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Updated DODOcase for iPad is colorful, stronger, and could be yours

Since the first TUAW review of the DODOcase iPad case back in May of 2010, many TUAW bloggers and readers have fallen in love with the book-like folio case that revitalized the bookbinding industry in San Francisco and started a popular accessory category. The company has just finished a major redesign of the wooden tray that cradles the iPad, so we're reviewing the case and giving a TUAW reader an opportunity to get one.

Design

The basic design of the DODOcase hasn't changed much in the two years it's been on the market. It uses time-honored bookbinding techniques to wrap a rigid fabric cover around a wooden interior frame to protect your iPad from damage, and it looks great in the process. DODOcase sent one of their Spring/Summer 2012 cases (starting at US$79.95) to test, and it's a refreshing change from the "any color you want as long as it's black" cases from 2010.

This case is encased in bright green and blue ("Meadow" and "Lake") bookbinding cloth that just pops! The inside uses that same bright blue material, and there's the familiar bookplate affixed to the inside cover for personalizing the case. The new case features the familiar magnets to turn your iPad 2 or new iPad on and off.

The big difference I can see between my original 2010 DODOcase (black case in the gallery photos) and the new model, other than the available bright colors, is the new wooden tray. DODOcase is now using solid strips of bamboo to encase the iPad, different from the original laminated strips that could crack and break if the case was dropped. I've noticed that the tray on my original DODOcase is somewhat bowed; that wouldn't happen with the new, stiffer tray.

The original model had a completely open top for easy access to the power/sleep button and headphone jack on the iPad. Now, the case completely surrounds the top and features a cutout for the headphone jack as well as a laser-cut bamboo power button. The bottom of the case now covers more of the iPad as well, giving even more protection to your tablet. Since the case is now designed for both the iPad 2 and new iPad, there's an option for a camera hole if you're inclined to use your tablet for photography.

Functionality

What can I say? The DODOcase is still an extremely popular and well-built iPad case, winning the TUAW Best of 2011 award for iPad cases that was awarded to DODOcase by TUAW readers and staff. The company is obviously proud of the award, featuring it on the recycled cardboard wrapper that is used to hang the case on store displays.

I do have two suggestions for DODOcase that would make the case even better than it is. First, please get rid of those little leather stick-on pads that are used to hold the iPad tightly into the tray. They have a tendency to fall off if you need to take your iPad out of the case with any frequency, and other manufacturers have done a great job of designing polyurethane or rubber inserts that are a permanent part of the tray. My second suggestion is to create a case that can be propped up more easily. For examples of both suggestions, please refer to the Portenzo cases with the "IntelliStand" option.

Conclusion

DODOcase continues its streak of brilliance in iPad cases with a new, stronger design and a variety of color options that bring a refreshing relevancy to this venerable product.

Pros

  • Stronger internal tray brings extra protection to the DODOcase line
  • New, constantly changing exterior designs brighten your life while still offering excellent protection
  • Compared to the competition, many DODOcase iPad cases are a bargain
  • Craftsmanship of the DODOcase products is incredibly good

Cons

  • Case doesn't have some of the stand options available from other vendors
  • Use of "stick-on" tabs in the corners to hold the iPad in place seems outdated

Who is it for?

  • Anyone looking for a book-style iPad case who wants a quality American-made product that will last.

Giveaway

And now it's time for a giveaway. The winner of this random drawing receives a Spring/Summer 2012 iPad 2/3 DODOcase in the Meadow/Lake color scheme. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before August 6, 2012 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive a Spring/Summer 2012 edition DODOcase for iPad 2 and the new iPad valued at $84.90.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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