Before the age of smartphones and PDA’s there was the “little black book”. This pocket tome stored the contact information of acquaintances or in some cases possible hook ups. In homage to this classic from days gone by, Pad&Quill the makers of the moleskine style Cartella, Octavo and Contega cases have released the Little Black Book, Vol.3 for the iPhone 4.

The Little Black Book, Vol.3 has the look and feel of its big brother the Octavo for iPad 2 but in miniature. Using the same bookbinding techniques and craftsmanship Pad&Quill has created a truly unique looking iPhone 4 case.

Author: Tom Ratas

Vendor: Pad&Quill

Price: $39.99

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Specs/Features:

The Newest Little Black Book, Vol. 3

The new Little Black Book, Vol. 3 is loaded with curves and sex appeal. But rather then hosting a sultry list of gold diggers, this gorgeous, new, Little Black Book is crafted to showcase your iPhone 4. Featuring 3 new colors with durable bookbindery cloth that match our Octavo for iPad2. Employing rugged Baltic Birch as our other cases, the classic bookmark for device removal and of course we bind it in subtle Italian bonded leather. This beauty is leaner, lighter and we rounded its edges to allow for an easier slide in and out of pockets.  A gorgeous new addition to the Pad&Quill bookshelf!

Features:
– Our smallest moleskin style case for the iPhone4 to date
– Italian bonded leather cover
– 3 beautiful new interior colors (That match the Octavo!)
– Tougher bookbindery cloth liner
– Subtle rounded corners
– Camera access
– Classic bookmark
– VERY snug fit with proprietary bumpers

 

What’s in the Box?

The Little Black Book, Vol.3 ships with a set of spare bumpers and the two pieces of paper – one an “address” sheet listing the Pad&Quill product line and the other a brief history of the company.

LBB01

If the Little Black Book looks familiar, it’s supposed to mimic the look of the moleskine line of notebooks. This is a folio style case with a cover flap that protects the iPhone 4’s usually exposed touchscreen.

 

The exterior is black Italian bonded leather with the Pad&Quill logo found on the back along with a camera opening and elastic strap. This strap is used to keep the case closed when the iPhone 4 is not in use. From the outside the Little Black Book, Vol.3 looks exactly like its name describes.

 

Opening the Little Black Book reveals a bookbindery cloth liner on the inner cover that is available in three-color options. On the right half of the case is the iPhone 4 cradle which is made of Baltic Birch wood. Along the four corners of the cradle are the Pad&Quill proprietary bumpers. On the bottom left corner is a fabric “bookmark” for removing the iPhone 4 from the cradle.

 

Impressions / Review:

Inserting the iPhone 4 into a little black book case is very simple. Simply angle the iPhone 4 into either the top or bottom of the cradle and then press down the opposite end. Removing the Apple phone is even easier using the bookmark to dislodge the iPhone 4 from the cradle.

The iPhone 4 sits snugly inside a cradle via the bumpers. Closing the case disguises the fact that the user is carrying an iPhone. To the casual onlooker it will appear that the user is simply holding a small notebook.

 

Pad&Quill placed openings for all the controls and buttons around the perimeter of the Little Black Book.

 

The camera/flash opening on the back allows the iPhone 4 to still capture pictures while housed within the case.

 

In terms of appearance the Little Black Book, Vol.3 rates highly with its stylish stealth look. It definitely started a few conversations when people realized my iPhone 4 was housed within the book style case. One drawback to having the Apple phone in a closed case is visual cues such as incoming texts or the phone ringing are obscured by the Little Black Book’s cover when closed.

As a case the Little Black Book when closed seems like it would protect the iPhone 4 from most everyday harm. The build seems solid enough to absorb a fall from a decent height. Of course the case might not survive such trauma but the iPhone 4 should remain unharmed.

Most iPhone 4 cases leave the screen exposed giving the Little Black Book an advantage over these models. However while the cover protects the screen it also seems to get in the way when trying to use the iPhone 4 during a phone conversation. Although the cover does bend back upon itself, it remains bulky especially when holding it in ones hand. The case alters the iPhone 4 svelte, lithe form into something more bulky.

Most of the controls were fairly accessible but when closed the volume buttons were unreachable. Hopefully you have volume controls on your headphones when using the Little Black Book. Additionally the headphone input was recessed a bit more into the cradle than I would prefer; this made the use of certain styles of headphone jacks a bit of a headache. Finally forget about docking the iPhone 4 while housed within this case.

Conclusion:

I love my Pad&Quill Octavio and use that as my everyday iPad case, yet basically the same case with the iPhone 4 misses the mark for me. It works well as a protective case but having to flip open the cover to interact with the device can get tedious when accustomed to having immediate access to the touchscreen. Plus having gotten used to the smart cover feature of the iPad 2 makes me wonder why my phone is not turning on when I open the cover.

The Little Black Book, Vol.3 is a gorgeous iPhone 4 case. However the form versus function issue comes into play as its “book” like nature makes it slightly unwieldy when holding the iPhone 4 against one’s head during a phone call. While portfolio cases work great with the iPad; it kind of misses the mark with the smaller iPhone 4.

 

Pros:
+Classic appearance
+Quality build and materials
+Protects the touchscreen when closed
+Full protection for the iPhone 4

 

Cons:
-Bulky
-Cover gets in the way during phone calls

4 COMMENTS

  1. Where do you find this thing for $39? I’ve only found it for $59. Don’t think it’s worth quite that much.

  2. I found this review super helpful in deterring me from buying this product. I was very intrigued by it and thought it would be a good way to protect my phone and maybe even get away with not carrying a wallet but to read that in practical use this solution is cumbersome rang true. A neat idea and cool and I’m sure we’ll-made and attractive but to pull from a pocket, open a cover, press lock button, slide to unlock, possibly enter a key code, and then have this thing on your head during a call? Too too much. I will be sticking with the phone bare and just dedicating a pocket to phone only and trying to remember not to use a shirt pocket in case I need to lean over.

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