CalypsoTab By CalypsoCrystal Leather iPad & iPad mini Sleeve Review


The iPad and iPad mini are arguably the best tablets money can buy. iPads are amazing devices needless to say, devices that deserve the very best in accessories. Turns out you can get the very best for your iPad if you're willing to spend some cash, and CalypsoCrystal will help you get rid of it quickly thanks to its brilliant line of luxury, handmade leather sleeve cases. The CalypsoTab recently made its way onto the high-end spectrum of premium iPad-only accessories. CalypsoCrystal hasn't yet gone mainstream, and it's still very much a speciality brand that has managed to impress us time and time again.

Our profuse encounter with the company's CalypsoCase, a leather iPhone 4/S and iPhone 5 sleeve, was so enormously positive that we've labeled it with our respect as the best iPhone sleeve your money can buy. The question we're asking now is can the CalypsoTab live up to the standards set by its iPhone sleeve companion.


The quick and dirty answer to that is...yes, without a doubt. The CalypsoTab is every bit of greatness the CalypsoCase was when we've reviewed it and still is of course, only in a rather unusual tablet shape obviously designed with the iPad in mind. While were talking about the design, the CalypsoTab is meticulously handcrafted and designed to fit the iPad 2, 3 and 4 models. Obviously the smaller version fits the iPad mini and is an identical carbon copy in every practical sense.

If you're like me, you're a careful individual that rarely drops anything let alone your precious gadgets. And because of that you'd rather not use a case to mask the fine qualities of the iPad because using it case-less is so worth the risk. And to you I would suggest using a sleeve. Like all responsible iPad owners who want to keep their tablet safely protected in transport and when left untouched, a sleeve is just about the only accessory one can use when putting anything other than your hands on an iPad is considered off limits.


After paying no less than $149 for the iPad mini version and no more than $169 for the iPad version, the CalypsoTab comes tucked inside beautiful packaging presented to you as an expensive gift with a signed certificate of authenticity - no more, no less.


From the front, the CalypsoTab is a magnificent piece of elegant extravagance. The style is extremely formal, grown up some would even say. And that isn't going to appeal to everyone surely. You will find it on display at some fancy boutique most likely, so this isn't what you would call a mainstream iPad sleeve. But what more could you ask for? Oh right, perhaps a touch of precious metal would suffice? For you there's the CalypsoTab featuring a pinstripe of rhodium metal instead of the fabric interior that replaces it in the black and red leather colored models. And you won't be paying more to have rhodium metal either which is a pleasant surprise.

It may not appeal to everyone's taste, but it's when you take out the CalypsoTab out from that black box that you realize just how incredible it feels, smells and fits the iPad.


When you think of an iPad sleeve you don't really make much of it. How can a sleeve be any more interesting or special than the very meaning of the word? Turns out that it indeed can be quite brilliant. Not unlike any iPad or tablet sleeve we've ever came across, the CalypsoTab is everything you'd want a luxury sleeve to be with the addition of refined detail and a true form-fitting structural design. You won't find much padding other than the materials that make up the sleeve which I find is sufficient being that there's enough rigidness in the construction.

What surprises me the most is that while not as known as other rival brands like Sena and Vaja, I think CalypsoCrystal's ambition to stun consumers is what made its handcrafted leather sleeves the best in terms of quality and protection.


The first and perhaps the only thing the springs into your mind when looking at the CalypsoTab is the leather. It's of impeccable quality, and I'd even go as far as to say that it rivals the leather Vaja uses which by our standards is the best leather you'll find anywhere when it comes to mobile accessories. Also, the stitching and overall craftsmanship is ace just as we have seen in CalypsoCrystal's many CalypsoCase sleeves.

The pattern of the leather is extremely sensuous to the touch. CalypsoCrystal stretches it so that is forms a smooth, even surface that's tight in texture. There's is a visible distinction between the two CalypsoTab sizes however, and that's visibly apparent when looking at the larger CalyspTab sleeve. The leather is a bit wrinkled by comparison. It may be due to the natural texture of that particular hide though as it does seem to be properly stretched across regardless. 


