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.
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.
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.