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Mobility Digest Review: Octavo Case For iPad (3)

The Octavo iPad case has been a staple of mine since I reviewed it for the iPad2 in 2011. This folio style iPad case has the classic Moleskin notebook look, which gives it an elegant appearance while providing protection for the Apple tablet. During my time using the iPad 2 it has been predominantly housed in the Octavo case.

With the release of the New iPad Pad&Quill has come out with the next case iteration called the Octavo Case For iPad (3). This case features a newly developed frame to keep the New iPad even more securely in place than its predecessor. The bumper system has also been modified to lock the iPad into the case.

Pad&Quill also provides a magnetic smart cover style feature to turn the iPad on or off by opening or closing the cover. The other new feature is two new color options – Plum and French Roast.

Basically Pad&Quill took a great designed case and made it better.

Author: Tom Ratas

Vendor: Pad & Quill

Price: $69.99

Overall Rating: 5/5

Octavo Case For iPad 3

An Octavo is a book composed of printer sheets folded into 8 leaves.  Not unlike the 8 layers of Baltic Birch which forms the "pages" of our Octavo for iPad.  This newly developed frame is then bound in subtle Spanish bonded leather and embellished with a bookmark which allows your iPad to be removed with ease.  The case is designed to be wrapped back for ‘paperback’ reading, can be propped like a tent for viewing or placed on The Nest for perfect daily desk duty.


  • Hand Made in the Twin Cities, Minnesota

  • Protects and magnifies the beauty of your iPad

  • NEW stronger wood frame with Sure-Lock bumper system to hold your iPad VERY secure

  • NEW improved magnetic On/Off feature wakes and puts to sleep your iPad…by closing the book

  • Covered in Spanish bonded leather and lined with traditional bindery cloth

  • Sound Channel which directs the sound back to you

  • Satin finished wood for a beautiful smooth and durable finish

  • Classic PQ ‘Bookmark’ for easy device removal

  • Pocket option for those little documents on the go

  • Access to all ports on the iPad

  • NEW colors – Plum and French Roast

Dimensions: 8.1in x 10.2 x .7 deep


What’s in the Box?


The Octavo Case For iPad (3) comes packaged in a brown cardboard box from Pad&Quill and is wrapped in clear plastic. Nothing fancy, just the case with an instructional brochure called – Making the Case. Gone are the included spare bumpers as the new bumpers appear to be secure fixed in the Octavo.

For those unfamiliar to Pad&Quill many of their cases have the bookbindery look similar to the Dodocase models. From my personal experience I found the Pad&Quill to be a bit more durable than the other brand. The booklet provides a list of additional products form P&Q, an installation pictogram and care and keeping instructions.

The Octavo is covered by Spanish bonded leather on the outside and lined with traditional bindery cloth on the inside. Pad&Quill offers color choices for the Interior Cloth Cover, which includes Cranberry Red, Field Green, Plum, French Roast and Camden Blue. An interior pocket option is available which adds $4.99 to the price. For today’s review we received the pocketed French Roast version.

The case measures 10.2” x 8.1” in length and width with a depth of 0.7” and weighs in at 11 ounces. The front is smooth plain black bonded leather while the back of the Octavo has the Pad&Quill logo embossed in the lower right hand corner along with the closure strap. An opening for the iPad’s camera is found on the back that is kept covered by this strap when the case is closed.

Opening the Octavo reveals the bookbindery material and a pocket if you chose that option with your order. The pocket will hold a few pieces of paper but not much more; but who uses paper when you have an iPad in your hands?

Adjacent to the pocket are a series of a magnets to provide the “Smart Cover” capability to the Octavo. If you have ever used a smart cover with the iPad 2 or the New iPad then you’ll appreciate having this capability.

The right side of the Octavo is designed to house the New iPad and keep it securely locked into place. The wood frame is composed of eight layers of Baltic Birch. Looking at this frame from the outside gives it a “pages” appearance to complete the book illusion. This wood has a satin finish and feels smooth to the touch.

Beneath this frame is more bookbindery material and a PQ bookmark which dangles from the bottom of the case when the New iPad is locked into place. Pulling up on this bookmark releases the iPad from the frame when so desired.

The Sure-Lock bumpers are new to the Pad&Quill ecosystem which besides locking the iPad into the frame allow it to “float” which in turn provides better shock protection for the New iPad. This system is more sophisticated in appearance and design than the prior versions which were rubber pads that sat in the corners of the old frame. These new models are contoured to fit the frame with an additional piece than holds onto the corner.

Openings for the headphone jack, power buttons, volume controls and dock connector are around the frame. When the Octavo is closed these openings are rather deeply recessed making it a slight struggle to reach these controls when the folio case is closed.

The Sound Channel found on prior Pad&Quill products is located on the Octavo Case For iPad (3) as well. This channel is designed to amplify and focus the sounds coming from the Octavo housed iPad.

Like most book style iPad cases, the Octavo’s front cover folds over to provide an inclined surface for typing or for keeping the cover out of the way during use. The case is bulky and does add weight and heft to the New iPad but any case will provide some sort of sacrifice to the thin Apple tablet aesthetic.


Impressions / Review:

Installation of the New iPad into the Octavo involves sliding the top of the tablet into the top of the case and the pressing down the bottom of the iPad. Make sure the bookmark is sticking out the bottom before pressing down. Removing the iPad involves lifting the bookmark up, which pops the lower half of the New iPad out of the case.

One has to admire the appearance of the New iPad housed in the Octavo. At first glance with the case closed you would not even know that there was an iPad underneath that book style housing. While the style and appearance are aesthetically appealing the case is not designed for those who are rough and tumble. The Octavo should keep the iPad safe from most minor bumps and falls.

The same issues for most bookbindery style cases apply to the Octavo. Wear and tear will always be an issue as the spine and the strap are the areas that are the most likely to fail over time. My previous Octavo stood up pretty well during its year of use, so I can honestly say that the Pad&Quill cases are well designed.



Pad&Quill consistently crafts well designed elegant looking cases for Apple devices. The Octavo Case For iPad (3) builds on the strengths of its predecessor and improves them. The new bumper system along with the redesigned frame help make the Octavo Case For iPad (3) a winning design.

If you are looking for a great looking New iPad case that adds style and function then the Octavo Case For iPad (3) is a terrific choice



+Solid construction

+Beautiful craftsmanship and materials

+Includes Smart Cover capability

+Beautiful aesthetic appearance


-Does not function as a stand

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