As a reviewer it is fascinating to follow the growth of a company from its humble beginnings to becoming a highly touted brand. One such company is Pad & Quill whose products I’ve had the pleasure to review for the past six years.
While Pad & Quill have garnered an excellent reputation for their products they have not shed their small business, home grown character. Receiving one of their products always feels special as their products are hand crafted and not mass-produced overseas.
The Contega is one of Pad & Quill’s iPad case lines. For today’s review we were sent the Contega Thin Case for iPad Pro. As opposed to the standard Contega this model focuses on having a svelte profile that uses a unique system for keeping the iPad Pro in place. To find out what that system is, keep reading…..
The Pad & Quill Contega Thin Case for iPad Pro is shipped in a clear plastic bag saving the need for recycling any packaging. One of the tenets of the company is to be environmentally conscious. The Contega Thin case comes sheathed in a thin cardboard wrapper sleeve closed with a Pad & Quill embossed wax seal.
Pulling the wax seal up reveals a Welcome To The Family announcement along with a hashtag for adding your iPad Pro covered case photo to their Instagram feed. In addition we see the satisfaction guarantee, 25-year leather warranty, bookbindery case warranty, and email contact information.
The Contega Thin Case for iPad Pro comes in three-color choices – Linen Gray, Charcoal or Cranberry. For our review we received the Cranberry version. The Contega Thin case measures 12.5” L x 9.25” W x 0.35” D.
The outside has Buckrum cloth linen cover, which is a very popular archival book material. The front of the Contega Thin Case is bank without any designs while on the back we see the Pad & Quill logo on the bottom right. An opening for the camera is on the top left while the 1/3 near the edge has a foldable ridge for using the Contega Thin Case as a stand along with an elastic band closure.
Opening the Contega we find a soft, high grip rubber material on the left with two bumpers. On the right are two strips of the exclusive 3M clean release system along with an inner liner.
Specifications and Features
-Free Domestic Shipping
-Archival Quality Buckrum Linen Cover
-Super thin design compliments iPad Pro form factor
-Multi-angle self-propping stand built in
-Available in 3 colors: Linen Gray, Charcoal, and Cranberry
-Smart cover with magnetic on/off feature
-30-Day Money Back Promise
-Dimensions: 12.5in L x 9.25 in W x 0.35in D
Our roots as a company extend back to the original iPad release in 2010. So, when Apple released iPad Pro, the epitome of intuitive function, it seemed only wise to dig down back to our beginnings and craft something truly enduring. The result is an archival quality, bookbindery case for the iPad Pro.
Cloaked in our legendarily durable Buckrum linen bookbindery material, the same material used to cover hardback books at the Library of Congress, the Contega Thin Case for iPad Pro is a true work of art. The iPad is locked down with our specially formulated 3M clean release adhesive that holds your iPad secure and never lets go, until you want it to. Don’t let its streamlined profile fool you, the gang on St. Paul’s East Side know how to craft cases that are rugged, durable and replete with functionality. The iPad Pro sits inside the rim of the cover, so the edges are protected from bumps and drops, and this thin case also turns into a multi-position self-propping iPad Pro stand.
The Buckrum cloth linen cover, soft-grip liner, elastic Moleskine band closure that also secures the Apple Pencil, and a self-propping stand combine to make the Contega Thin case for iPad Pro fantastically useful cover that is as durable as it is beautiful.
Size: 12.2in L X 9.2in W x 0.35in
Price: $89.95 (from Amazon at time of review)
Installing the iPad Pro onto the Contega Thin is probably one of the most unique ways I have applied a case onto one of my iOS devices. Instead of a frame or a sleeve for the iPad Pro to rest into, the Contega Thin uses a 3M quick release adhesive. You read correctly, a piece of adhesive is all that stands between gravity and your expensive Apple tablet. Of course this sounds scary and rightfully so, but the shocking aspect is that this system works great.
To get started, peel off the backing from the 3M adhesive and then line up the iPad Pro onto the Contega Thin making sure to align the camera opening. Don’t worry if you make a mistake, the iPad Pro can be removed from the adhesive and then reapplied. According to Pad & Quill the adhesive will last for years if you keep the iPad Pro in place otherwise with regular removal and reapplication it will need to be replaced every nine months or so.
Once in position the iPad Pro sits securely within the Contega Thin case. It is really amazing that this adhesive works so well and does not leave any residue on the iPad Pro when removed. In terms of bulk the Contega Thin adds some but shielding a 13” piece of glass should provide some extra mass for protection.
The Contega Thin uses smart cover technology so opening the cover the iPad Pro wakes it up while closing it does the opposite. An elastic band slides over the front of the case to securely close it. Like other cases that use elastic closures, this is the weakest link in the design. Breaking this strap will prevent the case from closing and it is often impossible to repair.
For those using an Apple Pencil, sliding it under the elastic closure with the case closed is a novel way of storing it when not in use. However I would only recommend storing it this way if you are in your home or office as it is easy to foresee the Pencil falling out from time to time. Apple really should have provided some sort of clip on the Apple Pencil but that is another discussion.
The front cover folds over into what Pad & Quill calls “paperback style” allowing the iPad Pro to be held easily. The rubber grip on the inside cover provides a tacky tactile surface for securely holding the iPad Pro and case.
When using the iPad Pro on a desk the Contega Thin has prop feature with multiple positions. Two bumpers are used to provide fixed stopping points for the case to keep up the iPad Pro. I did notice sometime these bumpers allowed the iPad Pro to slide forward especially when touching the screen.
Pad & Quill designed the Contega Thin with the ability to work seamlessly with the Apple Smart Keyboard. I did not have one for testing but the video on the product page shows Brian for Pad & Quill demonstrating that functionality.
On the back the opening for the camera provides plenty if space for the camera to function without issues.
Pad & Quill makes great products and the Contega Thin is no different. Using bookbindery methods the Contega Thin stands out from the myriad of leather and plastic iPad Pro cases on the market. It is elegant, sophisticated yet simple in its appearance. If you love the aesthetic of Moleskine notebooks, then the Contega Thin Case is an excellent choice to protect one’s iPad Pro.
While the innovative 3M clean release system for holding the iPad Pro in place may scare off some, I’ve found during my testing that it is ready to meet the task of keeping the Apple Tablet in place without the risk of it falling out.
It is only ten dollars more than the Apple branded silicon case, which is basically a shell case without a cover, making the Contega Thin a terrific value in terms of price, performance and quality. The Contega Thin is what we expect from a Pad & Quill designed iPad case and I know my iPad Pro will be resting within this case for quite some time.
+Hand crafted well designed
+Multiple stand orientations
+Tacky grip when held in “paperback” mode with cover folded over
-Uses 3M adhesive for mounting the iPad Pro (may frighten some folks)
|Grading||Scores Out of 10|
|Design / Aesthetic|
|Value / Price|
|Performance / Usage|
To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.