The $60 Dodocase appears, from most angles, to be a delightfully analog Moleskine-style notebook. But when you remove the elastic band that holds it closed and flip open the faux leather cover, be prepared for gasps from people when they see that there’s an iPad inside.
The Dodocase is perhaps my favorite iPad case yet. It feels solid, looks great, and allows me to use my iPad in comfort. It’s made of sturdy materials that make the case feel like a well-made hardback book (it’s black faux leather on the outside, with a red fabric interior) and there’s a bamboo frame on the inside to hold your iPad.
If you wrap the cover back, the case provides a bit of an angle for typing on the iPad in your lap or on a table. But it’s not quite as steep an angle as Apple’s iPad case, and while you can prop your iPad upright by using the case’s front cover as a kickstand, it doesn’t provide me with feeling of secure stability.
My biggest complaint about the Dodocase is the way it secures the iPad within its bamboo frame: it doesn’t, really. At the four corners of the frame, there are foam pads that provide pressure on the corners of your iPad to hold it in place. At one point, I held the iPad directly above me (okay, I was trying to read in bed, flat on my back) and the iPad fell right out of the case and landed on my chest. When I complained about this to Dodocase, they sent me an envelope full of new pads, and by sticking on new corner pads I was able to give the case a much more solid grip on my iPad. Still, if you’re planning on shaking your iPad a lot or using it upside-down, I’m not sure the Dodocase will give you the security you seek.
Relying on foam pads to hold the iPad in place seems like it would be a serious design flaw, but since I replaced my first set of puny pads with the new ones provided by Dodocase, I’ve been pretty happy with how secure the case feels. And the side benefit of the foam-padding system is that it’s much easier to take the iPad in and out of this case than most other cases.
When I first tried the Dodocase, I was skeptical about wanting my iPad to pose as a Moleskine or some other hardcover book. But I’m a convert now. It’s a sturdy, classy design that doesn’t interfere with my ability to use the iPad. And you can’t beat those gasps you hear when someone discovers that the notebook you’ve been holding is actually an iPad.
[See all our reviews of iPad folio-style cases and all iPad accessories.]