Bottom line: This minimalist case has Sleep/Wake functionality, and it folds into a convenient stand.
Sleek and lightweight
Front cover folds into a stand
Apple Pencil charging compatible
Stand feels flimsy
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I've been looking for a slim case to protect my tiny powerhouse iPad mini 6 and keep it ultra-light and portable. The Fintie SlimShell Case for iPad mini 6 fits the bill. While it's not as protective as a more rugged case, it barely adds any bulk to the iPad mini.
It's modeled after Apple's Smart Case with the trifold cover and Sleep/Wake functionality. When you close the front flap, the iPad automatically goes to sleep. Open the front cover, and the iPad mini instantly wakes up. Fold the front cover around to make a stand for the iPad mini, either at a high (video viewing) angle or low (typing) angle. It's the a great minimalist option.
Fintie SlimShell Case for iPad mini 6: Price and availability
The case I reviewed is $13 on Amazon and Fintie's website. It's available in two colors: Marble and Lilac Purple. However, there are several variations on this case available on both sites. You can get the version with the thicker TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) back for a bit more protection. It's a dollar or two more and comes in Composition Book or Black.
If you're looking for a built-in Apple Pencil slot, there's a SlimShell for that, too. It retails for $13 and comes in four colors: Sky Blue, Rose Gold, Marble, and Lilac Purple.
The Fintie Slimshell is also available for several different iPad models. Prices are similar, just slightly higher for the larger sizes.
Fintie SlimShell Case for iPad mini 6: What's good
There is very little bulk or weight added to the iPad mini, which is exactly what I wanted when looking for the best case for my iPad mini 6. The case's back is clear, frosted plastic, so you can clearly see the color of your iPad and the Apple logo. The case snaps on and off easily but stays securely in place while being used. There are appropriately-sized cutouts for the camera, speaker holes, volume buttons, Sleep/Wake button, and USB-C charging port. The lip of the case does come slightly higher than the screen for face-down protection.
The front flap of the case is PU (polyurethane - faux) leather with a soft microfiber lining. This front cover has Sleep/Wake functionality, meaning the iPad automatically goes to sleep and wakes up when you close and open in. It does fold neatly into a stand, which you can use at a high angle for watching videos or pairing with a keyboard. Or, you can flip it around and use it at a low angle, which is perfect for typing right on the screen. The Fintie logo is tastefully embossed inside the front flap and nowhere else on the case.
The Fintie SlimShell Case for iPad mini 6 is Apple Pencil charging compatible. Since I'm not an Apple Pencil user, I wasn't interested in a case with a slot for the stylus. This version of the case has no dedicated slot, but it does have a large opening along the right side of the iPad mini, so you can charge your Apple Pencil without removing the case. Note that there will be nothing holding the Apple Pencil in place besides the charger itself, which is plenty if you're not moving the iPad mini around.
There is a bit of overhang, as the front cover is slightly larger than the iPad. While some may view this as an error, I don't. It gives you something to grab onto when opening the front cover. I've tried tri-fold cases without the overhang, and I actually prefer to have it.
Fintie SlimShell Case for iPad mini 6: What's not good
Some may feel this case looks and feels cheap, but that's just it; it is a cheap case. You're not going to get a ton of drop protection from a thin case like this. I don't particularly mind that, but the front cover definitely isn't as sturdy as I'd like. I usually have to try a few times to get my iPad to stand up without falling over. The trifold cover may loosen up over time and work better, but many other trifold cases I've tried just snap securely into place without having to be broken in at all.
Fintie SlimShell Case for iPad mini 6: Competition
I recently reviewed the similarly-priced ESR Ultra Slim Trifold iPad mini 6 Case, which I really liked. The folding front cover does fold into a much more secure iPad stand. It has a large closure flap that holds a charging Apple Pencil in place, but it just kind of gets in the way if you don't use an Apple Pencil.
Of course, both of these cases are modeled after Apple's own Smart Folio. The trifold cover works perfectly and sits rock solid. But Apple's case, if you can call it that, isn't really a case at all. It attaches to your iPad mini magnetically, so there is no protection around the edges at all. The Apple Smart Folio does indeed feel more expensive, but of course, it's also more than quadruple the price.
Fintie SlimShell Case for iPad mini 6: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a lightweight, minimalist case with Apple Pencil charging compatibility
- You want a trifold cover with Sleep/Wake functionality that folds into a stand
- You're looking for a bargain
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You like that trifold cover to snap into place
- You want heavy-duty protection
- You want a luxurious case
If you want an inexpensive, minimal case that doesn't add much bulk to your iPad mini, this is the case for you. It's also the case for you if you want a cover with Sleep/Wake functionality that folds into a stand. However, if you like a trifold cover that snaps firmly into place, keep on looking. If you're looking for luxury or heavy-duty protection, this isn't your case.
Despite its flaws, this is going to be my everyday case for a while. I want to protect my iPad mini 6 while keeping it as light and tiny as possible. The Fintie SlimShell Case for iPad mini 6 is so light that it barely adds any weight to the device. Due to its thinness, it's not likely to protect your iPad mini from major drops.
The front trifold cover has Sleep/Wake functionality and folds into a stand (albeit not as securely as I'd like.) Though there is no dedicated Apple Pencil slot in this version, you can still charge your Apple Pencil while the iPad mini is inside this case. It's a cute case for the price, though it doesn't look or feel particularly luxe.
Bottom line: This value-priced case is slim, functional, and appealing.
Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.
By Tammy Rogers