The designers at Dodocase pride themselves on the traditional book-binding techniques they use to manufacture their gorgeous iPad cases. And the method is a success: I can tell you first hand I’ve had people mistake my Dodocase Classic ($60-$75 for third- and fourth-generation iPads) covered iPad for a book. However, cases can’t be judged on looks alone, and there are some things to consider before making any commitments.
The look and feel of the Classic is quite pleasant; the bookbinding cloth that covers the outside of the case feels just like what you might find on a old used book, and adds to the aesthetic appeal. The material is smooth as well, making it easy to wipe off any spills or debris that your case might come in contact with.
The cover is also fairly rigid, as it aims to keep your screen safe from anything that might scratch or crack the smooth Retina display. While the cover is hard, it isn’t completely rigid all the way across, and the center of the cover bows downward more so than the edges. It’s not a huge issue but something to keep in mind, especially if you rest a heavy object on the cover.
Inside, a bamboo frame holds the iPad in place—a popular choice given its durability and renewability. The frame has rubber nubs in the corners that keep your iPad secure in the wooden recess. This method of securing your iPad may seem a bit sketchy at first, but after using the case you’ll realize how tightly it grips your iPad.
You can fold the cover around the back of the iPad, and use the spine as a prop for typing, but that one angle is really all you get. If you want a more vertical landscape view for, say, watching movies, you can prop the frame up like an “A” while resting the edge on a bit of the elastic strap. This will stop the edge of the case from sliding while on a slick surface like a table or a counter, and is sturdy enough for most circumstances.
The wooden frame leaves the top and bottom edges of your iPad open in all the right places, leaving all ports and buttons accessible with the cover closed. There is also a cutout on the side for the volume buttons and side switch, though the toggle is a bit hard to use if you don’t have fingernails.
A little wooden nub acts as an extension for the lock button, which makes it a breeze to get at—a nice touch. However, because the cover works with the iPad’s magnetic sleep/wake feature, I find that I rarely use the lock button, but the nub is nice when I need it.
Altogether, the Dodocase Classic is a good option for the price, especially if you like giving your iPad a book-style look while not having too much interference from the cover. However, if you want more angle options, or a way to prop the iPad in portrait orientation, you might want to look elsewhere.