PQ News & Announcements

  • Apple EarPod Review

    I was very curious what the new Apple EarPod's would be like.  Considering the fact they spent years and many millions developing this new design.  The last update was about 6 years ago and that was just an internal speaker change.  These headphones are totally different.


    The first thing I noticed was the strange shape and multiple speaker/sound outlet's.  The shape is said to fit the vast majority of ears.  The speaker positions and sound outlet's are designed to reproduce quality high and low sounds similar to more expensive headphones.


    Well along with my new iPhone 5 I received these headphones and was eager to try them out.  The first thing I noticed was the they do NOT fit like a typical round earbud.  Those are designed to 'stick' in your ear socket, EarPod's do not do this.  Instead they hang at the bottom of your lower ear canal.  The feeling is strange and your sure they are going to pop right out.  When you turn on music (I had the new Muse album playing) you also note that sound is designed to work with the gap that occurs in your ear instead of being 'stuck' in your ear.  The base and highs are amazing for a $30 headphone set.  My next question was if they would stay in your ear, especially if your running.  I figured that might be a problem with these as they just hang there.  Sure enough after several hours of running, my EarPod's have yet to fall out unless I turn very quickly and unnaturally.  As a runner, the one bummer on headphones is the cord slowly yanks them out of your ears, but the way Apple designed these when the cord is yanking at them, they go no where because they are secure in your lower ear canal.  Genius.


    My overall opinion is that these are the best sounding and functioning headphones for the price on the market.  That is a huge advantage for Apple over other headphone manufacturers.  The ability to produce 10's of millions of headphones with their iOS devices gives apple great supply chain leverage and allows for high quality audio headphones at very good pricing.

    Mr. PQ

    Image via cnet.com

  • iPad Mini is here

    This past Tuesday Apple announced the iPad Mini along with updates to the Macbook Pro's, iMac and Mac Mini lines.  We've decided that making a handmade case for the iMac might not be all that practical so were going to keep our focus on the iPad Mini.


    There are many opinion pieces about the iPad Mini, some negative and some positive.  All the reviews we've seen of hands on with the device are positive.  Well built and well thought through design from Apple seems consistent in the reviews.  Aside from build,  some think Apple missed the mark by not competing in price with the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD.  These smaller 7 inch tablets are between $75 and $130.00 less then the entry level iPad Mini which starts at $329. Others seem to think the price point is justified as the Apple eco system of iOS apps, movies, and books offers a compelling reason to spend a bit more for entry into the Apple walled garden.  As with every Apple release, time will tell as the market will clearly show what interest there is for a 7 inch iPad from Apple.


    We cannot wait to show you our handmade cases for the new Apple iPad Mini.  Let's just say that 3-600 dollar Mini iPad should be protected with handmade love and attention.  We are here to meet that need!


    Mr. PQ


  • Fire Keeper for Kindle Fire HD 7

    We want to start by thanking so many of our customers for the HUGE response to our new cases for iPhone 5.  Kari, Brian, Tom, Jeff, Eric, Will, Jill and the rest of our team are thrilled. Thank you for keeping US Bookbindery jobs alive and thriving!


    Amazon Folks! We have a new case for the Kindle Fire HD 7!  The Fire Keeper has gone through a major improvement to match the greatly improved Kindle Fire HD.  We have included our Sure Lock Bumper system on this tablet book cover.  Holds your Fire very secure while making the wood frame much stronger.  So go ahead and snuggle up for a good read, or prop up on your bed for watching a great flick!





    - Hand made in Minneapolis employing traditional bindery techniques

    - Smart cover on/off feature

    - Covered in onyx black Italian bonded leather cover

    - Beautiful satin finished Baltic Birch frame

    - Interior lined with book bindery cloth in 5 colors!

    - Spine provides 'paperback' reading with full wrap around folding

    - Provides unique theft deterrence

    - Classic PQ 'bookmark' for device removal

    - Traditional Elastic strap closure

    - Pocket Option!


    Thanks again for your support of handmade goods, we are truly thankful for your business.


