Bodyguardz Sentinel and Armor Carbon Fiber Protection for iPad mini Review, Part 2 of 2

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In part one of this two-part review, we looked at the Bodyguardz Armor for iPad mini. It is my skin of choice because it lets me protect my iPad mini from scratches without adding bulk or weight to the smaller, slimmer iPad. The problem with the Armor is that it only protects the iPad from scratches; it doesn’t add any bump or drop protection and, other than the included BodyGuardz ScreenGuardz screen protector, the screen remains vulnerable.

Fact is, if you use your iPad a lot you are going to need a case. My case of choice at the moment? The Bodyguardz Sentinel. The Sentinel is a folio-style case that not only protects the iPad but offers some additional storage as well. And while the Sentinel is a bit thicker than I usually tend to prefer, it is the one I have been coming back to time and time again.

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I like the fact that the company brands their cases in a subtle manner, as they did with the Garrison for the iPad. (The Garrison for iPad mini review is on the way soon.)

From Bodyguardz:

Designed to ensure your iPad Mini is safe and protected, The Sentinel™ lives up to its name. Complete with slots for your credit cards, business cards, cash and more, this premium wallet folio will keep you wondering how you ever used your iPad Mini without it.

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Protection for iPad Mini during everyday use

Allows full access to screen, controls, and ports

Bi-fold screen cover with multi-function pockets

Integrated hand strap for increased security

Made with premium, micro-fiber leather

Screen protector included

The Sentinel looks and feels terrific. No, it isn’t made from high-quality leather. Then again, it is priced at under $40, and Bodyguardz Advantage Members get it for even less. Instead, this case is made from micro-fiber leather. I assume that means it is synthetic, that is made to look and feel like leather. It does and, for me, that is good enough.

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The Sentinel holds the iPad mini in place with what I’ve taken to referring to as a “slip frame design”. The iPad slides into it behind the “frame”,  and an extra tab of material slips behind it and holds it securely in place.

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I like the fact that it offers full access to the iPad while holding it securely in place.

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I also like the fact that this design lets you use an iPad that is already adorned with a protective skin. (This was discussed more in-depth in the first part of this review series.)

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The case gives you a nice, neat package that is a pleasure to carry.

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When the iPad is inside, it is as clean a look as one could ask for and, better still, it completely protects the iPad.

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The design of the case lets you use it as a book or as a stand.

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We’ve seen this approach to turning a case into a stand on such cases as Apple’s iPad case; it is simple but functional.

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This case offers two position, one for typing (it is a bit too sharp an angle for me) and the other for viewing (it is a bit too shallow for my tastes).

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While the case-as-stand design isn’t ideal or my use, having it available in a pinch is great. And since it doesn’t add any weight or bulk to the design, there is no issue having it there … even if you never use it.

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And while I like this case as a case, I also appreciate the fact that is can also function as a mobile wallet thanks to the card slots and pouch area on the inside section of the cover.

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Since I find myself taking the iPad mini pretty much everywhere with me these days, I think this is a great addition to the design of an already-terrific case.

There’s a hand strap also built into it. Personally I fund it completely superfluous; it doesn’t get in the way but I really don’t see a need for it.

When I first got this case, I figured I would use it until something even thinner and lighter came along. I now have a choice of a few different cases, and I find myself using this one most of the time. It is quite protective, and it isn’t bothered by the iPad mini having a skin and screen protector on it. Moreover, the fact that it has a magnetic closure system for both the sleep/awake functionality and to keep it shut when you aren’t using it rather than an extra tab of material that slides behind the case is great. (And example of such a system for keeping the case closed can be seen in the Bodyguardz Garrison. It certainly isn’t a bad approach, but I prefer this one.)

I’ve been using this case for about a week and a half, and I really love that I feel like I’m carrying a light book that is actually a powerful mobile computer. When I was packing for vacation, I initially planned to bring a few cases, but I ended up just bringing this; you can draw your own conclusion. 🙂

You can learn more and order yours.

MSRP: $39.95

What I Like: Great design and build; Holds the iPad securely; Provides complete access to the tablet; Also functions as a wallet and a stand; Magnetic closure is perfect for sleep/awake AND keeping it closed; Comes with a screen protector

What Needs Improvement: Hand strap is an extra I don’t need; Stand is a good addition but not ideal for me and certainly not as flexible as other options.

Source: Personal purchase

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.