Review Price £49.00
Scaling down a classic iPad case design to fit the latest Apple tablet on the block, the Knomo iPad mini leather folio is a practical protective cover that matches a sophisticated design with appealing function.
Crafted from genuine leather, at least in part, the Knomo iPad mini leather folio case plays host to a hardened and moulded rubberised back for added protection, whilst a soft touch interior helps keep your iPad mini’s display safe from unsavoury scratches and smears. What’s more, with each case able to be registered via a unique ID number, if lost, the case can help your beloved tablet find its way home.
At £49 the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio case is far from the cheapest protective cover on the market. That said, however, it is pretty much par for the course in the grand scheme of comprehensive iPad mini cases, and significantly cheaper that the £80 Pong iPad mini case, although that option does boast radiation-reducing, signal-boosting credentials.
Understated and tasteful is probably the best way to describe the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio case design. Playing host to a simple, untainted, genuine leather finish, embossed only with the Knomo logo, the iPad mini case is smart and sophisticated enough to take into a business meeting, without appearing excessively formal when relaxing at home with your 7.9-inch tablet.
As with many modern iPad and iPad mini cases and covers, the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio utilises a selection of front-loaded magnets to automatically wake and sleep the device when the display protecting flap is opened and closed respectively. Although this is a smart, welcome feature, and one which is built seamlessly into the peripheral’s design, it is not without its issues. When shut, the cornered positioned magnets cause the centre of the case to bow upwards, out of shape and away from the tablet within.
Although this might not sound like the most catastrophic of issues, this slight bend opens up a void between case and tablet, a hole that all too frequently sees dust, dirt and other general messiness enter. What’s more, if placed in a bag with items such as keys or pens, this gap is certainly large enough to leave the device open to the risk of display depleting scratches.
Around the back and the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio scraps the smart cowhide in favour of a sturdier, harder wearing rubberised finish. Offering more reassurance against undesired but likely knocks and drops, this moulded design features a raised lip roughly an inch from the case’s left hand edge, an addition that allows the add-on to prop the tablet up when folding round the front cover.
Whilst this lip allows the device to be propped and angled suitably for comfortable typing and media absorption when positioned on a desktop, it is awkwardly sized.
Too small to avoid occasional and all too simple collapses, too big not to be noticeable and cumbersome in the hand, this lip takes away as much from the case’s design as it adds. Overall, it is a divisive addition that will appease users’ needs at times whilst angering at others.
A sensible and well sized case, the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio holds the tablet within securely and without any unwanted and unnerving wiggle room. What’s more, with careful and well positioned cutouts, the case offers quick, uninhabited access to all of the tablet’s ports and buttons, with a smooth-edged hole on the rear also present for the camera.
Suiting a variety of tastes, the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio case is available in a trio of distinct colour schemes, black, teaberry (pink) and cognac (brown).
Aside from the issues with the magnets raising the cover away from the screen, the protective capabilities of the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio case are hard to fault. That said, this is far from the most drop resistant iPad mini case on the market and does not offer peace of mind against potential falls to concrete.
As a case to keep your Google Nexus 7 rivalling tablet safe from scratches, scuffs and the occasional bump, the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio is second-to-none. Thanks to the combining forces of the moulded rubberised casing and leather folio front, the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio is more than capable of tackling day-to-day events, preventing the luscious brushed metal back, and touchscreen display of the tablet from becoming a checker board of marks and blemishes.
Matching the cover against a sizeable drop to a pavement, however, and the peripheral does not have the inherent features needed to avoid potentially tablet killing levels of damage, with neither of the cases key components hosting the cushioning and impact resisting features required to service such as fall.
In practise we felt comfortable sliding the tablet, adorned by the Knomo case, off the edge of a tablet top, letting the device spill to a carpeted office floor and wooden kitchen floor with little concern for the device. In both cases our faith was rewarded by a fully working tablet that showed no sign of the falls. Beyond this height, however, the risks are too great, with not enough support provided to outweigh the inevitable possibility of damage.
As well as providing protection against knocks, drops and bumps, the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio case offers users, to a small degree at least, protection against loss.
With each case coming embroidered with its own unique ID number, Knomo allows users to register their case, and tablet within, with little fuss. As a result of this, in principle, lost tablets can be returned to their owners courtesy of good hearted Samaritans. In reality, and our sceptical minds, however, this feature might be little more than a gimmick that fails to tempt finders away from the idea of a free iPad mini.
For a not inconsiderable £49 outlay, the Knomo iPad mini Leather Folio has a couple of niggles which continually diminish its otherwise largely strong design, construction and protection abilities.
A smart and sophisticated offering, for those looking to keep their 7.9-inch Apple tablet safe and secure from the rigors of everyday life, this is a welcome, albeit far from ground-breaking or original addition to the market. If, however, you want to keep your tablet protected from that one big gadget breaking drop that comes from time-to-time, you might want to look elsewhere.
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