25
Sep
vendor-118-DODOcase logo

Cases for my devices fall into two camps: there are cases that are merely "there," and cases that "do." The cases in the first camp usually don't serve any other purpose besides scratch/scuff prevention, and the latter group add some utility, usually in the form of bells and whistles. However useful they are, though, is typically offset by one fact: they usually look like ass.

So when I laid my eyes on a DodoCase for the first time, I had a little bit of an epiphany. This was a case that was functional, durable, and had a minimal style that I gravitated to - it also didn't splay out its logo in huge, ghastly font or make me unwrap it like a Christmas gift in order to get to my tablet.

The Case

DODOcase_HARDcover_Nexus_front

DodoCases are produced in San Francisco under the marketing tag line that they are "saving the art of bookbinding from extinction." They are made with a high-quality material that's very similar to a Moleskine notebook, and that's a connection they're banking on you making. By making the case blend in with the legendary notebook, the company is hoping to send a message: this is high quality stuff, and you're not going to find it in a Best Buy bargain aisle.

And rightfully so - daily use of this thing turned my tablet from a gadget to somewhat of a fashion statement. I opted for the straight "Charcoal" black color, but the inside of the case can be customized with a number of different options.

The general look and feel is the same in each instance, though: this is a lightweight case that you can almost forget is there. It holds itself closed with an attached elastic, and can be customized with embossed gold letters. As any Starbucks addict can tell you, there's an experience here, and you're paying for it.

The Highs

That experience isn't a bad thing, though. I found myself genuinely enjoying the time spent with the case, as its simplicity is its greatest asset. The cover is sturdy and protective, and I've even been using it to balance a drink on, like a food tray. It doesn't scuff or mark easily, and the general build quality is impressive.

Opening the case allows you to fold the cover around the back, just like any other book, while magnets wake your Nexus 7 from its sleep mode like any other "smart" accessory. You wrap the elastic around again, it you want, keeping it from flapping around and getting in the way. Laying it down in landscape mode gives you a nice angle for viewing the screen and typing without anything to "set up"; if you don't like having to kickstand a case into submission, this may be for you.

2012-09-26 01.24.08

The Lows

However, standing the DodoCase up to view video may be a bit of a problem; with nothing to keep the spine from just collapsing, you're kind of at the mercy of the surface you're perching it on. A provided plastic clip (see my video) can keep it from moving, but this is a very low-tech solution for the problem. You'd figure that with the luxury you're affording there would be something a little more satisfying to fix the issue.

The other big snag I've hit is the way that the case fastens your tablet. As there is no cradle or dock, you are attaching your Nexus 7 to three adhesive strips, which hold onto it extraordinarily well. The problem comes with removing it later - I'm worried that I'm either going to damage my tablet or tear a chunk out of the case.

The makers of the DodoCase insist that the adhesive does not leave residue, and can be wet with water in order to regain some stickiness. This is indeed true, but the first attempt to remove my Nexus after two weeks literally popped two edges of the back panel off the tablet. This is both a testament to the stickiness of the adhesive and a warning to remove your Nexus 7 as slowly as possible from your DodoCase. I wouldn't want anyone to lose their warranty.

A Question of Style

2012-09-26 01.27.21 2012-09-26 01.39.23 2012-09-26 01.38.34

As I wrap up this review, I want to say that I recommend this case heartily. It does its job well, and most importantly, discretely. I like my cases to not look like cases, not have logos splayed across the back, and actually have some form factor to them - the DodoCase delivers this in spades. However, some users may be disappointed in the relatively Spartan nature of the case - if you're looking for a sturdy perch to watch videos from, or something shock-resistant, you might be left wanting.

I believe the DodoCase isn't trying to be everything to everyone, though. I own their iPad 2 case as well, and find that I've come to respect my tablets a little bit more. They do say to "dress for the job you want," and if that extends to tablets, the DodoCase might be getting a CEO-level promotion in the near future.

The DodoCase HARDCover for Nexus 7 retails for $34.95 USD at DodoCase's site.

---

A number of people are asking about the wallpaper I used in the video. You can find it on the artist's DeviantArt here.

