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X-Doria Dash Folio for iPad mini: review and giveaway

If there's one thing that lets loose a flood of goodies from accessory manufacturers, it's a new Apple device with a different form factor. We're starting to see a lot of new cases for the iPad mini, including the Belkin Portable Keyboard Case I reviewed on Friday. X-Doria has released a sweet leather case for the mini as part of the Dash Folio line ($39.99) that is worth a look by owners of Apple's little tablet.

Design

I'm impressed with the physical design of the Dash Folio with one exception that I'll discuss in a minute. For the most part, this is your typical folio-type case with a leather exterior and a flexible plastic casing that holds the iPad mini in place. There are magnets in the cover to turn the iPad mini on and off as you open and close the cover, and X-Doria threw in a nice touch with an elastic band that keeps the cover closed while you're in transit.

Once the case is open, that plastic casing has a small ridge that slides into any one of a number of thin slots embossed into the cover. This provides a way to use the case as a handy landscape orientation iPad mini stand.

Functionality

The construction of the Dash Folio, like many of the other X-Doria products we've reviewed, is excellent. The plastic casing is easy to slide on and off of your iPad mini, but holds it into place securely. That casing also does a great job of protecting the sides and back of your mini, complete with covers for the volume and on/off/sleep/wake buttons.

The stand capability of the Dash Folio works great. I put my iPad mini into the case while going for barbecued ribs last night (yum!), and having the stand available made the device easier to use with one hand -- and I was able to complete dinner without coating my screen or the case with barbecue sauce.

The magnets in the cover do their job well, if you have them lined up properly with the right side of the iPad mini. I found that I needed to listen for the "latch" noise to be sure that the iPad was actually turned off, and sometimes needed to scoot the cover back or forth a few millimeters to get it to turn off the mini.

My only major complaint? Well, the case comes in two colors -- black and brown. The black case uses a black plastic casing to hold the mini, while the brown case uses a fluorescent yellow-green plastic casing. Why fluorescent yellow-green? I don't know, but I wish they had used something less ... radioactive looking!

Conclusion

There are a lot of cases available for the iPad mini, and if you're looking for attractive, inexpensive, and functional mini protection, the X-Doria Dash Folio is worth considering.

Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Plastic casing provides a lot of protection for the iPad mini
  • Fit and finish is excellent
  • Stand works well
  • Magnets in cover turn your iPad on and off

Cons

  • Yellow-green plastic used in the brown leather case is eye-jarring
  • Magnets don't always turn off the iPad the way they're supposed to

Who is it for?

  • iPad mini owners who like the look and feel of leather, the protection of plastic, and the functionality of a case that doubles as a stand.

Giveaway

Our loss is your gain! If you don't happen to mind that yellow-green plastic, enter this giveaway and the X-Doria Dash Folio could be yours. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before February 20, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive an X-Doria Dash Folio for iPad mini valued at $39.99.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.