Want to really personalize a new iPad Air as a gift? Apple offers engraving, but let’s face it — permanently inscribing something on the back of the iPad limits the ability to sell it or pass it down to someone else later on. A customized case is a perfect alternative. Not only can you present the iPad in a protective case that’s even more personal than an inscription, if the recipient outgrows the iPad a few years down the road they can slip it out and it’s as good as new.
Caseable invited me to try out one of their customized cases for the iPad Air. It’s a great example of just how easily you can combine the practicality of protection with the personal touch of a photograph or image that means something special. You can also add text, if you want to include a message on the cover.
The process of creating the customized case was easy and intuitive — the most difficult part was choosing which photos to go with. Upload an image to the website and Caseable provides a design template. The website is quite forgiving on images, with support for .jpg, .gif and .png files up to 12 MB in size. Move your uploaded image(s) until centered the way you want. You can choose a base color for background if the image doesn’t extend all the way to the cover edges.
If a large image is to span both covers, you can’t place it as a single object, but instead place it once on each cover face and line the two up manually, but that was the only complication I encountered. I decided to use two different photos anyway.
Submit the order and you’re done.
The end result was impressive. Color reproduction was good. I’ve had other printed covers that appear much darker than the original images, but Caseable did a great job. I used a photo of icebergs my wife snapped on an Iceland trip and it reproduced the blues and greens of the ice nicely –maybe a little over saturated, but quite good. Despite the fabric exterior, the images are neither dull nor pixelated. There has been no sign of the images wearing off.
The case is a smooth textured fabric material with a soft cloth interior. Stitching was flawless. The iPad is held in place with four elastic snaps in the corners and a large elastic cloth band keeps it closed (the edges of the case extend slightly over the iPad to offer some protection if dropped on an edge). There’s a handy pocket sewn inside the front cover, perfect for holding business cards or a small pad of paper.
While it lacks the heavy duty protection that a ballistic grade case provides and it doesn’t support the iPad’s magnetic sleep/wake capability, the Caseable customized case is an attractive alternative. Handcrafted in Brooklyn, each is unique and reflects the owner’s personality. It’s slim, lightweight, easy to take off if needed and provides sufficient protection for an iPad Air to stay good as new in typical daily use and when casually carrying it around.
If customization isn’t for you, or you need a cover for a different device, Caseable carries a full selection of protective covers and cases (many made of recycled materials) for a huge range of laptops and mobile gear.
The price for a customized Caseable case for iPad Air is $49.90, making it a reasonably priced alternative to a mass market option.
Disclosure: Caseable provided a customized iPad Air case for this review.