Didn't see much on the board other than a thread about this case so ordered this from eBay on 10/30/09 for $15 shipped, shipped on 11/2/09, arrived today, 11/5/09. Although the seller's eBay profile was based in China, it shipped from a PO BOX in North Carolina so people in the continental US should get it alot quicker than I did since i'm located in Hawaii. This review is for the black mCover hardshell case. Other colors, such as the clear case, might be made of different materials or have different finishes.
The package came in a padded envelope. Ironically it had a fragile sticker on the package. The case came wrapped in a plastic bag along with an advertisement for additional products that mCover offers.
Installation is easy. Simply slip the claws into the back hinge where the mini folds and snap the front claws onto the keyboard side. The cover just snaps on gripping 4 points on the screen. Note: One of the front claws comes off easily. This may just be a defect on my unit. Doesn't affect the operation of the mini but it's just annoying.
Here's a photo showing the claw attaching to the hinge area.
Claws attaching to the palm rest area.
Claws attaching to the top area around the screen.
The Case: The case itself feels pretty flimsy which is why they probably put a fragile sticker on the packaging; durability wise it doesn't seem that great. I'm sure if my mini took a fall it'd possibly crack although being attached to the computer may relieve some stress points. With the cover on, I can still push down on the case meaning that there is some space between the case and the laptop.
This is the top cover of the case. As you can see the inside has a finish similar to the 10v and mini 9 which means its still finger print prone, at least for the black version. The middle area where the Dell logo would be sinks down. Not sure why they put this here but it messes up any logo sticker you'd might want to put on the case. The outer edges has a textured matte finish a little less resistant to showing oils and fingerprints but still able to. I wish the whole top cover was the matte finish
Here's another angle that shows how prone the cover still is to scratches, fingerprints, and oils.
This is the bottom. As you can see the vent holes aren't obstructed. The bottom too has a glossy, finish. If anyone is using the bigger, extended batteries, this case will not get in the way. The bottom also has legs to add an elevated effect; i'll get more into this later.
The legs are pretty flimsy as is and can possibly break after prolonged use since the construction of the case isn't top notch.
Here's the elevated angle of the mini with the legs extended.
The case itself does not obscure any ports on the side.
With the case attached, it doesn't give any extremely noticeable weight or size.
For the black mCover, the construction and materials used is pretty disappointing. With other colors, there may be different finishes or materials used which will give a better experience. While the legs on the mini was a good idea, it's a failure in execution as it feels flimsy and weak. I bought this primarily to protect my mini from getting any further scratches so it does it's job in that area. For $15 shipped to you, it maybe worth your while to try; down the line mine may end up in a drawer or given away to a friend. Right now if I could get a refund in person from the seller I would, but $15 isn't worth the trouble, effort, or headaches to do so.