iPad Apple iPad Air smart case with the cover "sawn" off

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by coleopterist, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. coleopterist, Dec 14, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013

    coleopterist macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    #1
    A DIY suggestion for the intrepid (or the borderline insane, like me).

    I bought the iPad mostly for reading, and I had a hard time finding a suitable third party case. Many of them, especially the folios, don't consider that some of us would trade in protection for lightness and tactile satisfaction. And it really doesn't help that many review sites or manufacturers would rather not reveal the full details of the cases, creating unnecessary bother for the dissatisfied customer.

    After ordering and returning five different cases and reading countless reviews, I finally gave in to Apple's smart cover and the high $80 price point (instant ramen, anyone?). I hoped this would end my search, because it was light enough such that it's possible to hold the iPad with one hand.

    However, the cover was not only terrible as a stand, but just got in the way when I tried to hold it all the way back and hold the iPad like a book. The microfibre material makes your hans feel clammy and sweaty, too. I figured that by getting rid of the cover, I would hopefully recreate the feeling of holding the iPad with the cover fully closed while using the iPad. There was just too much done right with the smart case for me to look for yet another case.

    [​IMG]

    It's not for the faint of heart, though if you do err, as I did by cutting too tearing too much of the leather off at one point, it looks like the edges of manually torn leathered pages you find in 15th century hand-crafted books.

    [​IMG]

    I used the full length of an X-acto knife to slice the cover off like a piece of ham. Make sure you have more than one blade, because it dulls rather quickly. Rulers aren't exacty required because it's the rubberised portion that forms the shape of the case underneath the leather is clearly delineated at the hinge. The trick is to make sure to get it right the first time, because as you get closer to the edge of the rubber, it becomes increasingly difficult to slice the leather off, although I suspect a swiss army knife would do the trick. After making the cuts, I got one of those disposable Bic shavers to smoothen the edge.

    I finally found the case I needed that nobody was making. It's a shame that $80 was spent in the process, but the end result is FANTASTIC, far better than the third party contenders that I had to constantly ship back. It would be nice, as others have noted, if Apple made the cover and the case separately. I would have happily bought a giant iPhone 5s case for the iPad and wait for a third party or an improved version of the smart cover, although I would tend to believe that Apple values its perceived image of perfection ("the best tablet in the world") than actually delivering it.

    Anyways, thanks to Night Spring for giving me the idea. If you want to have your leathery cake and eat it too, you might need to grab a knife.

    Sorry about the crap lighting. The color is red.
     
  2. SenorDD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    #2
    I've been searching for a coverless a case and the only one I could find was one that left the left side open so you could still attach a Smart Cover if you choose to. It costs only $10 on eBay so I decided to purchase it. I only ordered it an hour ago, so I can't comment on how good it is yet. There's no way I'm going to spend $80 on an official Apple case and then desect it.
     
  3. meistervu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #3
    That is awesome

    coleopterist, you are the sort of person that make this forum tolerate! You know what you want, and did it.

    Sure, $80 buy a lot of ramen, but in the end you get exactly what you want, while others spend their valuable (hopefully) time ordering and returning cases.

    I do agree with you that there is really no hope for a 3rd party to make a back cover fits as nicely out of leather as Apple. I love mine, and I too find the flap getting in the way at times.

    Congratulation.
     
  4. coleopterist thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2013
    #4
    Many thanks for the kind words, meistervu. They were a nice little buck up.
     
  5. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #5
  6. Nhwhazup macrumors 68000

    Nhwhazup

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    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #6
    Good for you getting exactly what you want. The dissecting would definitely not be for the faint of heart. But if you weren't happy to begin and had an option to make it work for you, then why not.

    You would think that the case makers out there would take notice and design cases that give customers what they really want. Until then......
     
  7. BHP41 macrumors 6502a

    BHP41

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    United States of America
    #7
    I've thought of buying another smart case and doing just this for the weekend case. After seeing yours, it's a done deal. Nice work!
     
  8. Nhwhazup macrumors 68000

    Nhwhazup

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #8
    Ccoleopterist

    How long have you had the red case and how is it weathering? It looks clean with no discoloring on the edges. Have you used leather protector or comditioner on it? Just curious.
     
  9. coleopterist thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2013
    #9
    It's been a bit over a week since the surgery, but I've been using quite a lot. I can see why some people might not like the smart case: it does get smudges easily. However, I think that's part of the charm of leather, and I've noticed the smudges of graphite from my notes in pencil tend to be on the back, which I would have gotten even without the cover removed.

    I'm still very satisfied with the result. It wasn't too hard to do, and it passes the can-you-tell-the difference-between-sliced-edge-and-the-one-opposite test in day to day use. The thing that really makes the result satisfying is that you can really feel how good the tactile texture of the outer material of the case is.

    I'm glad that some people are trying this out for themselves. Make sure you post some photos – I'd be curious to see how yours turn out.

    If you do decide to have a go at this, make sure you do some suitable cost-benefit analysis. I decided to cut the cover off because, other than the reasons stated above, I've never needed a stand that was constantly attached to it. If I do need a stand, I just use my Origami workstation, which I would take the next time I'm on the plane, anyway.

    Interestingly, the removed smart cover still manages to stay on the surface of the iPad. However, like the smart cover that's sold separately, it moves around a lot and ultimately falls off. Still I've been using the cover as sort of a shield when I carry the iPad in my bag enclosed in a manila envelope. I'll probably get a sleeve soon – I don't want to take the 'Air' branding too far.

    Any suggestions for the sleeve would be hot! Thanks for the interest.
     
  10. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #10
    I got a brown one and it still looks brand new. I can't wait for it to age naturally.
     
  11. bobright macrumors 601

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #11
    Can you post some pictures of it if you have it yet?

    btw nice work cole looking for something just like that but would probably muck things up trying to dice it :(
     
  12. osofast240sx macrumors 68030

    osofast240sx

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    Mar 25, 2011
    #12
    Nice you beat me to it:D I plan to do this next week to my white air. Not sure what color yet.
     
  13. botsmack macrumors member

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    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL, USA
    #13
    This is exactly what I want. I have my iPad mini Retina primarily for reading. I want something to cover the back and looks nice. I currently have the i-Blason on it without a Smart Cover and it's ok, but not something I want as a permanent case. It looks weird since I don't use it with a Smart Cover. I thought it was going to be more minimal as well.

    In a perfect world, I'd do what you did for everyday use and have a slip case big enough for taking it with me in public and traveling, because I very rarely ever want a cover that stays attached for standing or whatever.
     
  14. bobright macrumors 601

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #14
    I'm still on a search for that perfect slim lightweight shell case. It looks there still aren't any out there that aren't cheap eBay ones or Smart Cover cutout ones, right? It's such a freaking shame I can't believe some of the more known brand makers haven't done anything.
     
  15. amrtat71, Dec 29, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013

    amrtat71 macrumors newbie

    amrtat71

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    khz
  16. jedolley macrumors 68000

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    Sep 18, 2009
    #16
    It's funny that I did not see this post earlier... I just got the Smart Case yesterday and while I like the look and feel of the case, I agree that stand/cover is pretty much crap. I was just thinking why Apple didn't release an iPad case similar to the new leather iPhone cases, but I guess they did. :p
     
  17. Nhwhazup macrumors 68000

    Nhwhazup

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    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #17
    So are you heading to do some surgery?
     
  18. jedolley macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    #18
    No, i'm not that brave and not completely sure if a coverless case is right for me.
     

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