Pad and Quill Octavo Case (@padandquill on Twitter)

(Updated on 3/29/2011)

My new iPad case, the Octavo from Pad and Quill, arrived today (March 28, 2011).  Overall, I’m very pleased by the case, and relieved to have it.  I’ve been terrified of dropping my iPad 2, and now the iPad will have better protection than my iPad 1 had in its Apple case.  I know Steve Jobs wants to use a case-free iPad, but he also has the disposable income to replace his iPad on a daily basis, if he would so choose.

If you check out Pad and Quill’s website, I can attest that what you see is what you get…an iPad case that makes your iPad look like a book.  I opted for the red interior with the pocket.  This is Pad and Quill’s photo (So are all the other photos on this page), but it looks like this:

I’ll have to see how the Octavo holds up over time (it will wear like a book).

Here are my thoughts so far:

  1. With the iPad 2, the ribbon-lifting/bookmark mechanism is unnecessary.  The iPad 2 tapers away from the screen, leaving a nice groove with which to lift/pry the iPad out of the Octavo case with your fingers.  So the ribbon just sits under the iPad, unused.  (Note: I’m sure the ribbon was needed with the squarish iPad 1).  The bookmark/ribbon looks nice, but its primary function is no longer needed.
  2. The iPad is firmly held in place by the case.  You can shake the iPad all you want, and it isn’t coming out on its own.  I’m not going to test that for hours, but if your Octavo case and iPad should happen to fall, the case should take most of the abuse.  More than the old Apple case, in any case (no pun intended–but it happened anyway).
  3. I’m not convinced that I want the strap around the outside of the case.  Sure, it holds everything nicely together when the case is closed, but it sort of dangles there when the case is open.  If an Octavo 2 would be made, I’d want the option of exterior strap or no exterior strap.  I’m not going to cut off the strap, however…at least not yet.
  4. Controls are hard to get at because of the taper of the iPad 2.  I’m pretty sure this will be true of any case–other than Apple’s own Smart Cover.  Note: the audio jack is VERY accessible…just the other controls (orientation lock, volume, on/off) are a little difficult to reach with the iPad’s tapered design.  This is NOT Pad and Quill’s fault.
  5. The case folds neatly back on itself so the iPad can rest flat.  You can set the iPad in Landscape mode with the front cover of the case acting like a stand, but a grippy surface (not a smooth surface) is better for this.  The case isn’t sold touting the ability to set the case in landscape or typing-angle mode.
  6. I’m a little concerned about the cut-out for the microphone on the frame of the case.  I worry that if audio is coming from a source in front of me, it will not have a clear path to the microphone.  I plan to test this in the near future.
  7. The sound channel for the iPad’s speaker works great.
  8. I love this case because it would blend in with a concert setting.  Everyone else have black folders?  Well, here’s your Octavo and iPad 2.  Of course, the case (when opened like a book) is heavily weighted to the right (where the iPad is), so I would think that most users will fold the front cover back while holding the case.
  9. Yes, this case does add weight to the 1.2 pound iPad–almost a pound.
  10. There is a rare earth magnet embedded in the cover, which turns the iPad on and off, just as with the Apple Smart Cover.  This is a very cool late addition to the product (From their Facebook page, considered on March 13th and implemented on March 16).
  11. I’d like to see other interior color options…black for music purposes (The user could wrap the cover around and not bring attention to themselves with a colored interior).  I might have purchased an octavo with a gold interior (our school’s colors are black and gold).  If we get the iPad grant, I might very well buy Pad and Quill Octavos for those iPads, and request a gold interior (Pad and Quill is a local company–perhaps they can customize to an extent).
  12. It would be awesome if custom lettering (spine/cover) could be added, just like a dissertation (This reminds me…I need to move my Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertations to PDF and put them on my iPad).  What about logos for companies and schools?  Just a thought.

  13. If you’re worried about heat (my iPhone 4 gets warm from time to time), I’ve been using my iPad for an hour and checked the temperature behind the iPad–room temperature.  No worries about heat.
  14. Don’t forget the anti-theft properties of this case.  If you leave this on the front seat of your car, closed, nobody is going to give it a second look–at least any more than they would give your thesis/dissertation.  The same is true on your desk, etc.  (If someone knows you have the case, that’s a different story).
  15. My students love the case.  There were many compliments on the case today, the first day I brought it in (3/29/11).

My case, as shipped, was $79.99–and yes, I paid for it.  The Apple Leather Smart Cover, with tax, would be roughly $75.00.  If you like books, or just the look of books, or you like more protection than the Apple Smart Cover, I think this is a fairly priced case with good features.  I’d absolutely buy another one.

Some competitors to this case would be the Portenzo Case (similar pricing and some similar features, some additional options),  Dodo Case (similar pricing but not quite similar features), and Treegloo Case (lower costs, some more customization options)


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