I dread shopping for iPhone and iPad cases. I always end up buying something, returning it, sometimes buying it back, never using it, giving it away, and the list goes on. Now it’s a must that I read reviews before I purchase any case or get a recommendation from someone whose opinion I trust. Since I know how daunting this task may be for some I’m glad that I get to share my sentiments about some new products that I’ve recently received.

For the first time I’m actually happy to offer my opinion on two cases that were sent to me from Cygnett. Admittedly, I’ve never heard of the company before but I’m very glad that I now know they exist. They have a ton of cases that seem to fit a wide variety of needs, lifestyles, and preferences.

The first case, is one that I received is for my absolutely beloved new iPad. I’ve been yearning to get my hands on the perfect case for my new treasured obsession. For this iPad alone I purchased two smart covers, two Michael Kors iPad cases, two Belkin cases, and a Targus case. Needless to say I only have the one smart cover left.

After all of those cases I think the Alumni case is one that I could really see myself using on a daily basis. It’s just missing one feature that I don’t use everyday, but I’d prefer to have it on my go to case.

The Alumni Blue iPad Case retails for about $49.99.

I love the color of this case. It’s fun, refreshing, unique and really stands out in the crowd. Cygnett gets an A for recognizing that bright colors are a hit especially with women. Though the website has the color listed as Blue this is more of a Turquoise with predominantly blui looks blue sometimes and I prefer this shade by a mile. That is probably my greatest disappointment with Apple’s Smart Cover line. All of the colors look sad and depressing. Pink looks like Peptol Bismol, blue looks like something a baby would wear, and I only got the dark Grey because I didn’t think it would get dirty as easily as the light grey but it’s rather ugly in my opinion.

The canvas material is something that I have to get used to however. All of my previous cases have generally been leather, or some type of imitation leather. This canvas, though not my first choice, isn’t bad. The leather style trim around the spine helps to elevate the look and quality. I also really like the grey rubbery logo on the front of the case. It has a nice feel to it.

The Alumni case adds some height and width to the iPad. Unlike some cases that snap around the edges and and hug the device with just a slight bump in bulk, this case adds about a good half and inch around the entire device. This is not a big complaint especially because the case itself is pretty light. I’d be more concerned if my iPad weighed significantly more with this case but the additional size is an observation that should be noted. It feels like I’m holding a big notebook, or a big journal. The iPad with the case on still remains relatively thin which is a must for me.

There is a convenient inside pocket that Cygnett boasts will come in handy for notes. But unfortunately, I take all of my notes on the iPad now so I don’t see me getting much use out of this feature. However, it should be nice for those who still use paper once in a while. I would have much preferred a place to “officially” keep my stylus. Now, here is where that extra space around the edges of the iPad comes in handy. I managed to hook my stylus into one of the bindings. This is IDEAL for someone like me that relies on a stylus everyday. I am absolutely thrilled that I can keep my stylus there because I tend to forget it at work or at home. I just ended up buying 3 so I always have one conveniently stashed but that’s not typical for the average consumer so this is a much better solution. This is an A+ in my book.

The only slight complaint that I have about the look of this case is that it wraps around the front of my iPad so that it cover up some of the white trim. I really like the iPad’s style in white and so covering it up bothers me slightly. But the iPad color is not completely obscured to where I can only see the screen so I’m only flagging this as a minor offense.

There is a cut-out for the rear camera on the back of the case and this is necessary because since the upgrade of the iPad optics I’ve found myself using the iPad camera much more often than before. I would hate to have to remove my iPad to simply take a picture. But Cygnett has clearly got that covered.

I love this type of case where the sensitive areas are covered up. And my definition of sensitive means the screen and the back. These folio type cases are great for someone like me because I can toss it in my bag and not worry about the back getting unsightly scratches or my screen getting keyed.

One the requirements for any case I purchase hence forth is that it must have the sleep wake function. With my iPad 2 I neglected to have that feature. But since buying a smart cover this time around I’m unsurprisingly spoiled. Needless to say I was ecstatic to see this feature available for the Alumni and it works!! Some of the new iPad cases like the Targus one that I bought at Best Buy despite the fact that it claimed support of the sleep wake function it didn’t work as advertised. This case worked and my heart lit up with pure joy. It’s slightlyyyy slower at waking up the iPad as compared to the Smart Cover but it’s no big deal. It won’t cause you to miss any deadlines.

My only gripe with this case is its inability to act as a stand. I really thought about it and I don’t often use that feature but it’s something that’s nice to have. For example, since my mother recently also upgraded to the new iPad she loves to FaceTime with me. She and my dad were helping my perfect a recipe the other day and I placed my iPad in the kitchen while I cooked and they looked on in what was probably ridicule and embarrassment. But it was great to be able to prop the iPad in a good position so that they could monitor my actions. This case is not really built to work as a stand though I’m sure I could get it to be positioned at certain angles but I wouldn’t be surprised if it fell down.

At the end of the day this is a case that I would use without hesitation. It’s stylish and functional and comes in at a reasonable price for the features. My smart cover alone was $40 so I would definitely add $10 and get the other perks of having a case like this.

I’d recommend this for people who use a stylus with a clip, love bright colors, want the sleep wake functionality, and need medium to low protection for their iPad.

The iPhone Metalicus Case

I like the idea of iPhone cases but I’m a minimalist when it comes to using one on a daily basis.

The iPhone 4S (and 4) is a work of art. It’s beautiful without a case and the only case that I bought and have been using since I got my device is the Elago S4 slim case in white. It doesn’t really add much protection but it’s sufficient for my needs.

The Metalicus iPhone case from Cygnett worried me at first. I typically despise snap cases. They are cumbersome, hard to remove, and bulky.

The Metalicus is surprisingly none of those. I actually really dig the metallic inspired style that reminds me of the finish on the Macbook Pro. It’s a nice complement to the white as I don’t feel like the color takes away from design as much as on other cases. The case also doesn’t feel or look cheap. It adds a little bit of size to my iPhone that I’m not used to but I’m sure this is something that will go away with time.

I wish the trim around the edges was white and not black though. A white trim would have worked better with a white iPhone but I’m sure it looks good for those that like the black model iPhone instead.

I like the fact that all of my buttons are still easily accessible as the Metalicus leaves a good amount of the device exposed. I don’t like having to struggle to connect my power cable or hit the sleep button, or plug in my headphones.

I think this case offers a nice balance between style and protection. I have a few nicks around the edge of my iPhone from a few falls thanks to my new puppy and had I used a case like this I’m almost positive my iPhone would still be pristine.

What I don’t like about the Metalicus case is the price. I think $40 is too much for an iPhone case. If they considered reducing the price by even $10 I’d be all over it.

But it is stylish, and offers a good amount of protection so if those things are key then I say that it’s worth it.

Also worth noting is that the case comes with a cleaning cloth and screen protector. That will surely be a good thing for people who like even more protection for their phones. I don’t really use screen protectors as I feel they take away from the quality of the display but there are many who feel differently and I’m glad that Cygnett is catering to the masses.

If you want to check out more of what Cygnett has to offer and I suggest you do visit their website. You can also follow them on Twitter to stay up to date with their latest releases. I know I will.


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