With the iPad Air no longer in its honeymoon period, more and more excellent cases are flooding the market. For some, protection is paramount, and there are plenty of cases to go around there. For others however, a little refined luxury is often the preferred calling, and you won’t find much better than the Berlin iPad Air Case from KAVAJ.
Hailing from Germany, KAVAJ deals exclusively in leather, creating cases for the iPhone and iPad that are slim and luxurious, bringing your devices a premium feel and extreme quality that doesn’t hinder user experience.
The Berlin from KAVAJ is a 100% genuine leather case, this review features the cognac brown color (also available in Black). The case itself covers your entire device, and has a very simple stand that allows you to position your device in a comfortable typing position, or standing straight up. The thin interior frame holds your iPad securely, but still ensures your iPad is on show to the world. Your iPad is held in place by a velcro strap, and all buttons and ports remain on display. The outside of the case is 100% genuine leather, and the inside is a flannel material.
Upon opening the cases shipping package, the entire room was filled with the incredible aroma of leather. Right from the off it was clear that the Berlin’s USP was its extreme quality, and it didn’t disappoint. The leather feels incredible to the touch, and it looks absolutely stunning. For the most part, the cases stitching was immaculate at every turn, with only one or two occasional blemishes, which arguably add to the character of the case. The front of the case is beautifully embossed with the KAVAJ logo, with two pieces of leather stitched together so it can be folded for use as a stand. The case really is a sight to behold, and will definitely turn heads wherever you go. The flannel interior of the case is also of excellent quality, it feels great, and is certainly not a blemish risk to the beautiful exterior of the iPad.
Not only is the case absolutely stunning to look at and feel, it performs well in its basic functionalities as well. The iPad fits inside the case with incredible precision. It’s almost a little too tight, and so can be a struggle to apply. With a little patience however, you’ll get the iPad in no problem, and once it’s in, it’s not coming out again of its own accord. Your iPad would be held securely using the frame of the case alone, but just incase KAVAJ have added a strong Velcro strip to secure your device. The Velcro does its job perfectly, and disappears completely from sight one applied. A neat flap on the back of the case is used to secure the front cover, allowing you to fold the case on itself and prop your iPad up at an extremely comfortable typing angle. The device rests in this position well, and feels very stable, even when you’re typing or swiping at a relatively aggressive rate. In this configuration, your iPad can also be flipped onto its end, standing upright with the display portrait. This position too is very stable, and useful for slide shows and media-content in general, as well as reading. Closing and opening the case will automatically lock/unlock your iPad, which is always a nice touch too. The Berlin’s functionalities aren’t extensive, but its performs its basic duties very well.
Obviously, a leather case doesn’t really lend itself to well to protection. Yet whilst I’d be a little less confident of my iPad’s safety if I were to drop it inside the Berlin, it certainly does an excellent job of protecting your iPad from dings, scratches, scrapes and even fairly significant knocks. Not only is leather luxurious, it’s also very durable, so you as long as your iPad remains inside the Berlin, you can rest assured that your iPad will be safe from blemish. However, if it’s all out protection you’re seeking from a case, you might want to consider something a little more robust.
Naturally, this case isn’t perfect, and I do have a couple of issues with it. Whilst leather may be an exceptional material, it can be a little prone to blemishes. With a couple of weeks use, it’s very clear that the case has been in use, and is already starting to show a few signs of wear, wrinkles and blemishes. The flannel interior can also get a little grubby and needs to be cleaned occasionally, but this is certainly no reason to dismiss this case as a viable solution.
The Berlin at first glance can appear a little too snug for your iPad, with some exterior outlets, such as the Lightning connector, microphones and headphone socket appearing a little misaligned in their designated slots. The solution to this is firm manipulation of the case. Leather is a workable material, so with a little pushing and shoving you can get your iPad to fit the case perfectly, but the experience could have been a little less stressful. With first use, the case can appear to induce your iPad’s sleep mode with erratic results, however like the misaligned port issue, this can be solved with a few minutes of pushing. The leather is firm but workable, and once properly aligned, the case performs very well.
- Incredible quality leather – looks and feels great
- Solid typing angle – portrait standing also a nice touch
- Incredible value for money at only $49.90 (£39.90)
- Decent protection from a very slim, unobtrusive case
- Leather subject to imperfections and minor blemishes
- Case is an excellent fit, but only after firm manipulation
- Only two viewing angles when stand is used: Viewing or typing
Ultimately the Berlin iPad Air Case from KAVAJ is an excellent case. It offers premium quality leather at a very affordable price. The cases stand functions are very useful, and it provides a decent amount of protection for your device. With that in mind, if you’re looking for a luxury iPad case this holiday season, the Berlin should be very high on your list.
If you have any questions or comments on the Berlin, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @TiP_Stephen.