id America SmartFold for iPad mini
Somewhat thicker than competitive cases, id America's SmartFold for iPad mini ($40) is likely to appeal to users who prefer leather-style folios to plastic or rubber options. Although it's not made from real leather, the material used here is a very good approximation, coming in black, brown, grey, orange, red, and white. The case includes a Smart Cover-like lid for screen protection and stand functionality, and aside from two of the four corners, covers the iPad mini pretty well.
SmartFold houses your tablet in a holder on the right side in a pocket supplemented by a large patch of faux leather sewn onto the back. On the other side, it offers significant bezel coverage; the entire perimeter around the iPad’s display is protected by a flat piece of material, with a hole exposing the FaceTime camera and a scoop for the Home Button as the only breaks. Around the edges are simple cutouts for the ports and buttons. These shapes are not as even as we’d prefer, but work just fine in exposing their respective components. Although the left corners aren’t protected, id America actually took the time and effort to cover the two on the right.
The case’s lid is set up in the same way as many iPad mini folios. Divided into three columns, it folds in on itself to form a triangular stand. Despite extraordinarily strong screen locking magnets that also hold SmartFold closed, the stand doesn’t use them to hold its shape. Instead, it relies on the weight of the tablet. Otherwise, though, both the video viewing and typing angles are well executed, and quite sturdy.
While we wish it wasn’t quite so thick, we mostly like what SmartFold has to offer. The handsome faux leather, combined with pretty good body coverage and a lid that properly adds extra functionality, make it a nice option, especially if you prefer something a bit more professional looking. Its fairly affordable price is another factor in its favor. SmartFold earns our strong general recommendation.