Posts Tagged ‘Leather’

Saddleback Leather iPad Case (Review)

May 12, 2014 Comments off

Leather iPad Case (Standard iPad–not the iPad mini)
Saddleback Leather Company

iPad CaseFor your $600+ iPad purchase, I submit for your approval, the Saddleback Leather Company iPad case made of full grain cowhide leather. The inside of the case is pigskin. Pigskin is softer, more forgiving, and snuggles your iPad a bit better than the stiffer cowhide alone would. As soon as you hold any of Saddleback’s products, you know that they’re made of quality materials. Dave, the owner, has meticulously designed each item to exacting specifications and has spared no expense, except on labor (more on that later), in creating these beautiful products. As you’d expect, genuine leather products aren’t inexpensive. For just over $100, the iPad case isn’t a bad buy, especially if you consider the price of the device that you’re wrapping up in it.

Saddleback Leather Company, mostly located in San Antonio and Fort Worth Texas, is a locally owned and operated business. You can hit the website to find out Dave’s whole sordid tale of how he started the company way back in 1999.

The iPad case is sturdy and the iPad fits into its spot very well but without binding or stressing. Leather is forgiving but if it’s too small, it’s just too small. This case is just right for the thickness and for the iPad size. The case, when reversed and straps engaged, stands up so that you can watch videos or use as a screen or with a Bluetooth keyboard. The controls are easy to reach but recessed enough so that they’re protected from accidental drops or scrapes.

The cowhide-pigskin layering gives the iPad enough cushion for comfort but enough protection and shock absorption to deflect damage from carrying height or table height drops. The screen is fully visible in the case with no screen overlap. A lot of thought has gone into the creation of this formidable case. I’m assuming Dave, or a family member, owns an iPad and wanted it protected but without being hermetically sealed inside an Otterbox or something that distances you from the iPad. The Saddleback case puts you in contact with the iPad but without fear of accidental damage.

That said, it’s still possible to damage your iPad if misused, so don’t purposely try to damage your iPad and then complain. Also, you can’t prevent fluke damage from drops that hit edges or land oddly.

The leather case is very attractive and has the look and feel of real hand-tooled leather–thanks Wilford Brimley. But seriously, this is a very handsome case. I’ve never seen one like it. Every time I carry it out of the house, someone asks about it. The leather is very tough and rugged. It should last a lifetime or longer.

As a side note, I had some beef kabobs from one of those street vendors in New York and I almost called Saddleback to tell Dave that I think I’d found him a new leather source for his products. Wow, that was some tough meat. I looked like a cow chewing its cud instead of a Texan having a beef snack on a stick. I guess I’ll stick to Canton’s First Monday stick-skewered meaty treats from now on.

Saddleback offers a standard iPad case, an iPad mini case, and leather sleeves for the standard and mini. An Ipad Air case is also available.

Dave spends a lot of time and energy (and humor) on his website convincing potential customers that the products are, in fact, very high quality. They are. His efforts aren’t wasted but it’s also probably not required to the extreme that he goes to either. We get it, Dave, you make great stuff and you had us at Howdy.

What Dave doesn’t tell you (although he alludes to it) in the video “How to knock off a bag” is that his products are made in Mexico. This is that place where I get to rant a bit about hiring locals to do the work that he’s sending to Mexico. He spends a lot of time and sarcasm in telling us how to knock off his bags but fails to mention that you should send your materials to Malaysia, China, India, or Bangladesh to get cheaper labor than he does to produce them. Just saying. That’s really my only complaint is that his stuff isn’t made in Texas.

Anyway, I checked out the Saddleback iPad case for my iPad 4. It is indeed very nice. My iPad feels well-protected and it feels good in my hands. The particular model I received for review is the tobacco-colored model. It looks more like natural tanned cowhide and pigskin (to me) than the other colors. I like the natural look. It feels more rugged and I also don’t mind the scratches, scars, mars, and buffs that the leather receives along the way. It’s a natural product and that’s to be expected and is actually desirable. I also like film photography for the same reasons.

It’s obvious that Dave is a skilled craftsman and is very knowledgeable about leather.

