Kavaj Berlin Leather Case for iPad Mini Review

Forget everything you know about leather iPad cases. The new Kavaj Berlin Case for iPad Mini is exactly how an authentic leather case should look and feel. There’s no extra bulk, no handicap, and best of all, no outrageous price tag.

The Kavaj Berlin for iPad Mini is a very sleek portfolio case available in a brilliant black leather or sophisticated cognac leather. The case fits iPad Mini perfectly and wastes nothing on added weight or thickness. The reinforced and slightly cushioned cover seals to iPad with the same magnet that auto locks and unlocks iPad’s screen when opened.

While the entire case is covered in genuine stitched leather, the inside of the case is covered in a velvety microfiber that keeps iPad’s face clean and protected. The holster frame for iPad Mini is not reinforced, the back of iPad is really only protected by a piece of leather. This is good and bad, it’s good because it keeps the size and weight of the case to a minimum, but it sacrifices a slight amount of protection. Luckily the screen is well protected behind the reinforced cover.

Like a new pair of shoes, the Berlin case needs to be broken in. Since its such an exact fit, it can take a bit of use to get properly situated. I noticed this when the lock button overlay wasn’t lining up perfectly and the cover didn’t close nicely. Those problems fixed itself that day. It was actually only an issue for the cognac Berlin; the black model fit a bit looser, which showed slightly in the back. The Berlin also has button overlays for the volume buttons and appropriate sized cutouts for everything else.

We have yet to find an iPad case without flaws. With the Kavaj Berlin it’s the built-in stand. There are two standing modes, upright and typing mode. It’s easy to use: the cover folds behind the case and into a pocket. The typing angle works great, but the upright angle takes some effort to get right, and even then it’s not so sturdy.

We’re not sure which is more beautiful, the Berlin in a professional and elegant black or in a tastefully business casual cognac. Both have a phenomenal and luxurious look and feel, plus you can smell the authenticity in the leather. We love the sleek and lightweight form factor without a real sacrifice on protection. The magnetic auto locking cover is the best feature and it’s so convenient to not have an additional seal on the cover. While the upright stand mode could be better, we can’t complain with a price tag of $44.90. The Berlin easy looks like it could easily start at a price double that. The Kavaj Berlin case for iPad Mini is currently available on Amazon in Black or Cognac. Even though they’re basically the same case, the cognac model has a more premium looking design.

Update: Kavaj reached out to us with proper stand instructions and let us know that they offer free replacements if the stand still doesn’t work.

The Good: Sleek, Light, Authentic Leather, Luxurious design, Great Fit, Magnetic auto-locking smart cover, Affordable
The Bad: Upright standing mode isn’t sturdyStand needs to be broken in, Black model shows loose ripple on back of case

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