Review: Pad & Quill's Oxford Case for iPad Pro Works With Apple's Smart Keyboard

by

Many cases for the iPad Pro add a lot of unnecessary bulk, a problem the Oxford Leather Case from Pad & Quill solves through the clever use of adhesive. Featuring a simple book-style design that offers full front and back protection, the Oxford Leather iPad Pro Case uses a strong adhesive to hold the iPad Pro firmly in place while leaving it free to be used with the Smart Keyboard.

Design

Opening a Pad & Quill product is fun because Pad & Quill excels at packaging. The Oxford Case came wrapped in a simple bit of thick brown paper, sealed with red wax and the Pad & Quill insignia. It's tasteful packaging and I always enjoy when manufacturers put a little effort into the unwrapping experience.

padandquillpackaging
Pad & Quill's Oxford Case, like many of its products, is carefully crafted by hand from high-quality leather. In this case, it's made from a single piece of full-grain bridle leather and comes in two colors: Whiskey and Chestnut. An expensive, high-quality leather pairs nicely with Apple's larger-screened tablet, and the Oxford's design looks like it will work equally well in business and casual situations.

padandquilllook
Leather like this will change and age over time, giving each Oxford case a unique, broken-in look to add personality, so that's something to keep in mind when considering this option. Inside the case, there's a softer leather to protect the iPad's screen, and there's also an interior pocket to hold papers and the Apple Pencil.

padandquillinside
I wasn't a fan of sticking the Apple Pencil inside the pocket of the Oxford because it adds a noticeable bulge in the case, but I did find it handy for the stray papers I normally keep tucked in my daily planner.

The Oxford is a folio or book-style case, which means it offers full front and back protection for the iPad Pro when it is closed. To keep it closed tight while in a bag or backpack, there's an elastic strap like one might find on a journal.

padandquillinsidewithipad
On the inside of the Oxford case, there are adhesive tabs on one side. The paper covering the tabs will need to be removed and the iPad Pro will need to be stuck to the adhesive, keeping it firmly in place. Due to the adhesive, the Oxford should be treated as something of a permanent case, not one to be removed frequently. If the adhesive does start to become less sticky after the iPad Pro is removed, Pad & Quill does sell extra adhesive.

I held my iPad Pro upside down and shook it vigorously for approximately 10 minutes and the adhesive held strong, but it's still something that has the potential to fail or degrade over time, so that's something that should be kept in mind when using this case. I wouldn't go out of my way to shake my iPad Pro or hold it upside down, even though the adhesive seems to work well.

Smart Keyboard Compatibility

The cover of the Oxford case is designed in a way that lets it work with Apple's Smart Keyboard, and I found this feature to be quite clever. At the back of the Oxford case, there's an area where adhesive is not used, which lets the iPad Pro be lifted away from the cover. From there, the case can be bent to form a stand for the iPad, which, as it turns out, is also pretty handy for watching videos.

padandquilldisplaymode
With the back over positioned as a stand, the iPad Pro's Smart Connector is free to connect to the Smart Keyboard. Connecting the Oxford to the Smart Keyboard is a matter of lining up the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro to the Smart Connector of the Smart Keyboard and then tucking the cover behind the iPad Pro.

padandquillwithsmartkeyboard
It's easy to get the Smart Keyboard connected to the iPad Pro and in the right position, and as I said before, the cover of the Oxford case itself works great as a stand when watching TV or reading in bed or with the iPad Pro on a lap. The only downside is that using the Oxford case in this way does produce a noticeable line on the back -- this didn't bother me, but it is easy to see and ruins some of the clean aesthetic of the case.

padandquillsmartkeyboardfit
Since it works as a stand, the Oxford case can also be paired with standalone Bluetooth keyboards. Having the option to use the Oxford as a stand or pair it with the Smart Keyboard was a pleasant surprise for me, and a feature that I appreciated as the iPad Pro is more of a permanent case that shouldn't be frequently removed.

padandquillbendline

Bottom Line

Given its thin size, attractive exterior, Smart Keyboard compatibility, and ability to provide total protection for the iPad Pro, the Oxford Leather Case from Pad & Quill will definitely appeal to some users who are looking for those features.

The use of adhesive is going to be a turn off for other people, positioning the Oxford Leather Case as a love it or hate it product. Holding the iPad Pro in place via adhesive is a clever way to keep it secure without adding bulk, but adhesive always has a chance of failing and it's going to prevent the iPad Pro from being removed from the case for the most part.

padandquillstanding
For someone who wants permanent all-around protection for the iPad Pro, the Oxford Leather Case is a good option. It's undeniably attractive and it's not going to add too much extra weight to the iPad. Being able to use it with the Smart Keyboard and as a stand is an added bonus.

padandquillfinal
For someone who needs more protection or wants to be able to remove their iPad Pro from its case on a regular basis, the Oxford Leather Case isn't the best choice. It's also worth noting that this isn't a stick it on and forget about it case - you're always going to want to be careful about how you pick it up due to the chance the adhesive could fail, but overall, this is a nice, slim case for the iPad Pro that has a lot going for it.

Pros:

  • Doesn't add a lot of bulk
  • Works with Smart Keyboard
  • Attractive design
  • Made from quality materials
  • Adhesive is strong

Cons:

  • iPad can't be removed often without degrading adhesive
  • There's always a chance adhesive could fail
  • Expensive

How to Buy

The Oxford Leather iPad Pro Case from Pad & Quill can be purchased from the Pad & Quill website for $129.95.

Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this review.

Top Rated Comments

Max(IT) Avatar
64 months ago
Seriously? Adhesive? Seriously?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mxmgodin Avatar
64 months ago
This looks really, really great, but adhesive tape to hold the iPad? No thank you. I prefer a case from which the device can easily be swapped in and out without struggling and/or degrading the case or even the device itself.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sza Avatar
64 months ago
"adhesive tabs on one side" ... are you kidding me???
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bubba Satori Avatar
64 months ago
Look, a hipster.
I wonder if the beard and hat have adhesive tabs?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jeahsj Avatar
58 months ago
I purchased this case and absolutely love it. The leather is high quality and the construction is excellent. The adhesive tape works perfectly. Not one concern about its strength. I don't like cases where you have to slide in an iPad or click one in and have the case cover portions of the iPad. This case with my iPad Pro is so lean and thin as there is no extra material needed. So thin, it looks like a portfolio rather than an iPad. I have a full view of the iPad, both front and all sides. I am getting many compliments on the case. Glad I found it. And yes....adhesive...seriously! ;-) Works perfectly.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bronksy Avatar
64 months ago

Chewing gum included.

Genuine hipster chewing gum.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
iPad Pro 5G and Mini LED feature

Rumored 2021 High-End iPad Pro May Feature 5G With mmWave Support

Thursday November 26, 2020 2:14 am PST by
Apple's rumored high-end iPad Pro models to be released next year will be 5G-enabled with mmWave support, according to sources cited by industry publication DigiTimes. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display next year, with the possibility that there will be an 11-inch mini-LED model too, but details beyond that have...