Pad & Quill Contega for the new iPad review

Wrap your new iPad in handcrafted leather and birch with Pad & Quill's classic Contega case

The Pad & Quill Contega case for the new iPad updates their iPad 2 case for Apple's third generation tablet. Granted, it's not a major change -- they've teased that will come soon enough -- but it does make the adjustments necessary to get an already fabulous case working on the latest iPad. That makes this review really simple: if you loved the Contega on your iPad 2, you'll love it on your new iPad. If you didn't try it on your previous iPad, or this is your first iPad, and you're a fan of the moleskin look and feel, then you're in for a real treat.

Pad & Quill cases are lovingly created by Mr. & Mrs. PQ in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and locally handcrafted out of the finest Spanish bonded leather and single sheet Baltic birch. They're traditional, artesanal, beautiful. Like we said in our previous review, there's just something about wrapping Apple's latest glass and aluminum technology in old world materials...

The Contega is P&Q's higher end case and has several great features, both carried over from the previous generation and new for the new iPad model. The Baltic birch frame is now stronger than ever and has a Sure-Lock bumper system to hold your new iPad securely in place. The cover contains the same kind of magnets as Apple's own Smart Cover, so opening and closing the Contega turns your iPad on and off, just like the Smart Cover. It's got a sound channel that redirects as much of the iPad's tiny speaker back at you as possible, and a cutout for the camera so you don't have to remove your new iPad to use the much improved new camera. And the Contega also includes a secret hidden pocket for your secret hidden papers!

The Pad & Quill Contega case for the new iPad is black on the outside but hides a colored heart within -- camden blue, cranberry red, field green, plum, and french roast are your options. (Those last two are new to the new model.) Because of rather cunning grooves inside the cover, you can also use the Contega to prop up your iPad for easy video watching -- at two different angles. Flip it over, and the cover works to hold your iPad at a better typing angle as well. Close it up, and a handy elastic snaps around to hold it closed.

The good

  • Stunningly beautiful design
  • Amazing craftsmanship
  • Can be easily positioned for easy typing or video watching
  • Hidden pocket for papers

The bad

  • Leather and wood is bulkier than plastic film

The bottom line

Because of it's relative bulk and classical design, and the premium price for such a premium product, the Pad & Quill Contega will never appeal to every iPad user. Nor should it. Art isn't about mass appeal. It's about being authentic and making a statement. For those who want to carry their iPad around with the comfort and flair of an old world book, the Pad & Quill Contega remains the gold standard.

$99 - Buy now

Update: The fine folks at Pad & Quill have been gracious enough to send us a coupon code for iMore readers! Just enter iMR31 on checkout and received 10% off the Octavo and/or Contega cases for the new iPad (3rd generation).


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector and Isometric podcasts, follow her on Twitter @Georgia_Dow and check out her series at