Review: Sena Cases Florence for iPad mini
Now available for the iPad mini, Sena Cases' Florence ($80) was reviewed for the full-sized iPad around the launch of the third-generation model. This smaller version costs the same and is set up in essentially the same way, with the distinction of being one of the thinnest genuine leather cases we've yet come across. The folio-style design isn't mind-blowing in any way, but it does provide a reasonable amount of protection, and can transform into a stand. You have your choice of black, ten, red, or brown.
Florence holds your iPad mini between two sheets of leather that have been sewn together and fused along their edges. There isn’t any sort of button or port protection, just openings to provide access. This means you’ll have no problem using the controls, but the edges of the iPad are more prone to getting dinged up, a fairly common issue with most leather folios. Here, the iPad’s left corners are also uncovered. Florence provides bezel coverage, contoured to expose the Home Button and FaceTime camera.
As with most folio-style cases, Sena’s incorporates magnets into the lid. In this instance, there are two: one at the top to hold Florence shut, and another at the bottom to lock the iPad mini’s display. Unfortunately, there were a handful of problems here. Our review unit’s bottom right cover corner curled up, far enough that it left the screen on when it was supposed to be locked. Additionally, the locking mechanism can be accidentally triggered when the lid is folded behind the iPad. This means that the screen might turn off on you while you’re using your tablet, even while you’re holding the case in a totally natural way. Due to the issues with the magnets, we suggest simply turning the mini’s “iPad Cover Lock / Unlock” feature off; it’s an unfortunate compromise, but pretty much necessary if you’re using Florence.
While Florence isn’t a bad case by any means, the design, pricing, and protection collectively merit only a limited recommendation. We were particularly surprised to see that Sena didn’t lower the price of the iPad mini version of Florence to reflect its smaller size and the fact that less material is used; it’s just as expensive as the full-sized iPad version. As a thin leather folio it’s a nice looking option, but it certainly wouldn’t be our number one choice. With improved magnet performance and added protection, it would be a better pick, but some users will be drawn to it regardless due to its attractive and relatively svelte design.