Snugg tracked me down recently and asked me to look at a couple of their cases for review here at Restless Tech.
The guys at Snugg were apparently sitting around the pub one day whining about how they couldn’t find an iPad case they liked. This one was too thin, that one was the wrong angle and that other one…shudder. All very Goldilocks if you know what I mean.
The official name for what happened next is called NapkinCad. It’s when you grab a cocktail napkin, borrow a pen from the barkeep and start sketching ideas out like mad. The crew at Snugg laid out their perfect iPad case, and in a bit of bitters instilled bravery decided that they really could do it themselves! Because really, at the end of the day, if you want it done right you might as well do it yourself!
So, a new company was off and running and before they knew it, Snugg was born!
I started by running one of their Blue Denim Cases through the grinding test labs here at Restless Tech.
The case is made of real denim and beige PU leather. What the heck is PU leather? Glad you asked!
PU or Bicast leather is a way to get more out of less with leather products. A thinner than normal layer of animal skin is applied to a backing and then the form is coated with polyurethane (see that PU there?) and embossed to give it a pattern. There are upsides and downsides to this approach.
First, the product does not age, wear or “Patina” like untreated leather does. Some people feel that this aging adds character and interest to leather…some feel like it is wear and stains. Kind of depends on what you are interested in. PU leather will not change its consistency or take on character as it ages. Over a long period it can crack, but you are likely to have a newer generation iPad at that point anyway!
Because of the polyurethane coating, it cleans up nicely and rejects stains and scratches.
Did I mention that it is a lot cheaper? This allows you to have the visual and tactile benefits of animal hide without having a case that is almost as much as your iPad. I like that!
“Snugg” is embossed pretty obviously on the front cover of the case and I do wish that they would take this branding down just a notch.
The denim also adds a very American vibe to the case (sorry to my UK and Euro readers). The whole denim and leather vibe brings James Dean to mind for me and that can’t be a bad thing. It also throws me back to a khaki and jean jacket that I had that was my all time favorite until a pet decided that it was a litter box. But that is a different story. Man, I miss that jacket…
Although this is advertised as an iPad2 case, it worked perfectly for my 3rd gen iPad as it has just enough give, but not so much as to be a problem.
The stand functionality of the case works nicely. It has a simple “U shaped” slot for the cover to go into as it folds around to the back. This approach is simple and stable and has almost no downside. The angle is a little higher than many cases that I have used so it is actually a better approach for glass typing.
Flipping it over into viewing mode it also has a wider base (almost 3 inches) which makes it much more stable when you tip it up for media viewing.
The iPad inserts like an envelope and there is a tab that has a three-inch velcro strip on it to securely hold your tablet in place. I VASTLY prefer this to depending on friction to hold the iPad in place. The case is carefully cut out for the volume rocker, headphone jack, sync connector, speaker, power button and the camera eye. You can do just about everything you need with your iPad protected inside. The exception to this is the camera connection kit…sigh.
The case uses a magnetic closure that does double duty putting your iPad2 or 3 sweetly to sleep when you close the case.
The case’s inside cover also features an elastic and PU leather hand slot to help you keep a stable grip while using your iPad without a table underneath it. That kind of extra little touch makes it obvious how much personal thought Snugg has put into this case.
The whole package really has the feel of a much more expensive case.
Oh yes, did I forget to mention that? The case lists for $39.95 but can be found on Amazon for a bit less.
I like the combination of the leather feel and the contrast of the denim. The case adds some protection to your tablet without a ton of bulk and it is subtle enough that it doesn’t scream “STEAL ME” like some iPad cases I have seen.
I think I would like to find that pub and sit down and talk about some accessory ideas with the Snugg crew! Very nicely done!
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