In this edition of the Gadgetmac Guide, we are rounding up all of our top favorite cases for the new iPad mini in one easy-to-browse guide so you won't have to waste too much precious time searching for a good protective case, sleeve, skin or even that perfect screen protector. There aren't many worthy options currently available, but we did our best to find the ones that count. It's all here, from inexpensive and just about excusably affordable to pricy. So be sure to make the leap past the break for our full roundup!
First up on our list has got to be the one and only, Apple's not so magical and arguably overpriced $39 mini Smart Cover. If all you want it to feel the iPad mini in all of its true design, care less about keeping its cosmetic makeup in tip top shape yet still need to prop it up to view a couple of videos or get a better angle for comfortable typing, then Apple's Smart Cover for the iPad mini is a big win in this case. Only thing is it's expensive and there's no leather options to pick from. Instead you'll have a wide selection of colorful and muted polyurethane-made iPad mini Smart Covers, 6 to be exact.
And if you need all around protection without losing sight of your iPad mini's slender profile, Apple's $69 Smart Case is a much more premium option complete with genuine and supple aniline dyed leather. The Smart Case offers a precise snug fit around the device and features 360-degree folio-style protection with a magnetic Smart Cover permanently integrated in with a rigid shell that is fully lined with a soft microfiber material. Some say it's a Smart Cover on fancy steroids. The Smart Case comes in the same exact six leather color choices available for the iPhone 5s Case including black, beige, brown, yellow, blue and red.
For the outlandish, Belkin's $40 Quilted Cover for the iPad mini is a stylish and slim folio-type case made out of a faux-leather material that features a magnetic closure tab that can be flipped around the back and magnetically cling into place and out of your way, protected corners thanks to the built-in TPU-made frame which holds the iPad mini securely in its place and a stand feature offering multiple viewing angles. The Belkin Quilted Cover case is lined with a soft interior and comes in red, black and cream colors.
Back to basics, Cygnett's inexpensive $20 Vector case for the iPad mini is a simple case yet it offers durable grip and features a good looking matte and glossy back textured pattern with raised edges in a ultra-slim profile. The Vector case for the iPad mini should be enough of a case to keep your $300+ investment scratch and dent-free without adding much if any bulk, but isn't ideal for the clumsy-hand types. You can pick one up in either red or black.
No case guide is complete without a case from SwitchEasy. The CoverBuddy snap-on case for the iPad mini is one of the best inexpensive Smart Cover-compatible hard shell cases there is. SwitchEasy's CoverBuddy is made from an ultra-thin clear hard polycarbonate treated with a scratch-resistant UV coating that'll keep the back side of your iPad mini dent and scratch-free. Great for keeping that slim profile and maintaining the original look of the iPad mini. The CoverBuddy features integrated volume and sleep/wake buttons and includes a screen protector with headphone and Lightning port dust covers. Available in clear and semi-clear smoke black colors.
As long as you're in need of serious tough protection, you can look up to Cygnett's proven $40 Workmate case for the iPad mini. This is a drop protective case with grippable and textured rubbery coated matte surface that features a dual-layer design made up from a hard impact-resistant polycarbonate shell and a soft, shock-absorbing interior layer. All without adding as much bulk as one would think. The Workmate case will be your best firend when kids are at play. It's available in slate grey (navy blue) and red colors.
The steeply priced $60 Survivor case by Griffin is one of our favorite rugged, military-duty cases made for Apple devices. The Survivor case for the iPad mini continues the turtle shell-like armored design seen throughout the Survivor case series that features a sealed built-in screen protector, shatter-resistant polycarbonate frame with thick silicone cladding that'll insure that your iPad mini is protected against drops, shock and impacts while the raised armored designed is a grip haven. Also, the Survivor's iconic integrated port covers provide a tight seal against rain, sand and dust to meet military standards. Available only in black at this time.
The $43 Micro Folio by XtremeMac is an ultra-thin, one-piece folio style case with a Smart Cover-like front cover that keeps the iPad mini's 7.9-inch screen well protected, and can fold into a multi-viewing angle stand while featuring a rear camera opening as well as a magnetic closure that will wake and put the iPad to sleep. The Micro Folio combines a polycarbonate hard shell that snaps onto the iPad mini and a front cover that has a canvas-like fabric texture to it. XtremeMac's Micro Folio case for the iPad mini is available in 8 different vibrant colors including Digi Camo fabric.
