Review: Oberon Designs leather iPad 2 case is unique and classy

There are some excellent cases for the Apple iPad 2 and the Oberon Designs leather case is well designed and unique.

I thoroughly enjoy using my Apple iPad and I like to carry it in a case to prevent scratches and prop it up for media viewing. There are a ton of cases available and I was recently asked if I wanted to check out a new leather one from Oberon Design. Since my company uses the Hokusai artwork as the basis for our logo, I was sent the Navy blue Hokusai iPad 2 cover for evaluation.

I've been carrying my iPad 2 around in this cool case for over a week and it is one of my favorite cases ever. It feels great in my hand, it looks fantastic, and offers good protection for my iPad 2. I have gotten a lot of comments on the case and after looking at the case selections on the Oberon Design page I think you will be happy with any design you choose as you can see in my image gallery.

Image Gallery: Check out the Oberon Design case for the Apple iPad 2.
Image Gallery: Oberon Design case design
Image Gallery: iPad 2 in the case

Initial impressions

The Oberon Design case arrived wrapped in brown paper with a pewter charm attached on the outside. I opened up the paper and was immediately impressed by the design cut into the leather, the quality of the leather, and the thickness of the front and back cover of the case. There is a pewter wave clasp on the front with a quality elastic band that fits over the top of the clasp.

Design and functionality

The design in the leather wraps around from the front to the back so when you open it up fully you can see the entire design. The front and back covers are thick leather material with heavy paper/cardboard inserts in the pockets to offer some protection of your iPad 2. 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 the iPad 2 rests you will find three solid leather corner straps to hold the iPad 2 in place. The two straps closest to the spine are secured with rivets that are inside the pocket and covered to protect the back of your iPad. The upper right corner is secured with an elastic band so you first place your iPad 2 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.

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.

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 2 in landscaper orientation. To go back to standard "book" mode you pull the elastic back through to the inside back cover pocket. This isn't necessarily the cleanest solution, but it works as intended and holds the iPad in place.

Daily use and final thoughts

I enjoyed using the Oberon Design iPad 2 cover because it has a unique look and an extremely well constructed design. It offers decent protection with the thick leather panels and was comfortable to carry around. I understand the leather is custom tanned, free of paint coatings, and drum-dyed so it will never scuff white. The landscape usage for viewing media was a bit odd, but it worked as designed.

The Oberon Design iPad 2 covers are available for $130 and come in 17 different designs with multiple color options, including navy, sky blue, chocolate, red, black, white, saddle, green, and more. If you are looking for an extremely high quality leather case with unique designs then you should include the Oberon Design case in your list of alternatives.