For the past few weeks I have been reviewing a couple of unique products – a striking wooden skin for the iPhone 5 and a distinctive wooden case for the iPad mini. These covers have been beautifully crafted by hand, in Elkhart Indiana by an emerging company called Carved.
The manufacturers pride themselves, on the fastidious attention to detail that they put into their merchandise, from the careful selection of the chosen wood product, to the incredible detail within the cases themselves. This is immediately apparent the first time you set eyes on the covers; the natural grain and the silky finish create a sense of something very natural and individually striking.
The iPhone 5 skin that I have been looking at, is the Rube Goldberg and is noticeable by its incredibly detailed design on the rear of the case. Before even removing the skin from the packaging I enjoyed a few moments, taking in the laser cut design and getting my head around the intricacy and cleverness of the pattern. Something I don’t feel I would become bored with quickly.
Made from 100% Cherry the wooden grain pattern is sunk into a silky smooth plastic skin which snaps securely to the phone. Both the plastic casing and the wooden inlay feel glossy to the touch and compliment each other beautifully.
Carved actually spray two coatings of their own unique finish onto the wood, which maintains the natural sheen of the product and offers protection to the grain, it is also worth mentioning that between each coat of spray the skin is sanded to ensure the velvety finish.
The Redwood Burl iPad Mini case I have been reviewing is equally as stylish and features a finish that has an incredible depth and shows an intricate and exciting swirling grain.
The wooden panelling is set into a matt black plastic casing that is silken to the touch and that snaps onto the iPad with ease and is tight fitting and secure.
As with the iPhone skin the cover is designed to allow easy access to all ports and features such as the camera and offers enough of a lip on the front to protect the screen when placed face down.
Whilst these products do offer a degree of protection that would be sufficient for everyday use, it must be said that I have some reservations to how adequate they would be during a major calamity. The covers are both extremely tight fitting, with no cushioning built into the corners or the inside of the cases, and I question how much shock absorbency they would offer if dropped onto a hard surface, but then this does help keep the overall size to a minimum and when fitted does not make the device feel cumbersome.
Both of these products, as well as many other designs, can be found on the Carved website here and it is worth highlighting that Carved also offer a custom design service, allowing you to create a seriously personal and unique design for your device. Carved cases are available for the iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5, iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4. The Redwood Burl iPad case is available for $41.00 whilst the Rube Goldberg iPhone skin is $24, with both attracting free shipping in the USA.
Below are a selection of further pictures of the cases featured in the review.