A while back, we showed you the BookBook for iPhone 5 from Twelve South
, a leather book-styled case that could hold credit cards and money. Today, we will show you the brand new SurfacePad for iPhone 5; also from Twelve South.
The SurfacePad is made from premium Napa Leather, and it has that new car smell to it. It is intended for minimalists, as it has no real protection for the iPhone, apart from keeping the device itself from coming into contact with surfaces that you set it down on and causing scratches. The SurfacePad offers next to no drop protection, and just about zero shock protection – but it looks good!
The SurfacePad does not snap on to the iPhone. It uses a reusable sticky adhesive that will not damage your iPhone or leave any residue behind. Since it’s reusable, if you place it on the adhesive crooked, you can simply remove the iPhone and stick it back on to your liking. It is recommended that you wipe off your iPhone with a microfiber cloth before attaching it, to minimize dust.
The inside of the SurfacePad is made to keep your iPhone’s screen scratch-free. The interior feels soft, and cradles the iPhone’s display with care when closed. The SurfacePad name is etched into the soft interior, which is gray in color.
Two volume button designs are engraved into the Napa leather on the side of the SurfacePad so you know where to press to adjust the volume. They're very easy to press without any problems. To access the ringer/silent switch, you will need to open the SurfacePad, as there is no opening to allow access because it would reduce the structural stability of the folding SurfacePad. The power button is exposed to the elements of the earth, as is the SIM card slot, so you'll have no problems accessing those either. The bottom of the iPhone is also exposed, so you'll have no problems fitting any headphone accessories, Lightning cables, or accessing the bottom microphone or speaker.
The camera of the iPhone is also exposed to the elements, however because of the design of the SurfacePad, it won’t touch any surfaces that you set the iPhone facedown on. Because of the nice open space offered for the camera, nothing gets in the way of your photographs and the rear-facing microphone and LED flash are also given enough space to operate correctly.
If you were wondering what the seam on the back of the SurfacePad was for, well… the SurfacePad doubles as a stand. You can fold it along that seam to watch videos, have FaceTime calls, and even read in landscape mode. While you’re using the SurfacePad as a stand, you’re constantly reminded that you have a SurfacePad because of the logo right at the edge of the case. Because of the soft and grippy interior, the iPhone doesn't slide when you stand it up.
The SurfacePad feels very nice in your hand because of that smooth Napa leather. The case is feather-light because it's so minimalist, so you really only feel the weight of the iPhone itself. All of the seams line up nicely with the industrial design of the iPhone, and it feels like a high quality product. The Twelve South logo can be seen on the front of the SurfacePad, engraved in the leather.
The SurfacePad comes in three different colors – White, Black, and Red. It is available for the iPhone 5, as well as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. It retails for $34.99 on Twelve South's Web site
with free shipping in the United States.
Because the SurfacePad is so elegant and stylish, we love it. Unfortunately, it’s not very useful in terms of protection. It's not a case. It's a SurfacePad.
We’re giving Twelve South's SurfacePad 3.5 out of 5 leaves.