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I'm a total Apple addict, as you might tell.

iPad 3 Portenzo Case

I’ve had my DODOCase for a year. I was very impressed with its construction. I carry it everywhere I go. I love the way it makes my iPad look just like a book. People at work are always commenting on how neat of an idea it is.

When it came time to buy the iPad 3, a new DODOCase was the obvious choice. However, the one thing I never liked about the DODOCase was how I was never able to take pictures or shoot video while it was in the case. There is no hole in the back for the camera. It’s a real pain to have to take the iPad out of the case every time I want to take a picture. I usually just end up grabbing my iPhone. Needless to say, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a picture or shot a video with the iPad 2. Seems kind of a waste. If there was a hole in the back, I think I’d me more inclined to use the camera.

It hit up the DODOCase website and was pleased to see that they finally added a hole for the camera as well as Smart Cover magnets. I have dropped my DODOCase, and I have to say that the case did not fair too well. The bamboo cracked on the bottom at both ends and I had to glue it back together. I only dropped it from waist height and it landed on carpet. So I think it’s safe to assume that it wouldn’t survive another fall. I can only image the horror if it landed on concrete or tile. I wanted something maybe just a little stronger. The DODOCase offerings looked pretty good, but I wondered if there was something else out there. Something else I had never seen. I still wanted that book look and feel, but didn’t know if there were any competitors.

I Googled for “DODOCase alternatives” and was thrilled to find that there are indeed a few alternatives. I wont talk about all of them, but I will talk about the one I settled on: Portenzo. The Portenzo cases look just like books and look a lot stronger. They offer way more in terms of customization too. They have way more color options to choose from. They don’t use a bamboo insert either, they use a much stronger multi-ply wooden frame that looks like it’s milled from a single piece of wood. I can’t image it would break like the DODOCase when there are no seems or joints to crack. You can pick and choose you options as far as a camera hole, Smart Cover magnets, and an elastic strap. You can make it just the way you like it.

Standard issue cases from both companies are $59.95. Smart Cover magnets are included in the DODOCase, but cost an additional $10 from Portenzo. Portenzo lets you lose the elastic strap if you want it to look more like a book. Both companies charge an additional $5 to add a camera hole. DODOCase does offer the option to have text printed in various places, but that was something I wasn’t really interested in. If I ever hand my iPad 3 down to my wife or kids in favor of a new model, it would be lame to have my initials printed on the case. Portenzo also has some additional options that DODOCase doesn’t have, You can have them built in a compartment for a stylus. It makes the case a little wider, but not by much. They also have an “IntelliStand” option that builds an extra crease into the case that allows the back cover to fold into a stand that better props up the iPad in landscape mode for watching movies.

Portenzo also offers a case that looks just like an old school marble composition notebook. I wanted it as soon as I saw it. It’s an extra $20 for the theme, a little questionable if it’s worth all that, but I just had to go for it. Adding the Smart Cover magnets and the camera hole brought the price up to $95 bucks. Very expensive for a case, I know. But I’m not comfortable protecting my $700 iPad with a cheap flimsy $30 case. Go big, or go home.

As with the DODOCase, each one is built to order, so it took about two weeks to complete. Without further ado, I give you the Portenzo case:

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Isn’t it awesome? It even came with a shammy.

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It’s a tight fit. It took a little effort to get the iPad in, but I don’t think it’s ever going to fall out. The magnets work as advertised. As soon as you enable the option in System Preferences, the iPad wakes when you lift the cover and goes to sleep when you close it.

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To secure the iPad, the DODOCase uses little leather-like inserts that are glued into the corners. If my palm rested on one of the corners for a while, it would feel sticky. It took a few weeks for the glue to fully cure on mine and the stickiness eventually went away. For the Portenzo case, they do something completely different. They have little rubber bumpers that are embedded within the frame that tightly hold the iPad. They almost “lock” it in place, and there’s no messy glue.

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Unless the DODOCase, the Portenzo case has some channels worked into the wood to force the speaker output towards you, a very nice design move.

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The hole for the camera works great too. I was expecting a nice round hole, as opposed to a rectangle, but it does the trick.

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I’m thrilled to be able to finally use the camera while it’s in the case. Here’s the view of my Classic Mac through the camera. Works great.

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Let’s do some more DODOCase/Portenzo comparisons. As far as the overall size goes, they are identical.

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The DODOCase is more open along the top and the bottom. I like how the Portenzo case is only open at the ports. That offers a little more stability and the case doesn’t feel as “squeezy” as the DODOCase.

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I always found it a little difficult getting in and flicking the rotation lock switch. On the Portenzo case, they made it really easy to get your finger in there.

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Just look at those corners compared to the DODOCase. It’s one solid piece all the way around. No seems to split, and no more cracked or broken corners.

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I’m thrilled with this case. If you’re a fan of DODOCase, you’l love Potenzo. I really think it’s the better choice.