Hands-on with Casetagram iPad cover

Since Casetagram launched back last fall, the company was known for making neat iPhone cases using your Instagram photos way before both these concepts took off like wild fire. Last month, Casetagram announced it has moved onto the iPad case forte, blowing up your vintage-filtered photos into a large-scale product. Here’s our hands-on with the customized iPad case.

Getting started

First things first, Casetagram will ask you to sign into your Instagram account and allow the site the permission to access your photos. Done it? Okay, read on.

When selecting to create your Casetagram case, you can opt for the background color of white, black, or transparent. There are generally several different kinds of photo layouts, but for the iPad version you are limited to a 5 x 7 grid (35 pictures) or Mondrien (see above). You can also choose to keep your Instagram photos in full color, or grayscale. To test the full quality of our prints, we decided to go with the full color in Mondrien, to see how photos come out in a larger resolution.

You can arrange the photos on your own using the scrollable menu on the lower row. It might just be my browser, but I found that this feature froze a little when I used Safari. At some point, I would click the arrows but the pictures won’t turn to their next pages.

What’s also frustrating about arranging your photos is, once you save your design, you can’t go back in and change it. If you have hundreds of Instagram photos to scroll through, then want to make some last minute changes, tough luck. For me, I would create a design I liked and my browser would crash before saving. So words to the wise: It might be a good idea to have your selection of photos in mind so you know exactly what to retrieve and where to place it!

Once you’re happy with the design, simply save and send it off with your address and payment info to get the item ready for production.

Look and Feel

Unlike other iPad cases we’ve recently covered, Casetagram is a thin, lightweight hard cover that simply snaps onto the back of your iPad. It’s got cutouts made for your camera, buttons, and speaker, but otherwise a rather minimal design.

The photos also came out in a matte finish, which helps with anti-scratch. This was a noticeable difference to the semi-rubberized feel of the white back case which is smooth and slightly slippery.

A close up at the our prints also show very fine grains of the pictures. You notice little print lines coming vertically across each pictures, which is likely because Instagram photos generally are smaller dots per inch (DPI) files, so when they are printed in a blown-up scale, every detail can be seen. The best photos of the bunch, as we anticipated, turned out to be the one with the largest contrast level. Everything else came out slightly washed out, and as if a cool tone overlay has taken over as oppose to the usual vibrance in some of these pictures. This will personally depend on whether you like this effect or not.

We also thought it was a little odd that on one side of the case, there is a cutout that curves inward. We think this is supposed to help with putting on the case, but it does leave that one side unprotected from scratches and drops. 

Not all is to be criticized with the Casetagram for iPad, however. We enjoy the crisp lines between each frame, and think this is a neat and minimalist way to print Instagram photos on a case. The overall look is also unique and cool, and makes for a wonderful gift that’s truly customized.

Bottom Line

We like the idea of Casetagram, and the iPad edition worked out well. We do think that in general, Instagram photos work better printed on a small scale so it might be a better choice to opt for the iPhone case version. This will also give you more options for grid designs if you think Mondrien has been done way too often. The case does do its job on a simple level, but the lack of raised bumpers and all around coverage will leave your device a tad bit exposed.

Casetagram will also create and ship a customized case internationally. In fact, our item apparently shipped from Singapore, so do expect quite a wait between the order and the delivery. If you’d like to order an iPad edition from Casetagram, visit the official site and pay up $55, or $35 for the iPhone version. Casetagram did recently say it recently received a huge influx of orders, so it might also be a good idea to wait a while to see if it will offer new grid layouts for the iPad in the near future.

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