Review: Oberon Design Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover

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Oberon Design Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover

I’ve already mentioned the Oberon Design Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover once on this site. I referred to it as, and titled my post, The Most Beautiful iPad Case. Ever. I published that post just a day after receiving the case. I’ve had it for a couple weeks now, and the shine has definitely not worn off at all; I still find this a stunningly gorgeous case.

Having spent some time with it, I’m now ready to review it on more than just its great looks.

Notes

The Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover comes in three colors – green, wine, and walnut. I chose green and obviously I’m more than happy with my choice – and can also say that all three colors looks extremely handsome.

Here are some of its key features:

    • Covers have a camera lens opening (detail not currently shown on all cover images).
    • Corner straps provide ‘shake & drop’ security.
    • Cord & tab platform device for horizontal tabletop reading.
    • Built in slanted surface for iPad keyboard use.
    • Case easily folds & stays open.
    • 100% wool felt LED screen protector.
    • Large side pockets & a small pocket for I.D. or cards.
    • Matching Britannia Pewter button.
    • Marine grade replaceable mini bungee cords (includes extra bungee).

It’s also worth noting that Oberon’s products are handcrafted here in the USA – the story of the company and its founder’s history in this craft is actually a great read. Since I have some Irish ancestry, I was also interested to see some background on the Celtic Hounds pattern on this case:

The universal meaning attached to the spiritual knot work art of the Celtic culture is the symbol of the endless wheel, unending line or regeneration and the inter-connectedness of life. No recorded history attaches specific meanings to different knot work styles; however it is generally agreed that spirals honor the Goddess and reflect themes of consciousness and balance, interlacing knots the unending cycle of life and death, and key or maze patterns the twists and turns of life’s journey. Animal or bird images symbols, known as zoomorphic knots are more straightforward.

Hounds or dogs represent loyalty; dragons symbolize rebirth and bird’s purity or nobility.

Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover

This case is priced at $69.50.

Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover - back cover

Highlights

– It’s ridiculously beautiful. All of Oberon’s cases are gorgeous looking, but I especially love the look of this one.

– The leather feels great too and the case just reeks of great craftsmanship.

– The large side pocket is very handy.

– The front cover folds over the back well to make it pretty comfortable to work with the iPad mini while it’s in the case.

– The ‘built-in’ slanted surface for typing mode works OK, though it is not quite as sturdy as would be ideal.

Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover

Lowlights

– I’m not a fan of the bungee cords used to secure the iPad in the interior frame. I’m even less of a fan of the way more bungee cords are used if you want to use the case as a stand. These are the instructions for that:

  • Pull cord straight out to the right until fully extended
  • Stand your cover up in a vertical position and fully bend open the cover until the back edge meets the front edge of the cover
  • Place the end of the looped cord onto the leather tab sewn onto the edge of the inside cover next to the wool pad
  • Check to make sure that the knots on either side of the looped end are secure against the sides of the leather tab and the cord is seated deep inside the flap

Yes, these are straightforward enough to follow, but I have no desire to follow them. For me, an iPad case that doubles as a stand should make it very quick and easy to do, and to switch back. There’s just now way I want to mess with those steps each time I want to use the case as a stand. I would love to see Oberon drop the bungee cords altogether.

– It doesn’t support the iPad’s automatic sleep/wake feature.

– It’s not a super light case; it adds a pretty substantial amount of weight to the iPad mini. The iPad mini (cellular model) weighs 0.69 pounds. The Celtic Hounds Cover is listed as 1 lb, 4 oz with the device.

– The case has quite a roomy fit, leaving a fair bit of ‘extra’ material around the iPad mini where the case extends past the side, top, and bottom of the device – so again, the overall size of the mini is substantially increased. It’s listed as a case that accommodates four different devices (Nook Color, Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 and the mini) – it would be much nicer to have it tailor-made for the iPad mini.

Here’s a shot where you can hopefully see the excess material:

Side View

Overall

The Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover is a great case for the iPad mini. You’d be hard pressed to find a more beautiful case for any iPad or mobile device. I’m amazed at the quality of it with its pricetag of $69.50. It looks and feels like a premium quality case and will certainly turn some heads if you have it a meeting or with you at a coffee shop.

For me, it’s more of a ‘transport’ case – a case to use while taking the iPad mini from Point A to Point B, rather than a ‘have it on all the time’ sort of case. Others’ mileage may vary on that point, of course.

What I’d really love to see is an Oberon case of this type custom-made for the iPad mini and without the bungee cords.

You can see lots more detail on this case and place an order on the Oberson Design product page for the Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover.

Disclosure: Oberon Design provided this case as a review unit. For information on our review policies please see our About page.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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