We’ve reviewed many iPhone and iPad cases in our time, with most of them being of the plastic or silicone variety, but none made from a mix of paper, vinyl, cardboard and wood. You might think we have lost the plot; but believe it or not, there is a range of cases made from these material types. BUKcase is very different in the kind of cases they offer, although they do use traditional techniques from the book binding industry to come up with a high-end product.
The case in question today is the BUKcase Originals for the iPad mini 1st generation, and from the moment of taking the case from its packaging we knew we were looking at something very different to what we have seen in the past. What other iPad case would you put on a bookshelf and not look out of place?
All of these cases come in a black finish with a choice of different inlays, we had the Welsh Slate Grey, but you can go for Pillar Box Red or Skye Blue. To look at, you might think the outside is made from paper, but it is in fact made from a very thin vinyl, which has been applied with great care. One would presume that this has been stuck to the rest of the case in the same way that you make paper-over-board binders, which we have some personal experience with.
However, this is a more difficult process because of the other elements involved, and the fact that it needs to be more durable than a binder because of what this case will house. You will also notice an elastic on the outside of this case, and this does three things, the first is to keep the case closed, the second, to allow it to stand in landscape, and the other is to keep the illusion up that this is an old-fashioned book.
You can even choose to have your initials embossed on the outside for an extra cost, although we never did as this was sent to us by the good people at BUKcase for a review.
That’s enough about the outside because the inside underlines its uniqueness in the way that it houses your iPad mini. The frame that holds your small Apple tablet is made from wood, not one solid piece, but rather layers. It is this laminated process that adds strength. The entire iPad mini is enclosed around its frame in a wood cocoon, leaving just small gaps for buttons, Lightning port, as well as a hole to the rear for the camera lens.
We would like to give you a word of warning though, if you make the decision to place your iPad in the BUKcase Originals case, then try not to remove it too often because of its tight fit there is a chance that the paint on your tablet could start to mark. Having said that, this needs to be a snug fit in order for it to stay safe and not move around.
We have read reports that some people have had movement, but ours was not going anywhere, and trying to remove it was a very tough job indeed. This is no surprise to us because we know how wood can swell and shrink in certain conditions.
We have made it very clear how much we love this case because it looks so much like an old-fashioned book, and and such, feels natural in the hand.
While we cant really find many other faults with this case, we feel inclined to point out our biggest issue with the design, and that is with the magnets. These are inside of the front cover and are meant to activate the iPad once you open the case, but they do not work because the iPad sits too low in its wooden frame and so is unable to come into contact with the magnets. It would have been nice to see this feature working, and for that reason we were a little disappointed.
The BUKcase Originals iPad mini case price is £35, which isn’t too bad, although would be even greater value if the magnets did the job they were meant to. Having said that, we have not let this small issue put us off the case and would highly recommend one if you don’t mind adding a bit more weight and thickness to your iPad mini.
You can find more details on the BUKcase Originals case for the iPad by visiting bukcase.com, as well as exploring many of their other products.
Also See: iOS 8 update: Keyboard issues hit iPad