After a couple of months of self-imposed exile I have returned to bring you a review of a new iPad Air case. Today we will look at an iPad case made from the folks at Grovemade. This Oregon based company makes high-end cases like the ones from Pad and Quill that we have reviewed at TestFreaks in the past.
The Grovemade Bamboo iPad Case for iPad Air is exactly what it sounds like; it is a case that is handmade using bamboo ply material. This case is multifunctional with versatile standing positions, includes smart cover capability and is made from mostly natural materials. Grovemade also offers a model using Eastern Hard Rock Maple as well as iPad Mini versions.
The Grovemade Bamboo iPad Case for iPad Air arrives in a blue colored cardboard box with the company logo on the front and their philosophy on the back. Inside are several layers of cardboard padding to protect the case during transit. Within we find the bamboo iPad case along with an instruction sheet.
As advertised the case is composed of a lightweight bamboo ply material. It measures 9.6 inches in length, 6.7 inches in width with an overall thickness of 0.5 inches and a weight of 5.8 ounces.
The front cover is divided into two larger panels flanking five central pieces that role and articulate making the bamboo material conform into a stand. The sides of the case are a lighter colored bamboo and have openings for the headphone jack, Lightning connector and mute switch with darker bamboo colored buttons for the power and volume controls. At the bottom we find small openings for the speakers.
The back of the Grovemade bamboo iPad case is a similar color to the front and has small opening for the microphone and camera. We also see the Grovemade name embossed at the bottom of the back of the case.
The inside cover has a soft ultra-suede material which extends into the cradle portion of the case. This covering is designed to keep the screen safe from scratches and dust. Inside this cover are magnets that allow the front cover to act as a smart cover. The front cover has a lip on the edge to help lift the cover easily off the case.
Specifications and Features
The Grovemade Bamboo iPad Case for iPad Air and iPad Mini, handcrafted from lightweight bamboo and sturdy domestic maple, works as a smart cover and stand. Svelte design, natural materials, and strong construction for iPad Air and iPad Mini 1 & 2.
Works with iPad 5th gen (iPad Air) or iPad Mini 1st & 2nd
Made entirely in the Grovemade workshop in Portland, Oregon
3 Versatile Standing Positions
Thin and lightweight
Smart cover turns iPad on and off
Stronger construction method
Access to camera and ports
Protection for your precious device
iPad slides in and out of case securely and easily
Made from mostly natural and entirely awesome materials
Designed and crafted by us in our Portland, Oregon workshop
Eastern Hardrock Maple
Overall thickness: .5″
Back thickness: 0.14″
Weight: 5.8 oz
Headphone jack diameter: 0.27″
Power port dimension: .47″ x .25″
Camera Hole Diameter : 0.36″
Price: $109 from Groovemade at time of review
Testing and Usage
Installation of the iPad Air into the Grovemade Bamboo iPad Case involves sliding the bottom section of the Apple device into the case and then snapping the rest into the cradle. Removing the iPad Air requires the tablet to be slide out of the Bamboo iPad Case. Overall, it is a simple process to install.
At first glance the Grovemade Bamboo iPad Case is a gorgeous case. It looks professional and casual at the same time. You can tell the folks at Grovemade put a lot of care and love into making this product.
The case is designed to precisely fit the iPad Air and this is great unless you are like me and use a screen protector. The case caused the top right corner of my Invisible Shield protector to lift up when sliding the iPad Air into the case. It seems the very tight edge towards the outside portion of the case that is good for locking the iPad into place but is bad for screen shields.
All of the ports are easily accessible and the iPad Air is securely held in position. Since this is a wood/bamboo style case you will have slightly more bulk than a plastic molded case with rounder edges. Overall it is incredibly lightweight and thin. One would think a case composed of a wood like material would be heavy and thick.
The cover is designed to function as a smart cover meaning it will wake up or put the iPad Air to sleep depending whether the cover is open or closed. I did notice that the Smart Cover feature worked intermittently with my iPad. I’ve used other smart cover style cases and never really had an issue. I am wondering if the magnets being used are not strong enough to properly initiate the iPad from sleep mide. Hopefully the Smart Cover functionality issue I experienced is not a normal occurrence.
The case can be used as a stand in the horizontal or vertical landscape orientation. The cover mimics a roll top desk cover in its ability to fold onto itself. This capability locks the cover into position to create the base. Unlike other stand style cases you are limited to one position in either orientation as the bamboo only locks into one orientation.
For using the iPad Air with one hand, the cover folds over to the back of the case.
In terms of protection, the bamboo construction seems like it will absorb mild to moderate bumps but one good drop and the beautiful bamboo case may develop a bad split in the body.
Appearance wise the Grovemade Bamboo iPad Case is one of the nicest cases I’ve come across in my years of reviewing these types of accessories. Built of natural materials it should make the environmentally conscious feel better about protecting their Apple tablets. The case is both lightweight and thin which is a surprising for a case with its form.
As a stand the viewing angles are limited so keep that in mind if looking into getting this case. Since this is a handcrafted case the price is on the steep side at $109. That may scare off a few buyers as there are numerous cases with similar functionality at lower price points, but those cases certainly don’t have the charm and unique style of the Grovemade Bamboo iPad Case.
+Includes Smart Cover Function
+Low profile folio case
+Uses natural materials
-Smart Cover functions intermittently
|Grades:||8 out of 10|
|Design / Aesthetic|
|Value / Price|
|Performance / Usage|
To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.