I bought a red Smart Cover to go with my slate iPad mini. I would have preferred leather, but polyurethane was the only choice this time around. The design isn’t quite as classy as its full-sized alternative on the 9.7″ iPad because it lacks the metal magnetic latch, but it still compliments the sharp design of the iPad mini.
The red absolutely dominates the face of my iPad mini while the cover is on, leaving only glints of dark aluminum underneath. The cover is still easy and fun to fold into a triangular stand, or simply fold behind the iPad mini so that you can safely rest the device on a table. When tucked underneath the mini, the Smart Cover provides a very sexy red outline to the slate device. The bright red really contrasts the black and slate design.
I’m still on the fence as to whether the red is too bright. I bought the slate version partly because I thought it would prove to be a lower profile device in public, but the red on the Smart Cover just screams. On the bright side, the red does make the cover harder to misplace.
Three Panels, Not Four
Where the mini Smart Cover shows great improvement is as an upright stand for writing (with a Bluetooth keyboard) and viewing. The original Smart Cover was far too close to 90 degrees to be of much use to me for typing, but this Smart Cover is much closer to 60 or 70 degrees. This means that it’s much more comfortable to sit in front of and type.
The downsides to the new design have to do with the magnets and the reduced number of panels. The magnets no longer align flawlessly every time, which admittedly takes away from some of the magic of the product. This smaller cover also features only three panels, as opposed to the four on the original Smart Cover, meaning that the resulting triangular stand is less stable than it was before. Instead of really tucking into itself to form a solid base, the Smart Cover simply attaches to itself – similar to pressing all of your fingertips together. The fit of the Smart Cover is still secure, but not as rock-solid as it was in its previous incarnation.
The $45 Smart Cover for iPad mini isn’t cheap – it’s actually quite pricey, considering the materials and construction. However, if my last Smart Cover was any indication, it should last quite a while.
I also feel a strange sense of affection for this moulded plastic accessory. It’s thin, light, and simple. It protects my screen during storage, folds effortlessly into a typing or viewing stand, and detaches with a quick tug. If you liked the original Smart Cover, then you’ll like this one. Furthermore, if you were bugged by the restrictive viewing angle on the original, then you’ll love this newer design.
The Smart Cover was purchased by the author of this post for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.