Tuesday, February 19, 2013

KAVAJ iPad Case: A Product Review


A little over a month ago, I was on a mission to find a new iPad case.  Originally, I bought a generic one, something simple just to protect it.  But after a while, after I started using it in work meetings and for general research and planning of certain projects, I wanted my case to do a little more than just protect the iPad.  I wanted something that looked professional and hold a small amount of papers.  I have always been drawn to the portfolio-type of pad holders (something similar to this—I especially love the legal portfolio that “The Good Wife’s” Alicia Florrick totes with her everywhere), which I’m sure is one of the reasons I’m so fond of Filofax planners, that professional look.

Indeed, the first place I looked was Filofax—they now offer some lovely iPad cases.  There were two problems with what I found—the cost, and I didn’t know anyone who had a Filofax iPad case, and so I didn’t know if any of them would fit the bill of my specifications.  I hopped onto Twitter and put out feelers among the Philofaxy group.  I only received a few responses, one being from the wonderful Steve saying he had won the Pennybridge iPad case in a competition but had yet to receive it (eventually, Steve did receive the Pennybridge and reviewed here).  However, Steve recommended the KAVAJ London case, and after I looked into it, I decided that it fulfilled my requirements, and I purchased it.  I have to say, it has lived up to my expectations.  (Their website says that the products will be coming soon to the US—I was lucky enough to nab one off of Amazon, but I see that today only the iPad Mini versions are available.)

The KAVAJ London is very professional looking indeed.


It has that black leather look and feel (because it is leather).  It is buttery soft and yet protects the iPad from just about everything.  It also comes with a stylus/pen.  I use the stylus every once in a while, but I rarely use the pen.  In fact, I don’t think I have yet, and that’s probably only because I have my favorite pen that I cart with me everywhere.  However, the stylus/pen will come in quite handy, should I need it.  At first, it was very difficult to get the stylus out of the loop.  I had to finagle, pull, and push every time.  Eventually, I figured out that it would remove easily if I pushed back on the loop just a bit before pushing the stylus up and out.

Upon opening the case, you can see that the interior is made of flannel, though I would have thought suede.


It also provides card slots and a full-length pocket slot, just what I was looking for.


The full-length pocket won’t hold more than a few sheets of paper at a time (or maybe it will, but that would bulk up the case too much for me), but that’s all I need.

There is also a Velcro flap that holds the iPad securely in place.


Here you can see the iPad fits nicely into the case.
(By the way, those are not scratches on the left—I used a lint roller to remove stray cat hairs that the flannel picked up along the way.  The lines you see are just the flannel material being brushed one way by the roller.)

You can see how the protective Velcro flap keeps the iPad from slipping back out of the case.


And here it is completely secure.


The Velcro holds such a tight grip that I had trouble opening it for the photos.  It might loosen up with more use, but I don’t take my iPad out all that often, just once in a while to give it a thorough cleaning.

As far as the pockets go, I keep a small number of items. 


Though there are three card slots, I only use two at the moment—one for my business cards and one for the Filofax jot pad sheets.  I tore off a few just to keep in case I need to write anything down that will eventually go into my planner.  Behind the full-length pocket, I keep a small stack of note paper (maybe five sheets or so).  This comes in handy during meetings.  Although I take detailed notes on my iPad (using the Google Drive [formerly Docs] app so that I always have access to it through my Google account), I like to have a sheet of paper next to me for any items that I will need to attend to.  It’s my meeting-inspired to do list.  Once back at my desk, I will add the items to the corresponding list in my planner.  True, I could do the same right from my iPad, but I prefer my to do lists on paper, even if they get rewritten.  Plus, some items may not make it to a different list if I can take care of them right away.

Here is the London all decked out and ready to go:


But of course, what is an iPad case if you cannot configure it for different functions?

The closing flap not only securely closes the entire case, but when folded back on itself and tucked into the loop backwards, the case sits at an angle easy for typing and browsing the Internet.



It’s a little hard to tell from the angle I’ve taken the picture (why I didn’t take it from the side, I haven’t a clue), but this is how I configure the iPad most of the time.

If you stand the case up on the shorter end, you can watch videos and movies a little easier.



Again, it’s a little hard to tell from the photo’s angle.  This is the one drawback of this case, at least in my experience.  Standing the case up like this, I find that it doesn’t stand on its own.  I have to hold it or prop something up behind it to keep it from falling down.  I don’t know if this is a result of using it more often the other way or if this happens to all of the London cases.  For me, even though it’s a drawback, I don’t find it a problem really since I rarely use it in this manner, and when I do, it’s easy enough to find something to prop it up against.

You can see from looking at the back that the closure strap fits through its loop on the back.


I would say that this is one of two things I had to get used to with this new case, the closure on the back of the case.  The other is that because of how the case itself folds, and how the iPad is positioned, I had to get used to the home screen button being on the left (when used in landscape view), rather than the right, which is where it was with my old case.  I have been using the London case for long enough that both are like second nature to me now.

Overall, I absolutely love this case—it is everything I was looking for and it looks sleek and professional.  A big thank you to Steve for recommending this product to me.  It was one of the best purchases this year!

**Note: I am in no way affiliated with or getting kickbacks from KAVAJ, Amazon, or Steve.**

9 comments:

  1. Great review Susan, I will take a couple of side photos of mine so you can see how mine stands up right without any help!

    I'm glad you like the case, very pleased with mine and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it again.

    Steve

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    1. Thanks, Steve. Huh, I wonder why my case won't stand up on its own. Maybe with some training... Yes, I highly recommend this case too!

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  2. Iphonesia:
    Thanks for the review, it was excellent and very informative. Thank you. :)

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  3. The stitching on mine started to come apart on the seam between the spine and the headphone socket, it's a very short seam with potential a lot of strain on it when you fold the case back on itself.
    At first I wondered about returning it. But in the end I just got my leather needle out and sewed it back up again, I went over it twice to add additional strength to the seam.
    It's been fine since. I also gather the leather a clean whilst I had the iPad out of it!
    Steve

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    1. Oh no! I haven't seen any evidence of stitching coming undone on mine. Good for you for restitching it! I don't know that I'd have the patience for that.
      I actually asked for a new cover for Christmas. It's a small keyboard and cover in one, which I would use most of the time. I would keep this one for travel though, or for times when I want a softer cover.
      Look for a new review should I receive the cover with keyboard!

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    2. I have the Apple wireless keyboard, it works well. Alison made me a small case for it too!

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    3. I still prefer having the iPad in a separate case of its own rather than a combine Filofax/iPad case, I tried one for a few days but exchanged it for a Holborn Compact instead!

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    4. I agree! I've actually never tried it, but I don't think it would work for me. Although I like to have different pieces of my system work together, I don't necessarily want everything together in one unit, if that makes sense.

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