Review: DODOcase for iPad

The DODOcase

The DODOcase, made by hand in San Francisco.

As much as I love technology, my love for handcrafted goods probably exceeds it. To merge the two together is like bacon wrapped in bacon.

The DODOcase for iPad is made by hand in San Francisco, California. It blends materials such as bamboo and fabric to create a Moleskine-inspired cover for your iPad, complete with elastic strap to keep the case closed.

The DODOcase, cover open

The DODOcase, cover open.

The iPad is held by friction using black foam/rubber inserts at each corner. So far, I’ve had my case for about 2 weeks and the iPad hasn’t budged. The inserts are holding it firmly in place.

Suzanne also has an iPad, and hers is protected with Apple’s iPad case, shown at right in the photo below. She’s had hers since the day it was released, and the obvious fingerprints should be signs of the wear and tear it’s endured since April 3 (mostly from small fingers).

The DODOcase, left, compared to the Apple case, right

DODOcase, left, compared to the Apple case, right.

Compared to the Apple case, there are some downsides to the DODOcase. First, it isn’t quite as hardy as the synthetic Apple case. We can set down Suzanne’s iPad just about anywhere in the house and have no problem letting the boys fumble with it however they please. Because of the handcrafted workmanship, I’m very cautious to do the same with my iPad and therefore carefully choose the surfaces I place it on.

Second, when folding the back over, the angle for viewing and typing with DODOcase is substantially less than the Apple case—probably a full one-third less. This isn’t an issue when typing, but when sitting at the breakfast table going through the morning’s news, the viewing angle isn’t as nice as Apple’s. Additionally, the case won’t stand upright (landscape mode) on its own if the surface you place it on is slick.

Viewing agles for the DODOcase, left, and the Apple case, right

The difference in viewing angles between DODOcase and the Apple case.

Finally, although the charging port and all switches are accessible, unless you’re using Apple’s white, standard-issue iPod earbuds, you probably won’t be able to fit anything in the headphone jack without lifting the iPad out of the case. I’m tempted to remove mine and clear out the bamboo surrounding the jack using my Dremel rotary tool.

Headphone jack

The clearance around the headphone jack isn’t large enough for anything other than Apple’s iPod earbuds.

Downsides aside, I’m really liking the case. One certainly feels different when handling and carrying an iPad wrapped with Apple’s case and when handling and carrying one encased with a DODOcase. It’d be very easy to mistake the case for an actual Moleskine, and for that reason alone, I’m willing to forego its deficiencies.

DODOcase, right, and a soft-cover Moleskine, right

DODOcase, left, shown next to a soft-cover Moleskine, right.

Bear in mind I’ve had my case only for about 2 weeks, so time will tell if it holds up under constant use. But all things considered, it was $50 USD well spent.

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