Kensington Portafolio Me: Customizable iPad mini protection
We've seen plenty of customizable cases for iPhones; everything from cases with a clear rear window for photos to our favorite LEGO case, but the Portafolio Me from Kensington (US$39.99) is the first iPad mini case we're aware of that can be customized with a photo or decal to make it specifically yours.
- Dimensions: 5.5 inches wide x 8.25 inches high x 0.75 inches thick (139.7 x 209.6 x 19.05 mm)
- Weight: 5.4 ounces (153.1 grams)
- Colors: Smoke / Red
As an iPad mini folio case, the Portafolio Me is a bit of a one-trick pony: it has that space in the back (the "removable personal panel") that allows you to pop in a photo, artwork or decal to customize the look of the case. Other than that, it provides a measure of protection for your investment, can be used as a stand, and also has the wake/sleep capability that most iPad covers provide.
The description on Kensington's website notes that the Portafolio Me can be customized with a free Skinit decal "to make it your own", yet doesn't provide any information on how to acquire the decal. The marketing materials on the Kensington site show a sticker on the box case, so I'm assuming that Portafolio cases purchased in retail outlets will have that info.
One other design feature is the Soundwave channels that port audio from the downward-facing speakers on the iPad mini to the front of the device to improve audio. The inside of the cover is lined with a microfiber-type material to help keep your mini's screen free from smudges.
There are no other design features that really stand out on the Portafolio Me and make me want to recommend this over any other iPad mini cover or case; it's quite a plain-Jane design with no outstanding features.
The Portafolio Me is a perfectly serviceable iPad mini case. At $39.99, the Kensington case is $30 less expensive than Apple's own iPad mini Smart Case about about $10 less than the Logitech Folio Protective Case for the mini.
What I found with photos was that it was best to use 5 x 7 inch images, then use the plastic insert as a template to trim around the edge of the photos to get it sized just right for the "window" on the case. You'll probably want to have those images printed on photo paper rather than just on traditional printer paper. Of course, should you decide to have one of the budding artists in your home create a masterpiece to grace the back of your Portafolio Me, you might want to consider using the plastic insert as a template for the kiddos to draw within the lines of.
I honestly didn't feel that the Soundwave channels helped the sound quality all that much -- in fact, at the highest volume on my iPad mini, the case actually resonated at certain frequencies and made an annoying buzz.
If I had one major functionality concern, it is that the entire case feels somewhat floppy and flimsy. After reviewing hundreds of iPad cases, I expect a certain rigidity to a protective case that is just plain missing from the Portafolio Me.
The Portafolio Me has a somewhat unique clear plastic window on the back for displaying pictures or decals and is also bargain-priced, offering a small level of protection for your iPad mini in transit. Other than those two attributes, though, this Kensington case does not have a lot to recommend it over other more sturdy cases.
Rating: 2 stars out of 4 stars possible
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