It’s also obvious that people love his products. He gets a lot of repeat business and has hundreds of 4 and 5 star reviews for his handiwork. As of this writing, there are 91 reviews of the iPad case and 92.3% of the reviewers would recommend the product to other customers.

One of the reviews makes me wonder when the other customers wrote their reviews. There’s one reviewer that observed that as leather ages, it loosens and this causes the iPad to slide around a bit and not stand up as shown in the video. I can’t speak to that since I’ve only had this one for about two weeks and haven’t had any issues so far. Everything is tight and stiff at this point in time. Now, in a year or two, it might be a different story. I have several cases that I use and switch between so I’m not sure that my use case is really standard.

Why it’s Frugal: Anything that protects your expensive tablet this well is frugal. Even at just over $100, it’s a good investment. Saddleback products are well made and made of quality materials which means that it’ll probably outlast you and will certainly outlast your iPad.

Saddleback leather products are beautiful, well liked by customers, made of quality materials, and protect your electronics like only thick cowhide and pigskin can. In fact, anytime I go anywhere that I want to impress people, I’ll strap on the Saddleback iPad case. If nothing else, it will be a conversation starter, and that’s a good thing for a freelance writer.

Rating: 8.5/10

Recommendation: If you want to impress someone, buy a Saddleback product as a gift or as a show piece for yourself.


Mujjo iPhone 5 Leather Sleeve: Originals Collection (Review)

July 2, 2013 Comments off

iphone5iPhone 5 Leather Sleeve
Originals Collection
Retail 34.95 Euro/~$45.00 USD

If you prefer to keep your iPhone naked, then the new Mujjo iPhone 5 sleeve is just what you need to protect your investment when it’s not in use. This all leather, vegetable-dyed sleeve will provide you with all the protection you’ll need from scratches, drops, dirt, dust, and smudges from carrying around in a pocket, a briefcase or a purse.

The Mujjo sleeve is a quality product. It is not a cheap knock-off. It’s real stitched leather, subtly stamped with “The Originals” on one side to show that the product is part of Mujjo’s Originals Collection.

The sleeves, also available for the iPhone 4/4S, come in beautiful ivory white or natural brown. This review covers the white sleeve.

Don’t confuse this sleeve with a protective case. This sleeve is protective but you have to remove the phone from the case before you use it. You also can’t use the case with other protective cases, although you could use a screen protector with this product with no trouble. This case is for those of us who prefer to use our phones naked.

iPhone_brownThe price of the sleeve is not cheap at around $45.00 USD, it’s a fashion statement as well as a protective element. Why not have something a little posh as well as useful? After all, isn’t that what fashion is all about?

The sleeve holds your phone tight so that there’s little chance of it slipping out on its own. You’ll feel confident in its protective capability while you’re running for a taxi or bumping into strangers on the bus or subway.

On a funny side note, neither my wife nor my daughter “get” the purpose of the sleeve. Both of them looked at the product and simply asked, “Why?”

The “Why” is simple to answer: It’s a statement–a statement about who you are and about quality products. No one needs expensive rims on a car, $300 Prada sunglasses, a $75,000 Mercedes, or a $45.00 iPhone sleeve. It isn’t about need. To be perfectly honest, I don’t need an iPhone 5. I want an iPhone 5, therefore I have an iPhone 5. If you’re a person who loves quality accessories, then you will want the Mujjo iPhone sleeve as well. Seriously, I have to ask, who wouldn’t?

The Mujjo Originals Collection accessories also make great gifts. Everyone loves a quality gift and if you have someone in your life who has everything else, get her or him one of these beautiful and useful sleeves.

It’s frugal because it is a quality product that will last a very long time. Plus, it protects your valuable phone from damage during transport between uses. There’s nothing more frugal than protecting your investment in something you already have.

You’ll love the Mujjo iPhone sleeve at any price. It’s sleek, it’s fashion forward, it’s leather, and it’s an original. What more do you need or want?

Review: 9/10

Recommendation: It’s the nicest iPhone sleeve that I’ve seen and if you like using your phone without being wrapped up in a rubber case, then this is the ultimate accessory for you.

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