Review: Grovemade Bamboo iPad Case for iPad mini
With Bamboo iPad Case for iPad mini ($89), Grovemade continues its history of creating premium wood cases. This one is a surprisingly light folio, offering a significant amount of coverage for Apple’s smaller tablet. While the price is at a level that’s prohibitively high for many users, it’s not terrible considering that less impressive wooden cases often fall in a similar price range. It provides almost all of the features we’re generally looking for in a case, and looks great.
All the way around, this case is built of thin but sturdy wood. It adds about 0.2” to the total thickness, bringing the total package to half an inch. It’s evident just by looking at Bamboo iPad Case that it’s made up of several individual pieces, put together by hand with care. Along all of its surfaces and around its corners, it’s clean and smooth. Fans of quality woodwork and those who appreciate natural designs will get a kick out of it.
The iPad mini slides in from the open left side of the case, where the lid is attached. There’s a soft lining to prevent damage from the wood, and full edge protection. This includes separate protectors for the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons, held in place with a tape that allows them to travel back and forth, but not fall out. Openings for the headphone and Lightning ports are wide enough and shallow enough that there will be little issue connecting most plugs.
Grovemade did a good job with the lid, although its stand capabilities are so hidden that some users may think they’re missing altogether. Much like Miniot’s Cover, the wood is actually cut into several columns, allowing the otherwise rigid material to articulate. Eight very narrow pieces make up the spine, while the cover itself is made up of seven segments of varying widths. When closed, the cover lays flat on the screen and even turns it off thanks to embedded magnets. It can curl out of the way and sit flat against the back of the case, or form into typing and viewing positions. To do so, you must curl the lid in on itself past a point where it feels like it might snap. Keep going though, and the lid’s right edge will eventually lay flat against the back of the case, holding its position with magnets.
There’s no doubt Grovemade’s $89 iPad mini case is expensive, but it’s a very nice combination of form and function, with a natural style unlike most of what’s on the market. Form doesn’t overtake function, making this option strong enough to earn our general recommendation. We give the company credit for providing such a high level of protection without sacrificing looks. It’d be better if it didn’t take feeling like you were going to break the case to get it to function as a stand, but it all works, and works well.