Carved Penrose Slim Wood iPhone case review

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I’ve mentioned before that I love natural surfaces – wood, leather, and stone stir something calming and satisfying in my spirit. I have a beautiful teak dining table that I use as my desk. There’s an old oak library table that used to be in my grandparents’ study across the room where I have my photo station set up. If you look back through the photos of gadgets I’ve reviewed over the years, you’ll see my great-grandfather’s hall tree, a massive oak mirror and seat that stands near the front door. I have a slate coaster on my desk with my drink on it as I type. A cedar chest handmade by workers at my great-great-grandparents’ farm is our entertainment center. Given this penchant, many of the cases and bags I choose for my technology also involve these natural substances. So I was giddy with excitement to be chosen to review a Carved phone case. I choose the Penrose Triangle Inlay with a black polycarbonate soft touch case for my iPhone 6s Plus in the Slim Wood style, but they have a wide variety of designs and sizes to fit many popular devices. The Lovely Bride and I even visited an exhibit of MC Escher’s work to prepare for this review. (Not really, but it’s some cool art, and it was an amazing exhibit!)

Note: Photos may be tapped or clicked for a larger image.

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I was really excited when the case arrived, and opened it almost immediately. (Had to capture that hand-drawn box artwork in the photo above!) The base wood is Ebony, and there are three angles of other, lighter woods that intersect to form an M. C. Escher-ish 3-D triangle. The case holds the iPhone very snugly, and has openings for all of the ports, the camera, flash, and speakers, as well as the mute switch. The volume toggle and sleep/wake buttons are covered but fully operational.

Here are the features as listed on their website:
Quick Snap-on/Snap-off Case
Unique Natural Wood Grain and Finish
Precision Laser Cut and Inlaid Wood
Handcrafted in the USA

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The base Ebony wood is inlaid below the surface of the poly case, so no rough edges are exposed. The variety of woods (maple, walnut, and cherry in addition to the base of ebony) each lend their texture and color to create a very pleasing experience, contrasted with the high-tech, solid, smooth glass surface of the iPhone’s face.

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The Carved case has just a bit of a lip over the surface of the iPhone’s glass, which means that laying your phone face down (perhaps for privacy? Or just to show off that beautiful wood pattern? Who cares?) will not result in getting a scratch from contact with the surface of the table.

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It’s difficult to communicate the subtle textures of the woods adequately with a photo, so I traced over the design with a piece of paper and the flat-sided point of a colored pencil. Notice that each one has a different shade, brought about by the texture of the wood.

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I’ve been using the case for several weeks now, and the woods are still tightly attached, and the poly edges are still smooth and tight, even though I remove it occasionally. The care taken in the manufacture of the case is reinforced in the artist’s age-old tradition – the whole team signed the inside. I like that they didn’t feel the need to place their name or logo on the outside, but took the time to add this just for the user. We need to know they’re proud of their work – everyone else can see that it’s well-made without having to advertise.

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All in all, the case is beautiful and functional, as well as practical for protecting your investment. The ribbed edges of the poly case will prevent the phone from slipping out of your hand during use (which, actually, was the first thing my Lovely Bride noted about the case!), and add a little bounce in case you do. It’s not protective in the bullet-proof, bounce-it-off-concrete sense of the word, but for the trials and tribulations of life in the modern business jungle, I’d say you’re as protected as any other case. And this one looks great, too!

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Carved. Please visit their site for more info and Amazon to order.


Product Information

Retailer:Manufacturer's store
  • Device that you want to have covered.
  • Nice design in elegant wood
  • Great texture to contrast with phone's smooth glass screen
  • Protective case lifts phone off surface, increases grip, and may protect from some falls
  • Not a fully drop-proof protective case
  • Bottom is enclosed, which prevents using with some Lightning accessories

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