iPad cases review: The Artisans Craftsmen’s Case for iPad

Right now you must be thinking, the Artisans Craftsmen’s case is totally inspired by the DODOcase.

Not like being inspired by what many has termed “the best iPad case in 2010” is a bad thing. The Artisans Craftsmen’s Case attempt to improve upon the original DODOcase in construction and quality.

Nevertheless I will attempt to look at the Artisans Craftsmen’s Case for iPad in its own light, rather than compare it with a product that I have neither own nor have the intend to purchase.

What is the Craftsmen’s Case? The most direct answer is: it turns your iPad into a giant moleskine notebook.

The Craftsmen’s Case is completely handmade, which means on closer look you will never find two completely same cases, a good thing for those who like their iPad accessories to be unique.

The case is designed to turn your iPad into a digital moleskine. There is the usual hardcover (used on hardcover books) and moleskine-like rubber strap on the outside, and in the inside, a wooden spine/frame (that is made from one solid piece of wood, thus increasing its strength, unlike the DODOcase whose wooden parts are made from a few pieces of wood) holds the iPad firmly in the case without the need for any rubber grips that might lose its hold over time. The whole case, including the wooden spine/frame, is hand made locally, as detailed in this video here.

The case is surprisingly light for its size, due to the materials used. It does, however, add considerable thickness to the iPad, despite not adding much weight to it. This is partly because, when the iPad is held in the case by the wooden spine, little or no part of the iPad’s aluminum back is actually touching the hard cover, from what I can tell personally from testing the case. This in theory (I haven’t been using the case long enough to tell if it will actually scratch) prevents the aluminum back from scratching against the hard cover back.

Because of how it is designed, the iPad is actually raised above the bottom cover by the wooden spine/frame, thus prevent the back of the iPad from touching the bottom of the cover for better prevention against scratches

Of course, like any other iPad case, it has its weaknesses. And for this case in particular there are a few.

Firstly, since it’s really made up of mostly paper, glue, and some wood, being waterproof/splashproof is definitely not one of its strengths. Most other cases made with plastic or leather on the market could theorically be a better choice for protection against the elements than the Craftsmen’s case, basically due to the type of materials used in its construction. However, how many iPad cases on the market are as unique as the Craftmen’s Case?

Also, exactly because it’s made with perishable materials, your Craftsmen’s Case will definitely show some wear and tear over time. Not exactly for the kind of owner who expects his iPad and its case to looked untouched for the rest of his life.

Then there’s the price. At over a hundred dollars retail, this case isn’t going to win any best value for money awards.

However, it is clear to everyone who will be interested in the case that it is definitely a premium product, and it is definitely a pretty well made premium product.

If you are the type who loves your moleskine as much as you love your iPad, and want your iPad to “become” a moleskine, the Artisans Craftsmen’s Case should be a perfect fit for you.

If you just want proper protection for your iPad at the lowest possible price, the Craftsman’s Case was never made for you in the first place, and you will be better served by something like Apple’s own iPad case.

For more information and pictures about the Craftmen’s Case, you can check out the Artisans’ website here.

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MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

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