Upshot: It’s a gorgeous product that is the perfect case for people who don’t use their iPads.
There are a couple digital businesses that were contenders for the first hypebusting post, but I’ve been meaning to write a DODOcase review, and I was reminded by today’s fawning report on the $49 iPad case maker on All Things D.
DODOcase has been the darling of the hipster-Lifehacker-digerati crowd since it first launched — and on the surface, there’s good reason. The case looks like a moleskine notebook, and on the outside appears very well constructed. My laptop case is disguised as an antique book, so I went for the DODOcase as a companion to my faux-luddite aesthetic.
DODOcase makes a big deal out of its traditional bookbinding methods and has that intangible bespoke cool that many (including me) are suckers for.
As an early orderer, I had to wait several weeks for the manufacturing to catch up with demand. I tweeted anxiously as I waited, and then jubilantly on delivery, proudly posting photos of my prize.
The bloom quickly fell off the rose.
The iPad didn’t sit firmly in the bamboo frame that holds it in the case. I tried to tell myself that it would settle over time. But, within the first day, the iPad fell out several times.
On the second evening, my overexcited dogs greeted me with a homecoming that caused be to fumble the iPad, dropping it to the floor from a height of only a couple feet. The bamboo broke and the iPad came tumbling out, picking up a screen scratch as it hit a nearby counter.
I was not happy. I contacted “The Nest,” aka customer care. (NB: Ever notice how the quality of customer attention seems inversely proportional to the cutesiness of the setup?) After some difficulty in getting them photos they could open, the customer care rep told me the best they could do was give me a $15 discount on a new one. (Full discussion.)
I was floored. Meantime, I’d gone to the Apple store; been completely up-front about what had happened; and been given a brand new replacement iPad at no charge. To be clear, I think the replacement iPad from Apple was completely undeserved, and is one in a long series of experiences that has made me a customer for life.
Several rounds of terse emails followed in which they told me how fair they were and I told them that nothing short of a replacement was acceptable. Stalemate.
It was only after I tweeted my plight to my relatively sizable and active group of followers that they capitulated. (Should everyone who does such a thing have to bow in the direction of Jeff Jarvis?)
The new case arrived in short order, and again, the case did not firmly hold the iPad. DODOcase sent some extra corner pads as a solution, but that didn’t really work. At this point, I was in for $50 and hours of effort and couldn’t stand the defeat of junking the thing. So I went to the drug store; bought some velcro and used that to affix the iPad to the back of the case.
Some four months later, there is some good. The case is beautiful. And it is quite a conversation starter. However, it is a bit on the heavy side. I also find myself envious of folks with less elegant cases that will better tilt the iPad to a type-able angle.
The kicker, though, is that under daily heavy use, but without another drop, the bamboo has started to split and crack (see photo). An initially tiny, but increasingly large sliver. It actually hurts to hold it horizontally, because the jagged piece digs into the palm of my hand.
People still ooh and ahh over it, as they’re as taken with its aesthetics as I am. I now find myself getting into long conversations about why I don’t recommend it, even as I carry it everywhere.
I’m just waiting for it to finally crack enough to justify the purchase of a less-sexy, more functional case. Every owner of the case that I’ve personally spoken to says the same. And yet, the hype continues unabated.
- DODOcase expands to Kindle cases (electronista.com)
- Dodocase Unveils an Elegant New Case for Kindle (mashable.com)
- Here’s How That $50 Apple iPad DODOcase Is Made (Plus a Look at the New Kindle Cover) [Voices] (voices.allthingsd.com)
- DODOcase, A Beautiful Handmade Book Bound iPad Case (laughingsquid.com)
- Review: Dodocase for iPad (macworld.com)
- iPad users willing to wait six weeks for an immaculate DODOcase (shortformblog.com)