BUKcase Original for iPad Wooden Artisan Case [Review]

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Background: A few months ago I took a gamble and bought an iPad mini to see if I liked it more than my retina iPad. I’ve always had the larger iPad (original, iPad 2 and retina iPad) but my gut was telling me I’d use the mini more due to it’s diminutive size. It was a bit of a trade off, losing the gorgeous retina display but gaining a smaller form factor but for me, the gamble paid off and I use my iPad mini much more than I was using my retina iPad. If I get chance I’ll write another post about my experience moving from an full size iPad to a mini iPad but I’ve gone off topic a little. I didn’t sell my iPad retina, instead I kept it as a dedicated device for client presentations (I’m also a Google Trusted Photographer selling Google Street View Tours). It was great having an iPad with the bare minimum of apps installed and not having to worry about emails and iMessages popping up when the client had my iPad in their hand but then the inevitable happened and a client dropped my iPad retina and the glass cracked. The hunt for the perfect case immediately began, a little too late since the screen was already cracked but that’s an easy fix and the fixed iPad would need a case.

Criteria for the new case:

  1. Look smart and professional
  2. Offer adequate iPad protection
  3. Good construction and durability

I’m no stranger to searching for cases for iPhones and iPads (see earlier reviews) but when I’m searching for a case for my own use I normally don’t care how it looks, I’m more interested in case function such as the Keyboard Case I used to use for my iPad. However, as my iPad is now a client presentation device I had to ensure the case looked professional and strengthened the businesses corporate image.

After trawling through the usual barrage of cheap silicon and plastic iPad cases I was sure the case I had in my mind simply didn’t exist but then I spotted the perfect case, on Pinterest of all places.

BUKcase wasn’t a brand I had come across before so I did some due diligence and was even more excited when I found out it was 100% british made and made just down the road from me in Chester too!

The BUKcase frame is hand crafted from layers of responsibly sourced wood and then put together by bookmakers who apply all their experience from years of bookmaking to create the perfect artisan iPad case. You even get to customise the interior colour and for an extra special touch you can get your monogram embossed on the case too.

Our corporate logo is red so I opted for the black outer with red lining which looks fantastic.

Custom colour interior
Custom colour interior

The iPad simply presses into the case and is held firm by the foam corner inserts and the tight fitting case. The foam inserts also offer cushioning should your BUKcase and iPad take a tumble to the floor.

Cushioned corners

The cover has a built in magnet in the cover which activates the auto sleep/wake function and turns the iPad off and on as you open and close the cover respectively.

The volume buttons and lock/rotation switch have cut outs to make them accessible

Volume and Silent Switch cut out

Along with nice smooth carved cut outs in the case for the headphone socket, power button and dock connector

Sleep/Wake Button Access

Headphone access

Charging port opening

As expected there’s also a circular cutout for the rear facing camera

Camera cutout

To keep the front cover closed during transport there’s a nice integrated elastic which is fixed firmly into the rear cover

Vintage book style

The elastic has a small plastic grommit/slider on it that allows you to stand the iPad and rest the cover on the plastic piece at multiple angles

Elastic Strap

Plastic stand adapter
 

Each BUKcase is finished with a bookplate on the inside cover complete with the unique, hand written serial number:

Bookplate

It’s hard to portray the amazing build quality and attention to detail on this case, the photo below is a close up on the corner of the case where you can see the alternative dark/light wood layers, smooth rounded corner, hand covered front and red silk ribbon faux bookmark.

Superb quality

The BUKcase moustache logo is subtly embossed on the case spine

Embossed 'tache logo

along with the BUKcase text logo on the rear

Hand embossed logo

The case has gone down well, perhaps a little too well with one client loved it so much he wanted to keep the case for his own iPad (he got his wish and I ordered a replacement case). It looks and feels like a bespoke handmade case, because that’s exactly what it is.

UPDATE: There were a few things that I would have liked changed in the design and having just checked out BUKcase’s website it looks liked they’ve already addressed these issues and the latest version of the BUKcase now has clasps to securely retain the iPad in the case, a larger camera cutout and easier access to the volume and controls and a smaller sleep/wake magnet in the cover.

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