Pitaka MagEZ iPad mini charging stand review – power through the case and power through your day

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REVIEW – There are cases, stands, and other options everywhere for the standard and iPad Pro models. The iPad mini, however, is usually limited to e-reader-type cases, rather than ones that expect pen or keyboard input. Pitaka has recently updated their business-class case for the mini to add their MagEZ (Pita!Flow?) charger attachment. They were kind enough to send us a review unit, along with a stand, and I’m here to report on these two items for you.

What is it?

The Pitaka MagEZ (or is it Pita!Flow ?) The branding is not consistently used, so I may switch between them.) case system adds a charge-through wireless case to iPad mini. The stand adds the same charging function to a stand that can be used in portrait or landscape orientation.

What’s in the box?

These are actually two different products. The case contains:

  • Case with MagEZ connection
  • Point guard for Apple Pencil
  • Charger with 4′ USB-C cable

The Stand package contains:

  • Stand riser/charger head
  • Stand base
  • 3’ USB-C <=> USB-C cable for stand
  • Allen wrench

Design and features

The Pitaka MagEZ charging case is a form-fitting skin for the iPad mini 6th generation. There is a USB-C plug built into the case which connects to their proprietary magnetic charger on the center of the back of the case. Since the iPad mini has neither a Smart Connector nor MagSafe™ (Apple’s magnetic version of the Qi charging standard which is currently included only in iPhones in the 12 and 13 series), you’re not losing any connectivity other than that single port. There are cutouts for the speakers, the TouchID™ sensor on the sleep/wake button, and the camera/flash/mic on the rear. The right side (near the camera) has thinner silicon than the other sides so that the Second Generation Apple Pencil nestles into the groove molded there, and charges/pairs without issue. There is an optional protective boot on the end of that area attached with a barbed tether that can be put in before placing the cover over the iPad. It can also be removed without losing the option to re-attach it later.

In the box with the case is a 2.5″ square charger on a 4 foot cable with a USB-C connector. This attaches magnetically to an X of contacts on the center rear of the case. At just over .25″ thick, it’s not much of a bother when you’re charging it separately from the stand. This is called the Pita!Flow charger. There is no actual charging brick, but the 20-watt one that is included with your iPad will work just fine.

The stand base is 4.875″ by 5.125″ deep. There is an area 3.5″ x 2.5″ outlined on the base, with a lightning bolt icon to tell you it’s a Qi-enabled pad. (Not sure why they didn’t use the Qi logo here. I mean, it’s free to use, I believe.) You can charge a phone, AirPods, or any other Qi-enabled device here.

From the rear center of the base, a slab of metal rises 8″ up to a jointed connector for a Pita!Flow charger. It’s slightly thicker than the stand-alone charger, and has a very substantial uni-directional pivot assembly built in. I was not able to determine how the pivot assembly attaches to the riser slab. It is rock solid, though.

The base tapers away from the top, and there is an LED under the front center that lights white when the base is being used for charging. It does not light up when there is an iPad on the Pita!Flow charger on the riser.

Setup

Inserting the iPad into the Pitaka MagEZ iPad mini case is pretty easy. There is a small boot for the Apple Pencil, if you like leaving it on. I don’t leave my pencil on when I’m not using it, so I opted to remove the boot after testing it out.

Setting up the stand is pretty easy as well. Insert the tab where the riser slab bends into the slot on the base, and you’ll see an Allen wrench magnetically attached in the area where you’ll need to plug in the power. If you want, use the wrench to tighten the screws that hold the riser arm. If you’re going to be traveling and want to break down the stand easily, you don’t have to tighten it up. It’ll work either way, but it’s not as secure when not tightened.
Once you’ve got the riser in place, you can plug in the stand to a USB-C power cable and charger. The included cable balked a few times when I first inserted in, but finally decided to play nice and never gave more issues.

Fan on underside of unit

Performance

The case is great. There’s a lip around the perimeter of the case to prevent scratching the screen if you lay it facedown. It also adds a bit of grippiness to the device, which makes me feel better when reading or playing a game handheld. I love snapping it onto the stand – such a solid attachment. If you’ve used Apple’s MagSafe™ for iPhones, it’s about twice as strong as that. You almost need two hands to break the bond when you want to take your iPad off the stand or charger. The stand may also be used with Pitaka’s other (larger) magnetic cases – I couldn’t determine this from the info on the website. They have several models of stand, and this one was in pre-launch as I was doing my testing.

The case has an X-pattern of contacts, while the charger has just a single line of 5 pogo-pins. When you attach the iPad to the stand, it’ll securely go into either landscape or portrait orientation. I find this much nicer than stands that offer rotation, as the MagEZ stand will always hold the screen at 90º to the base.

What I like

  • Protective case enhances grip when handheld
  • Charging through the case
  • Stand can work in portrait or landscape easily

What I’d change

  • There is no passthrough for the USB-C port
  • The cable for the stand was a bit finicky to offer power.

Final thoughts

I’m fairly new to the iPad mini. I’ve had a large Pro for years and recently gave my 10.5” model to my oldest, thinking I was going to get a cellular mini. My more rational brain prevailed (and there were several rumors that the promised $200 rebate from US phone carriers frequently was not honored due to technicalities. Hehe – Using “honor” in a sentence with “US Phone carrier.” I crack myself up sometimes!), and I stuck to my wifi-only trend. I’ve bought a cushioned zipper case, as well as Apple’s Dark Cherry Smart Folio, but this is really the first thing I’ve tested for it, and I find it very freeing. Added to my iClever keyboard/trackpad and an original Compass stand from TwelveSouth, it’s the perfect minimalist writing workstation. At work, I constantly have folks complimenting the case. I think it’s a keeper!

Price: $79 for case, $29 for charger, $129 for stand
Where to buy: Pitaka Webstore
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Pitaka.

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