Give Your Original iPad a Makeover [Four Stand-Out Case Reviews]

Metro-Envelope iPad Bag by Peasants & Travelers

Give Your Original iPad a Makeover [Four Stand-Out Case Reviews]

If you can’t justify buying the iPad 2 because you recently purchased the original model, or you just can’t afford it, don’t despair. Instead, give your original iPad a mini make-over by purchasing one of these four cases. They are way cheaper than the new iPad 2 and won’t add anything to landfills.

Here’s how to give some new life to the poor old iPad.

Give Your Original iPad a Makeover [Four Stand-Out Case Reviews]

Based on the cloth satchels that peasants made and carried their belongings in, the Metro-Envelope iPad bag by Peasants & Travelers is anything but makeshift. Designed specifically for urbanites who love adventure and live in metropolitan areas of the world, like San Francisco, where Peasants & Travelers is based. This well-designed bag has a very simple but effective design. Plus it looks hip.

The Metro-Envelope iPad bag doesn’t have loads of pockets for storage. It has three small pockets inside. Because of the slim design all items must be flat. Bulky items like an iPhone or camera will not work. One larger pocket holds a passport or power cord. The second pocket can hold some chapstick or hand sanitizer, a must when riding the train. A very tiny third pocket will hold some change for bus fare.

The Metro-Envelope iPad bag is made from orange leather. The color is not bright, but subtle. It looks cool. Your iPad will be well nested in the inner lining constructed with a men’s dress shirt. Very sweet.

The Metro-Envelope has a leather string closure but it is not necessary to use this closure because the magnet does a fine job of securing it. The canvas strap is adjustable and can be worn on the shoulder or across the body. It won’t get in your way whilst your are having your urban adventures.

Not bringing your iPad out? The Metro-Envelope can double as a bag to hold papers or magazines.

Metro-Envelope iPad Bag is available from Peasants and Travelers for $59.00.

The Clutch Red by Happy Owl Studios

Give Your Original iPad a Makeover [Four Stand-Out Case Reviews]

Happy Owl Studios put a lot of thought in designing The Clutch Red iPad case. Unlike most iPad cases designed specifically for holding an iPad, The Clutch Red doesn’t look like an iPad case at all. It looks like a cute handbag. Which makes it an excellent decoy for the gal who takes public transportation to work.

Made from 100% leather, the Clutch Red is stylish and functional. The cutest red strap with an owl emblem closes the Clutch Red. The bag is divided into two halves, which are seperated by a red suede-like material. This keeps the iPad dust free while protecting it.

One of the halves is an iPad sleeve, which fits the iPad like a glove, while still keeping all the buttons accessible. The other half  of the bag holds girl essentials. If you boy readers are wondering what girl essentials are, they include the following items: pens, credit cards, license, fast pass, an iPhone (without a case), a small notebook, a camera, lipgloss, makeup and money. Two seperate zippered pockets can hold important papers, change or any flat item. The inside pockets are lined with an adorable owl fabric.

The very best feature on the Clutch Red is the cute red strap with the snap. This strap serves as a stand. It works in two positions depending on how you close it. It can stand straight up for movie watching or angled slightly for typing with the on-screen keyboard. I couldn’t believe it until I tried both positions. Amazing. And such a thin strap.

If you are like me and don’t like flaunting your gadgets in public, buy The Clutch Red. I recently took it to a party and nobody caught on that I was packing an iPad. The red strap is adjustable and has removable hooks if you would rather hand carry it like a clutch.

The Clutch Red is available from Happy Owl Studios for $79.99. Also available in black and blue.

Give Your Original iPad a Makeover [Four Stand-Out Case Reviews]


The Crucial Case by Chima Designs

Give Your Original iPad a Makeover [Four Stand-Out Case Reviews]

The Crucial Case by Chima Designs is touted as a five-in-one iPad travel accessory. The cleverly-designed case protects, attaches, stands, secures and stores your iPad. Made from thick black canvas it has plenty of velcro and zippers. It does do a lot, I’ll give it that. Variety, after all, is the spice of life.

First thing I did was place iPad in the Crucial Case by zipping it closed. The case offers plenty of padding. The ipad is protected by a front cover that closes with velcro. The storage is on the front cover of the Crucial Case. It consists of two pockets. These two pockets are nice for cables and flat items, but any bulky items may fall out and the extra bulk makes it difficult to close the case shut.

