Ballistic has released multiple variants of its LS Series Case ($40, aka Smooth Series Case), including this version for the iPad mini, which is very similar to the company’s Smooth Series Case for iPhone 5. Although it’s slightly above the pricing sweet spot for iPad mini cases, some fans of playthrough-style designs will appreciate its features.
Like previous models, LS Series Case’s body consists mainly of a single piece of soft plastic, available in your choice of four colors. The material bends enough to make installation and removal easy, but at the same time is rigid enough that the sides aren’t loose against the mini’s body. It’s quite slim, resting flat against the tablet’s body. Whereas the other models in the series have been completely smooth, befitting the original name, this version is interrupted by a series of eight horizontal ridges about a third of the way up from the bottom. The ridges help you grip the iPad mini in both landscape and portrait orientations.
Ballistic also includes four sets of swappable bumpers, which fit into the raised corners, enabling you to achieve some color customization. These extended corners, combined with a lip around the screen, help protect the display from damage resulting from accidental drops. We appreciate the fully tactile Sleep/Wake and volume button coverage, as well as the accessory-friendly opening for the Lightning port and speakers. Ballistic still hasn’t addressed its issue with the superfluous second microphone hole on the back of the case, however; we’re wondering whether it’ll be fixed in future production runs.
LS Series Case has more style than most of the playthrough cases we’ve seen for the iPad mini, and offers at least as much protection as most competitors in the category. It’s a good-looking case that will keep your tablet relatively safe in daily use. The only real issue is the price; similar cases go for $15 to $20 less. All things considered, LS Series Case merits a flat B and our general recommendation.
Company and Price
Model: LS Series Case
Compatible: iPad mini