Nexus 7 BUK Case review
I was looking for a handmade book-style case for the Nexus 7, but I'd rather not pay the high prices for a Portenzo or DODOcase alternative, but this is a pretty decent alternative.
The case itself is like those from Portenzo and DODOcase, a book-style hardback cover surrounding a wooden shell which holds the device. This particular case is built with a Birch Plywood shell unlike the other two which use materials such as Bamboo. As intended it bears an uncanny resemblance to a sketchbook. This case usually costs £30 with £3 first class shipping
(Not recorded) though during the winter sale I bought this case for £25.50 total.
It uses an elastic strap to keep the case shut, and a small plastic clip can be attached to the strap to let the case stand up. It also has a magnet built into the case so it acts as a smartcover.
Just above the magnet is a plate which has a unique number for the case, which adds to the unique feel the case has. It's available in three colours: Skye Blue, Welsh Slate Grey and Pillarbox Red. This case is hand-made in Manchester
with traditional book-binding methods, and as you can maybe tell from the names of the colours, they're pretty proud of that
To keep the device secure in the case, instead of using foam pads or adhesive this case uses 'Tommy Clips' which work pretty well. Admittedly it looks tackier than it being held in by pads, but it gets the job done. There is no intrusion to the Micro-USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack, but the power and lock buttons are slightly hard to reach
as with the Nexus 7 they are slightly offset to the back of the device. This can be a little problematic as you can sometimes find it difficult to tell if you're pressing the button or not.
There is a hollow area behind the tablet, but apart from that there is no way for sound to get from the speakers. This results in a somewhat muffled sound
, not too much of a problem for me because I listen to music with headphones but it's still an issue that Portenzo and DODOcase address. I'm not sure what about the quality of the wooden shells with the other two companies, but with this the Birch does have some imperfections. It doesn't affect the functionality, and to me it just adds a more homely feel to the case. The back of the case has a cutout for the camera, but no black-ring around it so glare may be an issue (But I've yet to meet someone who uses a 5 megapixel snapper for serious photography).
To conclude, it's a nice case, you certainly get your bang for your buck. It's about half the price of a rival case, but it's still reasonably good. Of course if you have the money to spend you should probably buy a Portenzo/DODOcase, but I like having a case that was handcrafted about an hours journey down the road from me, even if it does have some significant drawbacks.