Company: Speck Products
Compatible: iPad mini
Speck iGuy for iPad mini
Somewhat surprisingly, one of Speck's first cases for the iPad mini is iGuy ($30) -- a smaller version of the foam-bodied iPod and iPad case. iGuy is designed as a protective and fun case solution for kids. While the previous iPad version we saw was drastically different than its smaller predecessors, this newest edition is almost identical to its full-sized counterpart.
Available in orange, green, red, and purple, iGuy is a single piece of squishy foam made to resemble a standing person. Picture a squat rubbery body with arms and legs coming directly out of a rectangular head, and a large opening where the face would be. With those legs, iGuy can stand upright for video viewing in landscape orientation. The flexible arms double as useful handles a child can easily grab. To insert your iPad mini, you just push it into the large opening until it pops into place. It takes a little bit of force, but because the case is so soft, there’s no reason to fear damaging the tablet.
Unlike the larger iGuy, this one seems a little rough around the edges, both figuratively and literally. The opening for the display covers the bezel along the top and bottom, coming right up to the touch screen. More space is left on the left and right sides for the FaceTime camera and Home Button, although the button is partially covered by the foam. We would’ve preferred a small scoop to accommodate it, although it’s still usable. Rotate iGuy around and you’ll also find openings for the Lightning port, headphone port, microphone, Sleep/Wake button, side switch and volume buttons, and iSight camera. Because the ports are so deeply recessed, compatibility will be limited with certain accessories, and some of these openings have ragged edges. While these imperfections don’t affect the usability of the case, they do take away from its overall appeal.
It’s worth a brief mention that iGuy arrived with a distinctly chemical odor—one that was off-putting for the first few days we had the case. Thankfully, the smell largely dissipated over time, and became noticeable only when holding the foam directly up to one’s nose. We’d expect that most iGuys reaching consumers will have lost their factory scent by the time they arrive in homes, but again, this was less than ideal.
As before, iGuy isn’t for everyone, but the heavily cushioned, really cute holder is well-suited for handing off to a child. It’s easy to hold and provides enough protection that users shouldn’t be too worried about what happens if it’s dropped. While the rough edges are visually distracting, they don’t really take any value away from the case. For what it is, iGuy maintains its predecessor’s general recommendation; it would be nice to see a more polished version as a sequel.