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Pad & Quill

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I am not usually one for super trendy things as most of my friends would likely admit.  That said, I do own an iPad.  I’ve always used it around the house and I have brought it to work a half dozen times or so.  I have never really felt like I had a reason to use it.  It’s very cool to watch movies on, go on the internet with, check email, etc., but without a case I never really wanted to carry it around since its kind of slippery and easy to drop and scratch.

I searched a long time for a case – over a year!  I wasn’t searching constantly/actively, but I never saw a case that really made me think, “Wow, I need to have that!”  Instead, I am usually left reading reviews and thinking that I am better off without a case.  Until now.  A co-worker recently picked up a DODOcase for his iPad 2.  I thought the case looked awesome as it resembles simple book with an elastic strap closure.  Of course I hit my usual places like Amazon and they didn’t have it for my iPad (first generation).  I realized that I should probably read reviews before I spend on a full price case from the manufacturer.  The reviews are mostly good – an occasional “it didn’t fit at all” rating would show up but I see that with almost everything on the internet.  The only problem was that the iPad 1 version was not very available.  Hrm.

I did more searching and came across Pad & Quill.  It features the same overall design as the DODOcase but for the iPad 1 it features a slightly different wooden frame.  It’s a little bit thicker (not such a bad thing in my opinion) but functions and looks just like the DODOcase.  Some reviews say the DODOcase is loose when holding the iPad (though my co-workers isn’t at all) and the Pad & Quill case is definitely not going to let go of the unit – my iPad is held in so tight I am not sure how I am going to pop it out should the need arise (I didn’t stick out the iPad-puller-outter-ribbon thing).

Anyway – more about the actual case:

The case resembles a book as you can see above.  The birch frame is made in a layered style which actually resembles pages of a book if you glance quickly.  The binding is very nice and the elastic strap holds it shut adequately.  All in all a very nice subtle inconspicuous case.

From the side you can see the routed openings in the layered birch frame.  This allows access to the buttons on the side and top of the iPad.  On the bottom there is routing for the charge port.

The inside of the case is a nice conventional lining like you would find in a well-made hardback novel.  It is a very nice size when opened up and it feels comfortable to both write on with a stylus as well as manipulate with the touch screen.

One feature that I appreciate is the speaker area.  By default, the iPad provides very good audio but the placement of the speaker makes it difficult to hear.  The speaker points down into your lap if you’re sitting with it or out away from you if you’re watching a video in landscape mode.  The Pad & Quill case has a routed out area for the speaker with a ~45-degree ramp.  So, even though the speaker itself doesn’t move, the ramp angles the sound forward out of the front of the iPad – it makes a HUGE difference.  I had been cupping my hand around the speaker when using it prior.  Now, the case provides the redirection for the sound and you can hear much, much better!

And one last feature is that the case stands up in landscape mode.  It seems to stand up pretty well on most surfaces.  Where it really comes handy is in bed.  It can sit on your lap while you watch a movie in a laying/seated position or stand up next to you on the actual bed since the bed covers provide a surface for the case to not spread on.  It’s perfect for watching Netflix before falling asleep!

All in all, I am very happy with this case.  It took nearly a year or more for me to justify purchasing one but since getting it I’ve used the iPad a whole lot more.  Now I can carry the iPad around at work and no one really thinks twice about it – it looks just like a bound notebook!  Perfect!