Last year I took a look at very nice leather case for my iPad 2 made by Oberon Design. I came home last week to see another package from Oberon Design and opened it up to discover they sent along a new Siena iPad cover for the iPad 2 and 3. I also see they now have cases for the popular Nexus 7 tablet, Nook, and Kindle devices.
Check out several more photos of the Oberon Design Siena iPad cover in my image gallery.
The Oberon Design Siena case arrived wrapped in brown paper with a pewter charm attached on the outside, the same as the last Oberon case I evaluated. Since I never requested or was told a case was coming I had no idea what to expect. I was quite pleased to see a black and sky blue case in the package since the color scheme is likely what I would choose myself. You will find a small charm and extra elastic bungee cord inside the package. I showed the Siena case to my wife and she said it looked amazing and was a very attractive case.
Design inspiration and company info
The Oberon Design website states that Brendan Smith, owner and found of Oberon Design, traveled to Italy and visited the walled city of Siena. The leather work he saw there inspired this new line of cases that resemble classic hand bound book covers. As you can see, the Siena case is simpler than the intricate designs on their other iPad cases, but I have to say the case looks great and is also quite functional. It is interesting to read that they have no inventory or stock on hand. They make cases after orders are placed and it usually takes 3-5 weekdays to complete.
Hands-on with the iPad Siena case
The spine is a prominent feature of the Siena case with seven raised ridges on a separate piece of leather that is used to connect the front and back pieces of the cases together. The spine color flows into the front and back with the secondary color taking up the rest of the cover. The leather is quite thick and protective with inserts in the pockets to offer quite a bit of protection for your iPad. There are a couple of small pockets inside the front cover for business cards with a leather flap in the middle of the left side where the elastic attaches to hold the case open in landscape orientation. There is also a large felt piece on the front cover that is installed to protect your display.
On the inside right side where your iPad rests you will find three solid leather corner straps to hold your iPad in place. The upper right corner is secured with an elastic band so you first place your iPad in the bottom of the case and then slide to the left with the final step being to place the elastic strap over the upper right corner. It took me a bit of effort to get my iPad under the upper left strap, but I like knowing it is securely held in place. There is also a small piece just below the volume button that helps hold the iPad securely in place.
There is an opening for the rear facing camera and as clearly stated in the paperwork provided with the case it is offset a bit when you first start using the case. Oberon states that the leather will stretch naturally over time and the camera will line up in the opening. It's great to see they thought about this rather than just lining it up to start where it could have been blocking the camera as the leather stretches. You also get full access to your 3.5mm headset jack, Apple connection port, volume button, slide/lock switch, and power button.
Oberon Design uses lead-free Britannia Pewter in their products as you can see in many image on their website. A small piece is secured to the top cover, smaller than that seen on their other iPad cover. You then place the short elastic loop over it and hold the case closed.
There is a thinner elastic strap coming out of two holes in the right side and if you want to use the case in landscape orientation you pull out this elastic strap (it is secured under the back cover and won't come out all the way), fold the case back, and set the elastic over the flap found on the inside of the front cover piece. You can then prop up the case and your iPad in landscaper orientation to enjoy movies or work with Office documents. To go back to portrait orientation you pull the elastic back through to the inside back cover pocket. I thought it was hilarious to read their instructions with one line that states, "Turn your cover to a horizontal position and set on a tabletop & Bob's your uncle!"
I am thoroughly enjoying the Oberon Design Siena iPad 2 cover and like the protection it offers. I have been carrying my iPad more than before the case arrived, in part due to wanting to show off the case and because it feels great to carry it around. The Siena case offers solid protection with the thick leather panels and looks fantastic. I understand the leather will become more supple with use and the color will deepen over time due to the custom tanning process. It's great that this case works in landscape since I use my iPad quite a bit for media content.
The Oberon Design Siena iPad cover is available for $123 and come in 13 different color options in two styles. You can buy them with black spines or with colored spines and black over the rest of the cover. I was sent the one with the black spine and think that looks more traditional. The case feels great in your hand and I am sure my iPad will expire long before the case does.