Few accessory companies have earned as much space in my office as Twelve South. Having a manufacturer focussed on – and dedicated purely to – making great products for Apple devices is refreshing. Too many big companies try and make every single type of case for every single device. Not Twelve South. Its products are unique, and you won’t find anything quite like them on the market. Whether it’s the BookArc series, or BookBook cases, they’re instantly recognizable and instantly lovable.
SurfacePad – the company says – isn’t as much a case, as it is a cover. The original SurfacePad for MacBook (yes I have one) is a thin leather strip that sits below the keyboard on your Apple notebook to give you somewhere comfortable to rest your hands. SurfacePad for iPhone and iPad is there to offer a minimal leather cover over your iDevice, and a stand, without taking the space demanded normally by a case. And I love it.
The latest generation from iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is almost identical to its predecessors. It has a similar look and feel to the iPhone 5/5s and iPad models. But it’s not exactly the same. First, it now comes in camel (a light caramel-ly brown) as well as black, red and white. Second, it now comes with the inclusion of two super-useful card slots. Because, let’s face it, there are times when you don’t want to take your wallet with you when you go out and Apple Pay isn’t accepted everywhere yet. It’s great being able to carry my two most-used cards with me wherever I go.
As with all SurfacePads, the case sticks to your iPhone using a layer of strong, but residue-free adhesive. You can place it on the back of your iPhone, and still pull it off again if you don’t get the alignment quite right the first time. And you can do it as often as you like. Just be sure to keep the adhesive layer from collecting dust. Once it is in the right position, it’ll stay there. For good. What’s particularly impressive is that you don’t even get any corner-curling. No part of the adhesive tries to come free, or loses stickiness.
SurfacePad’s design is super-minimal. It has some attractive stitching around the edges, both front and back. While there’s also some stitching down the center of the back. This acts as a sort-of hinge, allowing you to flip open the front cover, or fold it over the back, or use the case as a stand when watching videos or making FaceTime calls. And it’s surprisingly sturdy as a stand too. Of course, there’s a small portion cutout on the rear to allow plenty of room for your camera and flash.
Inside is lined with a grey microfiber material, featuring the same minimal stitching as the outside, with the SurfacePad logo neatly embossed in the bottom left corner. The front cover also features the aforementioned card holders. They are incredibly useful. I like to take as little as necessary out with me when I leave the house. And I rarely need more than 2 cards on me, so it’s a perfect solution that leaves me not missing my equally minimal and slim Belroy wallet.
I could sing the SurfacePad’s praises for ever. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. As I’ve experience maybe once or twice before, Twelve South’s quality control let slip a less-than-perfect product. On my iPhone 6 SurfacePad, there are two very noticeable scratches in the microfiber lining above the card slots. Almost like someone went to cut the slits, realized they were misaligned and tried again. This same case doesn’t quite close properly when left face up. With use, however, the natural softening of the leather should help the issue.
Granted, the SurfacePad isn’t going to offer the most protection from drops or impact. But, if you just want a beautiful, leather cover that doesn’t get in the way and stops your screen and phone from getting scratched, I can’t recommend the SurfacePad enough.