Review: Griffin IntelliCase for iPad mini
IntelliCase ($40) is one of a handful of cases Griffin has ported over to the iPad mini from Apple's full-sized tablet. It's almost identical to the version we reviewed for the iPad 2, save for the size and an extra ridge on the back. Although it's not our favorite folio-style case, it's something a little different than most on the market.
Like the original, IntelliCase for iPad mini combines a hard plastic shell with an articulating front lid that’s similar to Apple’s iPad mini Smart Cover. The two are connected by a pair of tabs attached to the left side of the polycarbonate case. Rather than go with polyurethane again, Griffin this time chose to use a “micro-textured surface” for the cover that feels like nylon. Magnets embedded in the lid automatically unlock the iPad mini when the cover is opened, and lock it when the case is closed. It’s divided into three columns, and can fold into a stand for typing, but unlike the Smart Cover, magnets don’t hold the lid’s position. For a viewing angle, you must tuck the cover into a raised ridge along the back of the shell, a solution that works but is not as elegant as other solutions.
Compared to other plastic shells, IntelliCase’s coverage is par for the course. It comes right up to the corner of the bottom and right edges, while stopping a little short at the top. There are individual openings for the ports and buttons, plus one along the bottom running from speaker to speaker. We appreciate that the left side is mostly covered too, as the cover doesn’t protect it like most folios do.
IntelliCase isn’t great, but it’s a good option that actually seems a bit better-suited for the iPad mini than the larger tablet. The ridge on the back isn’t the most intuitive solution, but it works. A nice material for the cover, better protection, and a lower price tag make IntelliCase worthy of a general recommendation.