There is something so right about the feel of a book. It hearkens back to moments of learned inspiration. Pad and Quill captures that and encapsulates the iPad Mini in it, without adding much bulk, leaving just the right amount of heart. We got our hands on a Graduate Artist case for the iPad Mini at MacWorld, and wow, is it impressive. The fine construction and attractive exterior are a killer combo.
From the outside it looks like a beautiful notebook, bound and overlaid with silk screen printed book bindery fabric. What stands in for the paper portion of the illusion is a frame of solid Baltic birch cut from one piece of wood, and then finished with a natural satin shine. A matching bookmark peaks out at the bottom and an elastic black strap wraps around the side for easy access. This is such a good illusion that even when people see my device in an open Pad & Quill case, they have been perplexed as to what is going on. I’ve even been asked, what kind of book I’m using. They have picked it up and looked at confusedly, as if they just walked into the Tardis. I think this is fantastic, unique and really fun. It’s a great theft deterrent too. After all, who wants to steal a dusty old notebook?
At times the iPad mini is just so, well, mini. Mixed with a clumsy tendency, this is not a good thing. It needs some protection, without too much bulk, and that’s what’s nice about this case. In all honesty, I drop my iPad and iPhone pretty much every week. In this case, it doesn’t bounce out. It is firmly held in the frame by a tight fit into four corners cushioned with rubber. The “bookmark” lays behind the device and dips out at the bottom providing an easy way to gently lift the tablet out of the case. This case can take some bumps, which makes me comfortable to throw it in a bag where it may get jostled. The thickness comes out to just over 3/4 inch, so if you are someone who prefers, barely there, very thin cases, this may not be for you. Although, you might find you like it.
It is also a Smart Cover, putting the iPad to sleep and conserving battery life. An inside pocket option is a nice touch and a good area to slip papers and business cards into. When the cover is folded around the back, you have a comfortable typing angle, with just enough elevation. You can also use the cover to prop up, and steady on the strap for upright video viewing. All ports are extremely accessible and comfortable to access.
The case comes in the pictured Apple Tree design, and another Road Home design, both available for $69.99. This is a durable keeper. Just like your favorite book, it will quickly become something you don’t want to be without.
The Good: Beautiful, durable, blends in inconspicuously.
The Bad: Thick