Review: i-Blason ArmorBox Kido Series for iPad mini
i-Blason's ArmorBox Kido Series for iPad mini ($28) strikes us as a cool concept, with a number of peculiarities. It's specifically aimed at kids, and is in the same space as cases such as Speck's iGuy. The key feature of the case is the convertible handle. It can be used for carrying, but can also turn into a stand when rotated on the metal hinge connecting it to the body. i-Blason offers the case in green, black, blue, pink, and orange.
Like iGuy, and Gripcase’s Gripcase, ArmorBox is made of a foam material; it’s quite firm. Despite the company’s claims of “poly-carbonate” and silicone materials, there’s no evidence of either anywhere in or on the case. It doesn’t have quite as much give as we’d expect, and rather than pushing your tablet in through the front, a tall slot runs the height of the back, from the camera down. This is is the first time we’ve ever seen such a design. The aluminum shell is protected from drops, but is still somewhat susceptible to scratches.
Once inside, the iPad is covered all around, with openings for the headphone port, microphone, side switch and volume buttons, and speakers, and a lip for the screen. The Home and Sleep/Wake buttons are covered, although the former protector is slightly askew, and the latter becomes somewhat hidden by the case. As for the Lightning port, it’s covered by a flip-open protector. i-Blason implemented this feature well, as the door stays securely in place, but is still easily to lift.
ArmorBox’s handle is located along the left edge, and adds about 2.5” to the width of the case. By default, it stays in line with the case, and it holds that position until you push it one way or another. You’ll feel it snap in and out of position when you do. We found the viewing angle to be too steep—about 80°—but the keyboard position is more comfortable.
i-Blason’s kids’ case is rather affordable, very protective, and functional, too. Compared to iGuy, there’s less character, but it seems more practical. There are some oddities, such as the long opening along the back. Regardless, this is quite a good option, especially for kids, and earns our strong general recommendation.