The VersaCover is light and thin, durable and easy to hold, and its foldable, oragimi-inspired cover is truly fantastic. If I had known the VersaCover was going to be released for the iPad mini back when I had purchased the device, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with a Smart Cover.
My VersaCover’s front microfiber cover is grey, and the back is a frosted translucent plastic. All of this is handsome and inoffensive, but I imagine the navy blue version of the case looks even nicer.
The cover itself is thick and sturdy and feels like it should withstand repeated folding. That’s great because the VersaCover folds up into a number of triangular shapes that then function as great stands for the iPad mini. Learning the different configurations takes a little time, but after a day with the case it felt like second nature.
The cover has been pretty good about staying stain-free and has defied repeated placement on my dirty kitchen counter over the past week by staying totally clean.
The plastic shell feels solid. It’s rigid enough to take accidental knocks, it doesn’t feel cheap, and the frosted plastic compliments my coloured Gelaskin nicely. It’s easy enough to snap the mini into the case, though it can feel a little iffy trying to remove it (I’m always afraid I’ll somehow crack the plastic).
The whole package — cover and all — is ridiculously light and adds no noticeable weight to the iPad mini. Long term reading on a bus is a cinch, especially in landscape mode.
Apple’s Smart Cover is great because it combines screen protection with a built-in stand. The VersaCover does a better job than Apple’s own accessory because it’s more secure as a cover and won’t fall off on its own.
It’s also arguably a better stand overall because of the various viewing angles it affords. There are two angles for watching movies, although the higher typing angle may take a little getting used to.
There is also a portrait stand alongside from the usual set of landscape modes, and it’s one of my favourite features of the case by far. It’s a lot easier to edit iA Writer documents in portrait mode (due to the smaller font size in that orientation), and I’m thrilled that I don’t need to carry a separate stand with my iPad to edit the way I want to.
The magnet alongside the rear of the case does a great job of holding the cover in place while it’s folded flat behind the iPad mini. The Smart Cover mostly stayed in place when I folded it back, but the VersaCover feels a lot more solid. It just stays put, making the iPad and the case feel like one unit when I hold them — which is really as it should be.
The $50 price tag is high, but I think the premium is worth it for the flexibility afforded by the VersaCover. The whole package is still thin enough to fit into all of my bags, light enough to hold for hours, and the flexibility afforded by the folding cover is amazing. You’d be hard put to find another iPad mini case that packs this much style and functionality into so little space. My advice is this: Forget the Smart Cover. Just take your iPad mini, put a VersaCover on it, and you’ll be set.
The VersaCover was provided by moshi for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.
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