gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Brenthaven 5-in-1 iPad Case Review

It’s difficult for form not to follow function in a case. By their very definition they must encase your gadget, protecting it, long before they can worry about looking pretty.

Brenthaven have taken this one step further with their 5-in-1 iPad case. Function definitely follows form, so much so that it clearly compromises it. But that’s not always a bad thing. It takes, for example, a special sort to love an OtterBox case and the Brenthaven is bestowed of similar rugged looks which might turn buyers off, despite it’s wealth of functionality.

The 5 functions are varied and useful, some so much so that they warrant the purchase of the Brenthaven simply for one of it’s 5 functions. I refer, mainly, to the in-car seatback strap which is an invaluable addition to a media-rich device like the iPad, which is fantastic for entertaining adults and kids alike on long journeys. Yes, we’re very much of the technological age and, as a family, aren’t big on travel games or…err… sing songs.

Backing up this already fairly useful function, the Brenthaven can function as a typing stand, a media viewing stand, a protective shell and boasts a hand loop for maintaining a firm grip on your valuable tablet.

The two-piece plastic case for the iPad itself is pretty good. It slots together easily and is well finished on the outside. The inside, however, looks cheap and nasty… simply because it is. Brenthaven have opted to cut cost on the finishes, ignoring the bits of the case you’re not likely to see. And that’s fair enough. Where these measures aren’t so appreciated, however, is in the third part of the shell, which acts as the screen shield and stand. The inside of these parts are shiny, rife with mould lines and generally don’t look as fantastic as the matte, unblemished plastic outside.

And the outside does look good. Utterly uninterrupted black, apart from the join between the two shell pieces. The two piece shell is really tastefully done, with a gentle arc separating the pieces which unite to form a shell a little bulkier, but certainly as top notch as the Incipio Feather.

The cover isn’t so great. The slot necessary for it to function as a dual mode stand leaves a huge gaping hole through which all manner of loose junk you might have in your bag can unite with your iPad screen. This shell can be slid onto the back of the case, however, supplying a hand strap and allowing the whole lot to be mounted in-car.

Overall, the 5-in-1 is a mixed bag. Is a great shell case, with a couple of good features. But it’s not the epitome of style. You can pick the Brenthaven 5-in-1 up for £50

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011, iPad.