Product: DODOcase Spring Summer iPad Case
Price: $79.95 (Personalization and camera hole extra)
Rating: Strong Recommend*
Unlike smartphones, which I prefer to use without any protection beyond a screen-protective application, I'm a believer of keeping the iPad secure inside a case of some sort. This is partially for the fact I've carried my 1st gen iPad everywhere, noting its larger dimensions made it prone to accidental dings and bumps while carrying it around, opposed to a smartphone, which you simply pocket or keep in hand. Now that I'm on my 2nd iPad (my girlfriend was all too happy to adopt my first), I've been testing various iPad case solutions, including DODOcase's most recent offering...
What better way to test an iPad case than to travel abroad on a cross-continental trip? I loaded up the new iPad with episodes of Treme and a few Kindle books for the long haul from LA to NYC to Milan last week, then tucked it safely inside the canvas cover and snug bamboo tray.
The exacting detail of the DODOcase fit and finish is most notable when placing the iPad the first time, as even a millimeter off could aversely affect the way the tablet device fits within. Taking the bespoke suit analogy further, the DODOcase fits like the best of Savile Road, securely fitted by rubber bumpers at each four corners. That said, if you're one to constantly remove the iPad, the fit could diminish in time, so it's best to keep it inside than remove regularly.
My two-tone Granite/Poppy edition was obviously chosen as a nod to the Apartment Therapy colors, complete with custom "Apartment Therapy" monogramming on the binding and front cover (yes, that's our Twitter account). The foil quality is excellent from all angles, and the additional detailing gives the case that extra bit of fashion which admittedly taps into the vein of personal vanity.
Other details which impressed were the integrated instant On/Off feature helping the illusion of the iPad as a real book, an optional camera hole in the cover, alongside a contrast color elastic strap to keep your book's cover from flapping open while in-transit.
During my week's stay traveling in and out of airports, airplanes, hotel rooms, and across Milan, the DODOcase helped alleviate any worry about damaging the iPad, even protecting it from a few errant raindrops during the less than stellar weather during our time abroad. And the novelty of pulling out what seemed like an edition of an Apartment Therapy book never waned once friends/acquaintances realized it was really an iPad being brought forth.
Is it perfect? No, I still have concerns in time the oils on my fingers will inevitably leave the cover looking less than stellar; cleaning it when stained is going to prove as delicate as washing a real book. Also, the case/cover is priced on the higher end of the spectrum, reflecting the handmade construction and Made in the USA status. But then again, if you're an Apple customer, you're likely prone to pay "just a bit more" for design.
Bottom Line: The appeal of DODOcase for the new iPad is various: the tactile quality of a book, the knowledge each has been handmade using traditional bookbinding techniques, the playful two-color design, the option for monogram personalization. They all add up to an iPad case which doesn't so much disguise the iPad, as transform the minimalist form factor into the recognizable comfort of a favorite book, a sensation with great appeal to any recovering bibliophile in the era of eBooks. The fact it looks so darn handsome is just a bonus.
Pros: Evident eye for detail, fit, and craftsmanship which should appeal to your inner bibliophile; discrete in public; secure handhold thanks to cloth cover; handsome foil letter detail customization sets case apart from other "me too" book-style cases; front cover folds back for one handed reading when needed.
Cons: Premium price reflects premium quality; optional camera hole requires extra fee; concerns about cover staining after long-term use; difficult to clean.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by the manufacturer for testing and review purposes.