Review: DODOcase DODOcase for iPad 2
DODOcase burst onto the scene with its first case for the original iPad, and recently released a sequel called DODOcase for iPad 2 ($60-$65). The main selling point is the craftsmanship of the case, which is handmade in San Francisco by actual bookbinders, and thereby closer to a book than a standard case; you'll even hear an old, familiar creak upon opening it. While it looks quite nice, it's somewhat less practical for everyday use than many other options we've tested.
The cover is just like that of a premium hardcover book, featuring black Moroccan cloth on the outside and a colored interior. Our review unit happened to be red, a $60 color, but four of the eight available colors cost $65. On the back is an elastic strap to hold the case shut. Attached to the inside of the right cover is a carved bamboo tray that holds the iPad 2 in place, using soft padded corners to apply pressure without causing any damage. We found that the tablet stayed in the tray without issues.
Beveling in the bamboo frame leaves both the top and bottom edges of the iPad 2 fully exposed, as well as a portion of the right side for the side switch and volume buttons. The volume and Sleep/Wake buttons are a bit more difficult to press inside the case as the cutouts in DODOcase aren’t quite complementary to the new curves in the iPad 2. It looks as if the company didn’t fully take the back of the tablet into consideration, as the speaker is half-covered and the rear camera is completely blocked; the ease of iPad 2 removal to use that camera is actually billed as a feature. We’d call it a problem.
While DODOcase heavily emphasizes the functionally of its case, it actually lacks versatility when compared with other folio-style cases we’ve tested. Folding the front cover underneath the bottom forms a typing angle like so many other folio cases, except this one is almost flat. To use it as a landscape viewing stand, you’re instructed to fold the folio so that the outer edges become feet. While it stands, it feels precarious; we wouldn’t want to leave it in this position for fear that it might fall at some point.
We appreciate artistry, and yes, DODOcase is a great example of skilled craftsmanship: it looks beautiful. At the end of the day though, the tablet-as-book style case just doesn’t work particularly well for the iPad 2. Less than stellar access to buttons, complete blockage of the rear camera, and poor stand positioning are all issues that prevent us from recommending it. If these issues don’t concern you, you’ll find the materials and build quality to be impressive enough to merit the premium asking price.