Catalyst, known for its waterproof cases, has recently released its Catalyst Case ($90) for iPad mini 4. The case is designed to be waterproof to 6.6 feet deep, and Catalyst claims it will protect the iPad mini 4 from drops up to 4 feet. The hard plastic and rubber case fully encloses the iPad, of course, with screen protection and a thin membrane enabling the use of Touch ID. The clear plastic shows off the back of the device, and rubber plugs cover both the headphone and Lightning port. Sound, oddly, is vented toward the back of the device. Catalyst Case comes with a thin plastic multi-angle stand.

Review: Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4

Review: Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4

Catalyst Case has a very solid feel, and users are also instructed on how to do their own waterproof test on the device, though Catalyst notes its cases are “100% tested.” Installation can be a bit tricky — though it’s easy to fit the device into the case, the tough part is getting the volume buttons working properly (we had to do it a few times before getting it right). The power and volume buttons can also feel a bit stiff.

Review: Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
Review: Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4

Other issues we experienced included getting some wired headphones to insert properly, and no headphone jack extender was included. Thicker Lightning plugs could cause issues, as well. It was also a strange decision to vent sound to the back of the device, which is not ideal. On the other hand, it’s expected that some sacrifices will have to be made for a fully waterproof case, and some of these perceived issues may not bother users much at all.

Review: Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
Review: Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4

Though we found a few wonky issues with Catalyst Case, it’s still a fully waterproof, protective case for iPad mini 4. Using the screen and Touch ID present no problems, and the case is easy to hold. While we tend to think iPad waterproof cases are unnecessary for most everyday iPad users, those seeking a solid waterproof case at a fair price will likely be pleased by what Catalyst offers here.

Our Rating


Company and Price

Company: Catalyst

Model: Catalyst Case

Price: $90

Compatible: iPad mini 4

Phil Dzikiy

Phil Dzikiy was the Editor-in-Cheif at iLounge. He mostly edited and oversaw all site editorial content, managed staff and freelancers, made the final call on product review grades and awards, and led online coverage of all Apple events and live coverage of the International CES in 2015.