Review - Treegloo - Customisable Moleskine-style iPad Case

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories for iPAD 1, 2 and 3' started by tzimisce, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    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.

    Pictures

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    More pictures at -- Treegloo pictures by violaoutofhell - Photobucket
  2. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    Just "handmade" a "seamless wallpaper" to match the inner liner map for the case:

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  3. Nexo
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    Nexo iPF Noob

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    i kind of like the idea.

    how much did it cost you. how secure is it in that side? like say you were reading on your lap or at a table?
  4. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    Currently this configuration (Espresso cover, natural frame with suede accent, Paris liner map) would be $50, according to Treegloo.com's online customizer. The device sits quite firmly in the tray, and because the cover can be double-folded back, makes it easy to put on one's lap, table, book pillow, etc.
  5. hanoverfiste
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    hanoverfiste iPF Novice

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    I was just curious how you went about this. This looks fantastic and seeing as I just ordered one with the New York insert I would love to do this when it gets here. (I will now have both a Treegloo and Dodocase, perhaps I will do a side by side comparison)
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  6. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    I did the old-fashioned way: took a high-res photo of the map (under natural light), colour-corrected and sharpened a few details, then resized and positioned it to fit where the map would appear "behind" the iPad.

    Once it was on the device, I used PS Express to fine-tune the level of contrast and "soft-focus", because this kind of highly-detailed backgound can make the screen rather cluttered, esp when you're swiping icons back and forth.
  7. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    The wonderful people at Treegloo sent me a high-res, print-quality graphic of the Paris map, and as you can see, the quality of the picture has improved remarkably:


    [​IMG]
  8. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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  9. hanoverfiste
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    If I had known this I would have had it made with my company logo. Oh well. I am looking forward to getting mine.
  10. hanoverfiste
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    hanoverfiste iPF Novice

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    I can only assume you requested it?
  11. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    Actually when they saw my photo, they offered to send me the graphic. I think if you ask them about the New York graphic, they might be able to help as well.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011
  12. hanoverfiste
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    Already asked them. Hopefully they send it to me. I went crazy on my Treegloo had the suede and all put on it. I'll post some when I get it.

    EDIT:Was just contacted by Amanda at Treegloo to tell me not only would they be sending a HigRes version of NY but "Of Course we will". What truly amazing customer service.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  13. tzimisce
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    Well, the difference between suede accent and full suede is only $5. It was one of the customization options I took a long time to decide, and went with the accent because I found that I preferred to have the natural finish when looking at the case sideways.
  14. hanoverfiste
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    Just got word that my Treegloo shipped. Not only that but Amanda has also emailed me the map of NY subway system so I can make my wallpaper (thanks for the idea tzimisce). If the case is good as the customer service I have received I will never take my IPad out of it.
  15. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    Oh yes, the New York subway map looks very nice - this and the Paris one are less commonly seen, and they are a unique selling point of the Treegloo. Plus, having a matching "seamless wallpaper" can only make it stand out.

    (On the other hand, you can find the London Tube map on all kinds of merchandise everywhere, it's pretty much turned into a cliche.)

    Post some pics when you get it - I'm really curious to see how it looks all kinds of awesome.
  16. hanoverfiste
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    Just received my TreeGloo and I must say the craftmanship is amazing. I dont even know where to start. I will post photos when I get the chance but I can assure you as of right now my IPad is not leaving this case.

    [​IMG]
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    The one of the subway maps does not do this justice, I couldn't get above the IPad because of my light I will try again, I have to say I have only had this case for a day and I love it
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  17. tzimisce
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  20. tzimisce
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    "Second Generation" case redesign -- review update

    Treegloo "Second Generation" Case Redesign -- Review update

    I've just received, exactly two weeks ago, what I've begun to think of as the "second generation" Moleskine-style iPad case from Treegloo.

    Before I continue, a full disclaimer: I received this case because I incurred damage on my case and asked them some questions about repair, and they deemed it was sufficiently a defect (even though I've continued to use it perfectly) and sent me a replacement under warranty. The case I am reviewing was also designed for a 1st generation iPad, although most of its features will apply equally to cases for either version.

    As I opened up the parcel from Treegloo, I was once again reminded of the first time I received their iPad case. A handwritten greeting and thank-you note on the brown paper. An elegant yet succinct introduction card, with the hand-stamped serial number and some care instructions. I had no expectations at all, thinking it would be more or less the same product as what I already had - they only hinted that "some design and material improvements" had been made since I acquired the first case.

    That was an understatement. The differences between the new case and the old are quite tangible.

    The first thing which struck me was how much the material for the outer covering had changed. Originally, the surface material was very close to the smooth, Moleskine-styled faux-leather vinyl. Treegloo's new material has a lot more distinctive texture and has improved tactile feel, with an almost neoprene-like "sponginess." Having already used it for a fortnight, the toughness of the material is more scratch-resistant, whilst at the same time, the ruggedness of the texture makes it easier to carry around.

    As for the frame itself: the finishing of the suede was as impeccable as ever, with the usual fine-grain natural blemishes in the wood which gives it a unique look and character. I've also inquired with Treegloo, and ascertained that my replacement case does not feature their improved Series 2 frame design announced a few days ago as of this writing.

    When I attempt to double-fold the cover over (carefully), it folds over without any fuss or stress on the binding or liner. Of course, they included the Paris historic map as my customized inner liner. If you've seen the posts above, you'll also know that I created a wallpaper (with Treegloo's amazing customer service help) which seamlessly matched the city map - and the new case matched my wallpaper perfectly.

    In conclusion: I was quite satisfied with the original case, but in so many unexpected ways the redesigned features are a great improvement over the original. (I suppose mine's more of a "1.5th gen" hybrid as it doesn't fully include all the new features.) As before, it was made with Treegloo's usual high level of care and craftsmanship, from the book-binding technique used to create the cover to the quality of the hand-sanded wooden frame, coupled with sustainable practices.

    I greatly appreciate that the designers and craftsmen at Treegloo have not been complacent, but have continued to improve and refine their product, adding a lot more customization options since I first discovered them. They have just announced the launch of their Series 2 cases from Mar 28 (Monday), including cases for iPad 2nd gen. Considering that their prices are about the same or slightly higher than overseas factory-made covers from other mass-market brands, these cases are fantastic value for money.

    Their website is at -- Treegloo Products - Customizable, Durable, Eco-friendly Cases | Made by Hand in the USA
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011

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