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.
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.
This just arrived today. It’s an INVELLOP Leatherette Case Cover for the iPad mini. Just like the one I reviewed last week.
I liked this case so much that I got a second one, in my preferred dark blue color. As I mentioned in the review it quickly became my favorite case for my iPad mini, and is getting tons of use. I still use the iPad mini with just a smart cover and even naked at times, just to enjoy how incredibly light it is – – but this has become my go-to case for anytime I’m going out with the iPad mini, or even for when I’m in my home office at times.
So now I’ve got a spare one of these excellent iPad mini cases. It will have a new owner soon – stay tuned.
Griffin are one of the big names in iOS accessories. They seem to have just about every sort of accessory possible for iDevices, and they were one of the first companies to send me a promo email about their line of cases for the iPad mini – just a few days after the mini’s launch.
I chose to take them up on their offer to try out a Griffin Slim Folio for iPad mini. I cant say I had super high expectations for this case; in fact I didn’t have much of any sort of expectation (good or bad) as I’ve only ever used one other Griffin case, way back in the early days of the original iPad. So at least I can’t say that this case was a huge disappointment – but I can say it’s a pretty terrible case.
Here’s a little of the promo text for the Griffin Slim Folio for iPad mini:
Dress iPad mini up with style and functionality using Slim Folio – a one-piece case lined with microsuede that flips open for quick access to the touchscreen and closes like a book. Flip the cover around and lock it back to turn the folio into a two-position workstand. Custom cutouts give easy access to camera lens, controls and connectors.
The case is available in black, chocolate and pebble/black. My review unit is a chocolate model.
It’s priced at $39.99 at Griffin’s store, and you can find it for a little less on Amazon.
The CaseCrown Bold Standby Case for iPad mini was the first 3rd party cases I bought for my new iPad mini. I’ve used and done a review of the CaseCrown Bold Standby for iPad 3 / iPad 2 and found it to be a solid folio case – so their new one for the iPad mini caught my eye right away.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been using the CaseCrown Bold Standby Case for iPad mini (which from here on I’ll just call Bold Standby) on and off and while at work, when out and about, and during the evening.
This version of the Bold Standby for the iPad mini is also a folio style case, with a good amount of protection for the screen, back and sides of the iPad. The case is made of synthetic leather and the front cover has a soft color-matched interior.
It supports the iPad’s automatic sleep/wake feature, and doubles up as a stand as just about all folio stands do.
The case comes in a range of 7 colors: black, blue, green, brown, pink, purple, and red. I got the blue model. It’s currently priced at $24.95 at CaseCrown, but can also be purchased at Amazon, where it’s listed at $14.19 today.
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.
Yesterday afternoon I received this little fella in the mail. It’s a review unit of the Celtic Hounds iPad mini Cover, from the lovely folks at Oberon Design.
I’ll spend some time with the case and then do a review, but I can tell you one thing right now:
This is – easily – The Most Beautiful iPad case ever.
It is just ridiculously beautiful. I’ve reviewed one other Oberon iPad case – the Hokusai iPad 2 Case – and I know Oberon does a range of gorgeous cases, but this one is just stunning.
This is real artisan craftsmanship at its best, and made right here in the USA.
I’ll be less productive today, because of time spent just admiring the crap out of this case.
If you want to see more detail or order one of these, check them out at Oberon’s product page.
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).
Even before the iPad Mini was officially announced by Apple there were already third party accessory vendors touting their wares for the new smaller iPad. So it’s not surprise at all to see that in the three days since the iPad Mini was unveiled, there are already quite a number of accessory manufacturers hyping their new accessories for it.
I’ve been receiving plenty of promo emails about iPad Mini cases and accessories since before the unveiling and the volume of them has of course increased this week. I’ll be sharing some of the more attractive and interesting ones here as and when I get a chance to look at them. Today I took a glance at the range of iPad Mini cases from one of my old favorite vendors, Marware – makers of the popular and versatile C.E.O. Hybrid case for iPad.
Marware have got five iPad Mini cases available already, with prices ranging from $29.99 to $54.99 -along with some other accessories including a screen protector kit and a stylus. I’m glad to see there’s a C.E.O. Hybrid for the iPad Mini, available in 5 colors, which is priced at $42.99. It’s currently listed as ‘temporarily back-ordered’. I called Marware customer service, who are always very helpful and easy to get through to and they say these should be shipping by the end of the first week or early in the second week of November.
I’ve ordered a C.E.O. Hybrid,as I’ve always been impressed with them on a number of my iPads – my daughter still uses one on her hand-me down original iPad.
You can see more details on Marware’s iPad Mini accessories and place an order at their iPad Mini page.