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02-07-2013, 12:10 PM #1
The SurfacePad for iPhone 5 from Twelve South is Elegant and Minimal
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.
Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 02-07-2013 at 12:22 PM.
02-07-2013, 12:29 PM #2
The difference with Anthony's reviews and Kyle's is that Kyle always has exceptional lighting in the shots.
02-07-2013, 12:59 PM #3
Why thank you Jedi.
02-07-2013, 01:09 PM #4
I just think it's because of your pool.
02-07-2013, 01:40 PM #5
Can anyone tell me how it connects to the back of the iphone? (Clipped on, sticks to it, etc) I can't find any videos on it that will show me.
02-07-2013, 01:45 PM #6
02-07-2013, 01:51 PM #7
02-07-2013, 01:53 PM #8
Frequently Asked Questions
How does SurfacePad attach to the iPhone?
The SurfacePad attaches to your iPhone with a modern adhesive that has been used on our SurfacePad for MacBook for years. It installs easily and can even be removed and reinstalled multiple times. This means you can use SurfacePad as your minimal everyday cover, and take it off temporarily when your weekend adventures call for more rugged protection.
02-07-2013, 02:08 PM #9
Why we even bother reviewing cases anymore is beyond me. Let's get real: it's a hunk of cheap materials with a "luxury" theme. This thing's name only illustrates that point. It's garbage.
02-07-2013, 02:19 PM #10
did you guys actually try using your phone with this thing before writing the review? two big points: 1) what do you do when you call people? leave the flap open or fold it back so its 2x as thick? same question with texting. 2) the flap doesn't actually close and stay flush against the screen - it always remains slightly open. maybe it will close after months of being worn in but definitely not in the first week.
02-07-2013, 02:42 PM #11
As soon as I saw the flap it was automatically dismissed!
02-07-2013, 03:08 PM #12
Using adhesive to attach the case to my phone is a bit of a turn-off. Would much rather have magnets.
I am always taking the case off of my phone to wipe it down, and whatnot.
Anyhow, I would love to get my hands on one of these to try it out. Maybe I am wrong about the adhesive.
02-07-2013, 03:30 PM #13
02-08-2013, 03:10 AM #14
02-14-2013, 10:34 AM #15
adhesive? doesnt your iphone get sticky after you remove it? lol
08-08-2014, 03:11 PM #16
So elegant i want this
11-29-2015, 06:32 AM #17
Purchased this directly from Twelve South, the white version for iPhone 5. Within two weeks the seam split on the leather. Twelve South replaced with a new one that lasted 1.5 weeks. No rough treatment, no abuse, just simple use. The product has a defect in the adhesive used to assemble, yet Twelve South will not acknowledge the issue.