Moshi’s VersaCover for iPad mini offers a stylish variation on the Smart Cover with protection for the back of the iPad thrown in.
It features a slim design and an origami folding cover that allows for various angles when using it as a stand. I’ve been a big fan of Smart Covers since the early days of using one with an iPad 2. The Smart Cover for the iPad mini is every bit as nice to have on the smaller iPad. The idea of a minimalist Smart Cover-like case with some back protection thrown in is appealing, so I decided to give the VersaCover mini a look. I’ve been using this one heavily for the last 3 weeks or so and it’s about time for a review of it.
The VersaCover is made of a soft microfiber material; there’s a casing that serves as a frame for the iPad to slot into which also protects the back of the iPad against scratches and shocks.
It comes in Aloe Green, Sakura Pink, Velvet Grey, and Denim Blue. I have the Denim Blue model.
The case is priced at $50.
That innocuous looking little fella above is proving to be quite a handy companion for my iPad mini. It’s an Apple 12W USB Power Adapter. I use it in tandem with the Lightning to USB cable that came with the iPad mini and I’m seeing very quick charge times with it.
When I let the iPad mini run all the way down until it powers down automatically, I can get it charged from zero to 100% in under 3 hours. I’ve done this a number of times and consistently seen it take around 2 hours and 45 – 55 minutes.
That feels pretty fast to me – especially as I’ve seen some people online mentioning 5 and 6 hour charge times for their iPad minis.
I’m feeling like the $19 investment in the 12W power adapter was well worthwhile.
For those of you with iPad minis, how fast is your charging typically? Are you using a 12W adapter?
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.
I’ve already mentioned the Oberon Design Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover once on this site. I referred to it as, and titled my post, The Most Beautiful iPad Case. Ever. I published that post just a day after receiving the case. I’ve had it for a couple weeks now, and the shine has definitely not worn off at all; I still find this a stunningly gorgeous case.
Having spent some time with it, I’m now ready to review it on more than just its great looks.
The Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover comes in three colors – green, wine, and walnut. I chose green and obviously I’m more than happy with my choice – and can also say that all three colors looks extremely handsome.
Here are some of its key features:
- Covers have a camera lens opening (detail not currently shown on all cover images).
- Corner straps provide ‘shake & drop’ security.
- Cord & tab platform device for horizontal tabletop reading.
- Built in slanted surface for iPad keyboard use.
- Case easily folds & stays open.
- 100% wool felt LED screen protector.
- Large side pockets & a small pocket for I.D. or cards.
- Matching Britannia Pewter button.
- Marine grade replaceable mini bungee cords (includes extra bungee).
It’s also worth noting that Oberon’s products are handcrafted here in the USA – the story of the company and its founder’s history in this craft is actually a great read. Since I have some Irish ancestry, I was also interested to see some background on the Celtic Hounds pattern on this case:
The universal meaning attached to the spiritual knot work art of the Celtic culture is the symbol of the endless wheel, unending line or regeneration and the inter-connectedness of life. No recorded history attaches specific meanings to different knot work styles; however it is generally agreed that spirals honor the Goddess and reflect themes of consciousness and balance, interlacing knots the unending cycle of life and death, and key or maze patterns the twists and turns of life’s journey. Animal or bird images symbols, known as zoomorphic knots are more straightforward.
Hounds or dogs represent loyalty; dragons symbolize rebirth and bird’s purity or nobility.
I saw the INVELLOP Leatherette Case Cover for iPad mini mentioned by a friend on Facebook one evening a couple of weeks back. I thought it looked interesting and when I saw it was under $15 at Amazon I decided it was worth a quick look. It turns out I stumbled across what would quickly become my favorite iPad mini case.
In fact, the short story here is that this is already my favorite case for an iPad of any size. I think it’s everything Apple’s iPad Smart Case set out to be, and much more. I’m so glad I discovered it by chance via Facebook – that’s never happened before – and this case has wowed me ever since I took it out of its packaging.
This is a one piece case; the front and back cover do not separate. The back is solid and the front cover is segmented so it can be folded easily when using as a stand. The exterior of the case is a leatherette material and the interior is soft microfiber.
It offers a decent level of protection for the front, back, and sides of the iPad mini – while offering access to and cutouts for all buttons, the connector port and the back camera. It supports the automatic sleep/wake feature on closing and opening the front cover.
The case comes in a range of colors including black, brown, dark magenta, grey, vintage blue, navy blue, lime green and more. I ordered a black one.
I ordered mine for $14.95 on Amazon and as I write this post it is still in stock and available at that price.
Last Saturday I managed to acquire my new iPad mini LTE model. . I know this one is the one I’ll be keeping – and I wanted to get a bit of screen protection for it as soon as possible. My iPad 3 has no screen protector on because I don’t want anything to diminish the impact of the gorgeous retina display. With the iPad mini that’s not a concern – so I headed to my local Ghost Armor kiosk yesterday afternoon to get some protection for my new little pal.
