Of all of the bloggers here at TUAW, I probably see more iPad cases than anyone else. I've reviewed both the ridiculous -- a case I refused to write up after it literally ripped apart as I was installing it -- and the sublime. The Blackbox Case for iPad 2 (US$99) is one of the latter, and if you're looking for a unique and beautiful iPad 2 case for yourself or as a gift for a friend, you should consider this product.
I am a person who appreciates the fine details of well-made products, and for that very reason I fell in love with the Blackbox Case the moment I opened the package. Each case comes wrapped in a burlap bag, with a hand-numbered certificate welcoming you to the family attached with twine to the outside. Just opening the case is an experience, with the rough burlap a complete contrast in feel to what's inside the bag.
Within that burlap is an iPad 2 case that works both with and without a Smart Cover. The case is handmade of bamboo, with a felt lining to protect the iPad, a leather strap with a metal snap to restrain the iPad, and a company "brand" burned into the bamboo. A unique ID number is stamped onto the leather strap, and it is the number that is on the certificate that you'll want to keep. There's no manual needed to install this case; you just slide your iPad 2 into the felt-lined slot and snap the strap shut.
The Blackbox Case comes in two finishes: natural bamboo and carbonized brown bamboo. The look and feel of this material is wonderful -- it's silky smooth, there's a natural grain pattern, and it even smells good! There are nice touches like two small rubber nubs on the back, which work with the leather strap to keep the case from sliding on a smooth surface. The attention to detail is incredible, so much so that I could see this as a case that Steve Jobs would be proud to own.
Bamboo is certainly a sustainable material, and Golden, Colorado-based Blackbox Cases also gives back to the world in one other way. 15 percent of each purchase of one of their cases (they also make them for the MacBook Pro line) goes to various charitable organizations.
Enough said. Take a look at the photo gallery, and then head over to the Blackbox Cases website to check out the iPad 2 and MacBook Pro cases for yourself.
Update: In response to questions asking about the weight and thickness of the Blackbox Case for iPad 2, it weighs in at 12.3 ounces and is about 3/4 of an inch thick.