iPhone & iPad Case Reviews : iCaseReview

REAL REVIEWS FOR REAL PEOPLE

What We Do
We are iPhone fanatics, and our goal is simple: to be your first choice when it comes to hi-quality iPhone & iPad case reviews.

We hope you'll notice a few things when you visit this site... In addition to in-depth information, we take special care to capture highly detailed, close-up pictures, so you know exactly what you're getting before you buy it.  We strive to maintain consistent format throughout all of our reviews, starting with the best price we could find, the case construction, it's stand-out attributes, things to consider before you buy, and finally, a general summary of our review.

We DO NOT clutter up our site with flashing images, misleading links, or other tacky methods of revenue generation.  Instead, we put our focus on quality content, and getting you the information you are interested in.  Like the iPhone itself, we pride ourselves on having clean, attractive, easily navigable case reviews.  We hope this is something you notice and appreciate. With the myriad of options available, the task to narrow down a case that works for you can be a daunting challenge.  We want to take some of the work out of that for you.  For starters, we don't waste our time reviewing cases of lesser quality.  It's a waste of our time and yours.  We keep our focus on cases that we believe meet our "3 star" rating or higher.  We may not have the highest amount of reviews on our site, but our focus is on quality cases, not quantity. We're looking for the best.   The top tier.

For us, style plays a huge factor.  Sure, protection is important, but protection is only one facet of an iPhone or iPad case, and 'protection' may not be at the top of everyones list.  We categorize our cases into a few general groups; protective, minimalist, and feature-focused.  Some of the cases we review certainly have crossover qualities, but many can be grouped into those three groups.  The purpose of our review is to help you understand which category your prospective case falls in to, and help you decide if it fits your style.  When you break it down like that, it's not near as daunting...

Here are a few of our top case reviews.  If you have no idea where to start, this may be a good jumping off point.  Feel free to use the menu categories at the top of the page to narrow down the case choices (if you already have an idea of what your looking for), or to see a complete list of all our iPhone and iPad case reviews.

Lets start with one of our favorite iPad cases...

  Targus Versavu 360 iPad Case Review

When I first saw the Versavu 360 iPad case from Targus, I have to admit, I was a  bit skeptical regarding it's long term performance.  After personally using this case for over 4 months (the case you see in the pictures below is the actual case I have used and tested), I now have to admit that my skepticism has been shattered.  I am officially a fan.  This Targus Versavu case is a solid performer, and here's why...

Manufacturer: Targus
Model: Versavu 360
Pros: Protective, Attractive leather outer, Versatile
Cons: Exposed Apple Logo, Elastic Strap
The Lowest Trusted Price We Could Find: $45.99 with FREE SHIPPING through this link from Amazon!
iCaseReview Rating:



Practicality + Functionality
It truly is a case and a stand.  Not only does this case achieve a high level of style, but it scores points for being so practical as well.  The ergonomics have been very well thought out.  I always felt that Apple's smartcase's were cool for doubling as a stand, but they leave me wanting more when it comes to actually protecting my iPad.  The Targus Versavu case manages to capture the best of both worlds.  This case protects your iPad from drops and scratches, while also giving you multiple options for standing and displaying your iPad. Your iPad securely snaps in to the case and quite honestly, there's never really a need to take it out.

The case allows for two available angles with which you can stand your iPad in either landscape or portrait orientation.  Targus achieves this through a circular rotating mechanism in the center of the case (which actually happens to frame the Apple logo quite nicely).  In addition, you can also fold the front of the case over for a slightly angled (almost flat) display style for your iPad.



The exterior of the cover is quite resistant to scratches & scuffs, and really holds up well against normal wear and tear.  It's held shut by way of an elastic strap which stays pretty low-profile.  The hard corners wrap completely around your iPad protecting it from drops and corner dings.  In addition, there is a cutout for the speaker so no sound is blocked or muffled when playing from your iPad.

