Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oberon Design iPad Case Review

For the first item, on the agenda, you should know that I am in the possession of an iPad. Also, you should know that I LOVE said iPad. Naturally, I was in want of a case. I tried a couple a cheap, crappy ones, and when I eventually saved enough money, I bought the beautiful case featured in this review. Please note that these photos are mostly true to color, though a little bright due to flash.

First impressions- so preeeeeeettyyyyyy. Oberon Design offers 15 different designs for iPad covers (with three different color options that vary from one design to another) and I chose the one called "Tree of Life" in the color "Saddle".

Beautiful, right? And it smells fantastic (though of course it does, it is leather, after all). The cover is tooled masterfully, creating a surface that’s both hard and soft; hard in the places with hills and leaves, and soft along the spine where the tree trunk’s smooth. The leather is stiff, which is a good thing. I dare not drop my iPad, but I have the feeling that if I did, my baby would emerge from the incident relatively unscathed. The bungee and pewter button closure system is solid, keeping the cover tightly closed.

The iPad is secured inside with four corners straps, three of leather and one a military-grade elastic bungee, and it is very tight.

I did the shake test over my couch, and no matter how hard I tried, my iPad wouldn’t budge. I actually like this corner system a lot more in person than I thought I would. To those concerned, none of the straps cover up any of the buttons/ports/speakers. Perhaps a third of one of the end speaker holes is obscured, but it doesn’t affect the sound in any way. There's also a piece of wool sewn into the inside cover opposite the iPad for extra screen protection. There are pockets on the inside covers as well that hold removable plastic inserts for extra stability and protection. It definitely adds some weight to the iPad, but not too much for the way I use the device, either on a table or in my lap. It makes it feel like a solid, old book.

As for the various positions the stand offers, I’ll start with the typing position. I love the typing angle on this case. Much better than any of the other cases I’ve tried, and it works beautifully on both tables and on my lap.

The Oberon iPad case also offers landscape and portrait standing positions. There’s a string mechanism that hooks around the back to hold the case in the proper position:

It’s pretty solid, both in landscape:

And in portrait:

This case was $130, and honestly, the cost is the only negative I have for it. I feel like $100 would be a better price, but other than that, I’m pleased as punch. I suppose since this is a handmade, genuine leather case, the price isn't too bad...

Anyway, apparently Oberon sends a complementary charm with each of its products, and most owners of their Kindle covers attach them to the bungee that holds the cover closed to make it easier to open. I opted instead to attach it to the standing position string. I really like it that way because it makes it look like a bookmark, though if you don’t like the string, it can be pushed inside one of the side pockets that hold the plastic inserts. Oberon also sends two extra bungees in case something should happen to the one that holds the case closed or the one that serves as the fourth corner (there's a video on the company's website that explains how to replace them).



  1. Thank you very much for the glowing review... I'm contemplating buying this case, but had some second thoughts- due mostly to the price, etc. So your insight (and the great pics) have been really helpful. I'm ordering mine for the iPad3 (I've had both the 1 & 2 iPads, love 'em) and I feel now is the time to finally invest in a case that speaks to me... the tooled leather (I really liked your comment about the smell of leather) is very enticing. Thanks again for a really informational review, from a fellow College Geek- now working in IT...

  2. Pretty good post. Thanks for sharing.This case truly does make the iPad a more functional device. Cheers!