Apple's Smart Cover for the iPad mini is a recommended option to house your beloved iOS device, but when it comes to keeping it in good condition, you might want to look at a more comprehensive alternative.
The most popular cases come in the form of folios, which protect the front and back of your iPad and usually fold to create a stand, ideal for watching films or typing on.
Then there are the sleeves, which are perfect as carry cases. Rugged cases are for extreme use (or to keep your iPad mini safe in the hands of children), while rear shells are for keeping the back of your mini scratch-free.
Whatever your specific requirements, you'll find plenty of options to choose from here.
Folio cases - smart cases to protect both sides of your iPad mini
1. GEAR4 CoverStand
There's nothing particularly fancy about this case, but it's still a good all-rounder. The leather-plastic combo works well enough and the stand mechanism is suitably robust. It's basic and there's better quality around for this price, but we could easily live with the GEAR4 CoverStand as our iPad mini's main case.
2. iChic Gear Manhattan
The iChic Gear Manhattan is one of the finest folio/stand combos in this test. In landscape orientation the stand is very stable, aided by tucking the tongue of the case's clasp into its holder at the back. The iPad mini feels sturdy in the case at all times, and we really liked the neatly recessed leather, too.
3. QDOS Libris
We applaud QDOS for making a portrait case stand, something that makes this model really stand out. Open the case and on the inside panel there are two kickstand options for placing your iPad mini in either orientation. However, after a promising beginning, the rest of the case is fairly average in looks and quality.
4. Cygnett Enigma
This folio case touts itself as a flexi-folding effort, where the front cover folds like a piece of origami to become the stand. Thankfully, it's nowhere near as complicated as origami to construct; however, we failed to find it a reliable stand solution. A nice try, but it's not really robust enough. The Enigma comes in pink and blue, too.
5. GGMM Fit-M
The Fit-M seems like a backward step at first. It uses two suction cups to grip the cover to the iPad's screen - where are the magnets, we hear you cry? Well, this is a stronger solution, and the overall fit of this case is wonderful. Stylewise, we also admire the leather being raised off the plastic at the rear.
6. Tucano Ala Folio Case
The leather on this slimline case is super-grippy, but that's the only redeeming feature. The fit is quite cumbersome and really detracts from the good looks of your device. The cutaway holes for the rear features (camera, volume buttons and such) seem like afterthoughts, and the stand is wobbly.
7. Toffee Leather Slim Folio
A very similar design to the Incipio Lexington, but with an easier tongue/loop design to hold the case in its stand position. It's solid and stylish, but our model was a little suspect when it came to the glue and stitching in some areas. A reasonable enough general purpose folio case.
8. Germanmade g.2
This is by far the strangest iPad mini holder here - the g.2 encases your beloved iPad mini in a wooden surround. The fit is good and there's even space to store your iPhone underneath. However, it's pricey, bulky and too much of a niche design for most people - even if the customization options are second to none.
9. Incipio Lexington
The thick rubber housing of the Lexington Hard Shell Folio Case protects the mini, but never feels bulky. The rubberized leather that covers the case feels luxurious and it's one of the strongest stands we tried on test. Getting the tongue through the loop at the back, however, is more difficult than it should be.
10. Griffin Slim Folio
This Griffin case has some of the best quality (and best smelling) leather in this roundup. The Filofax-esque feel could appeal to business travellers and suchlike, but it will probably prove too cumbersome for most of us. It does have a loop to keep a stylus with the case, but unfortunately, the stand is a little weak for our liking.
11. Proporta Leather Style Case
Get this if you want a well-padded case that will allow you to stand it in landscape or portrait. It's all done through one stand too, making it much neater than the QDOS Libris. It operates on a simple swivel mechanism and we found it became our general purpose case of choice over time.
12. Knomo iPad Mini Folio
This case uses a raised bit of rubber to lock the folding cover behind it. It's positioned to give two different stand positions; a high one for watching films, and a shallow position for when you want to do some typing. Sadly however, there's no way of locking the cover, which makes it next to useless for protection.