May 14 2013

Oberon iPad Mini Case Review

There is ​one ​thing ​you ​need ​to ​know ​about ​me… ​I’m ​a ​case ​and ​cover ​snob. ​ ​Even ​more ​than ​that, ​if ​I ​don’t ​like ​the ​look ​of ​a ​case ​or ​cover, ​or ​if ​it ​doesn’t ​feel ​good, ​I ​will ​not ​use ​it. ​ ​It ​doesn’t ​have ​to ​be ​an ​expensive ​case ​though ​- ​my ​iPhone ​currently ​lives ​in ​a ​$5 ​snap-on ​case, ​but ​it ​works ​well ​and ​the ​design ​fits ​my ​personality ​perfectly. ​ ​So ​the ​$5 ​iPhone ​case ​lives ​on ​(and ​likely ​will, ​until ​I ​upgrade ​my ​phone.)

That ​being ​said, ​when ​someone ​pointed ​out ​the ​Oberon ​Design ​iPad ​mini ​cover, ​my ​attention ​was ​caught ​immediately. ​ ​The ​case ​itself ​is ​nothing ​short ​of ​a ​work ​of ​art. ​ ​Hand-crafted ​from ​leather, ​and ​with ​a ​pewter ​button ​closure, ​the ​case ​​is ​beautiful, ​though ​it ​does ​come ​with ​a ​price ​tag ​that ​is ​not ​for ​the ​faint ​of ​heart ​($73). ​ ​I ​chose ​the ​Celtic ​Hounds ​cover ​in ​Walnut .

Some ​details ​about ​the ​cover:

As ​mentioned, ​the ​cover ​is ​leather, ​which ​gives it ​a ​wonderful ​feel. ​ ​The ​leather ​is ​thicker ​than ​many ​cases ​I’ve ​seen, ​but ​in ​my ​opinion, ​this ​just ​adds ​to ​the ​protection ​it ​provides ​to ​the ​iPad ​mini. ​ ​It ​is ​secured ​closed ​by ​a ​small ​bungee ​cord ​and ​a ​pewter ​button, ​which ​is ​also ​molded ​in ​a ​Celtic ​knot ​design, ​providing ​a ​unified ​look ​to ​the ​piece.


The ​iPad ​itself ​is ​held ​in ​the ​cover ​by ​two ​leather ​straps ​on ​the ​bottom ​corners, ​and ​two ​bungee ​cords ​on ​the ​top ​corners. ​ ​The ​fit ​is ​secure ​enough ​that ​I’ve ​never ​felt ​any ​fear ​of ​it ​coming ​lose ​in ​the ​cover.

The ​inside ​flap ​of ​the ​cover ​has ​a ​felt ​lining ​to ​protect ​the ​screen, ​and ​a ​small ​leather ​flap ​to ​allow ​for ​storing ​notecards ​or ​other ​smallish ​pieces ​of ​paper.

Additionally, ​Oberon ​has ​designed ​a ​unique ​way ​to ​set ​the ​iPad ​up ​on ​a ​table ​for ​viewing ​in ​landscape ​mode. ​ ​Rather ​than ​most ​cases ​that ​have ​an ​additional ​bend ​in ​the ​case ​and ​a ​flap ​on ​the ​cover ​you ​tuck ​into, ​they ​decided ​to ​keep ​the ​cover ​semi-rigid ​with ​plastic ​inserts. ​ ​To ​change ​the ​case ​to ​a ​viewing ​angle, ​you ​simply ​bend ​it ​backward, ​extend ​the ​provided ​cord, ​and ​loop ​it ​around ​a ​small ​flap ​on ​the ​inside ​cover. ​ ​Very ​low-tech, ​but ​highly ​appropriate ​for ​the ​style ​of ​case.


There ​is ​​a ​hole ​cut ​in ​the ​back ​cover ​to ​allow ​for ​use ​of ​the ​camera, ​though ​many ​of ​the ​pictures ​on ​their ​website ​do ​not ​reflect ​this.


Also, ​as ​a ​nice ​little ​added ​touch, ​Oberon ​​includes ​a ​small ​pewter ​charm ​in ​the ​package. ​

Despite ​my ​absolute ​love ​of ​this ​case, ​there ​are ​a ​couple ​negatives:

First, ​the ​bungee ​cord ​that ​secures ​the ​top ​right ​corner ​of ​the ​iPad ​goes ​right ​on ​top ​of ​the ​mute/rotation ​lock ​switch ​on ​the ​side ​of ​the ​iPad. ​ ​This ​causes ​you ​to ​have ​to ​move ​it ​slightly ​in ​order ​to ​flip ​the ​switch, ​so ​for ​someone ​who ​utilizes ​that ​switch ​on ​a ​regular ​basis, ​this ​may ​be ​a ​problem. ​ ​As ​my ​iPad ​is ​nearly ​always ​muted, ​this ​is ​not ​an ​issue ​for ​me.


Second, ​while ​the ​aforementioned ​landscape ​viewing ​arrangement ​fits ​into ​the ​personality ​of ​the ​case, ​it ​is ​a ​bit ​odd. ​ ​Having ​to ​extend ​out ​a ​cord ​(and ​stuff ​it ​back ​into ​the ​case ​when ​you’re ​done) ​feels ​a ​bit ​out ​of ​place. ​ ​ ​It ​does ​work, ​though, ​so ​this ​is ​really ​more ​of ​a ​personal ​annoyance.

Lastly, ​the ​case ​is ​made ​of ​rather ​thick ​leather, ​so ​it ​adds ​a ​considerable ​amount ​of ​bulk ​to ​the ​otherwise ​svelte ​iPad ​Mini. ​ ​Whether ​this ​is ​a ​problem ​or ​not ​depends ​mostly ​on ​whether ​you ​purchased ​an ​iPad ​mini ​because ​of ​it’s ​thinness ​and ​lightness. ​ ​That ​is ​not ​why ​I ​got ​an ​iPad ​Mini, ​so ​this ​one ​is ​not ​a ​problem ​for ​me.

All ​in ​all, ​I ​find ​this ​to ​be ​a ​wonderful ​cover ​that ​protects ​the ​investment ​in ​the ​iPad ​and ​looks ​cool, ​too. ​ ​I ​rather ​wish ​I ​had ​gotten ​the ​cover ​for ​the ​full-sized ​iPad, ​though, ​as ​I’m ​finding ​myself ​wanting ​to ​switch ​back ​to ​the ​retina ​display ​of ​my ​iPad ​3, ​but ​I ​just ​don’t ​want ​to ​give ​up ​this ​beautiful ​case. ​ ​

Wow, ​talk ​about ​a case ​snob! ​I ​choose ​my ​iPad ​because ​of ​the ​case ​I ​have? ​ ​Go ​figure…

Oberon Design iPad Mini Case $73

Oberon Design
1817 Empire Industrial Ct
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Email: sales@oberondesign.com
Phone: 707-570-3910
Fax: 707-570-3914

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