Each CalypsoPad is lined with a special microfiber material and precisely moulded to the iPad's original tapered shape and slim form factor in order to achieve a perfect snug fit.

Like the CalypsoCase, the CalypsoTab is a rigid hard shell sleeve that doesn't buckle under pressure and holds a sturdy shape that welcomes an iPad insertion at any moment of the day. Unlike some limp leather or fabric sleeves that can't be bothered with your iPad. The key benefit to the CalypsoTab's rigidness is that it can protect your iPad better in shielding it from impacts.

The CalypsoTab has a reinforced bottom area using a titanium backbone whereas the CalypsoCase uses a titanium band that covers both the bottom and sides. Due to the curvature however, only the bottom is made this way which supports the rest of the sleeve enabling it to have that sturdy shape we really think is pretty incredible to see in a sleeve.


The only sleeve that truly conforms to the iPad's industrial design

If you haven't yet noticed, the CalypsoTab sleeves are shaped appropriately to precisely fit the curvature and slim form factor of the iPad and iPad mini resulting in a hard shell that fits the way you expect it to fit, and no less. It's really the one and only sleeve that matches the form factor of the iPad like a from fitting snap-on case, and that makes it a stand-out amongst rivals. When you hold the CalypsoTab with the iPad inserted it becomes clear how solid the fit really is, and that besides the quality of the leather I think is what makes using a CalypsoTab a real treat.


The back, smooth and unruined by extras. Cutouts are non-existent, apart from the curved opening at the top where you have enough room to grab onto your iPad in order to pull it comfortably and so it very much is. You won't find a Lightning port opening, but you could just as easily slip your iPad into the sleeve with its port facing up to charge whilst nestled inside the sleeve so we don't find this to be particularly a negative about the CalypsoTab.


What allows the CalypsoTab to provide such a snug fit is partially due to its interior which is completely covered with a soft microfiber material that grabs hold of the iPad when it is inserted so that it won't easily slip out all on its own.


Speaking of the interior, using the CalypsoTab as a sleeve is really no different nor more difficult than using the much smaller CalypsoCase equivalent. Meaning that sliding the iPad or iPad mini into the CalypsoTab is a smooth, buttery process as it should be. Because of its hard shell form factor, the CalypsoTab allows you to remove and insert your iPad effortlessly all while it keeps its shape unlike floppy leather sleeves that require more effort to slip on. Although there's nothing really wrong with those types of flaccid sleeves, we have reviewed quite a few in the past like the Sena UltraSlim and the BeyzaCases Zero Series, and found them to be more than charming.


The CalypsoTab is an unequivocal victor if only the best leather iPad sleeve is what your taste desires

At $149 - $169, the CalypsoTab is one delightful to use, gorgeous and well-crafted leather sleeve we think cannot be matched by another. One which we cannot fault either. If you're looking for a top notch protective leather sleeve to spoil your lovely iPad or iPad mini, you should really look no further than the CalypsoTab. CalypsoCrystal makes ordinary things awe-inspiring. You could always pick up a less expensive leather sleeve, only that it wouldn't be as good as this.

iPad users have a few different options available to pick from when looking for a sleeve-type protective solution. A few of our favorites include the iLuv memory foam-padded neoprene sleeve, a plush zippered sleeve; and Colcasac's unique hand-tailored rustic hemp canvas sleeves. But then there's CalypsoCrystal's CalypsoTab which we think is the best leather-made sleeve your hard earned money can get you. It's the kind of sleeve that sets the bar sky high with its spectacular build quality, craftsmanship, and materials that are all combined to create a perfectly shaped sleeve designed specifically for the curvature of the iPad and iPad mini. We highly recommend it, and hope that CalypsoCrystal comes out with even more pattern designs for the CalypsoTab as it has for its CalypsoCase iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4 sleeves.