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Saturday, February 09, 2013

I like to think I maintain a proud tradition of freebies on this blog. Not giving them out, obviously, but receiving them. Over the years, I've accepted a number of gifts from people I've never met, including money, food and baby blankets, whilst being taken for a mug and surviving on care packages from a bovine sugar daddy.

So when I received an e-mail a couple of weeks ago from offering to send me an iPad cover, it was an open and shut case. In brown leather, with a flip stand and pen holder. The Snugg's motto is "We don't do cheap, we do quality", which is exactly what I want to hear when I'm getting something for free, and a few days ago they were kind enough to send me not one, but two iPad cases to review.

The first was the Snugg iPad 1 Case Cover and Flip Stand in Brown Leather, pictured here in the hands of an accomplished supermodel...

It retails for $29.99 on the American site, and £29.99 here in the UK, which represents an exchange rate I'm not familiar with. But frankly it's worth every penny. Which is easy to say when you didn't pay for it.

For a first impression, I'll hand you over to my co-reviewer...

I'm concerned that at four years old, she's already learnt to slap her forehead and say "D'oh!" like Homer Simpson. I should also apologise for the background noise, which was the sound of Toby galloping through a Findus lasagne in his bouncy baby chair. But that aside, Amelie speaks for us both. The Snugg case is indeed "good", and makes our battered old iPad look like a brand new machine.

The interior of the case is created from Nubuck fibres, giving it the soft, strokeable feel of a week-old hamster, and the iPad is secured neatly inside with a sturdy velcro tab. The cover closes nicely using a magnetic fastening, which is not only more stylish than the stiff metal popper on our previous case, but also easier for Amelie to handle. Which is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how much you want to keep your daughter away from your apps.

Fortunately, in this house, Amelie has claimed ownership of the iPad, so while she got on with some rigorous quality control testing, I checked out the Snugg iPad 4 Case Cover and Stand in Distressed Brown Leather. It's the updated version of the case above, designed specifically for the latest iPad, and comes with a few extra features. The most useful of which is this one:

It has an elasticated strap on the back of the inside cover which allows you to hold the iPad in the palm of your hand. Admittedly, that only leaves you one hand to type with, but for a lot of applications, it's a godsend. Other than that, the differences in the cases are subtle. The iPad 4 case has a hole for the built-in camera, and a slimmer fit to house the thinner tablet. I found I could still fit my iPad 1 inside, but it gave a whole new meaning to the word Snugg.

Those additional features will cost you an extra five dollars in the US and five pounds in the UK, meaning that the baby above will set you back thirty-five quid. It's quite a lot to pay, but there's no doubting the quality, and if you can afford the next generation iPad, you're either rich or willing to go into debt, so either way it's not a problem.

Personally I love my Snugg cases. Although I'm biased having got them for free. They're definitely well-made, stylish and functional though, which is pretty much all you can ask for. Better still, they appear to have launched me on the road to a movie career. Having watched me receive a free gift in the post from a mysterious woman online, Amelie started following me about with a camera...

I think she's busy filming Catfish 2.


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