At a Glance
- Bulky; cover doesn’t lay flat against screen; stand doesn’t work; no Sleep/Wake functionality
It’s bulky, cheaply-made, and it doesn’t even work.
Are you looking for an Apple Smart Cover that’s not really an Apple Smart Cover? If so, look no further than Kensington’s $35 TriFold folio case for the iPad mini. This Smart Cover-esque folio case features a plastic snap-on back and a thick cover that can be folded for two different screen positions, both in landscape orientation.
Unfortunately, this case suffers from poor design: Not only is it bulkier than similarly-designed cases, it has no magnetic Sleep/Wake functionality, the cover refuses to lay flat against the screen when not in use, and the “stand” functionality of the case is mediocre at best.
The TriFold folio case consists of two parts: A hard, plastic shell that snaps around your mini, and a sturdy leather-like cover that lays flat-ish against the screen. The leathery texture wraps around the back of the case, giving the entire case a put-together look. The TriFold is available in a few color options, including brown marble, black marble and “coffee snake” (a cream-colored snake pattern). A small Kensington logo is imprinted on the front.
The hard plastic case snaps around your mini fairly easily, though it’s a little trickier to get off. It has cutouts for all of the ports and buttons, including the Sleep/Wake button, headphone jack, volume buttons and mute switch, and Lightning port and speakers. There’s also a cutout for the rear-facing camera, as well as a small cutout for the mini’s top-mounted microphone.
The cover, which has a soft interior, is supposed to lay flat against the screen. But it doesn’t. Instead, it keeps the shape of the folds (there are two scored lines in the leather, to make folding easily), and puckers against the screen. The cover isn’t magnetic, which means there’s no Sleep/Wake functionality.
To turn the TriFold folio case into a stand, you’re supposed to fold the cover in a similar way to Apple’s Smart Cover. Once the cover is folded, you can prop the mini up in landscape view, or you can lay it down for typing. However, the TriFold doesn’t work quite as well as Apple’s Smart Cover does—the cover appears to be too thick to stay folded, so you’ll really have to crease it to keep it in place. And, of course, the more you crease it, the more the cover retains its folds and doesn’t lay flat against your mini’s screen when not in use.
Don’t buy this case. It’s cheaper than similarly-designed cases, and for a reason! The “luxe” effect of the leathery exterior is ruined by the fact that the cover can’t lay flush against the screen, the stand barely works, and there’s no Sleep/Wake functionality. Spend the extra $5 to $15 to get a slim-fitting folio case that will actually work, such as Moshi’s VersaCover.