Pad&Quill was kind enough to send Mobility Digest their latest iPad 2 case – the Contega for review. Based on the popular moleskine style, this case offers some additional features not found in their Octavo for iPad 2 case such as multiple standing positions and hidden pocket.

Pad&Quill uses high quality materials and classic bookbindery techniques to make their cases. The Contega continues this tradition of quality workmanship.

Mimicking the appearance of moleskine books the Contega can hide the iPad 2 in plain site or on one’s bookshelf. Besides protecting the iPad 2 or acting as a stand the Contega also functions as a sound amplifier.

Author: Tom Ratas

Vendor: Pad&Quill

Price: $89.99

Overall Rating: 5/5

Specs/Features:

In days of old it was said that the muses would visit creativity and inspiration upon a person, and that person was said to have a genius. While we’d love to credit our latest ingenuity to Greece, the birthplace of western civilization, our newest creation is truly a credit to our Norske heritage, the Vikings! 

Framed in rugged but light weight Baltic Birch that is lacquer finished and bound in subtle, yet durable bonded Italian leather, this case adds a whole new versatility to your iPad2. Like having Adrian Peterson in your backfield, our gorgeous leather case plays multiple roles as a cover, a stand, a sound amplifier and concealment to protect against theft. And, in the case of an incidental fumble, this rugged case adds extra protection that other cases simply don’t offer.  Presenting our newest addition to the PQ bookshelf.

The Contega for iPad2

Features:
– Italian bonded leather cover
– Multiple standing positions 
– Hidden pocket included!
– Rugged design to protect your iPad2
– 3 internal COLOR options
– Access to all ports
– Very secure bumper/wood system to hold your iPad2
– Lacquer finished Baltic birch wood
– Camera access
– Magnetic on/off feature
– Classic journal/moleskine elastic closure

What’s in the Box?

The Contega comes in a cardboard box with the Pad&Quill logo. Inside is the case with a set of spare bumpers, installation instructions, a history of Pad&Quill and a description of the Smart Cover magnet feature built into the Contega.

The Contega measures 10.25” x 8.1” x 0.85’ and is covered by Italian bonded black leather. The front of the case is a simple blank black cover while on the rear we see the Pad&Quill logo embossed in the lower right hand corner. Here we find a concave ridge for folding the Contega upon itself for stand functionality along with an opening for the iPad 2 camera as well. An elastic strap on this rear section keeps the Contega closed. This strap functions as a protector for the camera when the case is not open.

Pad&Quill offers three color choices for the inside of the case which are Classic Red, Field Green and Camden Blue. Opening the Contega reveals a burgundy red color (Classic Red) for the inner front cover.

Two more depressed ridges are seen on this section; they are used for locking the case into a stand conformation. The side of this inner cover has magnets allowing it to function as a Smart Cover.

To the right of the front cover is the cradle for the iPad 2 which is composed of Baltic birch and features a bumper/wood system. These bumpers keep the iPad 2 “wedged” into the cradle. A red “bookmark” found along the left side of this cradle is designed to release the iPad 2 from the case.

The cradle is exactly like the Octavio version with openings for the volume/mute controls, power switch, headphone jack, dock connector and speakers. Both the speaker and microphone areas have cut out channels to help amplify the sound coming to and from the iPad 2.

Folding the cradle off the rest of the Contega reveals a black hidden pocket.

Folding the Contega backwards allows it to conform into a stand that has two landscape orientations. Folding the front cover all the way over creates a slight incline for typing on the iPad 2.

Compared to the Octavo, the Contega definitely adds bulk. The extra layer for the fold out stand section makes it the bigger of the two cases. Here is a comparison photo of the two cases with the Contega resting on the bottom.

 

Impressions / Review:

The iPad 2 inserts into the Contega by sliding the top of the Apple tablet into the frame’s upper bumpers. Next place the lower half into the frame with the bookmark sticking out the bottom. Press down the iPad 2 to make sure it’s safely locked into the Contega. Removing the iPad 2 involves lifting the bookmark up, which pops the lower half of the iPad 2 out of the case.

The cradle area holds the iPad 2 snuggly with the included bumpers. If these bumpers start to show some wear and tear, Pad&Quill provides a spare set for replacing them.

In terms of protection the Contega keeps the iPad 2 safely nestled within its framework. While the case will keep the iPad 2 safe from injury, I would avoid too much trauma as the Contega may not tolerate excessive trauma since it uses bookbindery techniques for its construction and can wear down the same way a hardcover book would. The Contega seems designed for mild to moderate protection, for heavy duty protection I would look at other types of cases.

Also the deep recessed buttons and controls found on the Octavo are also present on the Contega. Combine this with the curved shape of the iPad 2, it makes accessing some controls a little tricky. For instance the mute switch requires a little probing to access it.

The elastic band keeps the Contega closed while covering most of the opening for the iPad 2’s camera. Like most moleskine style cases this elastic is the “weak” link as it can eventually wear out or even break off. I had my Dodocase’s elastic break off and it made that case almost useless. Pad&Quill does reinforce this elastic so according to them it should last for quite some time.

The stand function is the biggest addition to the Contega. This allows the user to interact with the iPad 2 in a horizontal manner not found in other moleskine style cases. This is great for watching movies, working with a keyboard peripheral or just interacting with the iPad 2. Unlike other stand cases with numerous viewing angles, the Contega only has two viewing positions.

Pad&Quill placed a hidden pocket behind the cradle which holds a few pieces of paper at most. This is a nice option but is limited in what it can hold.

 

Conclusion:

iPad 2 case styles and functionality span the gamut. The Pad&Quill Contega is a case that offers both plenty of style along with great functionality. The moleskine design is an elegant classic. Carrying the iPad 2 in the Contega looks like the user is holding a notebook not Apple’s coveted tablet. The addition of stand functionality makes the Contega even more utilitarian than its brother the Octavo. The trade off for this stand capability is a slight increase in bulk.

The only major issue I found with the Contega is the recessed button openings which make accessing the iPad 2 controls a bit of a challenge. Despite this issue I highly recommend the Contega as it is a beautiful case most everyone would be proud to own.

 

Pros:
+Works as Stand
+Stylish Moleskine appearance
+Quality build and materials
+Smart Cover enabled
+Gorgeous appearance
+Sound channel amplification

 

Cons:
-Expensive
-Bulky

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