Simplism Handy Cover Set for iPad mini
Most iPad shells offer simple protection, but not much functionality beyond that. Simplism's Handy Cover Set for iPad mini ($30) is a slightly different take on the common theme. The faux leather-covered polycarbonate shell has an elastic strap stitched onto the back, which makes it easily to hold the already palmable tablet. It's available in beige, black, red, or brown, and each comes with screen film, a cleaning cloth, squeegee, dust-removing tape, and a plastic stand.
Handy Cover Set easily snaps onto the back of the iPad mini with a reassuring click that we didn’t expect, but appreciated. It’s not the most protective shell we’ve seen, but not that bad, either. While the side edges are covered adequately, the material leaves some extra aluminum at the top exposed. Fixing this would add a just little extra protection, but make the case look more complete—as would straightening out the somewhat blobby edges. The case doesn’t provide any coverage for the ports or buttons, choosing instead to leave them exposed and accessible at all times. We’d like to see the case’s edges raised just a bit higher to provide a protective lip, although the included film is useful here to provide screen coverage.
Despite the fact that the material is obviously faux leather, Simplism went with a very nice design for the back of this case. Stitching runs diagonally across the back, providing a classy touch. Starting at the bottom left corner and ending about an inch short of the top right edge is the elastic hand strap. The black band rests flat when not in use, but is easy to pick up and slide across your left hand for portrait iPad use, or on your right hand for landscape use. It’s very comfortable, although the strap feels just the slightest bit loose: we would’ve preferred a little more tension, but it never felt like it would fall off our hands.
Handy Cover Set’s hand strap is a particularly appealing feature—it feels nice, and is nearly ideal for iPad users who walk around for extended periods of time, hand-holding their tablets. There are details that Simplism could work to resolve, of course, including full edge-to-edge coverage of the iPad’s rear shell. As it stands though, Handy Cover Set has found some very good new ways to implement familiar ideas, and it’s deserving of our strong general recommendation.