    Brian and Kari
    (Mr. and Mrs. PQ)

  • The Little Pocket Book for iPhone 5

    When our little idea turned into a little company and we introduced the first handmade bindery case for the iPhone back in 2010 we knew that something very unique had just been invented.  A real wood case holding an iPhone that was wrapped with traditional book bindery techniques.  This had never been done and was warmly welcomed by our customers and the press.


    Over the past two years we’ve updated the PQ shelf of Little Black Books with various changes and nice improvements. With the launch of iPhone 5 this year, we made a decision.  Set out to create a case that deserves a new bookshelf all to itself.  We introduce the Little Pocket Book for iPhone 5.  The best iPhone case we've ever crafted.

    • Thinner:  This is the thinnest case we’ve ever made.  We sourced a very unique baltic birch that allows our wood tray to be only 9.4 mm thick.  That means a 40% thinner case then our original!
    • Unique.  A case made with real baltic birch, finished to a gorgeous satin finish then covered in genuine leather.  Your iPhone just gained another talking point.
    • Leather.  Genuine, hand-stitched leather cover, custom designed by PQ to meet our high standards of quality.
    • Practical: This case does it all, with slips to hold your license, credit cards, and cash the LPB protects your iPhone in handmade glory.
    • Durable.  This one can handle a lot of abuse continuing to protect your iPhone.  Our strongest wood frame to date combined with soft leather offer excellent drop protection. (video coming soon)
    • Handmade?  You Betcha!
    • 30 Day Money Back Promise

    Also check out the new Little Pocket Book for iPhone 4/4S and the Little Black Book for iPhone 5 as well.


    We think your going to love these new cases for iPhone and our so thankful for your support of our local Minneapolis company!


    Mr. and Mrs. PQ  (Brian and Kari)




  • Getting Closer

    Stay tuned as we will be announcing the brand new iPhone 5 cases late next week as well as new Kindle cases!

    Tuaw.com just featured an article about PQ!  I am interviewed talking about prototyping our newest cases for the iPhone 5 and the challenges of getting to market with these unique handmade products.  Although not mentioned in the article, we are taking care of you Kindle lovers as well!  We are working hard on case design regarding the new Kindle Fire HD 7" and the Kindle Paperwhite.


    As I mentioned in the article the challenge for companies like PQ is being able to quickly turn around and get a high quality design and product out to our customers. We've had many folks wonder if we get early samples from Apple and Kindle for our products.  Nope!  We order them like everyone else and get to the store or mailbox early in the morning to begin the final gold prototyping of our products.


    We do a great deal of work prior to actually getting a Kindle Fire or iPhone 5 in our hands! We scan the rumor mills and eventual spec details before launch.  We measure dimensions down to the millimeter and carefully examine unique features of each device.  We even start cutting wood frames before the product is in hand to ensure a solid mechanical build.  The whole process is very hectic and at times quite stressful.  Mrs. PQ always interjects at this point, "Oh Right!...you love it"  Yeah, y0u got me there dear, guess I do.



    Mr. PQ

  • Sure Locked!

    When we invented the very first case made of baltic birch to hold an iPad we had a great deal to learn.  For the first several years we used self adhesive thin bumper system to hold iPad's in our cases.  We learned, as we worked with our customers, that the system could be improved. Striving for constant innovation we decided in late 2011 that we would develop for the iPad 3 and 2 a brand new system to work with our wood.  The goal was to provide superior hold on the iPad and create a stronger and longer lasting wood frame.


    The Sure Lock System was developed and tested in house at Pad and Quill.  We worked very closely with Eric who designs all our wood frames.  We created our own custom 3D drawing of the parts, tested many prototypes and finally landed on the perfect combination of real wood tray  and injection molded corners.  What's exciting about this development is that even the little Sure Lock Bumpers are made right here in Minnesota!


    If your looking for a unique case for your iPad, that works well and lasts long, look no further.  Pad and Quill is truly making the case for books...and bumpers!


    Check out Will from PQ showing the Sure Lock System in action!


    Sure Lock Bumper System on YouTube


    Mr. PQ

  • The warm sound of wood

    At PQ we are very proud to be carrying headphones from ThinkSound LLC.  Aaron Fournier is the CEO and chief designer of these real Wood headphones. Since our premium cases are also made of real wood, we thought the pairing of these two products seemed...natural.


