Review: Maroo [ii] Series Protective Cover for iPad 2, iPad (3rd/4th-Gen) + iPad mini
Of the different variations of folio-style cases available for the iPad mini, one of the most prevalent combines a hard plastic shell with some form of folding lid. Today, we're looking at three recent variations on the theme: Incipio's LGND ($30), Maroo's [ii] Series Protective Cover ($50), and Toffee's Slim Folio ($70). As the full-sized version of [ii] Series Protective Cover ($40) is essentially the same as the smaller model, we're also including it in this review.
Maroo’s cases are a rare example of the iPad mini version costing more than the full-sized iPad variant. There’s only one model for the larger tablet, and three for the smaller; each has a different name. The shell on the iPad mini case is very similar to that of LGND, although this one extends a bit further, stopping just short of the tablet’s bezeled edge. There are holes along the top for each of the inputs, one on the side for the switch and volume buttons, and a long hole for the speakers and Lightning port on the bottom. On the iPad version, there’s a similar design but one opening for the speaker that shrinks as it moves to the Dock Connector or Lightning port.
Also like LGND, the lid, which is faux leather here, extends to the back of the case; it’s textured with raised patterns and stripes. Functionally, it’s very much like Apple’s larger Smart Cover: split up into four columns that fold in on themselves to form a triangular stand, held together with magnets. Unlike the full-sized, four-segment iPad Smart Cover, most iPad mini cases we’ve seen with this feature only have three segments, so this design makes the mini look a little more like the larger iPad. The design works very well, and also triggers the iPad’s magnetic locking system.
Of these cases, LGND is the most aggressively priced, making its small issues forgivable. It’s one of the least expensive name brand folios we’ve seen for the iPad mini, and really quite good—worthy of a strong general recommendation. [ii] Series Protective Cover is also quite nice, although the price differences between the two sizes are confusing. Were the costs reversed, it’d be easy to say that both models are worthy of a B+. At $50 though, the iPad mini version is reaching the point of too expensive, earning it a general recommendation; the iPad version is a comparative bargain. Finally, there’s Slim Folio. The leather is an attractive feature, but not attractive enough to justify the price. For some, the issues with the magnets will prove to be too problematic. It’s not a bad choice if leather is your thing, though, bringing it to a B- rating.