One of the side benefits of Microsoft's Surface Pro becoming a modern computing option for the masses is the abundance of accessories. Mozo has been around for a few years, getting its start with unique cases for the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL.
Besides its Surface Sneaker sleeve, the company has a new option in the brown or black Folio for your Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4. I've been sporting one of my Surface Pro 4 for a few weeks now. Here is what I think of the $54 (€49.90) add-on.
Materials and design
Approved through the "Designed for Surface" program, the Mozo Folio is a unique. The Mozo Folio is form fitted for the Surface Pro 3 and 4, and it reminds me of the Huawei MateBook's protective case, including its color and functionality.
Made from colored polyurethane leather, the Mozo Folio comes in brown or "black golf" colors. The base of the Folio is stiff but somewhat flexible. The reinforced bi-cast leather is what gives the Folio its protective abilities, as well as a base for the Surface to stand on during use.
The Folio oddly attaches to your Surface via some special adhesive on the upper back. In that sense, the Folio is something you put on and plan to leave on for the foreseeable future. The benefit of such a system is that the Folio feels more integral to the Surface and acts as an extension of the design rather than "just another case." No slipping, sliding or readjustments are ever needed.
A magnetic flap keeps the Folio latched closed, and it protects the rear camera during travel.
One of the satisfying benefits of the Mozo Folio is that it creates a solid base between the Surface and the kickstand, which is usually left as an open gap. Some people don't quite like the somewhat sharp Surface kickstand putting pressure on their legs when used in the lap, and this case fixes that.
Taking it for a flip
Using the Mozo Folio for the Surface is straightforward, but it requires some slight finesse. You just open the flap, push up the Surface and then extend the Surface kickstand. That last part requires the finesse, because the Folio somewhat obstructs the kickstand – not fully, just enough that you must reach in to open it.
Despite the back of the Folio covering the Surface kickstand, the Surface can still slide forward leaving it unhindered. That means you can lay the Surface down at any angle without encumbering the kickstand.
In day-to-day activities, the Surface Pro loses a bit of speed from going closed to open due to the Folio, but it's not a major drawback. And closing the Surface with the Folio is quite satisfying. My Surface Pro 4 now feels 100-percent protected and secure in the Folio.
Besides being able to just toss it into a backpack without worrying what is at the bottom, the Surface with Folio feels great in hand. The Surface keyboard no longer flops open on its own, and the system has more grip.
Finally, one of the biggest complaints about the Surface is that it's unclear what specifically you should do with the Pen during travel. The pen's magnets notoriously do not hold up when in a bag, making it something extra to concern yourself with (and later dig out). With the Surface Folio's magnetic flap, you can attach the Surface Pen to it and have it secured during transit. And it looks great.
Wrapping it up: Should you buy the Surface Folio?
I recall once putting my Surface Pro 3 in one of those airport bins to go through security. When it came out from the scanner, there were some minor scratches on the Surface, likely due to the rigid plastic of the bin and the Surface sliding around. I'd had the device for only a week. Situations like that one make the Folio an excellent choice. Obviously, had I had it in a Folio such an incident would not have happened.
I like the design and functionality of the Mozo Surface Folio. It's different than traditional sleeves or separate bags, both of which take up more room if you pack them. It's also one of the thinnest solutions to protect the Surface that I have come across. If you don't like bulk, this Folio is a solid choice.
I also like the way the whole thing looks when closed, including when the pen is locked down.
The two downsides I see are pricing — $54 is not cheap — and the permanent nature of the Folio, due to its adhesive. I'm not too concerned with removing it because the adhesive is modest and won't mar the Surface's chassis. But it does it mean that once you put the Folio on you will have to leave it there. I should also mention that the brown version is more susceptible to "leather wear," giving it a worn look with some "distressed" marking. Some like that look, others do not.
That permanence may be a good thing if you, like me, appreciate the classy look and functionality of the Mozo Folio. The Folio is the kind of case that feels like an extension of the device and not an external wrapper.
- See Brown Surface Folio at Mozo
- See Black Golf Surface Folio at Mozo
- Neat and thin design.
- Looks professional.
- Locks down Pen during transit.
- Provides a larger, more comfortable base for Surface.
- Not cheap.
- A little clumsy to open.
- Adhesive makes it a semi-permanent solution.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.