I’m sat in my comfy chair with my feet up and my iPad on my lap, feeling very self-satisfied and special. Why? Because my smart new iPad 3 is bound up in a smart leather case from Piel Frama.
Piel Frama have literally made no errors in the design of this case, it’s beautifully thought out and handmade with copious attention to detail. They’ve made a couple of interesting choices that I don’t necessarily agree with, which I’ll discuss later, but having used the case for a few days it’s hard to find fault.
On first inserting the iPad into the case I was mystified as to how they could design a case that made the one button on the face of the iPad near impossible to push, while leaving a gaping hole for the camera. It was then that I realised I’d stuck the thing in the case the wrong way round. After turning it round it made a lot more sense. The sockets, buttons and switches around the iPad 3 are perfectly catered for.
As you’d expect from an iPad 3 case, the magnetic closure system is an important feature, and worked reliably for me. It was certainly immense fun to test, bringing back echoes of prising open the refrigerator door to catch the elf inside switching the light on.
The main selling point of this case is that it’s just so damn nice. It will certainly get noticed when nonchalantly placed before you in a business meeting, and you’ll be the daily envy of other Angry Birds players on the subway. Having looked at the other leather cases on the market, they just don’t have the sheer feeling of quality of the Piel Frama.
I’m not sure what the leather workers at Piel Frama did before they started making iPad cases, but the stitching is immaculate, and the leather is blemish-free beyond what you would normally expect from a natural material.
On to those interesting choices; the ‘Piel Frama’ name is embossed on the inside of the front cover flap, in a diagonal repeating pattern. You stop noticing it after the first few days, but at first I found it unnecessarily garish. The careful Piel Frama buyer knows full well who made the case, and a single embossed reminder in an inconspicuous corner somewhere would suffice.
Secondly, the join in the front and back pieces of leather is on the front, which strikes me as a slight crime against the general lushness of what is otherwise a luxury leather cover. The reason it is where it is is for the case to function also as a stand. I’m not convinced by this though, as the case doesn’t stand up that well with it, and Piel Frama also do a ‘Cinema’ style case with a more substantial stand configuration.
If there is a design fault it’s that the magnets for the closure protrude slightly through the case around the bezel. It would probably be pretty hard to build the case any other way though.
None of these issues detract from the overwhelming beauty of the case though. It isn’t cheap, but if you’re going to shell out for an iPad you might as well shell out a little bit more for a case that looks and feels as good as the Piel Frama. I can’t stop smelling it, and touching it. Some of your friends will envy you for having an iPad 3, and those that also have iPad 3s will envy you for having the Piel Frama case.