Style
I feel like this is a case that could appeal to the businessman and creative director alike.  It looks right at home sitting atop an executive desk, but it also maintains a sleek, clean look that the right-brained-thinkers will appreciate.  Although the outer is composed of faux leather, it is still of high quality and looks/feels quite authentic; not to mention just as durable.  Altogether, the case is thin, it doesn't snag on anything, and it slides in and out of your bag or briefcase with ease.  The Targus Versavue 360 maintains a highly professional appearance, and I would deem this case to be appropriate in a variety of settings.



Durability
I have been personally using this case for months, and I am pleasantly surprised at how well it's held up.  The stitching has maintained it's integrity, along with the interior and exterior materials used for construction.  All in all, there is only one part of the case that has succumbed to the rigors of daily use; the rubber/silicone lining the edge of the case corners.  Around the corner the lining has come off of a very small section.  It's only on one corner, and this may have been a result of the case being dropped, but I thought it was worth mentioning in the review.  When used every day, every case is eventually going to break down.  As of this time, this case is still performing flawlessly, and I'm completely impressed with how well the Targus Versavu holds up.


Things To Consider
Some users have reported a strange chemical odor (often times resulting from drying glue, bonding materials, etc).  I noticed a slight chemical odor when my case was new, but it has dissipated over time, and I don't notice anything at all anymore.  A few other downsides to note would be that the Apple logo is left exposed on the back of the case.  Personally, I haven't found this to be a problem, but if you were really concerned about this, it could be remedied with a skin for your iPad (such as the GelaSkin) to attain the highest possible level of protection.  In addition, some users have reported the elastic strap to be awkward, but again, I feel it's a matter of personal preference, and it hasn't bothered me in the slightest.


In Summary
The Targus Versavu 360 iPad Case is a great choice for a variety of different applications.  It incorporates style, quality construction, and sensible functionality in to one affordable package.  Not only does it protect your iPad, but it doubles as a highly function stand.  It is for these reasons that we've chosen the Targus Versavu as one of our Editor's Choice 2011 picks.


Below is one of our favorite iPhone cases. This is what we would refer to as a 'minimalist case'. To see our full catalogue of iPhone case reviews, click here.

  Case Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum - A Perfect Merger


This is hands down one of the nicest looking cases to have ever come across our desk.  Case Mate took what was already one of our favorite cases, and combined it with an aluminum backing.  It is classy, modern, and sleek; truly eye-catching.  What you notice first about the case is the brushed metal back. In addition to setting this case apart, the aircraft grade aluminum adds an industrial edge to a case that is already a proven commodity.  With this particular rendition, Case Mate steps up their 'Barely There' line of cases and adds a case which brings to the table an unprecedented level of finesse and aesthetics.

Manufacturer: Case Mate
Model: Barely There Brushed Aluminum
Pros: Absolutely beautiful design, super slim, aircraft grade genuine aluminum
Cons: Aluminum is prone to scratching
The Lowest Trusted Price We Could Find: Only $21.99 through this link from Amazon
iCaseReview Rating:





The Construction
As with the other 'Barely There' cases from Case Mate, this model is constructed primarily of a hard polycarbonate plastic. It offers fair protection against typical use and the fit is extremely precise. The sides of the case rise ever so slightly above the screen to provide some additional protection to the face of the iPhone.


The plastic sides incorporate a glossy finish, and the metal back is truly brushed. If you run your fingernail perpendicular to the grain in the metal, you can feel the tiny grooves.


In addition to silver, Case Mate offers the 'Barely There' brushed aluminum in the following colors:



The model that we got for review was a first generation 'barely there' case. In the second generation (which is currently selling from casemate.com) the camera port has been enlarged to resolve any issues with camera flash glare. Around the camera port and edges of the aluminum back, the sides are beveled. The beveling is yet another subtle detail that contributes to the overall quality of this case.

Things to Consider Obviously, without much shock absorption, this case isn't the best choice for all-out protection. For the typical user however, it should provide adequate resistance to everyday use. One downside to note is that the aluminum does start to show scratches after a few months use.




In summary
Case Mate's Barely There Brushed Aluminum case is our favorite minimalist case to date. It maintains the slim profile of your iPhone, and stays consistent with Apple's styling and clean-lined approach. This case is at home in the business world, as well as the creative desk. It's understated, classy, and attractive. The best part? At $21.99 it's available at a price point that won't break the bank.
 
