The iPad 2 Smart Cover is one of my favorite things about the latest version of the iPad. It feels so much like a perfect extension of the iPad 2 itself that I very rarely take it off. I started out with mixed feelings about the smart cover in early days with it, but the more I’ve used it the more I’ve grown to love it. It is now my iPad 2’s BFF.
I’ve been continually looking for the ideal companion for the iPad 2 smart cover, because I don’t like having the back of the iPad ‘naked’. I initially went with just a Ghost Armor screen protector for the back cover. That worked well enough and certainly offered stellar protection against nicks and scratches – but I wanted something a little more, or thought I did anyway. So I tried out several iPad 2 back cover cases that are compatible with the smart cover.
Most of the back cover cases I’ve tried have been very well made and are high-quality cases – for instance the Speck SmartShell for iPad 2 and the Incipio SmartFeather for iPad 2 – but they all made the iPad 2 feel much heavier to me. None of them actually weigh very much at all, and they feel very light when you hold them on their own, but once they’re on the iPad 2 it just loses that wonderful feeling of lightness that sets it apart from the original iPad.
The Speck SmartShell Case for iPad 2 is a back cover case designed specifically to work with the Apple Smart Cover for the iPad 2. These cases have an instant appeal for me, because the more time I’ve spent with the iPad 2, the more I’ve come to love the smart cover.
The SmartShell is another ultra-thin, hard case style back cover for the iPad 2, similar to the Incipio SmartFeather for iPad 2 that I reviewed recently. Both of these look to be high quality back cover cases that play very nicely with the iPad 2 smart cover, so I’ve given the SmartShell a try very soon after testing the SmartFeather.
The Incipio Smart Feather for the iPad 2 is meant to be a perfect, ultra-light companion for the iPad 2 using an Apple Smart Cover. I realized some time ago that being compatible with the smart cover is now a must-have feature for me when looking for iPad 2 cases, as I’ve found that I’m a huge fan of the smart cover.
In fact the smart cover is very rarely off my iPad when I’m at home. It is easily the best cover / case I’ve ever used with an iPad, and I’ve been searching for the ideal companion case to use with it for a while now. The Incipio Smart Feather sounded quite promising when I first saw it. Here’s a little bit of its intro at the Incipio site:
The Smart feather® is custom-molded to fit the contours of the iPad 2, ensuring a snug and sturdy hold. With great attention to detail, Incipio® designed strategically-placed custom cutouts in the Smart feather®, allowing the Apple Smart Cover magnets to adhere to the iPad 2 near each of the two side corners.
Sounds great if you’re a fan of using the iPad 2 smart cover right? Unfortunately it hasn’t lived up to my high hopes for it, not by a longhsot.
The STM Skinny is a slim, folio style case for the iPad 2, with support for the smart cover automatic sleep/wake feature. I’ve talked before about how the smart cover tech, and specifically the automatic sleep/wake feature, have become a must-have for me on iPad 2 cases – and this one meets that criteria.
I ordered one of these via Radtech after seeing it mentioned by a reader, and have had it for a couple of weeks now. The short story is that this is not a favorite iPad 2 case for me. For more on why, hit the break …
The SwitchEasy CoverBuddy for iPad 2 is intended to act as a perfect companion for the Apple Smart Cover for the iPad 2. It’s a back cover case that allows a space on the left hand side to let the smart cover do its thing – and comes in a small range of colors that complement the smart cover colors.
This is a solid and very durable back cover that is protected thusly, depending on which model you order:
… with highly durable color matched rubber coating (color version), or scratch-resistant UV coating (clear version) so your purchase will last longer.
I bought a black model that doesn’t quite match my navy blue smart cover, but is close enough for me to be content with it – though ideally at some point it would be good to see the range of colors extended to match those of the iPad 2 smart covers.
I spent my first few weeks with the iPad 2 using only the Apple Smart Cover and screen protectors on front and back. Initially there was a major lack of third party cases for the iPad 2 – in Apple and other retail stores and even online. Over the last few weeks this situation has improved a great deal and I’ve found a number of promising iPad 2 cases online.
The Mivizu Sense iPad 2 Leather Case is one of those. I had never heard of Mivizu before until a reader mentioned this case and it looked interesting enough to try out. Honestly, I had low expectations with such an unknown name. Well, I’ve been using this unknown darkhorse of a case for a couple weeks now and I have been very pleasantly surprised at how much I like it.
The Marware C.E.O. Hybrid iPad 2 Case seems to have just about everything going for it in terms of what I’m looking for in an iPad 2 case. It promises all-round protection, smart cover tech support (for automatic sleep/wake of the iPad 2), and is attractive looking.
It’s the second Marware iPad2 case I ordered – it would have been first if I would’ve realized sooner that it offered the smart cover tech. I’ve been using the CEO Hybrid (I hope you’ll forgive me for rendering it without the periods between letters in the rest of this post) on my iPad 2 constantly for about a week now and it’s certainly an impressive case.
For all my thoughts on it, and a few pictures of it in action, hit the break …
In these first few weeks since the iPad 2 launched it has been relatively hard to track down good cases for the new iPad. Apple stores are not carrying any 3rd party cases at all yet, and other retail outlets (AT&T, Verizon, Best Buy, Target et al) have very slim pickings or none at all, at least here in Austin.
Looking to established online accessory vendors, like Marware and others, provides some options. The Marware Eco-Flip iPad 2 Case is actually the very first iPad 2 case I ordered. I’ve had the case for a couple weeks now and used it quite a lot, so it’s about time to share a quick review of it. Hit the jump for my review and a few photos of the case in action with my iPad Dos …
Ever since I discovered how much I like the Apple Smart Cover for the iPad 2, but also how much I dislike its lack of full protection and inability to play nicely when folded back in use, I’ve been searching for a case that offers the best of both worlds. An iPad 2 case that offers full protection and also full support for smart cover features.
One of the first I spotted that claimed to fit the bill is the Yoobao Executive Leather Case for iPad 2. At $39.95 – ordering via XenGadget – it’s nearly 50% off the price of the Apple Smart Cover for iPad 2. So I ordered one, and yesterday it arrived.
The short story here is this case will never again be going on my iPad 2. It’s back in its box and will either be returned to the vendor or just thrown away. For details on why, hit the jump …
I finally got my first 3rd party case for the iPad 2 today. The Marware EcoFlip for iPad 2 was delivered this morning. Up to now I’ve been using only the Apple Smart Cover for iPad 2 and Ghost Armor screen protectors / covers for front and back of the iPad 2. Local Apple and other retail stores here in Austin have had very slim pickings thus far for iPad 2 cases. Apple Stores offer none at all aside from the smart cover and between AT&T, Verizon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart I’ve found none that appeal at all.
I’ve also seen very few cases that I like online that are actually shipping immediately. This is one of two Marware cases for iPad 2 that I’ve ordered, and both are shipping far later than originally expected.
When I bought my iPad 2 on launch day last week, I also picked up an Apple Smart Cover for it. Even though I hated Apple’s case for the original iPad, the smart cover looked so different and so … smart, that I felt I had to give it a try.
The smart covers for the iPad 2 come in polyurethane or leather, and in a small range of colors for each material. I chose leather and the Navy color for mine. I’ve been using the smart cover for around a week now and have had it on my iPad 2 just about constantly. I have mixed feelings about the smart cover so far – there are some things I love about it, and others that I don’t like at all.
Hit the break for a quick rundown of my iPad 2 smart cover likes and dislikes …