    PQ currently carries the premium headphone set, the Monitor Series.  Critics like Stereophile Magazine and MacWorld agree these headphones set the bar. The Monitor series headphones are made with actual wood from a pear tree and high quality 8mm gunmetal finished speaker drivers.  The result is a headset that delivers excellent frequency response and provides the listener with a warm and gorgeous sound. Lightweight and well built, these headphones will survive any daily commute you put them through.


    Much like Pad and Quill, Aaron’s small US business is producing world class products at fair prices.  Remember that if you purchase any of our cases with a ThinkSound Monitor headphones domestic priority shipping is always FREE.


    Mr. PQ

  • iPhone 5 and The Little Black Book



    As you can imagine we are keeping close tabs on rumors regarding the next iPhone from Apple.  Our Little Black Book for iPhone is the first of it’s kind on the market and we have some big case plans for the new Apple model about to be announced.  Here is what we know about the newest device from sources including MacRumors.com, iMore.com, The Wall Street Journal and AllThingsD


    -Announcement on September 12th and Available to buy September 21st!


    -The name is either the simply ‘the new iPhone’ or iPhone 5


    -A taller screen with a new 16:9 ratio, similar to widescreen television (have fun developers) :/


    -A taller and thinner iPhone


    -LTE support, meaning much faster internet data speeds similar to iPad 3


    -New and much smaller connection port including a newly positioned headphone jack at bottom


    We cannot say yet what our newest cases look like for the new iPhone, but rest assured, what we have planned is absolutely gorgeous!


    Stay tuned for our announcements by signing up for the PQ Special Offers Newsletter. We will update you with upcoming iPhone case news, including case updates for the iPad Mini and new Kindles!


    Mr PQ

  • 30 Day Money Back Promise

    We sell all of our cases exclusively online, one of the concerns we hear often is that folks are unable to touch, hold and use these hand made gems prior to purchasing.  We have recognized that need and have decided to start an entirely new agreement with perspective customers.


    The 30 Day Money Back Promise is comprised of a simple commitment: If your not happy with the case, you can return it with no questions asked within 30 days of purchase date. We are so confident that you’ll find our handmade iPad, iPhone, Macbook Air, Kindle and other cases to be of such high quality both in construction and materials you will love them!  We see it as a win/win for everyone. To convey online the luxurious Spanish bonded leather, the feel of real bookbindery cloth and the depth of our finished baltic birch wood frame is challenging, so we have decided to take the guess work out for you.


    So give one of our handmade cases a spin, it’s on us!


    Mr and Mrs PQ


    (Brian and Kari)

  • The Difference is in the cases

    We get a question often from our customers, “what is the main difference between your handmade iPad cases?” The Contega, Octavo and Graduate Edition are all unique products that are designed for various tastes and practical needs.


    The Contega is our flagship case. Self propping, rugged design and gorgeous materials.  The outer wrap is covered in Spanish bonded leather and lined with traditional bindery cloth.  The iPad is seated snug in our real wood frame and secured with our Sure Lock Bumper System. This case includes a hidden pocket, camera hole, smart cover on/off and a classic moleskine elastic closure. The Contega is both a practical case and work of art.


    The Octavo is the lighter, thinner version of the Contega.  This iPad case is light weight and can be used in various positions.  Although not self propping like the Contega, this case is the same gorgeous Spanish leather and bindery cloth and includes all the other features. This is Mr.PQ’s favorite.


    The Graduate Edition is our take on a true bindery cloth, spine wrapped book and our most affordable offering.  This one feels, smells and wears like a favorite old book. Comes complete with all the features of the Octavo.


    The Octavo Luxury. Think Octavo then up it by 2 in luxurious boot like leather.  Covered in soft-stitched leather this case is absolutely gorgeous.  The wood frame that holds the iPad is even coated with extra coats of lacquer to deepen the beauty of the wood.  This one truly makes your iPad look unbelievable.


    We find that different folks find each of these three cases fit their unique needs. The real difference in all of our cases is the PQ standard of quality.



    Mr PQ

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