Review: Marware C.E.O. Hybrid iPad mini Case

Marware CEO Hybrid iPad mini Case

The Marware C.E.O Hybrid iPad mini Case is an iPad mini version of this popular iPad case that has served previous generations of the iPad well. I have reviewed a couple of generations of this case for the bigger iPad as well as other Marware iPad cases.

I’ve always thought of the CEO Hybrid as a good, reliable and versatile iPad case. My daughter still uses one on the original iPad that was handed down to her. So how does the new CEO Hybrid iPad min Case stack up? Read on for some thoughts on that …


The CEO Hybrid is made of genuine leather, with a soft microfiber material used on the interior. It’s a folio style case that offers good coverage of front, back, and sides of the iPad – ‘97% of the device’ and durable, reinforced protection for corners according to Marware.

The case is priced at $42.99 and comes in four colors: Carbon Fiber, Black, Pink, and Purple. I have the Carbon Fiber model.

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Review: Portenzo Alano Leather Book Style iPad mini Case

Alano for iPad mini Front

As some of you will recall, I’ve done a review of a Portenzo Composition Case for iPad 2 in the past, and was very impressed with it. So when I saw that Portenzo had a nice new lineup of cases for the iPad mini, I put my hand up right away to try out some review units.

The first one I received is the Alano for iPad mini.  I’ve had it for several weeks now and have had a chance to use it a lot around my home / office and while out and about.


The Alano for iPad mini comes is made with a single piece of thick and very durable leather that should last a decade or more, at least according to the Portenzo promo video. Each case is handmade, hand distressed and hand softened by Portenzo in St. Louis, Missouri. Here are some of its notable features:

  • Fits all models of iPad Mini
  • Automatic Sleep/Wake feature – Just like the Apple Smart Cover!
  • Hand sanded American Maple frames with Smooth radius corners for a truly unique look.
  • Double-Glued elastic band won’t ever come undone!
  • The elastic band covers the camera when the cover is closed.
  • Optional Soft Seal Camera Access Port on the rear cover.
  • Optional IntelliStand adds the versatility of more viewing angles to your case.

This case comes in 7 styles including Midnight Black, Indiana Journal, and the Old Book style that I chose for my review unit; as well as a selection of 7 colors for the case’s elastic strap.

The base price for the Alano for iPad mini is $99.95. You can choose to add-on a camera opening for around $5, a stylus compartment for around $10, and the Intellistand feature (which offers more viewing angles) for around $20.

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Review: iOstand for iPad

iOSStand for iPad

iOstand is a sturdy, magnetic stand for the iPad and other tablets. The promo for it claims it ‘allows for instant mounting of your device and rotation in practically any direction’. I’ve been testing one out for a few weeks and I’m impressed with it.


The iOstand comes in three colors – Black Powdercoat, White Powdercoat, and stainless steel. I received the black model as a review unit.

The stand is roughly the height of an iPad in  portrait mode.  You use an additional piece called an iOadapt to attach your iPad to the magnetic core of the stand. Here’s a little background on the piece:

The razor-thin (.025″) iOadapt™ adheres instantly to your device and snaps to the iOcore™ adaptor. The iOcore provides nearly limitless viewing angles by allowing your device to rotate in any direction around the precision machined iOsphere™. Detaching your device is just as easy as snapping it on. Simply grab and pull it off from the iOcore™.

The iOadapt piece has  a high strength adhesive and is very difficult to remove, so the makers recommend installing it on a case rather than the iPad itself. I took their advice and applied it to my Padintosh back cover case for the iPad.  

iOSstand is priced at $100.

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Review: Brydge+ iPad Keyboard Case

Brydge iPad Keyboard

The Brydge iPad Keyboard is one of many iPad related Kickstarter projects I backed this year. As some of you may have noted two recent ones were major disappointments: the Human Toolz Mobile Stand for iPad and the Facet iPad Stand. Brydge is touted as an effective and unique iPad keyboard that will give your iPad a MacBook Air like feel.

I’ve had my Brydge for a few weeks now and have recently had a chance to put it to some heavy use. I can tell you right off the bat that it is not a huge disappointment like the two products mentioned above. It hasn’t quite lived up to my, admittedly high, expectations for it though. Read on for some of the reasons why …


Brydge is a Bluetooth wireless keyboard for the iPad, made from ‘aerospace-grade aluminum that is machined and anodized to perfectly match the look and feel of an Apple iPad’. There’s also a black polycarbonate model available now. I got the standard aluminum model. Mine is a Brydge+ with the addition of a stereo speaker that’s placed at the top center of the keyboard.

It is compatible with the iPad 2 and iPad 3rd and 4th generations. My model came with friction clamps on its hinges that are made to fit the iPad 2, with additional friction clamps included to fit an iPad 3rd or 4th gen properly. I have the iPad 3 so I switched them out and it was a fairly easy process.

One of the Brydge’s big selling points is its hinges, described like so at the Brydge website:

Brydge’s patent-pending hinge holds the iPad secure and allows you to position your iPad at nearly any angle, even allowing you to close it up entirely for easy transportation. Once closed, both your iPad and Brydge go to sleep automatically.

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Quick Look: New Gelaskins for the iPad mini

New Gelaskin for iPad mini

My iPad mini has a new best friend: a lovely new Gelaskin for the back of it – as you can see above. I’ve posted many times here about how much I enjoy using just an Apple Smart Cover and a Gelaskin as the ideal combination for my bigger iPads.

When I saw that Gelaskins had a range for the iPad mini, and a fresh new crop of designs, I was more than a little tempted and recently ordered ‘Life is Art’ for my iPad mini. It was delivered a couple days ago and was installed within minutes of arrival. During those few minutes I got a clear reminder of 3 things I love about Gelaskins for the iPad:

– Their designs are always creative, striking, and just a real pleasure to look at on the iPad.

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FACET iPad Stand: Not Safe for iPad Use

The FACET iPad Stand started out as yet another iPad focused Kickstarter project. I backed the project and felt quite keen to see how this product turned out. It met its funding target and a couple days ago I received my Facet stand for the iPad. iPad stands are not difficult or complex items to [...]

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