Four years after its predecessor, the fifth-generation iPad mini finally arrived in 2019. Apple wants you to simply call this ‘iPad mini’, but for the avoidance of doubt we’ll be calling it the iPad mini 5.
The dimensions are exactly the same, with a 7.9in panel making it the smallest tablet Apple makes. There was some speculation the mini line would be retired, but the latest model comes with an A12 Bionic chip, considered three times as fast as the processor on the mini 4. The other big upgrade is Apple Pencil support, although it will only support the first generation of stylus.
The key factors here are affordability and familiarity. Apple has made a device that people instantly recognise, at a price (from
US$399) that should keep it within budget.
Despite the width, height and thickness remaining exactly the same,
iPad mini 4 cases cases will not be supported. This is because the rear microphone has changed placement, so older cases will not have the appropriate cut-out.
All that means you’ll need a brand new case if you’re buying the iPad mini 5. Fortunately, there are some great options out there, whether you’d prefer an official case or are happy to look elsewhere. .
Apple Smart Cover
Of course, the obvious place to start is with Apple’s own offerings. The Smart Cover fits both the iPad mini 5 and the mini 4 – that’s because it only covers the front of tablet, leaving the microphone on the back accessible.
The Smart Cover folds into a stand and automatically puts the iPad mini 5 into sleep mode upon closing.
Available directly from Apple for
US$39. It’s available in four colours, including Papaya (pictured).
Here’s an option from ESR designed specifically for the iPad mini 5. Though we haven’t tried this case out ourselves just yet, we are excited to, so stay tuned for our final thoughts. We have seen great products from ESR before, so feel fairly confident about this offering.
What’s particularly useful about this folio case for the mini 5 is that it comes with a holder for the Apple Pencil too. Like Apple’s Smart Cover, it folds into a stand and has automatic sleep and wake functions – but it also protects the back of the device.
A soft microfibre lining on the inside keeps your screen safe from scratches. Not bad for
Spigen Rugged Armor
Spigen is a brand you can trust when it comes to rugged cases. Its products are slim while offering excellent drop protection, thanks to its ‘Air Cushion’ technology which especially works to keep corners safe.
Raised bezels around the camera and screen also offer added protection. Keep in mind this case is only compatible with the iPad mini 5 and it only works with the Spigen screen protector (
You can pick up the Rugged Armor for the iPad mini 5 from Amazon for
US$16.99. Unfortunately, it’s only available in one colour, black, but if you want something with a bit more personality check out the next option…
ESR Hard Shell
ESR’s hard shell is an alternative for those who want to keep the back of the iPad mini 2019 protected too. It’s a no-fuss clear case that should keep your mini 5 safe from bumps and scratches. It comes with a grip on the side too, to prevent slips.
ESR offers a 180 day warranty if you run into any issues. Available on Amazon for
The Ztotop case is made of synthetic leather, which brings it to an affordable
US$12.99 on Amazon. It’s a case we’ve recommended before because of its handy features.
The front cover has a handy strap for additional grip and an elastic band at the top lets you stow away your Apple Pencil. There’s also a pocket to keep additional papers and notes. Everyone’s happy.
ELTD Keyboard Case
The ELTD wireless keyboard attaches to the iPad mini 5 magnetically and promises a battery life of 60 hours on a two to three hour charge.
This model is currently unavailable in the US. UK shoppers can find it on
Amazon for £29.99. There’s also a similar ‘slim folio smart stand’ option for
US$25.90 that’s available in a few different colours in both the UK and US.
Tech21 Evo Play2 Case
The Tech21 Evo Play2 Case is designed with children in mind, but providing a robust design and a unique carry handle grip on the rear that makes it easier for little ones to hold. Alongside the four colour options available, the Evo Play2 features a cool pattern on the rear that both kids and grown-ups can appreciate.
Couple that with built-in antimicrobial protection and an Apple Pencil holder and you’ve got a case that can handle just about anything you throw at it. If that tickles your fancy, you can grab it for
If you’re looking for rugged protection, you can’t go wrong with SupCase’s Unicorn Beetle Pro case for the iPad Mini 5, which comes with a built-in screen protector.
The Unicorn Beetle Pro uses a combination of hard shell and TPU to protect your device from drops and knocks. A kickstand on the back also lets you prop your iPad Mini up, while covers on the ports keeps dust and debris out.
Not bad for
US$21.99 (available on Amazon).