I’ve written here before on how much I like the Ghost Armor product and the excellent service I’ve always had from them here in Austin. Yesterday was no different. They took just 15 minutes to get my iPad mini’s display and back covered for $45. They mentioned that the front/display screen protector might have a few little bubbles that would work themselves out over about 48 hours. It turns out there were none and the display has looked flawless ever since I got home with it – no bubbles at all.
I did learn one valuable lesson this time round with Ghost Armoring the iPad mini though: the slate back does not lend itself to using a back screen protector / clear cover at all well. In fact, in my opinion, it looks pretty hideous. I’ve used screen protectors on the back of the larger iPads, and they look OK with the iPad’s aluminum back. They look OK because you hardly notice them on the aluminum back. That’s not the case on the slate back. The screen protector stands out like a (very ugly) sore thumb on the back of the iPad mini.
Mine didn’t last 24 hours. I peeled it off this morning. I’ll be extra careful with the back of the iPad mini and maybe think about a thin skin for it, but I definitely can’t stand the look of a clear screen protector on it.
Oh, and if you happen to live in Austin and want to get your device Ghost Armored, check out their kiosk one floor below the Apple store at the Barton Creek Mall.
The CaseCrown Bold Standby Case for iPad mini is the first 3rd party case I’ve bought for the new smaller iPad. I got an Apple Smart Cover for the iPad mini on launch day and it’s working just as well as its big brother does on my iPad 3, but this is the first alternative case option I’ll be trying out with the iPad mini.
I picked this case up for less than $10 on Amazon a couple of weeks ago ($9.21 plus shipping) and it arrived yesterday evening.
As far as very quick first impressions go, I like the case a lot. My daughter and I both thought it looked great right out of the box. It’s a very nice deep shade of blue.
It fits the iPad mini very well, holds it securely, and supports the automatic sleep/wake feature.
I’ll do a proper review when I’ve spent a good amount of time with the case, but it definitely looks promising so far.
You can see more details on the case at its CaseCrown product page, where it goes for $24.95, or search for it on Amazon for lower prices.
Pad & Quill have unveiled their new set of cases for the iPad mini this week, and they look great. They’ve got three cases for the iPad mini – all set to ship around the end of this month (the week of November 26). Here are the brief descriptions for the three:
Octavo Case for iPad mini: A classic bonded leather journal case for the iPad mini.
Graduate Edition Case : A handmade two-tone bindery cloth covered case that protects and disguises your iPad mini with artistic style.
Graduate Artist Series for iPad mini: Stunning local artist designed cases using traditional bindery and screen print techniques
All three are handmade using traditional bindery and screen print techniques in the US (in Minneapolis).
Gelaskins, makers of ultra-thin stylish, artistic skins for the iPad and many other devices, have now got a range of skins available for the iPad mini. When these guys say ultra-thin they really mean it – their skins are less than 1mm thick and add almost no weight at all to an iPad. For an incredibly light device like the iPad mini, that’s a very welcome feature.
Another big benefit of using Gelaskins is that they are quite easy to apply and remove – I know this especially because I am a clod when it comes to installing screen protectors and the like, and even am able to work with these skins with relative ease.
The artwork used on Gelaskins is always gorgeous and includes many images from famous artists – and if you don’t find an image you like, you can also create your own.
I’ve often mentioned here that a Gelaskin was my favorite companion for the iPad Smart Cover, in particular the Dr. Gonzo image by Ralph Steadman. Although the skins can be used for both front and back of the iPad, I like to only use them for the back of the iPad.
The new range of Gelaskins for the iPad mini go for $19.95 and you browse through the designs and check them out in detail at this Gelakins page for them. I think Dr. Gonzo or another of these skins may soon be making an appearance on my iPad mini.
Portenzo has a nice lineup of their classic iPad cases ready for the iPad mini. These are all journal style cases, made with using bookbinding techniques right here in the USA.
I’ve tried out a couple of Portenzo iPad cases in the past and been highly impressed with them – so I’m glad to see they’re already creating iPad mini versions of some of their most attractive cases.
Their lineup for the iPad mini currently includes the Alano, BookCase, HardBack, Wingtip, Designer, and Composition cases. The price range on these runs from $30 (for the HardBack) to $100 for the Alano.
You gotta love the way big Apple product releases work these days. We’ve got parts leaks, a rumor mill that seems to get more and more on target all the time, and of course accessories for as yet unannounced products.
Today’s example is ZAGG’s latest new product is an invisibleSHIELD for the iPad Mini. I guess they’ve grown tired of waiting on an official announcement of a new smaller iPad from Apple, and presumably they know a few final iPad Mini spec details that the rest of us are still waiting on.
The precision pre-cut invisibleSHIELD applies directly to your Apple iPad Mini, providing the toughest, most durable protection you will find.
As 9to5Mac points out, this product is especially interesting to see because ZAGG is a leading name in the iOS and Apple accessories market.
Anybody planning to order one of these for the iPad Mini, even before Apple announces there is such a device?