mYcase Universal E-Reader Portfolio review: iPad mini users, stay away

The Universal E-Reader Portfolio from mYcase claims to fit "most Kindles, Nooks, most 7in or 8in readers, and all iPad mini". We tested out that last claim, and unfortunately, it did not go very well at all.

The portfolio boasts an "exclusive '4-Way Fit' design" that "securely centres any device for a fitted folio look and feel". It's basically a contraption that you adjust from all four corners to fit whatever device you want to put in it.

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The braces are slim and weak ­- the upper left-hand bracket on my case snapped almost immediately. After it broke, I still tried to fit the iPad mini into the other three brackets to finish the review. The results were comical because the brackets do not stretch even remotely far enough to easily fit the 7.9-inch iPad mini.

Even though the packaging claims the braces are "non-abrasive", I was very conscious of the fact that every heave and ho felt like I was creating tiny scratches in the back of the iPad. No damage was actually done, thankfully. The fact that one of the brackets was broken actually made it easier to put it in; if all four had been intact, I have a very hard time believing it would have fit at all.

Once I finally managed to get the iPad mini in the case (I'm only slightly exaggerating when I say I almost lost a finger in this 15-minute process), everything was… okay. Not great - just okay.

The iPad mini is very much exposed within the case with just a bit of each corner covered, meaning that every port and button is easily accessible but there is also less protection if the device were to fall. The iPad mini is not centred within the case - the device is grazing the absolute top of the inner case and has about 2cm of space at the bottom. However, I'm not sure how it would have aligned if all four braces were intact.

Above: An example of the brackets as demonstrated on the 10in tablet version. Via London Drug

The easel has ribbing to accommodate three tilt positions for typing, film viewing, FaceTime and so on. The microfibre interior prevents scratches. There is no hand strap and no camera opening in the case. Since this case is primarily for e-readers, perhaps it should not be held to the iPad-case industry norm of camera compatibility, but since the brand does emphasise iPad mini compatibility I feel it should have been included.

Luckily, I had a 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX on hand to test how things worked with a smaller device more appropriate for this case. It fit much more easily into the brackets, but the excess space surrounding the Kindle looked a little silly in the case.

To see our favourite iPad mini cases, check out Best cases for iPad mini: 16 cases to protect your iPad mini & Retina iPad mini

OUR VERDICT

It’s a pretty cool concept – a one-size-fits-all case for various devices that don’t necessarily have a wide range market for specific cases to begin with – but the execution really does not work well at all for the iPad mini. We have yet to try out the 10-inch version of this case; if the craftsmanship is the same, though, we still can’t recommend it. You’re much, much better off buying a case specifically made for the iPad mini.

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