There is one thing you need to know about me… I’m a case and cover snob. Even more than that, if I don’t like the look of a case or cover, or if it doesn’t feel good, I will not use it. It doesn’t have to be an expensive case though - my iPhone currently lives in a $5 snap-on case, but it works well and the design fits my personality perfectly. So the $5 iPhone case lives on (and likely will, until I upgrade my phone.)
That being said, when someone pointed out the Oberon Design iPad mini cover, my attention was caught immediately. The case itself is nothing short of a work of art. Hand-crafted from leather, and with a pewter button closure, the case is beautiful, though it does come with a price tag that is not for the faint of heart ($73). I chose the Celtic Hounds cover in Walnut .
Some details about the cover:
As mentioned, the cover is leather, which gives it a wonderful feel. The leather is thicker than many cases I’ve seen, but in my opinion, this just adds to the protection it provides to the iPad mini. It is secured closed by a small bungee cord and a pewter button, which is also molded in a Celtic knot design, providing a unified look to the piece.
The iPad itself is held in the cover by two leather straps on the bottom corners, and two bungee cords on the top corners. The fit is secure enough that I’ve never felt any fear of it coming lose in the cover.
The inside flap of the cover has a felt lining to protect the screen, and a small leather flap to allow for storing notecards or other smallish pieces of paper.
Additionally, Oberon has designed a unique way to set the iPad up on a table for viewing in landscape mode. Rather than most cases that have an additional bend in the case and a flap on the cover you tuck into, they decided to keep the cover semi-rigid with plastic inserts. To change the case to a viewing angle, you simply bend it backward, extend the provided cord, and loop it around a small flap on the inside cover. Very low-tech, but highly appropriate for the style of case.
There is a hole cut in the back cover to allow for use of the camera, though many of the pictures on their website do not reflect this.
Also, as a nice little added touch, Oberon includes a small pewter charm in the package.
Despite my absolute love of this case, there are a couple negatives:
First, the bungee cord that secures the top right corner of the iPad goes right on top of the mute/rotation lock switch on the side of the iPad. This causes you to have to move it slightly in order to flip the switch, so for someone who utilizes that switch on a regular basis, this may be a problem. As my iPad is nearly always muted, this is not an issue for me.
Second, while the aforementioned landscape viewing arrangement fits into the personality of the case, it is a bit odd. Having to extend out a cord (and stuff it back into the case when you’re done) feels a bit out of place. It does work, though, so this is really more of a personal annoyance.
Lastly, the case is made of rather thick leather, so it adds a considerable amount of bulk to the otherwise svelte iPad Mini. Whether this is a problem or not depends mostly on whether you purchased an iPad mini because of it’s thinness and lightness. That is not why I got an iPad Mini, so this one is not a problem for me.
All in all, I find this to be a wonderful cover that protects the investment in the iPad and looks cool, too. I rather wish I had gotten the cover for the full-sized iPad, though, as I’m finding myself wanting to switch back to the retina display of my iPad 3, but I just don’t want to give up this beautiful case.
Wow, talk about a case snob! I choose my iPad because of the case I have? Go figure…
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