Matt Demers
Matt Demers is a Toronto writer that deals primarily in the area of Android, comics and other nerdy pursuits. You can find his work on Twitter and sites across the Internet.

  • http://twitter.com/JDMRoy Dr. LongMeat

    Its the Ford Focus of cases bro. The Portenzo Alano would be the Rolce Royce of cases.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Maybe if you're looking to spend almost as much on the case as on the tablet. I believe Portenzo Alano cases go for over $120.

      Edit: here they are, with variants for $100-130. http://shop.portenzo.com/alano-for-nexus/ Sexy indeed, though at a premium.

  • Trenton

    Where did you get you background?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      That bg looks incredible on the Nexus. Matt's going to throw up a link in a few minutes.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      Link has been added at the bottom of the article.

  • BrianBreniser

    I'm never sure about these form over function cases. I think I would always have a more functional case than a pretty one. Although there is a limit to the ugliness that I can take. But I feel that with just a little more engineering you could make the case stand up properly. Oh well.

  • White Pawn

    How do you use NFC on the device, if you are using this case?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Don't see why the signal couldn't pass right through it - maybe Matt can test and see if it works.

  • Sorian

    I have a case like this from Portenzo (from Kirkwood, Missouri) called the HardBack. I love this case! The HardBack is $25, $40 with embossing. They also have other cases with other leather choices. I am thinking of saving up for the Portenzo Alano Old Book Style and laser engrave Coat of Arms for reenactments ($40 extra).

  • YellingOnTheWeb

    I personally use this one: Bluerex Ultra Slim Case for Google Nexus 7. It doesn't add bulk, its a nice pleather finish, some sort of microfiber inside, the clips are strong but easy to remove it esp if you want to use it as a stand. The clasp is great and won't come out in a bag and there are magnets in it for the quick on. Additionally there is an elastic strap to hold the case back when its open. Also there is an strap where you can fit your hand in for a secure hold while on the bus. You do not need to remove the case to charge or access any buttons. There are holes in the back for the speaker as well. Easily the best case for the Nexus 7.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Link for those who are interested: http://www.amazon.com/Blurex-Ultra-Slim-Google-Tablet-Multi-Angle/dp/B008D2POAS. Not too bad, though I am not a fan of the thickness and that method of grabbing the edges.

      • YellingOnTheWeb

        It's not bulky or thick. I like the method of grabbing the edges here as it allows access to buttons and ports while protecting the device edge.

  • Simon

    I looked into these but got a TreeGloo case instead because I wanted gray. It will take 4 weeks to get it but it's nicer than my bros portenzo

  • napes22

    I'd suggest the Portenzo case http://shop.portenzo.com/ I own the classic book case model, with magnets, intelistand, and strap. All of their cases are hand made and well put together. I have yet to have any issues yet, and the case is very well put together.

  • http://profiles.google.com/grremlin Konstantin Vishnevsky

    I had this case for my Kindle Fire and now have it for the Nexus 7.
    The most useful case I've tried so far.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008IEGS9W

  • http://gplus.to/questioncom victor sanchez

    I have a dodo case for my n7 and love it. Only issue in have is with the elastic that keeps the case closed. It seems like it's starting to get stretched out. Hopefully it doesn't become a limp mess

  • Freak4Dell

    Meh...seems like a waste of $35. I'd rather spend $20 on one of those cases that make it easy to stand the tablet up, and don't use basically what is double-sided tape to hold the tablet in. I have yet to find a perfect case, but this certainly isn't it.

  • smeddy

    Shame as my only big ask from cases is that they work as video stands, which is why I got a 3dollar wallet on eBay

  • JH

    Those sticky thinges would be a deal breaker for me - no thanks!
    But I like the overall look so I would go for the Portenzo BookCase cover for a Nexus 7

  • Ben Currier

    I'm curious if you think a TPU cover would solve the adhesive removal issue, while still allowing the case to fully close? Sometimes I feel like a case; sometimes I don't - and I really like the look of this thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wheelchair.matt Matt Clements

    The Moko slim-fit cover case is by far a better case at a better price. It is leather and is made to be used as a stand if you want or opened all the way and has a hand strap for your hand to make sure you don't drop it. It is less bulkier more stylish and only 17 bucks! I love mine!