Portenzo Notebook Case: Organic Beauty for Your iPad 2

There haven’t been many case reviews on iPad.AppStorm, besides that small roundup and the official Apple Smart Cover, but today I’m adding something to the list. Some of you may have heard of the small USA-based case company called Portenzo. They build elegant – and expensive – iPad cases that are made of wood, similar to Dodocase. They also manufacture these cases for other devices, including the iPhone, Kindle, and Playbook. Their iPad 2 cases range from $59.95 to $499 – yeah, as much as the iPad itself – and come in a great assortment of colors and skins.

Now you’re probably wondering how these “elegant” cases compare to the other great ones out there, especially at that large starting price. Today I’ll give you my experience with a Portenzo Notebook Style case – dive right in!

First Impressions

iPad and case.

When I received my Portenzo Notebook Style case, it struck me as the coolest thing my iPad 2 could ever fit into – not to mention that it’s natural and has a different feel to all other cases.

Please note that I had tried the Speck Pixelskin HD Wrap and a Targus Truss case before the Portenzo one, but these both let me down after the first few days.

They had problems like not staying shut and both were very flimsy. I didn’t feel like they would protect the iPad, so I moved on to something a little fancier. I must say that it was the best decision I could have made – even with the little quirks – which I will talk about later on.

Inside the box there are some fun perks like an old-style receipt tag (picture below) and a microfiber cloth for cleaning the screen. My case also came with a bonus iPhone 4 skin, though I’m not sure they include those with all orders.

The Coolest Features

Corner and sound chamber.

There are a lot of great things about the Portenzo case, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Automatic sleep and wake feature on the base model, just like a Smart Cover.
  • Grips on the corner maintain a good hold on the iPad, preventing it from falling out.
  • An exclusive Audio-Flow™ Sound Chamber that gives the built-in speaker more presence.
  • Indent for the microphone – it also makes it sound a little better.
  • Good access for the ports and switches on an iPad 2.
  • Colors vary from dark green to espresso.
  • Beautiful wood that fits the iPad well.
  • Strap that holds the case closed perfectly.

Obviously, there are additional features that can be added on for an extra few dollars. Here’s a list of the additions that can be made to this case:

  • Personal embossing ($14.95).
  • Dust-proof camera opening ($4.95).
  • Magna-grip cover instead of a strap or both the strap and magnet ($9.95 for either).
  • Stylus holder ($9.95).

What Else?

Bottom with cut out for port.

There’s always something not to like about a case, and for me it has to be the rubber grips in the corner. While they do a great job of holding in the iPad, they tend to wear down a little over time causing the iPad to slip out of the case. This probably doesn’t happen with every model, but I’ve noticed that it did with mine. In addition to this, the back of the frame can get a little warped and may need to be tweaked back into place.

Please be warned: bending it may snap the wood since the grain is running in the direction that it needs to be bent. I take no responsibility for a broken case, but if you want to give it a little pressure your iPad should sit level in the case afterwards.

Compared to other competitors like Apple’s Smart Cover, the Portenzo is superior. Not only does it have the great design and somewhat-unique idea behind it, but it also has an air of novelty. Receiving a little tag as a receipt makes it a different experience and it really does seem “organic” in a way.

I didn’t mind spending the extra $20 for back protection on my iPad 2 either. This is something that the Smart Cover, in all its greatness, lacks. I would miss having protection on the back of my device, aluminum gets scratched easily which can mar the beauty of any Apple device. The Portenzo case does a wonderful job of protecting both the front and back – it seems like the perfect case for the perfect device.

My Experience

Portenzo's awesome receipt tag.

In all, my time spent with the Portenzo Notebook Case for the iPad 2 has been great! The build quality is similar to, if not better than, that of the Dodocase – and I love the novelty and class of the Portenzo.

They both come from the same basic idea – which is to create a case that is organic, allowing the user to hold an item of superior quality. This quality certainly fits well with Apple’s iPad and, in my opinion, gives the Smart Cover a run for its money!

After reading this, if you think the Portenzo case is right for your iPad and your budget, then go grab one on their site here. I wish you happiness with your new case!


Summary

A high quality handmade iPad case, a true challenger to the Smart Cover - class and style combined in case form.

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  • shleeGoo

    good!

  • Michelle Schroeder

    They just came out with a Kindle Fire Case which I absolutely love. My kids have been playing with the Fire and I know I don’t have to worry about it because it’s so well protected in the Portenzo case.

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  • chelsea

    I have to admit i didnt do a lot of research BEFORE i ordered my case…i didn’t shop around a lot…saw the notebook style..fell in love..loved the custom options and went all out.
    I ordered mine and then looked around… i found a simular product with a cool map backing option for half hte price and went ‘mannnn i LOVE travel and LONDON..map backing woulda been so cool’ i googled portenzo vs this other case and saw for myself the differences and heard the quality difference…every review i read makes me feel better that in my rush to purchase without shopping around i did good!
    it looks like it will arrive a few weeks after my ipad..but i just cant wait!

  • Eric Schaefer

    Awesome review! Portenzo is an awesome company. They go above and beyond. I just saw that they are giving away an iPad and a case on facebook/portenzo when they reach 5000 likes. I hope I win!

  • Dave

    I’m very disappointed with my portenzo case. The first 2 weeks were great, and then it started to warp and pop the iPad out of the case, almost like the wood wasn’t dried before it was machined. Now, after 2 years, all of the comments are “damn, what happened to you iPad case”, and I have to say, it’s a Portenzo, they evidently have some quality issues. It was a very depressing purchase.

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