Review: ESR's Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case offers smart protection

You don't have to pay a lot of money for a nice case.

So you've got Apple's most fun tablet yet, the iPad mini 6. If you're like me, you'll want to get a good iPad mini 6 case to protect it right from the start. The ESR Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case is a simple, lightweight case with some thoughtful features. The trifold cover has Sleep/Wake functionality. The magnetic closure flap can be used to secure the Apple Pencil while it charges or simply to secure your iPad mini if you don't use an Apple Pencil. The folio cover folds into a handy stand for the iPad mini. The stand can be used at a high angle for video-watching or FaceTime calls, or at a low angle for on-screen typing.

Bottom line: This case offers lightweight protection and thoughtful features.

The Good

  • Lightweight and protective
  • Secures Apple Pencil
  • Sleep/Wake functionality
  • Folds into a dual-angle stand

The Bad

  • Flap can be unwieldy
  • Would prefer a colorless back

From $12 at Amazon $30 at ESR

ESR Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case: Price and availability

You can purchase this case in four colors at Amazon: Black, Blue, Dark Green, and Pink. The Black one is $11.99 while the other colors are $13.99. You can also find the case (as "iPad mini 6 Ascend Hard Smart Cover") on ESR's website in the same colors plus two others: Mint Green and Gray. On ESR's website, the case is $29.99.

ESR Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case: What's good

When searching for a case for my iPad mini 6, I wanted a shell to protect the back (preferably clear to show off my Purple iPad mini) and a front flap with Sleep/Wake functionality that folds into a stand. I also wanted a lightweight case that didn't add a lot of bulk to the tiny iPad mini. I got all of that and more with the ESR Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case.

The back of the case is rigid polycarbonate (plastic) and transparent. But it's not totally clear — it is tinted to match the rest of the case. There are cutouts in the plastic for the camera area, Sleep/Wake button, USB-C charging port, individual speaker holes, and Apple Pencil charging area. There are nice clicky button covers over the volume buttons. It's pretty easy to put the case on and take it off; I've done it a bunch of times without incident.

This case is a nice balance between lightness and protection while offering some nice features.

The front of the case appears to be silicone lined with microfiber. It does have Sleep/Wake functionality, which means that the iPad mini instantly goes to sleep when you close the cover and wakes up when you open it. The magnetic flap does secure the cover, but its main purpose is to hold the Apple Pencil securely in place while it charges.

The folio cover folds neatly into a stable stand for the iPad mini. You can stand up the iPad mini at a high angle for reading, watching videos, typing with a Bluetooth keyboard, or video-chatting with FaceTime, Zoom, and more. I do find myself video-chatting on my iPad mini more often now that it has the Center Stage feature. You can also use the stand at a lower angle for on-screen typing or drawing with your Apple Pencil. You also can fold the cover out of the way if you're reading a book one-handed or thumb-typing, for example.

ESR Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case: What's not good

My complaints are pretty minor and come down to personal taste. As I mentioned above, the clear back of the case is tinted blue to match the rest of the case. However, I'd have preferred a totally clear, colorless back so I can clearly see the color of my iPad.

The flap is both good and bad. It does make closure more secure, and it's a definite boon for Apple Pencil users, since it keeps the Apple Pencil in place as it charges. However, the flap also gets in the way a little bit. It doesn't interfere with functionality, I just have to figure out which way it needs to go in any given position. It's not a big issue, just something to be aware of.

ESR Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case: Competition

Another inexpensive option you can find on Amazon is the Supveco iPad Mini 6 Case. It's similar to the ESR Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case, but the back is opaque. And while there's an opening for the Apple Pencil to charge, there is no flap to secure it. There aren't as many color options, just Midnight Green and Black.

The obvious comparison would be to Apple's own Smart Folio for iPad mini, which comes in a handful of nice colors (hello, Dark Cherry!) The Apple case isn't really a case at all — it's just one big flexible rectangle of microfiber-lined silicone. The back attaches magnetically so there is no protection around the edges. The front flap is the Sleep/Wake cover Apple invented (and many have imitated.)

ESR Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case: Should you buy it?

You should buy this if ...

  • You want all-over lightweight protection
  • You want a folio cover/stand with Sleep/Wake functionality
  • You want a flap to secure your Apple Pencil

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You want the back of the case to be both clear and totally colorless
  • You don't have an Apple Pencil and don't want a flap
  • You want a different style case entirely

This is a great case for anyone that wants a lightweight case with all-over protection, a folio cover that offers Sleep/Wake functionality, and multiple stand options. It's also great for anyone that uses an Apple Pencil and wants it secured while it charges. This isn't the case for you if the flap is going to bug you, or if you wanted a totally colorless back (or an opaque one.)

4.5 out of 5

The ESR Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case is a well-priced case to consider. The folio-style case gives your iPad mini 6 all-over protection while adding very little bulk or weight to the tiny tablet. A hard polycarbonate case protects the back of the iPad and has the appropriate cutouts for full functionality. The folio cover folds into a stand that can be used at a higher or lower angle, depending on how you're using it. The cover can also be folded out of the way. It does have Sleep/Wake functionality. A strong magnetic flap secures the case closed, but its main purpose is to secure your Apple Pencil in place as it charges.

Bottom line: This case is a nice balance between lightness and protection while offering some nice features.

From $12 at Amazon $30 at ESR

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