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Tuesday
Feb052013

SwitchEasy CoverBuddy Ultra-Thin iPad mini Case Review

With so many varieties of iPad cases, everybody is trying to find their own unique feature that will boost sales but not many companies are going the opposite route. We rarely see a simple case like SwitchEasy's CoverBuddy make headlines, which we at Gadgetmac feel deserves much more attention than it gets. The CoverBuddy is a clean and simple piece of plastic that is ultra-thin that snugs right up with the back of your iPad mini. The best part is: it is compatible with your Smart Cover. By sticking to the necessity of keeping your iPad mini safe and not adding any extra weight and features, the Cover Buddy is the ideal companion for the light traveler that could always do with the extra security. See what we think about the Cover Buddy after the cut. 

SwitchEasy hooks you up with just about everything you'll need to keep your iPad mini safe and also clean. In the packaging, not only is there the case itself, you get two screen protectors, a plastic card applicator, a cleaning cloth, and even two sets of port plugs for the headphone and Lightning connector ports to prevent moisture or dust to get into them. 

On the visual spectrum, the CoverBuddy isn't looking for any high points. Designed to be simple and plain that won't draw the attention of potential Apple device thieves, this case is the perfect low-key accessory for your iPad mini. In my own opinion, simple and lightweight is the way to go. After all, Apple designed their product to be as light and easily able to carry with you, why mess with the zen? 

Installation is fairly straightforward. Just make sure that you place the side with the volume rocker in first. I've heard of incidents where users chose to install it the other way in first, causing the plastic to actually scratch the aluminum of the volume buttons. Once you've done that, simply press down to make sure that the side clips make a solid click sound signaling that it's secure. 

To remove the case is just about as simple as installing it. This time, make sure that you remove the side without the volume buttons first, for the same reasons as installing. If it seems to not want to come off, you can gently bend and wiggle it off. This tends to loosen the small and barely noticeable clips on the corners of the case that keeps the iPad mini and case together. I have a clear skin on my iPad mini but was still able to fit the case on without too much of a hassle. I imagine a naked iPad mini would certainly have no trouble at all. 

The cutouts for the ports are sufficient enough that you can charge your iPad mini, plug your earphones in, and fit a Smart Cover without a problem. The camera is given plenty of room and so is the mute/screen lock switch. The tactile feedback from the top power button and side volume buttons is solid but still easily depressible. You can also hear the clicks from the buttons themselves which is always nice. 

Of course, the CoverBuddy is named for its ability to play nice with your Smart Cover. With the convenient cutout on the side, the magnetic connector that keeps the Smart Cover attached to your iPad mini is exposed to provide the secure attachment. The case itself is thin enough to not create any obtrusions with the Smart Cover and frankly, you can't really tell the difference unless you look closely. An issue I did have with this combination was that because the case gave the iPad mini an extra few millimeters, the Smart Cover was slightly harder to lift off the screen itself since its lip that would normally protrude off of the iPad mini screen wasn't there anymore. 

With the case on, you will notice the extra weight as well as the width however. It's not something that became an issue but we felt that we should still mention it. 

Along with the Cover Buddy, SwitchEasy also has the same case but for the iPhone 5 called Nude. While I don't personally have an iPhone 5 to show you guys any in depth photos with a full on review, I still wanted to give you guys a quick look. Similar to the Cover Buddy, the Nude case excels in minimal (only 1mm thin) and lightweight construction with sturdy protection. It also comes with the same extra accessories like a screen protector, cleaning cloth, and port plugs.

Without any flashy features or bulky add-ons, the CoverBuddy acts as the ideal case if all you need is some extra protection on your investment because the day you notice a scratch on your gorgeous device is a heart-breaking moment. Personally, I prefer installing a skin to keep the overall contour and feel of the original device's design but still giving it some extra protection. However, if I were to choose a physical hard-shell case, I'd put the CoverBuddy at the top of my list. We recommend that you give SwitchEasy a look because not only is the case functional, it is also on the cheaper end of the price spectrum. The CoverBuddy retails for a nice and easy $19.99. If you were interested in the Nude case for your iPhone 5, it also retails for $19.99. 

Switcheasy.com

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