Since I got the iPad mini, I have been looking for an elegant way to carry and protect it. The first thing I did was put a Bodyguardz Armor protective film on the back and a screen protector on the screen. Still, as much as I love using the iPad mini in as thin and light a manner as possible, I am carrying the tablet everywhere, and I need a higher degree of protection than the films alone provide.
Until recently I was using a Bodyguardz Sentinel case. It is a nice, simple folio case, and I have enjoyed having it for the past weeks. My only issue with it is the fact that it is synthetic. In and of itself that isn’t a problem, but synthetic is synthetic, and natural leather is elegant and classy. Natural leather just looks and feels better, and I love knowing that a case is made form the best materials possible. Fortunately a host of beautiful leather cases for the iPad mini have now been released and I have a few in hand. There is, for example, the Mapi Case Perga for the iPad mini. Let’s take a look.
The Perga is a premium leather case that looks and feels elegant from the minute you open the box. The leather cover is thick, and the leather “frame” that surrounds the iPad’s screen is rigid enough that it that truly makes the case feel like a frame surrounding screen. The inside of the Perga has a soft lining that helps protect the iPad Mini from scratches. The company also notes that the lining will absorb “ambient moisture”.
The entire case is made of leather, but the back has an extra thick layer that helps provide a bit of additional protection when placing the tablet down on a flat surface. As you will notice, on one side of the cover is a relatively large tab of extra leather. This is the mechanism that keeps the case closed.
Inside of it is a large, strong magnet that holds it in place impressively well, and it won’t allow the case to open until you consciously go to use it. At first I thought this tab of material was too large — that it added too much bulk and weight to the case. However, I have quickly become comfortable with it, and I am not troubled by it in the least.
There are a number of different approaches companies take when designing iPad covers. There is the “single sheet” approach in which the cover of the iPad is a single rigid sheet of material that opens and closes like a book cover. There is the one-joint cover approach in which the single sheet of the cover is disrupted by one joint the divides the cover into a 1/3-2/3 separation. The advantage of this approach is the ability to flip the cover over and use it like a built-in stand. Finally there is the segmented cover approach that divides the cover into three equal segments.
This is the approach Apple takes with its SmartCover. It has the advantage of the cover folding onto itself, and it serves as a two-position stand. One position is a shallow angle that is ideal for typing. The second is a steeper landscape mode that is ideal for viewing video or having a video chat. It is also worth noting that the case includes the automatic sleep/awake functionality, thanks to magnets hidden within. My preference is to never use an iPad case that does not include this functionality.
And as you can see, the various cutouts are precise, and they allow complete access to all ports, buttons and controls. That means you never have to remove your iPad mini from the Perga. That should be no surprise, since this is definitely a premium leather case for the iPad mini. Still, the fact that everything lines up perfectly is a tribute to the craftsmanship that went into it. After all, each case is handcrafted in Turkey; clearly the craftsmen who make the cases take pride in their work.
The Mapi Cases Perga is a relatively lightweight leather case that is both durable and shock resistant thanks to the use of thick, high-quality leather in its construction. It is one of those iPad cases that successfully combines elegance with protection, and functionality with no compromises anywhere along the way.
The Perga is available in black, brown, red, and tan leather. At $120 it is a bit on the pricey side, but I love the case; if you are willing to drop this much money on a case for your iPad mini, I am sure you will too. You can learn more and order yours on the Mapi Case website.
What I Like: Quality leather and impressive build-quality; Holds the iPad securely and protects it quite well; Cover includes automatic sleep/awake functionality; Cover also functions as a two-position stand with the typing mode being the more stable of the two positions; Logo is small and unassuming
What Needs Improvement: Adds notable bulk and weight to the thin and light iPad; Built-in viewing mode stand is not as stable as I would like; Over $100
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample