I’ve been a fan of Oberon Design’s products for several years, and it seems to go without saying (at least in my home) that if you have a new iPad or Kindle, you’ll probably want an Oberon Design cover to go with it. Kev has the Celtic Hounds cover in wine on his iPad 3, and I have the Van Gogh Sky cover in sky blue on my Kindle touch. I have found that there is no better leather cover available if you want to keep your device a book-style case.
I was sent the latest Oberon Design cover for the iPad mini, which I’ve been using it for the past few weeks. The design I picked was the Bold Celtic in black, which matches the large smartphone sleeve I recently reviewed. A square pewter button sits on the front for attaching the elastic closure loop; this keeps the cover closed securely.
The leather used in this cover is thick and slightly stiff; it has a lovely grainy texture in the unembossed areas. Over time, as I have found with all of my other Oberon Design products, the leather will soften with use; it’s only been a few weeks, and my iPad mini cover is already getting softer with use — just like I like it!
The inside of the cover has a single pocket that runs along the bottom left. Extra bungee cords are included; just put them somewhere safe in case you ever need them.
As in all other Oberon Design covers, you’ll find a removable sheet of stiff plastic tucked into each inner pocket inside the case; I always remove them, since I like a floppier cover. Note that the only branding evident on the cover is on the right side, under where the iPad will sit.
The iPad mini is held in place with a series of leather and elastic loops; there are two leather loops on the bottom which you should insert the iPad into first, and then there are elastic loops for the top that you pull over once the iPad is seated in the leather loops.
In a perfect world, there might be another way to safely and firmly attach the iPad that didn’t involve anything covering the corners, but this method works well enough, and it isn’t too obtrusive.
Isn’t the dimensional embossing lovely? Now just imagine how it feels when you are touching it …
When the iPad is inside the cover, you still have easy access to all buttons, switches, and ports. Because there is a border of leather around the iPad, the cover provides excellent corner protection in the event of drops or falls. The cover does add some bulk and weight to the iPad mini, but it is not so much that it annoys me; this is truly a leather book-style cover done correctly!
You don’t have to remove the iPad to take photos; there is a perfectly placed hole on cover’s the back side.
Even though I don’t ever seem to need it, it’s a handy feature that the iPad mini cover has the ability to be turned into a horizontal stand with a tug and a tuck of the elastic system. I always threaten that since I never use it, I’m going to cut the extra elastic system out of each cover that has it … but I always end up tucking it into the deep pocket behind the iPad, which keeps it out of sight and out of mind.
For a little bit more about Oberon Design covers, check out this video; it was filmed with a larger iPad cover, but much that is mentioned also applies to the iPad mini cover.
[youtube = http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IE9L0KOKxrQ#!]
Adding an Oberon Design cover to your iPad mini is the easiest way to kill two birds with one stone; you’ll not only be protecting your iPad from bumps, drops and spills, you’ll also be personalizing it inside the most beautiful and functional leather book-style case available.
What I Like: Gorgeous leather covers with pewter accents; leather borders protect iPad from corner drops, while leather bands and elastic keep iPad firmly inside the cover; reasonably priced; elastic bungee system can be used to prop iPad up for horizontal viewing
What Needs Improvement: Adds some bulk and weight to the iPad mini, but I think that the tradeoff is worth it
Source: Manufacturer provided review sample