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Pad & Quill Octavo iPad Case 2 Looks Great but is Bulky



The Pad & Quill Octavo case  for the iPad 2 is a leather bound case that looks great on the iPad 2. This case is crafted with care and you can tell that when you pick it up.

Pad & Quill is known for producing high quality cases that protect your tablet, computer or iPhone with a touch of class giving users a classic book-like experience even though they’re holding a very modern electronic device. Their extremely high quality comes at a price, but you have to pay for nice things.

I tested a pair of Pad & Quill cases – the Octavo for the Apple iPad and the Fire Keeper for the Amazon Kindle Fire. The Octavo case for the Apple iPad 2 is a premium case but has a couple of drawbacks.

Video Review

The following covers both the Octavo for Apple iPad 2 and the Fire Keeper for the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Design and Build Quality

The Octavo shines in design and build quality. The manufacturer paid close attention to craftsmanship and detail. You get a case with a Baltic birch frame you know won’t fall apart soon. The cover looks like a fine leather-bound ledger or book. They accent the black leather cover with one of three attractive internal colors – Cranberry Red, Camden Blue or Field Green.

The attention to detail you expect from fine products exudes quality. You can also get the options of an internal pocket for papers. Pad & Quill sent me the beautiful Field Green accented case that has a matching bookmark used to pull the device out of the tightly fitting case (see the video above).

Octavo Case

Every case must have one feature to stay on my iPad 2 – the magnetic on/off function that you get with the Apple Smart Cover. Open the Octavo and the device wakes. Close it and it goes to sleep. That feature pleased me.

Octavo bottom

A Few Drawbacks

While I really liked the other Pad & Quill cases I’ve used including one for my MacBook Air and the Fire Keeper for my Kindle Fire, I’m less enthusiastic about the Octavo for a few reasons. First, it feels too bulky. I like a thin and snug case that doesn’t add much thickness or girth to the iPad 2. The Octavo doubles the thickness of the iPad 2 and adds about half an inch to the length and width making it feel like you’re carrying a very large textbook or ledger. They claim it’s the “slimmest design ever” but you still feel like you’re carrying around a big book instead of a thin tablet.

Octavo Inside

You can remove the case fairly easily with the bookmark. At first I had trouble getting my iPad 2 out of the case and mentioned it in the video above. However, you get the hang of it and it isn’t that hard. You could just use the case to protect it and pull the iPad out when you’re sitting down at home or at the office. But I’d rather have a case I can use all the time.

Octavo Volume Button Cutout

In addition to the bulk, the case makes it difficult to reach the volume buttons and the toggle switch used for either rotation lock or muting the iPad 2. The cutouts aren’t big enough for my fat fingers. If you use these buttons a lot, the case will frustrate you. This wasn’t a problem on their other cases, but its a significant issue for the Octavo.

Octavo Pocket

Finally, I want my iPad case to double as a stand. You can prop it up using the cover flipped over the back at about an 80 degree angle, which isn’t comfortable for viewing or typing if you are a tall person. Any lower and the iPad 2 will easily slide on most slick surfaces, like a wooden table or desk, falling flat. If you open the cover and fold it over the back you get an ever so slight incline, but not enough to make it comfortable or useful while laying your iPad down on a table.

Octavo Camera Cutout


The Octavo costs $59.99 from Pad & Quill and because of the above problems seems over priced. I can recommend their other cases, but not this one. It looks elegant and beautifully made. Sadly, the Octavo has serious flaws. The bulk of the case makes it cumbersome to carry. The tiny cutout around the volume and toggle switch frustrates and you can’t use it as a stable stand. I’d pass on the Octavo.

If you have a Kindle Fire, check out my review and do yourself a favor. Get the Fire Keeper from Pad & Quill. Also, check out their attractive new note taking app for iPhone and iPad for $.99.



  1. Tablet Cases

    01/29/2012 at 11:33 am

    as far as book cases go, pad & quill is reasonably priced. dodocase is also priced around $60. if you got a thick wallet, you can also go for german made ipad cases, but those come at $100+ and include $35 shipping fees to USA

  2. Bear

    03/18/2012 at 4:55 am

    Are you kidding me? The Share buttons on this site overlay the text (on an iPad, anyway), so you have to scroll the story to the top or bottom of the page to read it? Fail.

    And while I’m composing this message, the Share buttons overlay the left of the message and there’s no way around it, since the keyboard takes up the rest of the screen.

    Does even test their site on mobile devices?

  3. Darek Kurpius

    02/04/2015 at 4:50 pm

    How about inventing a grip to hold on the sides for gaming. Maybe pistol grips or even holes for fingers. Make them fold in and out! It is hard to hold iPad for a long time.

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