Hate using cases but still need a comfy place to keep your iPad mini in for the time being? iLuv's $30 Beligique is a foam-padded neoprene sleeve that'll keep your mini safe and protected against knocks and small drops while you carry it inside. The Beligique sleeve is made using memory foam and features a stylish mini-triangular stamped design covered with a water-resistant neoprene and a soft plush interior lining. The Beligique sleeve for the iPad mini is available in four colors.
Incipio's $25 LGND case for the iPad mini is one of the more affordable folio style options that features a unique front cover with embedded magnets that can fold origami style into a stand suitable for typing and watching videos. The LGND is constructed with a rigid, microfiber lined Plextonium frame that keeps the iPad mini protected and securely snapped in while a soft nubuck suede covered the exterior of the case.
For when you find yourself having to carry a bit more than just your iPad mini, Waterfield's $69 iPad Wallet for the iPad mini is a compact travel case that's handmade in the USA, and made from impact-resistant nylon with elegant distressed brown leather trim and can carry your iPad with or without a protective case on along with additional small accessories including an Apple Wireless Keyboard or a similar compact Bluetooth keyboard. The iPad Wallet case features lightly padded internal pockets, leather trim, YKK zippered opening and ballistic nylon inserts that add an extra layer of protection over the iPad mini's screen. Waterfield's iPad Wallet for the iPad mini is available in six different colors with an optional shoulder strap.
If you want to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, this $25 handmade sleeve for the iPad mini from Etsy made by Handmade Berlin will do the job. It's made using natural padded fabrics featuring a cute owel pattern finished of with a wooden closure button and a yarn string to keep the iPad mini safely tucked inside. Handmade Berlin's iPad mini sleeves feature a front pocket for storing a few pens and a charger, come in a wide variety of styles and fabric patterns for you to choose from, and are made to fit an iPad mini with a Smart Cover attached.
The $30 RadSleevz by RadTech are rad for a unique reason. The RadSleevz for the iPad mini are made from a super thin and durable micro-fabric material called Optex that's velvety smooth, repels water, debris and can stretch around the iPad's every bit of curve for a tight and form-fitting fit like a Spandex suit. The RadSleevz sleeve is form-fitting yet it can also stretch around an iPad mini with a Smart Cover on. RadTech's Optex material also doubles as a cleaning cloth fabric so you can clean your mini's screen with it too. A must for users who need to keep their iPad mini scratch-free on down-time while fully enjoying the amazing design it has to offer. RadSleevz are available in six different colors.
The $40 Berlin case by Kavaj for the iPad mini is a genuine leather made ultra-slim folio style case with a very minimal and sleek looking design. The Berlin case offers a tight fit and features a magnetic cover that will wake and put the iPad mini to sleep, and can fold back to create two viewing different angles for typing and landscape viewing. Kavaj's Berlin case is available in black and cognac leather colors.
The $90 ZaggKeys Mini 7 by Zagg is an all-in-one keyboard case that brings your iPad mini that much closer to becoming a Microsoft Surface tablet. The ZaggKeys Mini 7 has a protective folio style design featuring a Surface-esque kickstand around the back that flips out to create a comfortable viewing stand and a compact and slim built-in Bluetooth 3.0 keyboard with a chiclet-style key layout with all the necessary dedicated function keys. Other features include a long lasting built-in rechargeable battery and an optional standard sized keyboard layout.
GelaSkins are rock solid skin protection for the iPad mini that feature all kinds of unique colorful artwork, patterns and designs without the bulk. These Smart Cover compatible skins will keep both the front and back of the iPad mini protected against scratches and scuff marks for $20. The special 3M vinyl material can be applied flawlessly without trapped air pockets or bubbles, and can be easily removed without leaving behind residue. A matching wallpaper is always available to download for a seamless customization.
There's only one way you could keep your iPad mini's glass display protected without losing the smooth feel of naked glass. Spigen's $48 Glas.t is a .4mm thick premium tempered glass screen protector that has been reinforced to withstand shock and scratches. The Glas.t's special silicone adhesive makes for an easy installation, but only gives you one chance at perfectly aligning it on your first try. Spigen's Glas.t for the iPad mini has an oleophobic coating, anti-shatter film and comes with a set of jelly bean-like home button overlays. It may be the most expensive screen protector around, but it's the best glass-made screen protector you can get that'll feel like you have nothing on at all whilst retaining optimal clarity.