The iPad Mini is one of the hottest tablets on the market, but if you own one, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is buy a case. The aluminum design on the iPad Mini 3 and the iPad Mini 2 (Retina), looks great, but it’s slippery and fragile. The new iPad Mini 3 sees the addition of Touch ID, and updated internal hardware, but otherwise it’s identical to its predecessor. Both are a smidgen thicker than the original at 0.29 inches (7.5mm) compared to 0.28 inches (7.2mm).
Updated on 7-7-2015 by Simon Hill: Removed discontinued cases, and updated copy, pricing, and links.
Mujjo iPad Mini Sleeve ($45)
Here’s a fashionable blend of thick wool felt with high quality leather. It’s easy to slide your iPad Mini in and out of this hand-crafted sleeve. A leather strap is held in place with rivets and it provides secure closure. It’s a simple combination of high quality materials and environmentally friendly design. It will fit both models of iPad Mini and there’s room for accessories or documents alongside your tablet.
If you want something protective and practical for your iPad Mini 3 then look no further. UAG’s cases are tough with an outer armor shell and an inner core that absorbs shock, but they’re a lot lighter than they look. There are handy pads to stop the tablet sliding when it placed on its back and the raised lip does the same at the front. You’ll find over-sized button covers to make things easy and precise openings that won’t interfere with operation. The eye catching vent design is easy to customize.
Gumdrop Hideaway Case ($60)
Cases don’t get much more rugged than this. Gumdrop’s design is chunky and bold, combining a hard polycarbonate frame with tough, easy to grip, malleable silicone. There’s a screen cover integrated and openings for the ports and camera. On the back you’ll find a collapsible stand that can fold out and allow you to prop the iPad Mini 3 in landscape for viewing or angled for typing. There’s no need to panic when you drop your tablet with this case on it.
iGear iPad Flip Turn Case ($100)
Flexible and functional, this keyboard case from iGear comprises a hard polycarbonate shell with a full QWERTY keyboard inside that hooks up to your iPad Mini via Bluetooth. A clever hinge mechanism lets you set it up like a laptop, or you can flip and turn it to hide the keyboard or use it a stand. Every angle is protected and there are cut-outs for ports and buttons. Opening and closing automatically sleeps and wakes your iPad. The whole case has a nice matte, soft-touch finish.
Forget about dust, drops, water, and shock. With this case on your iPad Mini nothing short of a direct missile strike is going to damage it. It’s a high quality piece of kit with an aluminum hinge and Dragontail glass to protect your camera lens, but it does need to be screwed together, which will work better if you’re happy to leave the iPad Mini in it. The difference between this and other heavy duty cases is the folio design, which allows you to flip it open to use your iPad. It’s quite expensive, but you do get some serious protection for your money. It comes in black, orange, or magenta, with gray.