iPad cases are ten a penny these days. Bored of the plastic and rubbery finishes all too common, Pocket-lint stumbled upon a rather quirky sounding company based here in the UK: Etch, which just so happens to produce bamboo cases with laser-cut designs carved out of them.
The Etch treatment elevates the humble iPad case - or a case for just about any Apple device, for that matter - from ordinary to extraordinary; its bamboo cases not only have the quirk of that wood finish, but it's possible to laser-cut pretty much any design into the case itself. If you're feeling particularly indulgent, there's the option to effectively "tattoo" a design into the device itself - but there's no going back from that.
Etch A Sketch this isn't; we're not talking any old designs either. Pocket-lint teamed up with our designer friend Alex Gill - an independent London-based artist and film-poster designer at OTM entertain - to produce an original piece to have carved into our iPad case.
The finished article, a floral depiction of a Mexican wrestling mask, was full of intricacies to test just how refined this laser-cutting process is. The answer: very fine, as you can see from our pictures of the finished article, this case not only looks uber cool but it's also full of intricate finery too.
To all the designers out there: Etch can cater for your higher-spec needs. We submitted a black and white vector-based AI (EPS) file pulled from Adobe Illustrator, but it's also possible to run PDF, PNG, and JPEG files should you prefer. Just be careful with sizing them correctly to fit the device and save at decent quality - yet no bigger than 15MB - to avoid lack of edge definition and artefacts in the file itself.
To the non-designers out there: the Etchwork website also has a selection of artist-made designs which encompass a variety of styles, all ready to select at your leisure. Simpler text-based designs or logos also ought to be easy to pull from relevant sources if you fancy the business angle. Or track down a talented designer friend and plead with them to make you something memorable as a special treat.
Pricing starts small and gets bigger - the natural bamboo case for the iPad 3 shown here costs £50 with a £25 supplement for the laser treatment. That's the price of personalisation: we say it's well worth it.
Visit etchwork.com for further information.