I have a secret that I never thought I would share with anyone, but I feel like I can tell you.
I ordered one of the first magnetic covers that Miniot offered for the iPad 2. The idea of having a smart cover made of gorgeous wood was simply too enticing, so without reading the fine print (my fault, not Miniot’s!), I sent off for one and waited almost three months for it to arrive.
And when it came, I was sorely disappointed.
Although I absolutely loved the wood, and there was no denying the craftsmanship, the cover wasn’t exactly what I had expected; it was more like a jointed faceplate held on with magnets than a traditional case, and it didn’t function like the elegant and magnetically attached Apple Smart Cover.
Oh sure, when it was lying on my desk, my iPad looked stunning, but I hated that when I needed to actually use my iPad I couldn’t fold the cover over and under. Instead, I had to do this lame sliding move where the cover was sort of attached to the back of my iPad by the magnets, but not really.
But did I mention that when I wasn’t using the iPad, it looked really good?
I wished for a way to make my beautiful wooden cover function more like a smart cover, and for a moment I contemplated finding someone who could figure out how to remove the jointed metal magnetic attachment from my pink pleather smart cover and somehow attach it to the Miniot. But I am not a patient person, and after a day or two of looking at the cover and despising it for not being the smart cover I wanted it to be, I decided to see what would happen if I glued the Miniot cover to that old Apple Smart Cover.
And so I did.
And that is how my original Miniot iPad 2 cover wound up in the bottom of a box, hidden somewhere inside Kev’s and my storage container, never to be seen again.
I figured that would be the end of wooden smart cover escapades, until I got an email from Miniot saying that they had a new Mk2 cover for the iPad 2 and 3. Of course I clicked on the site links, and that’s how I learned that unlike before, this one was much more than just a removable screen protector. This time, Miniot was offering exactly what I had hoped for in the first place.
So I put in my order near the end of April, and this week (just about the time I had forgotten about it), the new Mk2 showed up.
But before I tell you about it, let me first mention that there are two styles you can choose from: the first is the standard series which is a simple wooden case hand-crafted in a single wood of your choice. The second version is called “Tone your own”, and for a bit more money you get to design a vertical wooden color block pattern on the front of your cover.
I went with simple (and less expensive, since I was still smarting from my first destroyed expenditure), and I ordered a Standard Series case in mahogany.
My mahogany Mk2 cover arrived while I was out of town this week, and when I opened the box and discovered what was inside, I let out an audible “oooooohhhhhhh”.
In the following pictures, I have truly tried to recreate what I see when I look at my cover … but there is no way to catch the almost 3D glow that Miniot managed to conjure from this slice of wood. It is breathtakingly beautiful, and I can’t stop touching it.
The only branding on the cover is the tastefully engraved MINIOT logo on the left bottom side …
… and I took advantage of the free engraving to have judie stanford @geardiary put in the middle of the right edge.
The inside of the cover is lined in black ultrasuede, and the cover wakes and sleeps my iPad properly when opened or closed.
When I am using my iPad, the cover folds behind perfectly flat. All of the corners are rounded to precisely fit, and the overall utility is just as elegant as the cover’s appearance.
Because the back of the iPad is left exposed (just as it would be with the Apple Smart Cover), my suggestion is that you protect the metal from scratches by applying a protective skin of some kind. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
Rather than folding into a triangle to support your iPad for landscape-oriented typing (as the Apple Smart Cover does), the Mk2 tucks into a scroll that rolls right under the edge of the iPad. This method is just as supportive, and it works just as well.
The Miniot Mk2 cover is composed of 11 slats of wood, not counting the wooden hinge; if you feel like a single color isn’t going to project your personality sufficiently, then you can “Tone your own” and get a cover of many colors …
… or perhaps racing stripes. It’s totally up to you and your imagination. As an added bonus, when you order from the “Tone your own” series, you can choose from six different ultrasuede microfiber interior liner colors: black, colonial red, admiral (blue), brownstone, amber gold and silver pearl.
Perhaps the most amazing thing is that none of these woods are stained.
All Miniot Covers are finished with three layers of clear varnish. The tones are natural, unstained wood colours.
The Miniot Mk2 is the perfect iPad accessory for anyone who needs the screen protection that a smart cover provides, but wants the beauty and warmth that can only be found in gorgeous hand-worked wood.
I’m still embarrassed about what I did to my original Miniot iPad cover, but now that I’ve confessed my folly, I feel such a sense of relief that I’ve ordered the Miniot Pouch in walnut for my iPhone 4S. Funny how that works. =P
The Miniot Mk2 cover for iPad is available directly from the manufacturer; there are seven colors available in the Standard series: cherry, walnut, oak, smoked oak, maple, mahogany, and padouk; all come with a black ultrasuede microfiber interior.
MSRP: €69.00 / $ 86.00 for one of the basic seven colors or €89.00 / $ 110.00 for the “Tone your own” version. It takes about 6 weeks plus shipping to get your cover, so just about the time you have either forgotten you ordered it or you’ve given up on it, it will show up. Engraving a line of text is free; it’s $19 more to add image engraving.
What I Like: Absolutely gorgeous. glowing, flawlessly designed wood cover; protects the screen, supports the iPad, and looks amazing
What Needs Improvement: Shipping times are brutally long, but since each Mk2 is handmade to order and then shipped from Holland, there’s not much that can be done about it; you really should put a skin of some kind on the back of your iPad to protect the metal when using this cover