Your iPad case isn’t a boring accessory. It’s modern day armor, and it says as much about you as the breastplate strapped to the sinewy torso of any medieval warrior ever did. The sturdiness and thoroughness of its construction reveal your wisdom; its extravagant flourishes of design reveal your spirit and pomp. In the gouges, cracks and dents, you can trace the rigors of an entire life. Picking an iPad case is as much as to tell the world what kind of warrior you are.
Carved from solid bamboo, rubbed down with oils, lined with soft felt and provided with a supple leather strap, Blackbox’s Bamboo Case for iPad 2 feels sturdy in real life use. The aesthetic carries connotations from the luxurious to the eco-friendly, but ultimately what really comes across to others is a sense that the carrier is somehow calm, sinuous and graceful. It’s an impression that is slightly contradicted by practicality, because the BlackBox Bamboo Case for iPad 2 is an envelope style case, meaning that the iPad 2 must be totally removed from it in order to be used.
Thinking of it as a samurai’s sword scabbard helps reconcile the aesthetic with real-world use in sense, but there’s no denying that Apple’s Smart Cover has raised expectations in what we expect from a case these days: not only do we expect a case to protect our iPad, but we expect it to also double as a kickstand and to prop up the iPad for typing.
The BlackBox Bamboo does none of these things, though it is just big enough to snugly fit an iPad 2 with Smart Cover attached. Even so, the snug fit means that it can be difficult to insert the iPad 2 just so without accidentally tearing the Smart Cover off.
It almost seems as if the ability to also accommodate a Smart Cover was just an accident of design, instead of intentional, which is a shame, because one of the dangers of these envelope-style cases is the threat of scratching your display by sliding it into the case when there’s granulate matter (sand or the like) about. It’s a minimal fault, but one that I couldn’t help but notice during my time testing it during a couple weeks spent on the very sandy Cape.
Ultimately, the BlackBox Bamboo Case for iPad 2 not only conveys a unique, almost graceful visual aesthetic, but is sturdy enough to protect your iPad from anything but the most catastrophic maimings. It’s one true fault (a slightly too snug fit with the Smart Cover attached) is minimal; the worst that can be said of the BlackBox Bamboo Case for iPad 2 is that, like all armor, the BlackBox Bamboo Case is a lot bulkier than going unprotected, easily doubling the thickness of your svelte iPad to something more closely approximating the fatness of a MacBook.
If you’re samurai enough to choose to scabbard your iPad 2 in the BlackBox Bamboo, we don’t think you’ll regret the decision, especially for the $99 price. Thumbs up.