Here are the best case options to fit Apple's new 2019 iPad mini

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in iPad
Apple has a penchant for showing people using "naked" iPads in ads, but we all know the truth -- you need some sort of case if your iPad's going anywhere outside the home or office. These are some of the better case options for the 2019 iPad mini, whether available now or shipping in the near future.

The OtterBox Defender.
The OtterBox Defender.

OtterBox Defender

OtterBox has often been quick on the draw with new iPhone and iPad cases, and this year is no exception. There's only one color so far -- black -- but the Defender ($69.95) makes up for this by being about as rugged as they come. It combines a hard interior layer with a soft exterior one, plus a built-in screen protector, and a snap-on shield when your Mini isn't in use. That shield doubles as a stand and Apple Pencil holder.

Some people decry rugged cases as thick and ugly, but what's worse -- an "ugly" case, or paying to fix or replace a $400 tablet?

STM Dux Rugged

STM Dux Rugged


There's a dearth of cases specifically designed for the 2019 Mini at the moment, but some Mini 4 units should work. One is the Dux Rugged ($49.95), which while not as tough as the OtterBox Defender should be enough for the average person. An integrated Smart Cover-style lid folds back to act as a stand.

Waterfield iPad mini Travel Case

Waterfield iPad mini Travel Case


The iPad mini Travel Case ($59) is for people more concerned about traveling than the risk of randomly dropping an iPad. It's made with water-resistant "Italian textile," or ballistic nylon if you choose black, and designed to fit a Mini with an attached Smart Cover -- other slim cases might work, but those haven't been tested.

The padded interior includes a Pencil slot, and a zippered front pocket should be just big enough to hold a charger and earbuds. A loop can be used for attaching keys or carabiners.

OtterBox Symmetry

OtterBox Symmetry


A little less aggressive than the Defender, the Symmetry ($69.95) is a single-layer transparent case without a shield or screen protector. It does have a Pencil holder however, and its spine can be removed in order to attach a Smart Cover.

Apple Smart Cover

Apple Smart Cover


We've said elsewhere that we don't actually recommend getting a Smart Cover. It only protects the front of an iPad, and not well unless it's paired with a rugged rear shell.

That being said, they aren't many announced mini cases at the moment, and a Smart Cover is something you should be able to find anywhere you buy an iPad. The mini version is $39, and comes in four colors: papaya, charcoal gray, pink sand, and white. We're fans of papaya, which is new this year.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    Anyone know if my old Mini 4 otterbox will fit the new one? The Otterbox is great but ridiculously overpriced - it usually falls to a third or quarter the release price after a while. Nowadays there are a bunch of alternatives on Amazon which are just as good at a fraction of the price. People would stick with Otterbox more if there wasn't the price gouging - hey, sounds like I could be describing Apple...
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,635administrator
    Anyone know if my old Mini 4 otterbox will fit the new one? The Otterbox is great but ridiculously overpriced - it usually falls to a third or quarter the release price after a while. Nowadays there are a bunch of alternatives on Amazon which are just as good at a fraction of the price. People would stick with Otterbox more if there wasn't the price gouging - hey, sounds like I could be describing Apple...
    They physically fit, but the rear microphone penetrations aren't the same.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,099member
    Soooo... why does the banner image show a leather folio but the but all the products featured are plastic fantasic?
  • Reply 4 of 8
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,972member

    We've said elsewhere that we don't actually recommend getting a Smart Cover. It only protects the front of an iPad, and not well unless it's paired with a rugged rear shell.
    I disagree — I had the Smart Cover on my iPad 2 for years, and on my Air 2 after that, and it's gone everywhere with me. Sure, the back is scratched up as any device used every day will get, but the lack of added weight and bulk (and ugliness, let's be real - most cases look like crap) is a net win to me. So far that's been my biggest annoyance with my 11" Pro, that there isn't a Smart Case due to the lack of magnets on the edge. I would've bought one in a second. Instead the Apple Smart Folio sucked and I sent it back for a knockoff on Amazon at 1/5th the price which I like better, but it's still thick and heavy and the iPad is sooooo much nicer completely removed from it. YMMV.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    I had several iPad (mini)'s and all without a case. I always was suprised by the fact that the thing never had scratches. So I wonder if there's really a need voor a case or cover or that it's the market that says we need one.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,701member
    ilovemom said:
    I had several iPad (mini)'s and all without a case. I always was suprised by the fact that the thing never had scratches. So I wonder if there's really a need voor a case or cover or that it's the market that says we need one.
    iPads don't bounce well.   They go splat.  That's why most people buy cases.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,701member
    I have enjoyed and had good luck with Tech21 cases ---  they are thin and light yet provide good protection against drops and scratches.  I don't know it they have one out for the new Mini yet or not.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    indieshackindieshack Posts: 154member
    Anyone know if my old Mini 4 otterbox will fit the new one? The Otterbox is great but ridiculously overpriced - it usually falls to a third or quarter the release price after a while. Nowadays there are a bunch of alternatives on Amazon which are just as good at a fraction of the price. People would stick with Otterbox more if there wasn't the price gouging - hey, sounds like I could be describing Apple...
    They physically fit, but the rear microphone penetrations aren't the same.
    Thanks for the info, appreciated
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