Concept: 4 out of 5
Execution: 3 out of 5
Yeah, but: Perhaps all the good names were already taken.
The Long Version: The point of having a small tablet is that it's small. I knew I would be buying an iPad Mini – MiniPad – at the end of the summer, so I had been looking at cases for a while. But most of the cases on the market are big: multi-layer folios, snap-on plastic backs with 'smart cover' integration, and crash-boxes designed for use by paratroopers. All I wanted was something that I could hold in my hand easily, protect the tablet when travelling, and let me prop the thing up when I wanted to regard it from afar.
I found the Hipstreet 'Pandora' sleeve in the clearance bin at Staples. It's a clever design with folding seams and stiffener panels that both protect the tablet and let the case be folded into a wedge shape to let it be used as a stand; magnets along the opening locks it in place as a stand and snug the sleeve closed when it's flat. There's a little sewn-on tab that catches the bottom of the tablet for use as a stand, and it will hold it in both landscape and portrait orientation.
The material is a not-unpleasant leather-like plastic, which provides plenty of grip for carrying the case, with a soft lining inside. After having mine for a couple of days I went back to Staples and bought a second one, which was lucky timing since the clearance bin was almost empty. It's fairly utilitarian, but it does a good job and has a very clever design. I may still buy something a little more colourful, but I'm glad that I have a spare in case I wear the first one out.
Updated: I've turned my miniPad into a little netbook by adding one of those Logitech Ultrathin keyboards to it. I'm pleased to say that the whole assembly is still able to squeeze into this sleeve.
last updated 3 nov 2013