One of the first accessories new iPad owners tend to buy are cases. While the iPad is a relative tough slab of technological gee-whizardry, a good case will increase the survivability of you iPad when you are stricken with Fumblefingeritis, as even the healthiest of us are from time to time. A good case may also offer a set of additional features to increase the usability of your iPad by allowing it to stand on its on, or lie in, a position conducive to screen typing.
Then there are cases that may to offer advantages that aren’t quite as tangible as full body armor.
For the longest time I had been using Apple’s iPad Case, a forty dollar affair that’s thin yet does a decent job protecting my iPad while affording several useful positions for using my iPad.
Not long ago I discovered DODOcase and was intrigued by their advertisements. They offer cases that are actually book bindings made by real book binders based in San Francisco. Inside the binding DODOcase uses a construct of bamboo and rubber to hold your iPad in place. Then the whole thing is finished off with an elastic strap that’s meant to keep the binding closed during transport.
I bought one.
The case was shipped lickety-split and I was unwrapping it a mere three days after ordering.
If you’re a fan of minimalism then you’ll feel right at home with a DODOcase. Its unadorned exterior will make you iPad look more like a miniature monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey than a book. The cover is a leather-looking material wrapped over a stiff board, just as you might find on most hardback books.
DODOcase for iPad
The inside of the binding is covered with a colored paper (you get the default red, but you can pick one of seven other colors for five dollars more) christened with the DODOcase logo. You’ll also find the bamboo carriage in which you iPad will snuggly fit with the aid of four rubber bumpers. By pressing your iPad into the case the bumpers grab hold for a reasonably good friction fit. My iPad didn’t quite fit as flush as I liked, but when I explained the problem to DODOcase, they immediately offered to correct the problem, explaining that, “Unlike an injection plastic mold which will be the same every time, wood will vary slightly. This is a shortcoming of such a beautiful, natural material. To overcome the variance, we have two different sets of bumper sizes. Sounds like this may simply be a case of a tray that is on the tighter side getting bumpers that are larger size.”
OK, I’ll buy that explanation. The tray is nicely made.
The bamboo tray does a good job of holding to your iPad
In use, the DODOcase performs well, offering a nice, if plain suit of armor that should survive all but the roughest handling, backpacks, or briefcases. Using the case as a stand, however, can pose a challenge.
Lying it on a table with the back of the case folded over to produce a slight incline for landscape on-screen typing is, by far, the most stable way to use the DODOcase as a stand. Creating an inverted “V” works for watching movies or typing via a Bluetooth keyboard, but the case annoyingly slides flat on smooth surfaces at the slightest provocation. Forget about making a triangle stand like you might with the Apple iPad case, because the base is too narrow to be stable. Also, forget about standing the case in portrait orientation, because the iPad makes the whole affair front-heavy and your iPad will fall flat on its finger-smeared face.
The inverted “V” works, but not of smooth surfaces
Let’s go back to the binding for a moment.
Did I mention that it’s hand made by actual bookbinders in San Francisco? In fact, the whole case is a product of DODOcase’s philosophy of using local manufacturers to build a produce that’s green and aids the local economy. Should it matter that your case is made from renewable resources by local craftsmen instead of a massed produced piece of plastic churned out by underpaid laborers in some dingy factory in Kowloon?
That depends on whether you’re willing to pay US$59.95 (plus shipping and handling) for the former, or likely a lot less for the latter.
Bottom Line: The DODOCase for iPad is a serviceable product that could be made more serviceable if the DODOcase engineers would come up with a way to keep it from sliding flat in landscape position. Its simplistic design is attractive and durable, but in my opinion, could use a tweak to make it infinitely more useable. It’s the only reason I can’t give it a higher rating. Even so, I really like DODOcase for iPad and applaud the company’s social consciousness, and I can solidly RECOMMEND* it.
|Review Item||DODOcase for iPad|
* Note: My rating system goes like this;
- Get it Now! - Highest rating and an absolute must-have
- Highly recommend - Minor flaws, but a great product
- Recommend - Flawed, but still a solid product
- So-so - Problem product that may find a niche market
- Avoid - Why did they bother making it? A money waster.