the Nexus 10 was released last October, I've been hunting for great accessories to go with it. There's no word on the official-looking dock we saw in Google's "Happy Holidays" video, nor has there been even a mumble about the flip cover we spotted when the Verge got an exclusive hands-on.

Personally, I'm fine without the flip cover, and I can do without the dock, but having owned Samsung's sleeve for the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, I wanted to find some sort of stylish carrier for my slick new 10" tablet. I soon arrived at SFBags.com, home of a great variety of cases, sleeves, and carriers for all sorts of devices, including the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. The folks at Waterfield were nice enough to let me try out two cases, each worthy of looking at separately. We'll start with the Smart Case, a slim yet practical entry to the Nexus 10 case lineup.


The Look

The case is available in green, flame, copper, pine, pearl, and black color variants. For this review, we'll take a look at the pine option.


The first thing you'll notice about the Smart Case is that it looks substantial yet extremely soft. On both broad sides, the case is covered in pleasingly textural fabric. On each narrow side is a slim leather panel, and on the back is a handy nylon pocket/sleeve for toting around tiny notebooks and other sundries.

There's also a leather loop at the bottom of the case to hold a stylus. Personally, I don't use a stylus with the Nexus 10. If I did, I'd likely have some reservations about keeping it stored out in the open, and would be more likely to tuck it into the case's nylon pocket.


The insides (on all color variants) are plush black fabric that's soft and squishy with a "high impact rigid insert" deep inside that allows the case to hold form and protect your tablet. Sliding the Nexus 10 into the case is much easier than slimmer alternatives, due in part to its plush interior, and in part to its ample interior space. That said, the case isn't too loose.

The Feel

The Smart Case feels slightly hefty. That's not to say that its size is overbearing – in fact its large size could be considered an advantage. Compared to its thinner counterparts, the case gives the impression that your device is well-protected while still being readily accessible. You'll just need a sliver of extra room in your bag to carry this thing around.

If I might use poetic license, I'd say that the Smart Case feels like it's giving the Nexus 10 a warm hug.


Pictured with the Dodo Durables sleeve for Nexus 10

Though it has a soft, plush interior that allows for easy insertion of the Nexus 10, the case keeps the tablet in. Even actively shaking the case, in my experience, failed to break the tablet from the Smart Case's embrace.

Is It Worth Sixty Dollars?


The real question with the Smart Case, as with almost any mobile accessory, is whether it's worth the price. The case rings in at $60, which may be on the high end for some buyers. Is it worth the price? That's a tough call. The case is solid, well-made, and looks nice. It keeps the Nexus 10 comfortable and safe. That said, it's a little bulkier than some of the alternatives, and takes up a good chunk of space. If you don't mind its thickness, Waterfield's Smart Case is a great choice. To get one of your own, just hit the link below.

Buy: Nexus 10 & Nexus 7 Smart Case

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • edjca

    $60 is a good price considering now one's making accessories for the N10 (Including Google and Samsung) besides the usual cheap Chinese case makers. Looks great for what you're paying.

  • TheKaz1969

    Portenzo is now making their high quality (with price to match) cases for the Nexus 10 now, as well...

    • Wilfredo Alarcon

      For $110, that thing better be made of gold and have enough to withstand a rocket fired at it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

        No but it does tell the world you are the type of guy who spends over $100 making a tablet the engineers made as thin as possible look like a leather bound book.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    I had to do a double take since the N10 looked like it was on top of a book. I don't think this would be for me. I try to not take away from the slim profile of my devices whenever possible. However I can forgive smartphone covers since they offer shock protection. I'm not going to drop my tab and even if I did a basic case can keep it from breaking for the most part.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

    I'm not trying to sound pessimistic, but there are two things I'm not clear about.

    1. What makes this a "smart" case? Does it turn the screen off when you put it in, or is it really just a marketing term?

    2. Shouldn't this be called a "sleeve?" I think of a case as something you can open and close, but this doesn't appear to do that.

    Those things aside, I'm happy to see someone making SOMETHING for the N10. I wish companies realized that those of us who bought one are easy prey. Considering what we were willing to spend to get one, I'd say the odds are pretty good that we also have more to spend for accessories.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      "Smart Case" is just the product's name. Sadly, there's no type of wake/sleep functionality with the case.
      I agree with you about the terminology, the case is more of a sleeve in reality.

  • andrew zavala

    I discovered this site at the beginning of January just after receiving my Nexus 10, and I almost purchased one of these Smart Cases. It is definitely a sexy case, and looks like it was be really handy and protective, but at the end of the day I couldn't bring myself to spend the $60 on it. I am still considering it however, especially after this review.

    What case are you personally sporting on your Nexus 10 Mr. Spradlin?

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Personally, I go with Dodo's Durables sleeve on a day-to-day basis. It's super slim, comfortable, and looks great. That said, it's a little pricier than I would have liked.

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    Soo bulky.

    I wish they would make the flip cover but until then I am happy with my Poetic one. Sure its cheap shit but I never run a case unless I am on the go because the tablet is so pleasant to hold without it. Anything on it more than doubles the thickness/weight and blocks me from that pleasant soft-touch skin.

    What i really want is the dock. The tablet is our home computer and spends its days on the end table. That Korean company came out with the excellent cable that uses the POGO pins so now I dont have to worry about constantly using the microUSB, I am hoping they turn their expertise into a dock as well.

  • Wilfredo Alarcon

    So what accessories ARE out for the N10? I love my tablet, but I am seriously at a loss to find anything that is actually good.

  • PhoenixPath

    Just ordered: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AG0D61O/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (Poetic KeyBook Removable Bluetooth Keyboard Case)

    $35, comes with a BT keyboard...have not received it yet, but the reviews are decent. My only real concern with this one is tha teh keyboard faces the screen when closed and could potentially lead to scratching if there isn't enough padding between the two...

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

      I have that one; it's a decent case. I can assure you the keyboard never touches the screen. I even took it on a cruise recently and it did well being packed into a suitcase.

      The only real issue I have with it is that it blocks access to the pins on the bottom. I got the pogo charger (which I heard about here) and I have to open the case to connect it. Also, I wish the flap/tab/whatever-you-call-it was magnetic, so I didn't have to spend time trying to tuck it into its loop.

      The case adds a lot of bulk, but I did expect that and I assume that's the deal with any keyboard case.

      • PhoenixPath


        One of the reviews mentioned that the POGO charger worked with the case...I guess that reviewer only meant "when open"...


        Ah well, it'll be better than nothing I suppose (Yes, I bought the POGO charger as well).


  • Case Fetish

    That's not a loop for your stylus. It's a place to hook your thumb when you're pulling your Nexus out of the case. Makes it easier.

  • http://www.facebook.com/miki.gavette Miki Gavette

    I like the design ! Also I was using program from http://www.dvdvideosoft.com to Convert video files to MP4 format to playback on this Tablet PC.

  • Indydi

    Not sure I'd go for a sleeve, but this one is unique. I've tried four different cases-- the Amzer silicone, Gmyle, Bear Motion leather, and MoKo Ultra Slim. By far my favorite is the MoKo Ultra Slim. It's very slim, the lightest of the three, and the smart feature works. It's also inexpensive and comes in great colors.

  • james millard

    Yeah this is kind of hideous, ended up buying a smart cover and travel bag from http://www.juberry.co.uk that were so much nicer and considerably less expensive

  • Than Jonathan

    The "Booki Case" - Very low cost, visit: http://www.booki.com.co