I have a feeling that there are going to be many, many misguided attempts at making iPad Mini cases. Exhibit A: The Rubata Mini case from Padacs, a cheap and extraordinarily ugly keyboard case which turns the little iPad into a tiny laptop.
Where am I going with this? One word: netbooks.
Netbooks — remember ‘em? They were tiny, underpowered, cramped little notebooks with tiny screens and even tinier keyboards. The only thing big about them was their batteries.
The iPad Mini is also small, but as it has no keyboard you also have the luxury of pairing it with any keyboard you like. I would probably choose a full-sized aluminum Bluetooth keyboard from Apple, on the grounds that even a sub-sized keyboard meant for the regular iPad will be bigger than the Mini, so why not just go the whole way?
The Rubata Mini is a folio-style case with fake leather body and an iOS-specific key layout (brightness, home and search keys, and so on). But it costs $40, which worries me. I have tested keyboard cases bigger than this and more expensive than this, but they don’t start getting good until you reach the $100 mark. In fact, anything other than a Logitech or Zagg has turned out to be utter junk, and way worse than using the on-screen keyboard.
Still, you can hope, and you’ll only be out $40 if it all goes wrong.