BUKcase brings understated style to iPad Air

We like a touch of quality in our iPad cases and the latest offering from BUKcase definitely ticks all our boxes. This is classic, understated British design, combining elegance with discretion.

The Manchester-based outfit employs master bookbinders, using traditional tools and materials, to produce beautiful cases for smartphones and tablets. We got our hands on the latest iPad Air case and took it for a test drive.

It’s designed to look like a classic sketchbook with an elastic closure. The exterior cover feels durable and you can drop a few extra bucks to get it in leather. Inside you’ll find a birch ply wood frame with generous cut-outs for your iPad’s buttons and ports. The tablet slides into place, with interior padding to safeguard against scratches and keeps it snug and secure. You’ll find the semi-circular groove for the Home button is present top and bottom, so you can slide your iPad Air into it either way up and it’s still usable.

After gathering some user feedback, BUKcase improved on the original design by adding a fold in the back that makes it easy to prop your iPad Air up in landscape view. The designers have also added a couple of semi-circles of something they call “gumption,” which is a nanotechnology adhesive that enables you to prop the tablet comfortably at exactly the angle you want. If it starts to lose suction, you simply wipe it down with a damp cloth.

The front cover has a magnet array to support the automatic sleep/wake function. It’s held closed by the elastic closure, which also gives it the standard sketchbook look. This case is a good choice if you don’t want to draw any attention to your shiny, $600 iPad, because at a glance you’d never know there was a tablet inside. The only clue is a camera cut-out on the back and it’s partially covered by the elastic closure when the case is closed.

In terms of protection, this case is pretty solid. It’s not a rugged weatherproof affair, but it will allow you to sling your iPad Air into a bag and forget about it. The tablet is completely cradled within the frame and every angle is covered, so it should be safe and sound.

If you want the case pictured above, you’re looking at spending around $75. You can also get a slimmer version (BUKcase Slims) that dispenses with the ply wood frame and uses strips of “gumption” to hold the iPad Air in place for about $60.

Cough up another $17 and you can add a four character monogram in gold, silver, or red, at the bottom right of the front cover.

The new BUKcase Originals iPad Air case will be on sale from mid to late August. You can also get the same case for the iPad 2/3, iPad mini, and the Nexus 7. Here are the links to pre-order the BUKcase Originals or the BUKcase Slims.

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