Apple iPad mini Smart Cover, $45.
If you're the owner of a shiny new iPad mini, it's worth investing in a cover to protect the device from scratches.
The Apple cover only protects the screen, attaching to the edges of the iPad mini using magnets. As you fold the cover back it automatically unlocks the tablet so it's ready to use.
The cover rolls up to create a triangular stand which holds the iPad mini up for watching movies, or lays it back for typing on the screen.
Belkin Classic Tab cover with Stand for iPad mini, $39.95.
The upside of the Apple cover is that it's only 2mm thick, so it doesn't spoil the iPad mini's slimline design. The downside is that it doesn't protect the tablet's back against scratches and leaves the camera exposed. It also lacks padding and corner protection in case of a fall which could crack the screen.
If you cram the iPad mini into your bag, the magnetic cover could be pushed aside to expose the screen.
The Belkin case offers a little padding to protect against the rough-and-tumble of life on the road, but the trade-off is that it almost doubles the thickness of the iPad mini (which admittedly still isn't that thick).
The tablet fits into slots inside the case and the cover is held closed with a magnetic tab, although opening the cover doesn't unlock the tablet.
The Belkin design helps cushion the tablet from a blow, while the cut-out for the rear camera reduces the chances of scratching the lens by ensuring it doesn't come in contact with tabletops.
Those who need to be able to type on the iPad mini, however, might be frustrated that the Belkin cover won't let you lean the screen back as far as the Apple cover.
The slimline Apple cover is an attractive option if your iPad mini lives on your coffee table, but if your little iPad lives in your travel bag, then the extra protection of the Belkin cover justifies the extra bulk.
Apple iPad mini Smart Cover
Belkin Classic Tab cover with Stand for iPad mini