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Feb 24 2013

Mapi Cases Soli iPad Mini Case Review

I had not heard of Mapi Cases until I made their acquaintance at the CES show last month. They make a range of upscale cases and covers for iDevices and high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy and Note.

The cases are hand crafted in Istanbul (not Constantinople) from real cow. That’s right, they are unapologetically crafted from cowhide leather that is drum dyed and carefully cut and sewed in the tradition of leather makers for thousands of years.

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The first thing that hit me when I opened the package is that smell.

I LOVE the smell of leather. There is something sensual and wonderful about the feel and smell of leather that makes me want touch and fondle it. It got me arrested in college and is a constant source of embarrassment for those around me…but I digress.

The outside of the leather is sealed with a polyurethane and/or polyacrylate dispersion layer. This is basically the same process used for patent leather and it seals the leather for easier care. The process is simple and it still lets the character and personality of the leather come through.

The Soli has a single joint about a third of the way across the front cover and it is held closed with a tongue of leather the slides into a loop on the back of the case. There are magnets in the cover to support the smart case functionality and put your iPad Mini to bed when the cover closes.

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The iPad slides into the case like an envelope and is held in place with a flap that slides under the back of the iPad. This is simple, but effective and the fact that the case tolerance is nearly perfect keeps the iPad held very securely within.

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All the controls and ports are exposed through cutouts so that you can get at everything while the iPad is safely tucked inside the Soli. Opening the case reveals the suede side of the leather and this is the soft portion that rests against the screen of your tablet. In a whimsical touch, the cutout for the front facing camera is asymmetrical to give it a bit of visual interest.

assymetric

The branding on the case is subtle (which I appreciate) with a small stylized eagle on the front of the case and a small “MAPI” on the back of the case. I did have to reach out to the company to confirm that these were not actually cattle horns! They did not detract from the looks of the case at all to me. I am not opposed to a bit of branding from a company, I just don’t want it to punch me it the jaw. Mapi has found a good balance in this.

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By folding the cover around behind the case and putting the tongue of leather back through the closure loop you can use the case as a stand for viewing in the vertical position or horizontally for glass typing.

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The viewing angle is good but the keyboarding angle is a bit awkward. Because the loop is in the middle of the case on the back, this is what rests on the surface when you type on the glass. This makes the case rock when you type on the glass and I found it to be distracting. If you carry a BT keyboard or don’t keyboard much it will not be a problem but you might want to look at their Perga case if you do type on the glass.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mapi makes a lovely case. The leather is luxurious and meticulously assembled. The stitching is tight and perfect and there are thoughtful little touches like the way the case cover narrows where it meets the body of the case helping it close more securely. The dye coloring was consistent and even and the whole case has a feeling of care and completeness.

This was my first experience with Mapi but I have a sneaking suspicion it won’t be my last. Highly recommended.

Mapi Soli Leather iPad Mini Case $120

MapiCases
1-855-306-0069 (EST)
Email: info@ottocase.com
1015 Collier Rd Ste B
Atlanta GA 30318

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