Gelaskins for iPad 2 – First Impressions

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I posted a week ago about being interested in Gelaskins as a minimalist option to use with my iPad 2 and the iPad 2 Smart Cover. A few days ago I received my first Gelaskin and applied just the back cover piece of it to my iPad 2.

Over recent weeks I’ve tried a few back cover cases that are compatible with, and designed specifically for use with, the iPad smart cover. A couple of them are very nice cases, but all of them have ended up making the iPad 2 feel quite a bit heavier to me. It’s been a bit of a shocking revelation for me, as they all look quite slim, don’t visually add much bulk at all to the iPad 2, and the number for their actual weight seem quite tiny. Nevertheless, the iPad 2’s wonderful lightness is just not there anymore when using the first few back cover cases I’ve tried.

So Gelaskins started to look like they might be an ideal solution for getting a little bit of protection for the back cover of my iPad 2 while not sacrificing any of its great light feel. They are described as ‘super-thin’ and are less than 1mm thick.

I chose two Gelakins to try out with the iPad 2 – the first one I have applied is the one shown above and in a photo of mine after the break. It’s ‘Vintage Dr. Gonzo’ by Ralph Steadman – who illustrated ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and other works by Hunter S. Thompson. The second one is a rendering of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.


Here are some quick impressions after a few days with the Gelaskin applied to my iPad 2:

— Applying the Gelaskin to the back of the iPad 2 was surprisingly easy. I’m a complete clod at things like this. I always have screen protectors applied for me by the vendor, as I have tried doing it myself in the past and always buggered it up. With the Gelaskin it took a few tries to get it aligned just right with buttons and ports, but the material is very forgiving and it’s easy to have several goes at it. It didn’t require any liquid, special cards or tools to apply. I just cleaned off the back of the iPad 2 with my favorite microfiber cloth, got the Gelaskin aligned correctly, and then used the same soft cloth to rub it firmly down from the middle outwards.

It’s not a perfect install; it never was going to be with me doing it – but it’s close. There were three or four quite minor bubbly spots, mostly near corners – and they have mostly worked themselves out over these few days.

— The Gelaskin looks and feels great on the iPad 2. It’s got just a slight ‘grippy’ feel to it, that makes holding the iPad 2 a little more secure.

— As soon as I finished applying it, it was obvious the Gelaskin was just as super-thin and light as advertised. The iPad 2 does not feel any heavier at all with it on – which is exactly what I was after. Hurray.

— I chose not to apply the front portion of the Gelaskin as it would mean getting rid of my Ghost Armor screen protector; and I don’t want to trade screen protection for a pretty look to complete the Gelaskin ‘effect’ on the iPad 2.

— When you purchase a Gelaskin you get free downloads of wallpaper images for the iPad 2 that match up with your chosen skin. I’ve skipped using this as well for now, as I’m not using the front piece that coordinates with it and I’m quite happy with my current home screen wallpaper.  

I feel very happy with the Gelaskin so far. My iPad 2 feels just as light as ever and the back has some minimal and stylish protection. I’m hoping the Gelaskin will survive OK when I use some back covers and cases for the iPad 2.

Here’s a link for the Gelaskins for iPad 2 page – they’re priced at $29.95 and they come in an extremely wide range of designs, or you can even upload your own artwork.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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6 thoughts on “Gelaskins for iPad 2 – First Impressions”

  1. Great review – I picked up a Groupon for Gelaskins forever ago and have been meaning to order mine before the Groupon expires! I’m especially happy to hear that you found the application process and material to be forgiving, I’m a complete klutz at applying screen protectors!!

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