The Pad & Quill iPad Octavo 2 Case Review - Hi-Tech meets American Craftsmanship


This Twin Cities, Minneapolis born operation is bringing good 'ol fashioned American craftsmanship to the oh-so-hi-tech Apple iPad.  With the wave of book bound cases hitting the market, our search to find one that was truly intriguing led us to Pad & Quill's Octavo Case for the iPad 2.  This is our review...


Manufacturer: Pad & Quill
Model: Octave Case for iPad 2 (with pocket)
Pros: Eye-catching, classic & timeless, very well made (in the U.S.A.), Pocket for documents, Magnet to engage iPad 2's auto lock and unlock capabilities
Cons: No stand option
The Lowest Trusted Price We Could Find: $79 with Pocket and FREE SHIPPING through THIS LINK from Amazon
iCaseReview Rating:






Classic Looks Paired with American Craftsmanship

Hand made in Twin Cities, Minneapolis, the Octavo iPad case from Pad & Quill offers your iPad protection while adding a nostalgic aesthetic appeal. The quality of this case is immediately apparent, and in addition to that, we think it looks fantastic as well. If you're looking for an iPad case that doesn't feel sterile and numbingly impersonal, then you may have just found your case.



Construction
The exterior of the Octavo is constructed of Italian bonded leather. Exterior color choices include black and blue, while internal paper colors include Camden Blue, Cranberry Red, and Field Green. The corners are precisely folded & tapered, and overall, the outer is virtually seamless. There is a small embossed “Pad & Quill” logo in the bottom corner and when you hold this case in your hand, it truly looks and feels much like a real leather bound book. On the inside of the cover, you can request an optional pocket for an additional $20.




Holding the iPad in place are a series of pressed birch veneers, forming an attractive and functional cradle. Pad & Quill includes a few extra corner liners to apply to the inside of the wooden frame if it's not a perfect fit. Our case didn't need any adjusting however, and the iPad fit perfectly. Another nice feature of the Octavo is the included 'bookmark'. In runs down the inside of the case, and it's purpose is for easy removal of your installed iPad. When you pull on the bookmark it will pull up a corner, allowing you to easily remove your device.  The Octavo provides outstanding protection for your iPad.  The outer leather interior will serve as a shock absorbing material, and the inner cradle is extremely sturdy.  This is a case the combines all-around protection with great looks.




The cutout for the camera is seamless, perfectly fitted, and doesn't effect picture-taking ability to any noticeable degree. There are cutouts for the speakers as well, allowing for unimpeded audio functionality. Sound quality is unaffected, and if anything, it almost seems to help project the sound outward, making the speakers seem louder. The case is held closed with an elastic strap, and as an added bonus, Pad & Quill has incorporated Apple's magnetic lock feature in to this case. You iPad will lock and unlock upon opening and closing the case. It's a subtle feature that attests to the thought that went in to the construction of this case.




Things to Consider
There are a few things to consider with the Pad & Quill Octavo. First off, the Octavo doesn't incorporate any kind of stand functionality.  There is however, and Pad & Quill case that does; The Contega (click here for details on the Pad & Quill Contega).  You can stand the Octavo up like an open book, but this method is not completely stable, and the octavo doesn't offer any option for landscape other than lying flat. Another possible down side is the fact that the volume and slider buttons are a bit hard to access when the iPad is installed in the Octavo. People with big fingers may experience difficulty trying to adjust the volume or activate 'silent' mode on their device.




In Summary
The Octavo by Pad & Quill is a venerable contender in the wave of 'Book' cases for your iPad. We didn't see any major flaws, and we were seriously impressed with the build quality of this case. Extra points for the fact that it is handmade here in the U.S.A. by American craftsmen. This really is a boutique type of case. It's eye-catching, inspiring, perfect for the creative type, and presentable in any type of professional situation. If in the market for this type of case, the Octavo by Pad & Quill is a solid choice that you will not regret.