Way back when, was able to get an iPad mini when they first came out—launch day in fact—because I was with iPhoneHacks at the time. From the moment I started using the iPad mini I loved it. Small, light, perfect for reading and light browsing. Writing? Eh, maybe not. Quick email, sure, but…
Anyway, when I got the mini I just got it with the basic gray Smart Cover. Simple, basic, and it worked. Also really darn boring. I’ve been looking for a nice case for my mini for a long time. Something that had a little more style to it. Something that also would protect it from knocks and bumps better than the Smart Cover alone. Yeah the Smart Cover covers the screen okay (just okay I’d say), but the back is unprotected. I don’t like my mini just bouncing around in my bag like that.
Recently the the folks from Snugg emailed me out of the blue to ask if I’d like to try one of the cases and review it (I could have received a second case if I reviewed that additional case and their shipping company—I opted not to go that far). After a look at the selection (and figuring out that they seemed legit), I picked this nice leather iPad mini folio case:
I opted for business card slots just to give myself the flexibility to take it to meetings if I wanted to and have a place to stash cards (I don’t carry them, but other people do). There is also a pen/stylus loop and a space behind the cards I can slide a small notebook (Field Notes size is just about perfect). Snugg has a pretty wide range of options for the iPad mini, but this one connected with me. So how is it?
Great fit and finish
The iPad mini slides in nicely and there is a little (hidden from view) tab of leather that sticks with velcro to help keep the iPad in place. It’s a nice touch to have the tab there with velcro. In my hand (after getting used to my mini suddenly being over twice as thick as before) the case feels awesome. Nice leather, not really high-end, but also not really cheap either—a very nice balance between the two. There’s a little hand strap you can use to help hold your iPad, I don’t use it, but it’s there and in the right spot to be helpful, but not annoying if you don’t use it. The cover has the right magnets to be a Smart Cover and lock/unlock the screen when you open/close the case, again very handy. I haven’t used the stand too much so the little tab at the back to make it fold into a stand is a wee stiff. I’d take that as a good sign though because you don’t want something flimsy holding your iPad up!
But it’s not perfect.
Edges that protect and annoy
The only thing that I have to say I don’t like about the case is how much of the case overlaps the edges of the screen. It’s not that the case gets in the way of seeing anything, but if you need to move an app from one screen to another, the case gets in the way of you pushing to the edge of the screen to get to another screen. I had been using the case for a while before I even noticed this problem (re-arranging apps post iOS 7 install), so is this a big deal? I don’t think so. I think having the leather protect the edges of the screen outweighs an occasional annoyance.
This is a nice case. I like it and I’ll keep using it for a while. I expect that the leather will start looking better and better as it ages. The case I have is $45 (Canadian) and you can buy it from their site or Amazon. It seems like a good buy to me and as good (or better) than similarly priced cases I’ve been looking at lately.