Give Your Original iPad a Makeover [Four Stand-Out Case Reviews]

There’s a large hand strap on the back that allows you to hold your iPad like an inward-facing shield. This is handy for picking up the iPad but the massive amount of velcro bothers me though. I can feel the velcro on my hand when holding it and the velcro makes that horrible ripping sound if moved too much. This is the one feature that I didn’t care for.

The kick stand is a nice feature. The same hand strap serves as a stand when released from the velcro. The iPad is held up in a nice position for viewing movies. Speaking of movies, the Crucial Case comes with a detachable head rest mount that attaches the case to a car or plane seat. I tried it out on my van and the velcro held it in place quite nicely. This is the best position for using the pockets. The pockets hang down and are great for storing things like an iPhone or snacks.

Overall it’s a fine case. This sturdy case is well built and will last you well until the iPad 3 comes out.

The Crucial Case is available from Chima Designs for $39.95.

The modulR iPad Case + Cover

Give Your Original iPad a Makeover [Four Stand-Out Case Reviews]

The modulR iPad case + cover is a silicon cover that can be expanded with four accessories. There’s a shoulder strap, a hand strap, a wall mount and a tabletop stand that each attach to the back of the case with knobbly nodes. Each accessory must be purchased separately. I recommend buying all four if you can afford it. They are super fun to play around with and very practical.

The case itself is made of durable silicone that fits the iPad like a glove. All ports are visible and you can even charge the iPad with the modulR case on. The four plastic knobs on the back of the case give the iPad some height when placed on a table. The cover is plastic and clicks on and off easily enough. The case + cover are the same graphite color. Kinda cool but in a nondescript way. It sure beats black though. Definitely more masculine. The modulR iPad case + cover is available from modulR for $49.00

Give Your Original iPad a Makeover [Four Stand-Out Case Reviews]

Which accessory you should buy depends on how you travel.

If you like to display your iPad on a wall at eye level, then you should get the Slim Mount. If you live in a mansion like Steve Jobs, buy several to display in many rooms. The Slim Mount can be screwed into any wall. The Slim Mount is available from modulR for $29.00 in four different colors.

If you like to proudly display your iPad for showing off pictures or watching movies then get the Quick Stand. It’s a small metal stand that has two slots for the nodes to slide into. Depending which of the four nodes you attach it to, the viewing angle is different. The lower angle is great for typing. It was effortless putting the case into the stand. I was even able to do it with one hand. The Quick stand is a simple stand that takes up little room on a table. The Quick Stand is available from modulR for $19.00 in four different colors.

The shoulder strap allows you to take your iPad out and about. Attach the adjustable black strap to two of the back nodes and you’re good to go. Worn across the body or slung over the shoulder the strap stayed on well. I thought it might slip off but it didn’t. Make sure to wear long sleeves though because the plastic case is cold on a bare arm. The Shoulder Strap is available from modulR for $14.99

The Hand Strap is adjustable and can be used two ways depending on how it is attached to the nodes. For those on the go it allows you to pick up and carry your iPad quickly. It offers good grip with no slip but the velcro makes a crinkly sound and can scratch your hand. The Hand Strap is available from modulR for $14.99

The modulR case+ cover is well made and durable. The good folks at modulR even offer a savings when you buy one of their three starter kits. I so love a deal.

Related
  • Matthew Geyster

    Check out our iPad case @ http://rusticcase.com. It’s a handmade wool and leather sleeve made in New England with locally sourced materials.

  • JFMD

    Traci- love your work- would the peasants & travellers bag hold the ipad and a bluetooth keyboard?

  • Tdauphin

    JFMD-Thanks!
    The Metro Envelope would not fit both iPad and keyboard. Its a snug fit with just the iPad.
    The Peasant & Travelers has a bigger bag called the Urbane Village-Oversized Envelope that would though. Check out their website
    http://www.peasantsandtraveler

  • Alon

    BOOKBOOK!!!

  • Greg Dawson

    Love the look of modulR, but it doesn’t get any better than my Zaggmate!

  • Fernfiddlehead

    check out my etsy shop for some other options on covering your iPad 1 or 2 in some cool ways

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/fernf

  • shackles

    The ModulR is by far the best one here, the other ones are…cute. I found one that compare to the ModulR but I feel adds more functionality. http://kck.st/ejmqQ7

About the author

Traci DauphinTraci Dauphin is the office manager and all round organizer at Cult of Mac. She keeps the trains running on time. Traci also writes product reviews and shoots great galleries of events like Macworld.

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