Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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August 27, 2011 • Reviews

iPad and iPad2 Accessory Review: Aligata Premium Leather Sleeve

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Our friend Tom from Aligata leather goods has done a great job of expanding his line of leather cases for the iPhone, iPad and other assorted devices. We took a look at his first iPad case well over a year ago. We also reviewed his Leather Envelope for the iPad. After that it was his iPhone sleeve that we focused on. Then, back in March, we took a quick look at some of the items that would be expanding the Aligata line. This is the first of a few of the new Aligata items we’ll be looking at; the Premium Leather Sleeve for iPad 1 and 2.

 

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From Aligata:

Simple, but very elegant and durable. It has been designed for both iPad 2 and iPad 1. It will also fit iPad 2 wearing Smart Case.

This sleeve will perfectly protect your device from accidental hits. Its edges are designed to absorb even strong impacts.

It provides very easy and quick access to your iPad thanks to the open edge.

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The Sleeve comes in three different versions, the Nude Beauty, Nippon and Black Espresso. It is worth checking out what Tom has to say about each since they have unique characteristics that may help determine which is right for you.

Nude Beauty leather

Premium, thick, genuine bovine leather. It has very elegant, innocent, clean look. Its surface is natural grain, which means that the original structure of the surface has been retained (as opposed to corrected grain leathers, where surface has been torn off and printed artificially). It is undyed at all. No toxic chemicals have been used during the vegetable tanning process. Nude Beauty leather is very vulnerable to dirt and liquids. You have to be careful not to stain it with coffee or any other colorful liquids. Nude Beauty leather will get darker and softer when used regularly. It will additionally darken when exposed to sunshine. To make the leather softer, darker and more stainproof, you can treat it with neatsfoot oil, mink oil or leather grease.

Nippon leather

Premium, thick, genuine bovine leather. It is softer than Nude Beauty and has more artistic look. Its surface is natural grain, which means that the original structure of the surface has been retained (as opposed to corrected grain leathers, where surface has been torn off and printed artificially). It is delicately dyed, its color delicately oscillates between brown and orange. No toxic chemicals have been used during the vegetable tanning process. Nippon leather is vulnerable to dirt and liquids. You have to be careful not to stain it with coffee or any other colorful liquids. Nippon leather will get darker and softer when used regularly. It will additionally darken when exposed to sunshine. To make the leather softer, darker and more stainproof, you can treat it with neatsfoot oil, mink oil or leather grease.

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Black Espresso leather

Premium, thick, genuine bovine leather. It is very uniform and elegant. This leather is also very durable. A safe choice for both business and home use. Its surface is natural grain, which means that the original structure of the surface has been retained (as opposed to corrected grain leathers, where surface has been torn off and printed artificially). It is black dyed through. No toxic chemicals have been used during the vegetable tanning process. Thanks to its color Black Espresso leather is immune to dirt, it is stainproof. Black Espresso leather will get a shiny surface and become softer when used regularly. There is no need to additionally treat this kind of leather in any special way.

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As you can see, the Aligata Premium Leather Sleeve is as simple as it is gorgeous. The sleeve is just that, a sleeve made from two pieces of leather that are sewn together on three sides. The thread is thick, the lines are clean and there is a subtle scoring along the side that is not sewn together that adds to the simple but finished look.

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Once again Tom opted to put the Aligata name on the sleeve in a small, subtle and tasteful manner. Yes, it is front and center on the case but it adds to the look rather than detracting the way so many embossed logos do.

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The inside of the sleeve is not lined but it is quite soft. In my testing of the sleeve I did not encounter any scratching of my iPad. (Yes, it HAD been a concern at first but it proved to be my issue not the sleeve’s.)

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Here’s a slightly different angle that offers a better view.

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Since this is a sleeve the iPad simply slips into the open end. At first you will find the fit to be a bit tight even with the thinner iPad 2. Because this is natural leather, however, it will soften and loosen over time.

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Once the iPad is seated as far down as it can go it is all but covered in thick leather. As Tom notes in the description of the sleeve, one end of the iPad is left a bit exposed. This is by design and lets you grab the iPad in one quick motion.

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And therein lies my only criticism. The leather is gorgeous and the build quality is what we have come to expect from Aligata. Tom really takes pride in his products and is passionate about what he is doing. Still, the portion of the iPad that remains exposed is a bit of a concern for me. Truth is, If I am putting my iPad in a case, be it a portfolio or a sleeve, I want to know that it is totally protected. On the other hand (there’s always bother hand) my concern comes, in part, from an unusual choice I have made with my iPad 2. You see, I have opted to NOT cover the screen or the back with any sort of protection. I have NEVER done this before but I love how the metal and glass feel when I use the device. If I had my iPad wrapped in any sort of protective film I don’t think I would have taken as much notice of the exposed portion. At the end of the day it is a choice between 360? protection and easy accessibility and that is often a matter of personal preference.

Aligata’s Premium Leather Sleeve for iPad 1 and 2 is available in Nude Beauty, Nippon and Black Espresso. Details, more images and ordering can be found here on the Aligata website.

MSRP: $59.90

What I Like: Gorgeous leather; Beautifully crafted and nicely constructed; an impressive warranty from someone who takes great pride in his products; three nice choices of leather

What Needs Improvement: One edge of the iPad remains exposed; Initially a tight fit

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