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DODOcase for iPad 2 as good as the original

My love affair with the DODOcase is well documented. I've used one since day one, and I even credit one with saving my iPad's life (though the manufacturers note that the DODOcase is not an impact case). So, I was thrilled to be able to test a DODOcase for iPad 2 for the last week. As a bonus, I've also been using a BOOKback for iPad 2. Both are quite nice and will be especially appealing to those who appreciate good design. Here's my review.

Looks

The DODOcase has been re-designed to accommodate Apple's new tablet, but the high-quality build and materials are unchanged. The exterior is wrapped in that nice, Moleskine-esque material and closes with a similar elastic band. The grain is a bit different than that on the notebooks, but at first glance, that's what most people will assume you're carrying.

On the inside, the iPad rests inside a hand-carved bamboo frame. Four rubber bumpers hold the iPad 2 firmly in place. And I mean firmly. I had to press to get it in where it was held tight. It's a grip that inspires confidence; you know the typical bumps and nudges won't knock your iPad free.

The top and bottom of the frame are cut away to expose the controls, speaker and dock connector (yes, you can connect the cable while the DODOcase is in use).

Use

First, the bummer. Closing the DODOcase does not turn the screen off like Apple's Smart Cover does. Apparently the magnets in the Smart Cover are responsible for the refrigerator light routine, not the proximity of the lid. Too bad.

Other than that, I can't find much negative to say about the DODOcase. After a week of bumping around in my bag and car, it still looks great. Even my children's eager, greasy fingers couldn't detract from its functioning or good looks. With the lid closed and the strap in place, you're ready to go.

Another handy feature lets you fold the lid over backwards and prop the DODOcase up in the landscape orientation. Provided you aren't on a slick surface, that is. My IKEA desk is entirely too smooth for this procedure, and the case slides until it's flat on its back right away. A bed, couch, patch of grass or anything else offering a little more resistance works much better.

Conclusion

Yes, it's pricey at US$59.95. Cheaper cases are certainly available. But honestly, the build quality and materials justify the cost. Plus, it will just appeal to those who appreciate the look. I certainly do.

BOOKback

I also got to try out a BOOKback for iPad 2 ($19.95) this week (here's my review of the original). Unlike Apple's Smart Cover, which protects the front and not the back of the iPad 2, the BOOKback covers the back only. Frankly, that's the surface I'm more concerned with. In my experience, the glass can withstand abuse more readily than the back, which scratches right up.

The BOOKback for iPad 2 is made of material quite similar to the outer covering of the DODOcase. Basically it's a big sticker that adheres to the back of your iPad thanks to a re-usable, non-gummy adhesive. Application is quite easy. Just peel off the paper, line up one end and guide it down.

Unlike the BOOKback for the original iPad, the iPad 2 version doesn't cover the rear of the device entirely, because of its shape. You'll see that a "notch" has been cut out to make room for the speaker. Also, it doesn't slide over the taper. Instead, it ends where the surface ceases to be flat.

Frankly, I think the older version looked better, but that's a matter of aesthetics. It still feels fantastic to touch and offers reliable scratch protection. The BOOKback for iPad 2 is available with either red or black logo lettering.

In the end, I can recommend both of these products. They look great, feel great and offer reliable protection. If you're considering buying, I'd say do it.

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