If you were lucky enough to snag an iPad for Christmas, or you’re looking for a way to personalize an existing one, here’s a good option: a personalized iCase from Powis.
I reviewed a Powis iCase a year ago and the current offerings from the company haven’t changed in terms of functionality — which is a good thing. The iCase was a good example of a multipurpose iPad case that offered a huge choice looks and finishes combined with versatility, including a genuinely useful multi-position kickstand. These cases are great for securely propping an iPad in convenient positions for watching movies, typing, following recipes and other common tasks. I have many other cases, but none that can manage this same range without resorting to using additional household objects as props, or hoping that a dog running past the table doesn’t rattle a jury-rigged setup enough to have it fall down. After the original review, there were comments on the fact that the case itself resembles a binder with a kickstand, which is fair enough (Powis Parker is a binding company after all), but I appreciate the versatility the form factor offers and the commercial grade build quality.
The latest iteration is a personalized iCase, an option that takes further advantage of the company’s expertise in customized printing and binding. Available in iPad or iPad 2 versions, the ‘design your own‘ option lets you apply your own look from a library of custom finish looks such as Techno or Vintage Books. Better yet, you can upload a photo or your own artwork. I found the design process a little on the complex side, but I was using a beta version of the web interface; Powis says they’ve cleaned it up since then and when I subsequently went back on their site to try playing with the design software, it was much more intuitive. The finished product is a heavy pressboard material that appears to be coated with a matte, protective finish, with plastic corner protectors to keep edges from getting bent. It’s quite sturdy and the photo reproduction is excellent, although based on my sample, I would dial up the brightness just a little on your photo before uploading. I ordered an iCase adorned with a photo of Provincetown (taken from the top of the Pilgrim Monument during a family vacation) and it quickly became my wife’s preferred iPad case. It’s tough to beat that combination of nostalgia and utility.
The original iCase starts at $59.95 and going with the design your own option brings it up to $79.95 (ground shipping is currently free). Not cheap, but this isn’t a base model iPad case. And the ability to customize the cover as you see fit means a whole world of design possibilities opens up compared to the limited choices offered with most iPad cases. If you have a kid or spouse who’s been waiting forever to have a particular licensed iPad cover come out, for example, this could be your solution (while respecting copyright, of course).
Disclaimer: Powis provided an iCase for review purposes.