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


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

Tuff-Luv Marrakesh iPad 2 Case

With its slick, minimalistic and environmentally friendly packaging, that invites you upon a tour of the product itself and permits access to its various functions, and the sheer detail and functionality of this case, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s a prohibitively expensive, hand-made case of European origin. But, in fact, Tuff-Luv manufacture their cases in China, making for surprisingly low prices. The Marrakesh, in fact, is a paltry £38.99, and with many premium leather cases, including Apple’s own offering, being far above this price, you’re definitely getting a good deal.

But that doesn’t mean the Marrakesh is poor quality. Far from it, in fact, the case blends Tuff-Luv’s typical array of highly adjustable iPad stand functionality with a quite daring and different aesthetic style which, as the name may suggest, nods heavily towards the intricate tapestry you might find in Marrakech.

I took a look at the red Marrakesh, a good match for its namesake, which also hails as the “Red City”. It combines the striking red colour with no less than four different embroidered fabric swatches which make up its unique, and unashamedly feminine, front cover. I say feminine because this is very clearly the Marrakesh’s target market, and from feedback in the office it’s certainly hit the nail on the head.

Inside, and in stark contrast to the front, is a combination of dark brown and red leather, with your typical bezel-covering leather pouch in which the iPad 2 slips comfortable.

The iPad is secured in the Marrakesh using a smal velcro clasp, and the whole case closes with a larger popper which keeps it secure.

Poppers are a big feature of the Marrakesh, and many other Tuff-Luv iPad cases, in fact. The 5 poppers along the front provide a total of 5 different adjustment levels for the landscape stand angle. Unlike the bi or tri-axis Tuff-Luv cases, however, the cover doesn’t fold at the corners to permit standing it in Portrait mode.

The rear camera cut-out is very cleanly cut and almost perfectly aligned, permitting photos or video conversations without any red leather getting in the way. The front has dips for the home button and front camera which keep well out of your way, and aren’t as uncomfortable to use the home button through as holes cut in the leather, which have been all too common in iPad cases in the past. A small hole in the top also allows your voice to reach the microphone uninterrupted.

Fans of the auto-sleep functionality in the iPad 2 will be pleased to note that the Marrakesh has a magnet in the front cover. This will put your iPad to sleep automatically when you close it. This is a feature that no iPad 2 case with a cover should be without, mind! Or slip case, for that matter.

The dock port is given plenty of room with the bottom cut-out. However the speaker has been neglected somewhat, with nothing but a small rectangle on the bottom of the case. The iPad 2 is pretty loud, however, so this generally only means you’ll have to turn the volume up a notch to compensate. Whilst a larger speaker cut-out would have been nice, it’s hard to argue that this isn’t more protective. And the double-thick leather back of the Marrakesh should sufficiently protect your iPad from any knocks.

The stitching is all done by machine, so it’s fairly good. It’s generally neat and tidy where it matters. The fabric swatches are, of course, a different story. They’re characteristically rough, and meant to be this way.

Overall, this is a cracking good case for the discerning female with a love of red. It’s attractive, protective, functional and affordable. Definitely checking all the boxes. What’s more, it’s also available in a decidedly more understated brown.

Monday, June 27th, 2011, Featured, iPad 2.