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Old Jun 17, 2010, 08:54 PM   #1
Rengoku
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Lightbulb Slim iPad Leather Case Review (Same design as official Apple case)

Hi all,

Wanted to drop by and write up a review about the new iPad Leather case from Dealextreme. So, a little background before I go into the review. Been on the hunt for a case similar to the Official Apple case for awhile. The objective was to find a case that offered the same functionality as the official case, but without the dust magnet-like material.

I decided to settle for the Yoobao leather case, and was quite surprised at its quality overall. However, it was certainly much more bulkier with the added padding and thick leather. Also, the leather on the side extended too close to the edges of the touchscreen which made hitting the space bar when typing somewhat difficult.

About a week back I saw this iPad case on Dealextreme. Was quite surprised that it was almost an exact clone of the official Apple case, except it was made with PU Leather. Since it was new on the site, and didn't have any reviews, I decided to take the chance and hope for the best. Here are my impressions:
  • First of all, this isn't real leather, but the quality is good and the stitching is pretty well done
  • The soft material that lines the inside doesn't shed like other cases.
  • The cut outs on the sides of the case line up perfectly with the ipad. So far no issues connecting the charger cable, getting to the headphone jack, power button and volume button.
  • The entire case is quite thin and wraps tightly around the ipad.
  • Overall fit is good except for the sides around the screen which are raised somewhat due to the tight fit. I assume this will even out over time.
  • The overall design is almost identical to the official case except for a couple things:
    - There is no additional flap like the official case that closes up the opening where you insert the ipad.
    - It seems the reason is due to the connector cut outs being on the opposite side. As a result, the flap would have covered the volume and lock buttons.
  • The case is quite sturdy in both upright and typing positions.
  • The cover doesn't quite rest flat over the screen, but apparently this issue is the same on the Apple case.
  • The smooth edges where the materials meet are a welcome change compared to the sharp hardened edges on the Apple case.

Overall, I like this case alot, fit and finish wise, its not quite there compared to the high end cases, but for the price ($24 + free shipping) and the fact that its slim, light and functional like the Apple case without the dust attracting rubber material, its a win for me.

The case is available from DealExtreme here: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.d...%20full%20view

I hope the review helps, and I'll be happy to answer any questions.

Below are a couple pictures I took of it:
Thumb resize.

Last edited by kainjow; Jun 18, 2010 at 09:47 AM. Reason: timg
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 09:57 PM   #2
Macdicted
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Nice review , thanks

So the end with no flap is at the top when in landscape and on the bottom while typing ? I think I have that straight. So how tight does it hold ? While typing does it wiggle out ? Or is it tight enough not to worry about it.

As far as lying flat , the cover doesn't lie flat when closed ?

I have a Yoobao too and love it , just wish it were a little slimmer.

That's a nice case for $24
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 12:26 AM   #3
itzcoolz
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1) how would you compare it with the yoobao? which do you think you'll use for the most part after a few weeks?

2) does it insert from the left (or the middle, when opened?) how snug is the iPad? does it have anything to keep it from falling out when the folio is open?
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 04:43 AM   #4
Star56
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That looks exactly like what people have been looking for! Slim and functional like the Apple case but without the dust cover issues.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 04:43 AM   #5
Rengoku
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itzcoolz View Post
1) how would you compare it with the yoobao? which do you think you'll use for the most part after a few weeks?
Functionally, it works great from both standing positions like the yoobao. However, I feel the yoobao is slightly sturdier in the landscape upright position due to the thicker cover. I much prefer the cleaner look and less bulky weight so I'll stick with this one for now, but will keep my yoobao in case I find any nagging issues that crop up.

Quote:
2) does it insert from the left (or the middle, when opened?) how snug is the iPad? does it have anything to keep it from falling out when the folio is open?
Below is a picture to show that the ipad is inserted from the middle. It's a pretty tight fit into the case, so there's no wiggle room. As a result, it doesn't fall out when in the upright landscape position. I feel there's no need for a flap.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Macdicted
As far as lying flat , the cover doesn't lie flat when closed ?
The cover is slightly raised because of its two piece design. Originally when I first bought it, it was flat, but that was because the cover had not been folded back to stand upright.


Last edited by Rengoku; Jun 18, 2010 at 05:05 AM.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 06:21 AM   #6
alFR
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If I were Apple I'd be suing their asses. I mean, they've basically totally copied the Apple case (apart from the flap) without putting any extra thought/features in at all. Poor...
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 08:53 PM   #7
Kahalu'u Bob
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There is no legal reason you can't copy the Apple case. The case is not protected by copyright and I see nothing to suggest it is patented.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 11:25 PM   #8
atomicbatteries
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Nice case. Wish they had it in brown. It's also 12 bucks now! That's a deal!
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Old Jun 19, 2010, 07:21 AM   #9
ScoobyDooLondon
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It looks like there's no cut for the sound port - is that right? If so, doesn't the sound get muffled?

Any idea what the thickness of the case is with the iPad inserted?

thanks
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Old Jun 19, 2010, 03:00 PM   #10
Rengoku
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyDooLondon View Post
It looks like there's no cut for the sound port - is that right? If so, doesn't the sound get muffled?
Theres 5 small holes for the sound port. Originally I thought they would muffle the sound because they were off to the side, but I've had no problems with the sound getting out.

Quote:
Any idea what the thickness of the case is with the iPad inserted?
The total thickness I got when measuring it with the cover closed is 18 mm. So with the iPad being 13.4 mm, the added thickness is 4.6 mm. Hope that helps
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Old Jun 19, 2010, 03:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rengoku View Post
Theres 5 small holes for the sound port. Originally I thought they would muffle the sound because they were off to the side, but I've had no problems with the sound getting out.



