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Quick Look: Portenzo Nexus 7 Cases – Alano, BookCase, and HardBack

Portenzo Nexus 7 Case

Portenzo cases have been some of our favorites for a couple of years now, because who doesn’t easily fall in love hand-made, high-quality bookcase style cases for tablets such as the Nexus 7? We took a look at their N7 offerings last year, but as you would expect, the company is back with models that fit the newest 2013 tablet from Google. They were kind enough to send over review samples of their Alano (high-end leather case), BookCase (traditional bookcase style), and HardBack (minimal bookcase style) options for us to show off. 

Without saying too much here, since it’s all covered in the video, I’ll simply preface this with what I seem to say time and time again when it comes to hand-made cases from companies like Portenzo and DODOcase – you can’t beat the quality. When a company is using single sheets of leather and stacks of maple as a housing, along with dozens of color combinations that you get to choose from, there is no losing. You can feel the work that went into them, especially with the Alano, the minute you pick them up.

With that said, hand-made cases are never going to be the cheapest on the block. If you want the under-$20 line (reviewed here), you will have to look elsewhere. These are premium cases that carry premium price tags. Forking out $100+ for a case that covers your sub-$200 tablet might be something that you can’t wrap your brains around, but if you have the cash and want the best, these are certainly an option.

Portenzo Links:  Alano ($99.95) | BookCase ($59.95) | HardBack ($34.95)





Portenzo Alano Nexus 7Portenzo Alano Nexus 7Portenzo Alano Nexus 7DSC01566

Portenzo Alano Nexus 7Portenzo Alano Nexus 7Portenzo Alano Nexus 7Portenzo Alano Nexus 7

Book Case

Portenzo BookCase Nexus 7Portenzo BookCase Nexus 7Portenzo BookCase Nexus 7Portenzo BookCase Nexus 7

Hard Case

Portenzo Hard Case Nexus 7Portenzo Hard Case Nexus 7Portenzo Hard Case Nexus 7Portenzo Hard Case Nexus 7

  • They really look nice, if only I could own one of those things that’s good to know how.

  • jz100

    Their cases are all WAY overpriced. You are just falling for the “handmade” crap. I got an eBay case from china, with a map pattern on it, that I like far more than any of these, and it cost a quarter of what their cheapest case costs.

    That elastic strap alone is horrible looking the way it hangs like its all stretched out.

  • chris420o

    these are pretty cases…seen a girl on the subway with one…but even for cheap not for me…their way to bulky

  • It’s a good case

    I’ve got the Bookcase version with intellistand. It’s a really really nice case. One thing you can’t get from the videos is how nice the maple actually is. In pictures and vids it looks like cheap ply wood or something. But when you see and feel it in person.. it’s super smooth, durable, and very high quality. Maple is one of the hardest woods after all. I wanted to make it look like a book to hide from prying eyes.

    Was/is it worth the $75 + tax/shipping? Maybe. Probably. But not for everyone.

    The only gripe I have is with the intellistand. Because the N7 is smaller, you only really get two angles the way its integrated: complete perpendicular or at 15-20 deg tilt as seen in the video. I think if they had moved the crease higher up more towards the camera side of the tablet, they could have had a 3rd angle. The way it is now there’s not enough length in the freely moving portion to get a 3rd angle like in their iPad/Nexus 10 cases. Other than that, great case!

    If you don’t want to spend $60+ on the bookcase version that’s understandable, but, I’d say the hardcase slim version is definitely worth the $35.

  • CyborgHobbit

    I’ve owned two Portenzo HardBack cases, one for my 1st gen Nexus 7 and one for my Kindle Paperwhite. I was very disappointed with each of them. On both cases the spine was just enough wider than the device that the elastic strap to hold it closed would cause the spine edge of the device to pull away from the adhesive. I also had trouble with glue seeping out from between the liner and the case on the Kindle PaperWhite version. Customer support was dismissive of my problems, and my lukewarm review was excluded from the other user reviews on their product page.

