Chambray Tab Cover with Stand for iPad mini
Attractive-ish; keeps iPad fairly secure; multiple-angle stand
Pretty average; partly obscures mute switch; no magnetic sleep/wake
US$30 + shipping
True folio cases, such as Belkin’s US$29.99 Chambray Tab Cover with Stand for the iPad mini, are pretty run-of-the-mill. They protect your mini fairly well, but they’re not terribly stylish. Luckily, the Chambray Tab Cover is a bit more stylish than most, though it does add some bulk.
The Chambray Tab Cover is a two-tone folio case that comes in four main colours: blue, pink, khaki and dark grey. The case features a chambray fabric (that’s a plain weaved cotton, in non-textile speak), a dark grey faux-leather binding, and a dark grey faux-leather magnetic tab closure for keeping your mini protected.
Inside, the Tab Cover has four faux leather corners that hold the mini securely in place, as well as a soft grey lining that lies against the screen. The Tab Cover is both a cover and a stand – the case allows you to prop up your mini in at least three different landscape orientation angles. There are three small notches on the inside of the front cover to secure the cover in set angles, but the inner material is grippy enough that you can angle the mini pretty much however you like.
The Chambray Tab Cover’s corners make it easy to pop your mini in and out of the case. They’re surprisingly secure – not once did my mini fall on my face while I was trying to read in bed – but since they’re made of faux leather and not hard plastic, they can look a little off when compared to the rest of the design. The case leaves access to most of the mini’s ports and buttons, including the Sleep/Wake button, volume buttons, headphone jack and Lightning port, and there’s a cutout for the rear-facing camera. You can still access the mini’s mute switch, though one of the corners does partly obscure it.
Whether you’ll like the Chambray Tab Cover enough to buy it will really depend on if you like the look of the two-tone chambray and faux leather fabric. It’s not a particularly outstanding case – it doesn’t even have a trigger for the iPad’s magnetic Sleep/Wake functionality – but if you think it’s an attractive case, it’s a decent buy. It’ll keep your mini safe and secure (it feels like it can take a drop or two, but not five), and it’s easy to switch out if you’d like to try a different case later on.
by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, Macworld