In early January, TUAW ran a story about Apple accessory manufacturer Happy Owl Studio. The company, now based in Golden, Colorado, makes some of the finest Apple accessories I have had the pleasure to review. I had a nice meeting with Happy Owl CEO Devon Read (right, above) and Chief Design Officer Ryan Jordan (left) the other day to get an idea of their design philosophy and future product plans. In the process, I was able to get a hands-on look at some of their iPad and iPhone products, as well as gaze longingly at samples of their upcoming MacBook Air briefcase. Let's take a look at some of the products from Happy Owl Studio.
The Wallet for iPad 2 (US$79.99) could easily become a favorite of iPad-toting folks all over the world. Think of a wallet that's big enough to swallow your iPad 2 and also carry credit and business cards, pens, accessories, and your iPhone in a zipper-protected folio, and you've got The Wallet. I was reminded of the Day-Timer planners that people used to carry in the pre-iPad days.
The Wallet is made of black pebbled leather that's easy to grip, and the two halves of the case -- the iPad side and the zippered side -- are snugged together with a snap closure strap emblazoned with the iconic Happy Owl logo. On the iPad side, your device slides in from the left side and is held in place with a small Velcro closure. Your iPad screen rests against a smooth Microsuede material, and the entire device is held in place with a leather bezel complete with openings in all of the right places. And yes, there is a magnet for automatically turning the iPad 2 on and off, as well as an opening for the rear-facing camera.
If there's one teensy little complaint I have about The Wallet, it's that leather bezel. On the sample I was using, the iPad didn't appear to be centered (i.e., there was more of the iPad bezel showing on the the right side of the display than the left side). Then again, only an obsessive person like me would probably be concerned about it not being perfectly centered...
Like many folio-type iPad cases, The Wallet can serve as a stand or prop up your iPad for typing. The same strap that closes the folio can also be routed so that it holds the iPad in a perfect position for typing or, when flipped, watching movies.
The pocket side has a ton of space. Should I ever decide to do away with carrying a wallet in my back pocket, I'll carry The Wallet instead. I can see where this would be perfect for international travel. Pop your credit cards in the slots, and put cash and those pesky Euro coins into the zippered pouch in the center. The second zippered pouch is big enough for a couple of passports and other travel documents. The entire pocket side closes securely with another zipper, this one with a large and helpful leather pull attached to it.