  • ThomasDalla

    Talking about high quality, aren’t you missing the best of all? NoReve.com

  • Jeff Mowbray

    I ordered the bookcase version for my Nexus 7 and have been impressed with the quality of the case. However I was not impressed with customer service as it took too long to receive the case. I ordered it on August 7th and didn’t receive it until September 3rd. That’s way too long

    • Michael Vernon

      They handmake these suckers, my friend. I think a little leeway is due because of that fact.

      • Jeff Mowbray

        I know that they hand make them. If you look at their website in the section where is my order they practically tell you that it should be to your door in 10 days. So I do not have unrealistic expectations, I’m just going off of what they are telling you

        • Michael Vernon

          Meh. I waited three weeks for mine until I asked them where it was in the process. Took another three days and then it shipped. I guess I just assumed it would take a while.

  • Brian Utne

    I cringed a little when you “popped” it out of the second case. haha.

  • jt O’Brien

    For that much it should have a keyboard christ.

    • G_Croix

      Or at least be made of something other than plywood. FYI I had one for my first gen N7 and only a paper thin layer is maple. Disappointing.

      DODOcase uses bamboo (solid core) and Treegloo uses solid hardwood (cherry, walnut, maple?). Either looks better rather than people asking why you’re carrying a piece of cheap plywood. Pad and Quill does the plywood right, I have one of their cases for my Air (no N7 cases though).

  • pcriz

    Sort of defeats the purpose of paying $260 dollars for a tablet when you get a $100 dollar case.

    • btod

      Call me a sucker but I actually ordered one after watching the video. Looks really well made and I love the “real book look” of it. Its precisely because my nexus was cheaper that I don’t feel bad about splurging on a durable case that I like.

      • pcriz

        My Poetic case does the trick at a whopping 13 bucks on Amazon. I think the extra cash on this is a “Hipster Tax”

      • FknTwizted

        I have some ocean front property in Nevada if you’re interested.

      • michael arazan

        OK, you’re a Sucker, jk

        To each their own, if you want and like it have fun with it

      • The best part is all future tablets are going to have this identical footprint so you will be able to use this for years to come…

  • napes22

    I have a Portenza Book case. It looks like they’ve gone up in price over the last year. I got mine for around $39.00 and it’s well worth it. It makes the Nexus easier to carry and keeps it secure.

  • Alain Lafond

    Really, there are people that pays that kinda money for a case?
    Bought mine on EBay, little less fussy, but got it at $10.00.
    Yes, pleather… But for a device that I’ll use for less than a year…

  • Under the bridge downtown

    Kellen, whats is on your right wrist?

    • Ian

      It looks like a Nike Fuel band.

  • Under the bridge downtown

    I just returned my Portenzo HardBack for the Nexus 7 (2013) today. The Intellistand feature is not implemented well. The Nexus falls off of the adhesive when trying to use the inteliistand. The texture and quality is pretty good, but the Nexus never felt really secure.

    I also have this case for the Kindle Fire HD http://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Kindle-Standing-Leather-Black/dp/B008GGH4FY. It does not have a stand but if they could make something similar for the Nexus we would have a winner.

    Also, wireless charging does not work with the HardBack.

    • That’s good to know that the adhesive wasn’t holding up well. Intellistand did feel a bit too stiff for that adhesive. Maybe it just needs to be worked over really good? Softened up a bit?

    • Michael Vernon

      That’s too bad. I have the intellistand feature on my Hardcase and it works perfectly. I thought it was piss-poor until I figured out how it actually is supposed to work. I nearly ripped the maple from the cover itself but it’s still going strong after 3 weeks.

      Probably a defective product from the sounds of it. They are handmade and things handmade are more susceptible to little niggles.

      • Under the bridge downtown

        It could be a defective product. I just ordered the Poetic Slimline. Not as “nice” but hopefully I like it.

    • jz100

      I got a leather map pattern case off eBay that I really love. It looks great, uses a magnetic strap, and is very slim. It also has a thin tray that the tablet sits in. Unlike the case shown here.

  • KleenDroid