A Case For Quality (Part 2) - Cocon – Handmade Case for iPad 2, Booqpad – Agenda for iPad 2/3

8/23/2012 4:27:57 AM

Cocon – Handmade Case for iPad 2

You haven’t seen ‘handmade’ until you’ve seen the Cocon. Built using traditional bookbinding equipment and techniques, it comes in a paper-wrapped sleeve, mask-varnished with the maker’s logo, that’s a thing of beauty in itself. Sliding out the case gives you the same frisson as unboxing an Apple product: you can feel this is going to be perfect.

Description: Cocon – Handmade Case for iPad 2

Cocon – Handmade Case for iPad 2

The case is just a few millimetres bigger than your iPad, and finished in a sturdy English buckram that, besides feeling unlike any other iPad accessory, seems impervious to scratches, spills or fingermarks. Like a Moleskine notebook, it’s held shut by a discreet elastic strap near the right-hand edge. As you slip this off, you find it’s held gently in place by a small disc-shaped magnet.

This serves a dual (in fact, as we’ll see, triple) purpose: as you open the case like a book, the magnet releases its influence on the iPad (second or third generation), waking it from sleep. The tablet sits within a perfectly routed and finely sanded walnut plywood frame, with cutouts for all the buttons and ports. Plugging in the Dock connector is actually easier with the iPad in the case than not, because the cutout guides the plug into position.

To a greater or lesser degree, every other case we’ve seen is compromised by the mounting system that keeps the iPad in place. There are always tabs or straps to be distracted by. Not with the cocon. All that holds the iPad, completely invisibly, is a set of sticky pads, one at each corner, inside the back panel of the case.

Made from a proprietary adhesive material – a silicone gel, we’re guessing – these grip very firmly once the iPad is pressed into place, more like suction cups than glue. When you do want the iPad out, a finger slipped underneath through one of the cutouts will praise it up.

The manufacturer warns that it’s not impossible for the iPad to fall out if the case is tipped upside-down, but we couldn’t see that happening, and because the walnut frame goes all the way round, the Cocon offers more protection (though perhaps not impact absorption) than most other cases once the lid is secured.

You can fold the lid back and lay down the iPad for typing, with the spine creating a slight but helpful angle. Or you can use the elastic strap to hold it in a tent shape with the iPad upright for viewing.

The version we tested, cocon Nº2, has no camera cutout; Cocon Nº3, which was designed for the new iPad and costs €10 ($13) extra, adds this, with the elastic strap covering the hole. Quite lovely.

Price: $100 inc VAT (sold in Euros at €79)


Best bit Superb handmade finish

Wish list Angles For High-flyers

Booqpad – Agenda for iPad 2/3

The Booqpad combines two kinds of pad in one case: your iPad, and, sitting opposite it when the case is opened, an A5 pad of paper. There are also two slots for credit cards or business cards, and one where you can tuck a larger flat item, as well as a pen holder inside the spine.

Description: Booqpad – Agenda for iPad 2/3

Booqpad – Agenda for iPad 2/3

By default, the Agenda opens at the right, like a book, with the iPad on the left. If you prefer, though, you can rotate the whole thing 180°, slip the notebook in the other end and use it the other way round. The case is held shut by a tab with a large and reassuringly clicky press-stud.

Our Booqpad came in the green and grey option, with a cottony finish that’s actually made from recycled PET. It’s very crisply put together. The iPad inserts from the spine side, so it can’t fall out, but to make sure, there’s a tuck-in flap that’s large enough not to need any extra fixings. Our only concern is that there’s limited corner protection if you’re unlucky enough to drop the case open-side down.

This isn’t a Smart cover, so your iPad won’t sleep automatically when the case is closed, although it’ll power-save after a short time anyway. Like the Pipetto, it oddly lacks a cutout for the rear camera.

The Booqpad doesn’t fold into a stand, but simply opening it back on itself forms a wedge shape that holds your iPad raised a couple of centimetres and at a slight angle, which we found handy for typing.

Price: $95 inc VAT


Info Best bit Integrated notepad

Wish list camera cutout In a word Executive

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