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.
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.
I didn’t do a whole lot of Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping this year, but I did spot a few bargains that tempted me into a purchase. One of them was the Griffin A-Frame Stand for iPad.
As some of you may have noticed, I’m a big fan of iPad stands. I like having my iPad / iPads close by even when I’m not using them – as I never go long during my workday without needing them for something. Since my iPad mini is now regularly in use in my favorite Just Mobile Encore iPad Stand, a new stand for my iPad 3 seemed a good item to grab during the seasonal sales. At some point while perusing Amazon the Griffin A-Frame caught my eye, and then a price tag of just $12.98 really grabbed my attention.
So how good a stand is the Griffin A-Frame for $13? The short answer is it pretty much reminds me that you get what you pay for. Hit the break for some reasons why …
Ever since I first used an Apple Smart Cover on my iPad 2, it has become a near-constant companion for my iPad 2 and now iPad 3. I’ve often written here about how the Smart Cover plus an ultra-thin Gelaskin have tended to be my favorite ‘outfit’ for the iPad.
So I when I bought the iPad mini on launch day a few weeks ago I purchased a Smart Cover for it right away, hoping it would become just as great a companion for the iPad mini as its bigger cousin has for my other iPads.
The short story here is that there’s a happy ending. The iPad min Smart Cover is proving to be every bit as much of a ‘bestie’ for my smaller iPad as hoped for. It is very rarely ever off the iPad mini. Hit the break for a few more photos and some further thoughts on the mini Smart Cover …
The Moku Desktop Chair is a wooden stand for the iPad and also for Mac laptops. The folks at BiteMyApple.co, who are the distributor for the stand here in the US, recently sent me a review unit to take a look at. I’m a big fan of iPad stands and have reviewed a number of good ones, but I’ll happily admit that they are among the more basic of iPad accessories – so it doesn’t take long to assess and review them.
I’ve only just received the Moku stand about a day ago, but I’ve spent enough time with it to know that I’m thoroughly unimpressed with it and it won’t be getting any further use with my iPad.
Here’s a little more detail on the stand via Moku Woodware, the stand manufacturer:
Handmade with fine natural basswood, Desktop Chair simply holds your Apple laptop when used in desktop substitute mode with an external display, keyboard and a mouse (or trackpad), and comes with a cushion pad and anti-slip buttons.
One size Desktop Chair fits all, able to accommodate virtually all Apple laptops and tablets regardless of shape, with or without a cover, now and the future, including all iPads, MacBooks, MacBookPros, MacBook Airs plus the PowerBook G4s and indeed any laptop that isn’t thicker than 1.2″ (30mm).
The SGP illuzion Leather Sleeve Case for the the iPad / iPad 3 is another in the range of Spigen-SGP cases for the new iPad that I’ve been looking at recently. You may recall that I did a review of their Spigen SGP Sleeve for the New iPad back in June, and was quite impressed with it.
This is a similar sleeve case and I’ve now spent enough time with it to offer a quick review.
The SGP illuzion Leather Sleeve is compatible with both the iPad 2 and the new iPad 3. It’s made of genuine leather that SGP describes as ‘soft and luxurious’ and has a soft micro fiber interior. The sleeve can hold the iPad comfortably even with an Apple Smart Cover or a thin back skin on it.
It has an embedded magnetic closure and is available in 8 colors: white, black, lime, Dante red, Solaris orange, Sherbet pink, Tender blue, and Vintage brown. My review unit is a black one.
The price for the SGP illuzion Sleeve is $59.99
I’ve been hearing very good things about Pad & Quill cases for ages. Recently I got in contact with the company and they were kind enough to send me a few review units. The first one that I’ve had a chance to spend a good amount of time with is the Graduate Edition for iPad 3.
Here’s a little detail on the case via Pad & Quill’s page for it:
We’ve taken the best features of the lightweight College Edition and the intelligent design of the Octavo and merged them into our Graduate Edition for iPad (3)/ iPad® 2. A camera portal, magnetic sensor and all new wood frame with Sure-Lock system are included in this beautiful hand made case.
- Fits both the iPad 2 and iPad (3)
- Hand Made in the Twin Cities, Minnesota
- Protects and magnifies the beauty of your iPad
- NEW stronger wood frame with Sure-Lock bumper system to hold your iPad VERY secure
- NEW improved magnetic On/Off feature wakes and puts to sleep your iPad…by closing the book
- Covered in traditional book bindery cloth. It feels like your holding a real book…because you are!
- Sound Channel which directs the sound back to you
- Satin finished wood for a beautiful smooth and durable finish
- Classic PQ ‘Bookmark’ for easy device removal
- Pocket option for those little documents on the go
- Access to all ports on the iPad
- 3 color styles to choose from
It’s important to note that first point on the feature list – it’s compatible with both the new iPad 3 and the iPad 2.
The SPIGEN Folio S Case for the new iPad is the second SPIGEN case I’ve used. Last month I did a review of the SPIGEN SGP Sleeve for the new iPad and I was very impressed with it. Now I’ve also spent some time using the Folio S case for the new iPad and the short story is that I’m quite impressed again.
SPIGEN describes the Folio S like so:
The SPIGEN Folio.S Case is a finely hand-crafted folio style case, made of high-quality genuine leather. Case features very slim yet sturdy protection for the new iPad.
As the name suggests, it’s a folio style case that offers protection for the front, back, and sides of the new iPad. Like nearly all folio cases it doubles as a stand and offers stand angles for viewing and typing.
The case comes in brown or dark brown and is priced at $91.99. My review unit – shown above and throughout this post – is the brown model.
The Spigen SGP Sleeve for the New iPad is a simple sleeve case for the new iPad 3. I’m not generally a big fan of sleeve cases for the iPad (though I do love the Flowfold) – but this one looked quite nice when SGP offered it among a handful of review units they recently sent me. So I decided to try this one out first and after a few weeks of use, I’m quite fond of it.
The SGP Sleeve for the new iPad has ‘floater style leather’ on its exterior and a soft suede Chamaude interior. It uses embedded magnetic buttons for secure closure. Here’s the list of its key features:
- Premium genuine leather. 100% Handmade
- Soft microfiber chamude interior
- Embedded magnetic closure
- Compatible with The new iPad and iPad 2
- Compatible with Apple Smart Cover, SGP Skin Guards, and Incredible Shields
The case is priced at $47.99.