Review: iSkin Aura Folio + Vibes Folio for iPad mini
With Aura Folio ($50) and Vibes Folio ($50), iSkin has entered the iPad mini field with a rather traditional style of case. As indicated by their names, both cases are folios, holding your tablet between two covers. This pair is set up the same way, differing only in their outside designs. Aura Folio is covered in what iSkin calls brushed aluminum textured nylon, while Vibes Folio has a raised swirl pattern in beige, black, or purple. Both come with an alcohol wipe and cleaning cloth.
Inside of the folios, you’ll find a hard plastic shell to hold the iPad mini. The smooth grey plastic snaps around the tablet’s long edges, covering the chamfered metal, but leaves too much of the top exposed. Almost all of it, from the headphone port all the way to the Sleep/Wake button, is open. This trend has started to subside over the past year or so, but unfortunately iSkin is still somewhat behind here. The bottom is better, at least, with a shorter opening from the end of one speaker to the other. On the right side, one opening gives you access to the side switch and volume buttons.
The front and back covers are lined with a soft microfiber material on the inside. Somewhat unusual for this style of case, the front cover has two slots for credit cards. There are also three rubber rails towards the edge, each of which allows for a slightly different viewing angles. In our testing, we found different issues with both cases. The middle strip on Aura Folio was pulling away when we received it, with an inch or so not floating freely with what felt like no trace of adhesive. On the other hand, Vibes Folio didn’t support the deeper two angles; it kept slipping and collapsing. Both cases have magnets to wake and sleep the iPad mini inside, although since there’s nothing holding the covers in place, you may accidentally trigger the feature.
Unless you’re really in love with the exterior designs, we suggest choosing another folio. Aura Folio and Vibes Folio are just fine in concept, but unfortunately don’t live up to that level of quality in execution. The issues with the shell could be forgivable, but the fact that there were problems with the stand holders really takes away from the appeal, especially at the price, and since there were separate issues with each. That’s why these folios earn our C rating.