C6 Magnefix Bookcase for iPad mini
In the midst of being flooded with iPhone 5c cases, and only shortly before Apple introduced its iPad mini with Retina display, C6 sent us its new Magnefix Bookcase for iPad mini ($55). At least from the outside, the case is very similar to any number of folio-style options we’ve seen in the past year, and before that for the full-sized iPads. Internally, however, there are both obvious and more invisible differences. As it was released before the announcement of the new iPad mini with Retina display, there’s no opening for the rear microphone on the back of the case. It should otherwise fit, although as of this writing, that’s yet to be definitively confirmed.
Magnefix Bookcase houses the iPad mini inside a hard plastic shell, lined with rubber. This dual-layer design isn’t as common as just plastic, and it should help protect the tablet’s body more thoroughly against drops. There is a consequence, though: the added thickness makes it a little tougher to access the iPad’s buttons, as they’re more deeply recessed, with no raised coverage. The same goes for the headphone and Lightning ports, with the latter having the added problem of being too small to accept larger third-party plugs.
Magnefix Bookcase’s lid is much like Apple’s own iPad mini Smart Cover, and the many competitors that have been inspired by the style. Divided into three columns, it magnetically locks and unlocks the iPad’s display; a small ridge at the center of the shell’s edge makes it easier to lift the cover off. The three segments can be folded into a stand position, but it’s not the standard triangular shape. Instead, the far right column connects to a hidden magnet inside the shell, creating sturdy angles for viewing and typing. It’s not necessarily better than the triangular support, but it’s not worse, either.
We can appreciate C6 taking a somewhat different approach to a tried and true design, and while it hits more often than it misses, the issues do dampen the appeal. A lack of button coverage is one of them, made more problematic by the controls’ deep recession in the material. The price is also an issue. At $55, it’s about $15 more than we’d expect to pay for an iPad mini case, and there’s no shortage of similar options. Both these issues are solvable, thankfully, and ultimately, Magnefix Bookcase has its merits. As it stands, it’s worthy of a limited recommendation.