capsule review

Ten One Particle Case + Pogo Sketch

At a Glance
  • Ten One Design Particle Case + Pogo Sketch (for original iPad)

The $35 Particle Case for iPad is a slim, trim, rubbery case from Ten One Design that includes—and stores—Ten One’s Pogo Sketch stylus. While the case feels pleasant in hand, it suffers from a few disappointing flaws.

The snug-fitting, dark-gray Particle Case provides well-placed cutouts for all the iPad’s ports and buttons, and I could even place my iPad in Apple’s Keyboard Dock with the case on. However, unlike most shells and skins for the iPad, the Particle Case leaves nearly as much of the iPad’s back exposed as it does of the front. And while Ten One Design claims that the case’s “shock absorbing material”—including four skid-resistant bumps on the back corners of the case—provide “full protection” for your iPad, the material feels thin enough that I wouldn’t handle my iPad any less protectively while in the case.

But perhaps the biggest flaws relate to the included Pogo Sketch, a silver stylus with a capacitative tip that you can use like a pen to interact with the iPad’s screen. While I personally don’t need a stylus, instead preferring to use my finger, I can see how some people—artists and those with long fingernails, for example—may appreciate the option. But in testing the Pogo Sketch, I found I had to hold it far more upright than I would regularly hold a pen for the iPad to recognize stylus touches.

The more significant issue is the design of the built-in clip for storing the stylus. This clip is located on the right-hand edge, near the bottom, precisely where my right hand goes when holding the iPad. For some reason, at that particular spot the case just doesn’t fit as snugly as it should, and whether or not the stylus is in the slot, holding the iPad there causes the case to start peeling off the iPad. Those who hold the iPad only in their left hand may not be bothered by this issue, but it was a deal-breaker for me.

While I liked the look and feel of the Particle Case, it doesn’t provide much protection or many extra features, and the issues with the area around the stylus holder move it from neutral to negative for me.

At a Glance
  • The Particle Case + Pogo Sketch doesn't provide much protection or many extra features beyond the integrated stylus holder, and that feature comes with drawbacks of its own.

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