Apple almost ruined the iPad mini. Twice.
Its first mistake was the glaring omission of a Retina Display (a topic for another post). The second was the horrible Smart Cover that Apple released along side it -- the only cover available at launch because of Apple's hyper-secretive nature. Unlike the Smart Cover for the full-size iPad, the mini version feels junky. It doesn't fit properly, it falls over as a stand and it doesn't come in black or white. In short, it's a disaster.
Well, it's time to toss your $40 mini Smart Cover in the trash because there's a new sheriff in town: BookBook for iPad mini ($69.99) by twelvesouth. Unlike the garbage Smart Cover, BookBook is the epitome of good taste. It's a portfolio case that when zippered shut, looks like a beautiful leather-bound book. But its beauty is more than skin deep. BookBook offers great protection for your iPad while being a completely functional case.
When it's zipped open you can use the iPad mini book style, or your can unsnap one side of the case and use a small kickstand to prop it up to a more comfortable typing angle. It even flips open for easy access to the camera on the rear. You might look a tad silly using the iPad mini camera, but not as ridiculous as using the full-size iPad.
I've long been a fan of twelvesouth's BookBook cases because they tone down the tech. When you bring one into a meeting, it stops being about what device you're carrying and the conversation focuses on the task at hand (It's probably going to draw a few glances when you bust it out though). BookBook mini is a high quality piece that's more akin to a family heirloom than a tech accessory. While it adds a bit of heft to the wafer-thin mini, it adds it in all the right places.
Update 2013-1120: I'm happy to report that the BookBook for iPad mini also fits the Retina iPad mini.