by Megan Lavey-Heaton, Tuaw.com

I’ve taken a look at a number of really nice iPad mini cases, and the US$120 MapiCases’ Soli falls into the luxury end of the spectrum. However, you’re not spending your money on looks alone. This is geninuely a very nice case.

The Soli comes in four colors of glossy European leather: black, brown, red and tan. It functions the same as a number of other good iPad mini cases, folding into two stand positions that will handle typing in landscape mode or watching videos. The magnets in the front cover will wake the iPad mini from sleep when you open it, and the lining protects the screen. MapiCases says each case is made by hand, and the craftsmanship shows.

I spent a week with the Soli and was pretty pleased. My one quibble is that the latch sticks straight up when the case is folded back so you can watch a video, as you can see in the photo above. I wish it was flexible enough to fold back and stick to the cover like my Belkin case does. I was a bit dubious about the case in typing mode, thinking the iPad mini would rock as I use it. It did, but only slightly.

There’s a number of great cases with similar features for $70-80 less, but if you really need to make a statement or appreciate having a luxury iPad mini case, you can’t go wrong with the Soli. It’ll look great in a fashion boutique, the boardroom or your local coffee shop.