The total thickness I got when measuring it with the cover closed is 18 mm. So with the iPad being 13.4 mm, the added thickness is 4.6 mm. Hope that helps
How do those measurements compare with the official iPad case from Apple- Is it much thicker?
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 07:08 AM   #12
Rengoku
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Originally Posted by zub3qin View Post
How do those measurements compare with the official iPad case from Apple- Is it much thicker?
Sorry, as I don't own the official Apple case, I can't compare their measurements.
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 07:52 AM   #13
iFerd
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Originally Posted by atomicbatteries View Post
It's also 12 bucks now! That's a deal!
That would be great, but this morning is is $23.70 with free shipping. Still a good price.

The OP's images don't show this, but look at the one from the DealExtreme site. It looks like there are bubbles in the cover, which would worry me about quality control standards.

I am no longer in the market for a case, having lucked into an Apple case. I agree that is is pretty much an exact copy as far as function goes. It's hard to measure precisely because of the curvature of the iPad, but mine is pretty close to being 0.5 inches (12-13 mm) thick with the case installed, a bit thinner than this case, apparently.
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 10:53 AM   #14
atomicbatteries
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So then what is this, looks the same to me, $12 bucks!

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.39222
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFerd View Post
That would be great, but this morning is is $23.70 with free shipping. Still a good price.

The OP's images don't show this, but look at the one from the DealExtreme site. It looks like there are bubbles in the cover, which would worry me about quality control standards.

I am no longer in the market for a case, having lucked into an Apple case. I agree that is is pretty much an exact copy as far as function goes. It's hard to measure precisely because of the curvature of the iPad, but mine is pretty close to being 0.5 inches (12-13 mm) thick with the case installed, a bit thinner than this case, apparently.
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 11:03 AM   #15
iFerd
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Originally Posted by atomicbatteries View Post
So then what is this, looks the same to me, $12 bucks!

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.39222
I agree that this one is $12.70, but it isn't quite the same as the one discussed by the OP. Click that link.
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Old Jun 21, 2010, 09:59 AM   #16
Kobra
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It looked like the case I've been waiting for, untill I saw that it opens from left to right Doesn't that feel and look akward?
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Old Jun 21, 2010, 10:29 AM   #17
jmmo20
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Originally Posted by Kobra View Post
It looked like the case I've been waiting for, untill I saw that it opens from left to right Doesn't that feel and look akward?
turn your ipad upside down :P
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Old Jun 22, 2010, 08:44 AM   #18
Rengoku
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iFerd View Post
The OP's images don't show this, but look at the one from the DealExtreme site. It looks like there are bubbles in the cover, which would worry me about quality control standards.
My case didn't have any bubbles, but yeah, I'd be wary about the quality control standards too. Though, I've dealt with DealExtreme's customer service before, and they've been pretty good about sending replacements if you're not completely satisfied.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 09:19 PM   #19
paulpaul
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Question

Can you easily take the ipad in and out of the case on a daily basis? I use a stand at home that doesn't accommodate the case (joule stand) and only use the case when I go out.

Removing the ipad from the official apple case is difficult because of the material; I'm hoping this case will work out for me.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 09:28 PM   #20
aaronweather
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Wow, sounds like a pretty good deal. Kind of makes me wish I didn't order the apple case and wait a month and a half for it to arrive.
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Old Jul 2, 2010, 10:55 PM   #21
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really like the way it assumes the contours of the ipad.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 06:57 AM   #22
Rengoku
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Originally Posted by paulpaul View Post
Can you easily take the ipad in and out of the case on a daily basis? I use a stand at home that doesn't accommodate the case (joule stand) and only use the case when I go out.

Removing the ipad from the official apple case is difficult because of the material; I'm hoping this case will work out for me.
Its a rather tight fit, but the insides are lined with microfiber material, so it shouldn't be too hard to take out. But I would caution against taking it in and out daily, as you might stretch out the case.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 11:42 AM   #23
Perihelion
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How much bulk (thickness and weight) does this case add to the iPad? One thing I liked about the official Apple case is how slim it is...
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 04:44 PM   #24
Jsn
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Originally Posted by Perihelion View Post
How much bulk (thickness and weight) does this case add to the iPad? One thing I liked about the official Apple case is how slim it is...
I bought one based on Rengoku's review above, and I'm not disappointed. It is VERY close in size and shape to the official Apple case, which means it's pretty darn thin--thin enough to conform to the curves of the iPad.

I really like that it doesn't add bulk to the iPad; it's reminiscent of a glove. The "leather" is nothing to turn cartwheels over--it's either fake leather or some highly-processed substance that is only technically leather. But it's an improvement over the microfiber of the Apple case, and the functionality is almost identical. Considering the price, I consider it a fine interim case while I wait for the next generation of case designs.
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 06:00 PM   #25
Jsn
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Thought I'd follow up on my own last post.

Well, here it is three months later, and the case has fallen apart.

It's really just some vinyl-ish material glued to some cardboard-ish material. It's the glue that's failed. The "frame" layers holding the ipad into the case have completely separated. And that's on a case that is lightly used, and rarely leaves the house.

In retrospect, I'd rather pay three times as much for a case built to last longer. Consider yourselves briefed on this puppy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsn View Post
I bought one based on Rengoku's review above, and I'm not disappointed. It is VERY close in size and shape to the official Apple case, which means it's pretty darn thin--thin enough to conform to the curves of the iPad.

I really like that it doesn't add bulk to the iPad; it's reminiscent of a glove. The "leather" is nothing to turn cartwheels over--it's either fake leather or some highly-processed substance that is only technically leather. But it's an improvement over the microfiber of the Apple case, and the functionality is almost identical. Considering the price, I consider it a fine interim case while I wait for the next generation of case designs.
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