Once I informed my wife that the iPad 2 was going to be released, she said she would like to have my original iPad and I was more than happy to oblige since this was implicit approval to go ahead and get the iPad 2. My original iPad was protected by a Dodocase which offered discreet and stylish protection so getting an iPad 2 Dodocase seemed to be a natural thing to do. I was excited to hear that Dodocase would offer a new case to fit the iPad 2 and ordered one with a navy blue interior. I've been satisfied for the most part with a few exceptions.
Continuing with their reputation for exceptional craftmanship, the iPad 2 Dodocase fits the iPad 2 almost perfectly with the same elegance and executive presence offered by the original design. The new bamboo tray is custom fit to the thinner profile and complaints about the iPad slipping out of the rubber grips over time appear to have been rectified by more of a notched design in the corner tabs of the iPad 2 Dodocase where the corners "grab" the edges of the iPad to keep it held in place. You notice this when you press the iPad 2 into the tray and have to push it past the notches that are covered by the rubber guards and it snaps into place. Like the original design, the iPad lays flat in the case and the cover folds backward on itself for easy use in your hands or on your lap.
I was a bit surprised to discover that the new case isn't any thinner than the original case even though the new iPad 2 is a third less thick than the original iPad. It seems that Dodocase decided to make use of the same covers for both the original case and the iPad 2 case perhaps in an effort to reduce manufacturing costs. This also results in a bit of a gap between the top of the iPad 2 case and the left side of the tray.
In this picture, you can see a bit of the gap between the top cover and the left side of the case. It's about a quarter inch gap where the original case lays flush against the tray. Althought the iPad 2 tray design takes advantage of the reduced thickness and the curved sides of the device while allowing full access to all buttons and ports, the hard cover seems to be a little thicker than necessary. Dodocase explains that over time, the cover will settle as the binding adjusts and several users have also reported the gap diminishing after a few weeks of use. My own experience is that the cover has begun to bow a bit and the gap is becoming less noticeable but it's at the expense of the cover sliding down and around as it's compressed on the thinner bamboo tray with the paper on the spine showing a noticeable ripple (also visible in the picture above). It's not a big deal but something of a disappointment as the original case was much more tailored and didn't need to settle in order to fit perfectly from the start. I still like the case but, in my opinion, the rationale offered by Dodocase for the gap is an excuse to pardon using the same cover cases as the original design instead of offering a new custom-fitting case for the iPad 2.
More iPad 2 views are included below:
The Dodocase for iPad 2 is still a great investment for protecting your new iPad even with what I believe are design challenges. I think the more compelling comparison will come when I evaluate the Dodocase for iPad 2 against the notebook style Portenzo iPad 2 case for a real showdown to see how competitors have determined whether they can effectively steal market share from Dodocase in the high-end notebook case market.