Review - Treegloo - Customisable Moleskine-style iPad Case
I've always wanted a Moleskine-style case for my iPad. The one which everyone was talking about was DodoCase, but after some judicious research, it turned out that there were just too many issues raised by unhappy customers with its design and durability.
There were a number of other alternatives, including Pad and Quill, Caveman, Portenzo and Treegloo. What sealed the decision for me was Treegloo's custom options: their antique map inlay from various cities you could choose from was simply irresistable. I spent many holidays as an undergraduate backpacking through Europe, and Paris was one of our stomping grounds.
It was a risk as Treegloo was fairly new on the market and there were very few reviews available, although they generally were positive. I emailed them with a few questions, and received a satisfactory response with the same day, including a no-questions-asked warranty behind all their products. Including construction time and transpacific shipping, it took about four weeks for my order to arrive.
The quality of craftsmanship is quite remarkable. The texture of the exterior is the faux leather Moleskine-style with a high-detail grain, and the inlay was the Parisian antique map, made from a heavy-quality cardstock. The one I received is a detail of the south-west of Paris, just beyond the 15th and 16th arrondisements. The corners of the inlay are slightly raised where the exterior material is tucked in, so it's not the kind of machine-perfect precision you'll find in factory-produced items, but rather an artefact of a handmade product. The case also contained a card with the unique serial number and care instructions.
The frame itself is constructed from separate pieces of pine, sealed with a natural resin and hand-joined using traditional carpentry. The substance used to join the pieces, as their email to me explained, is stronger than the wood itself, and using the joinery method makes the frame more resilient and flexible to impact and torque in the event of a collision or fall, whereas a frame constructed out of a single piece would be more vulnerable to breakage, especially at the corners. A near-transparent "Treegloo" logo sits quite unobtrusively st the bottom left corner of the inlay: you wouldn't notice it was there unless you were looking for it.
The iPad sits very comfortably within the frame, snug and tight with no risk at all of falling out; removing it is just as easy. The cover folds backwards easily, without any "creaking" in the spine, to become a shallow-angle stand in landscape mode, although it cannot stand by itself in portrait mode with the cover folded back (much like a normal hardcover book, basically.) Its weight is about 300g (10-11 oz), which is about the same for a hardcover book.
I've been using this case for about six weeks now, and it hasn't even begun to show signs of wear and tear. I use a neoprene case which the iPad and cover travel inside, so that keeps the case quite well-protected. For anyone looking for a Moleskine-style case for your device, or if you're just looking for something stylish yet understated, Treegloo is definitely well worth considering.
My customized folio has a cover in Super Espresso, a natural-finish frame with brown suede accents and a Paris map inlay.
More pictures at -- Treegloo pictures by violaoutofhell - Photobucket